Living and training on the west side of Tucson I often run into some of triathlons “top dogs”. Most recently it has been at the track. During my Tuesday workout Miek Twelsiek was going through his paces. That was followed by the college track team doing some drill work (Man, those guys have incredible leg speed…and they are “just” Jr. College athletes!). On Friday I was “joined” by Ironman World Champion Miranda Cafrae. It just so happens we were both running 800’s. Surprisingly our pace was dead even…of course I was doing Vo2 pace and she appeared to be well under that level, I only had 3 to do and she was doing 8+ and her rest interval was half of mine.
This weekend, as part of the TriFest weekend at TriSports.com, Team Trisports had a training camp. This camp was not the intense camp like the Accelerate3 camp a few weeks ago and had a little more social aspect blended in. Of the 29 sponsored athletes, 25 converged from all parts of the U.S. …Arizona, Pennsylvania, Missouri, New Mexico and California are a few that I remember. The weather was fantastic…clear, mid 80’s and devoid of the winds we had earlier in the week.
This day was our check in day. We met up with our sponsor coordinator Jaclyn to pick up our new team kits. The new fit and design were awesome. I then hit the trails for a 50 minute run on the Morning Wren, Yetman, and Hidden Canyon trails in Starr Pass. I had also gotten in a 2 hour bike ride earlier in the morning.
The team was up early meeting at TriSports for the 7:00 roll out for the Mt. Lemmon ride. This ride was open to all so we were joined by 150+ others. The ride from TriSports to the base of the climb was an hour of “no drop” pace to keep everyone together. From the base it wasa free for all… everyone was welcome to pick their own pace and climb up as far as they wanted. The group stopped at the base to strip off excess clothing since the climb was long and the desert sun was warming things up. As the group got rolling I was caught towards the rear. I worked my way forward to find that the group had already split and the faster guys were already up the road. I made an attempt to bridge up to the group but made little progress. So, I settled in in no-mans land between the two main groups and set my own pace. I slowly picked off a few riders as they dropped from the main group. We were given support by the Sram Race Support vehicle and I saw several with flat tires keeping those guys busy. At mile 11ish we were greeted by the smiling faces of the TriSports staff with there big ‘ol truck sagging…the cold water was welcomed as there is very limited water on the mountain. I filled my bottle and soldiered on until I reached my planned turn around point at mile 18. Did I mention the weather was great! The descent was a 40mph romp to the bottom. Then I returned to the start point at TriSports. A great lunch awaited the team members. Yummy.
After a few hours of relaxing the team them met at the Tucson JCC for a swim workout. After a short warmup we threw down a 100, 200, 300, and 400. That was followed by 4 fun 8 minute sets. The first one was heads up swimming. Next was several differant sculling drills. That was folowed by a game of catch…teams of 2-3 would start off in the center of the pool in opposite dirrections…you circle swam until one team caught the other…repeat until time was up. The last one was tug of war…2 swimmers teathered together with strech cords swim all out in opposite directions until one reaches the wall. After that we had to pick our fastest swimmer to do a get-out swim. If she completed a 100 in 1:00 minute we got to get out…if not we got to swim more. Fortunately she hit the wall in an awesome :59. After a shower and a little rest the team then met again at TriSports for a catered dinner (yummy again), introductions, some TriSports history and a tour of the facility which is quite impressive.
Another early day as the team met at TriSports for a mystery workout (we had packed a bag and turned it in the previous night for this event). We departed on our bikes at 6:30 and rode to the designated mystery workout location…the JW Marriott resort in Starr Pass. The resort graciously opened their doors to us for a “mini race” with a few twists. This race doubled as a photo shoot for the team and our new uniforms. The race was a blast. We started in time trial fashion…one off every 20 seconds. The start was a blast down the resorts water slide into the “lazy river” pool. We then swam a little over 2 loops in the lazy river against the current (to make it a bit harder). At a few spots there were water fountains that disrupted your breathing! After exiting the “river” we mounted our bikes, exited the resort grounds and rode 2 loops through Starr Pass. The loop consisted of non stop rolling climbs. One final hill back to the resort “transission” area and we were off of our bikes, slipping into our run gear and off for a run through the Hidden Canyon trail. The first half is a long climb before the downhill 2nd half. The whole trail is rocky and technical. Upon exiting the trail I missed a course arrow and led a few others to a premature finish, cutting off about a 1 mile loop around the resort. OOOPs…good thing this was just for fun! After the race we jumped on our bikes and took a “leasurely” ride over Gates Pass before returning to TriSports. Upon our return TriFest was in full swing. The parking lot was full of tents filled with vendors for the expo. We were also treated to taco’s…again, yummy! A little down time to get rested and cleaned up was followed by the TriSports VIP party. Another fun filled ending…food, band, beverages, poker and great people!
Thanks to Jaclyn, Sarah, Seton, Debbie and all the others that assisted in putting this all together! It was a great weekend.
Here are pics from the Team Presentation “Race”.
Here are pics from the TriFest Mt Lemmon ride.
(Pics curtousy of Tom Demerly)