Husky Triathletes at the Wildflower Triathlon Festival
Seven Huskies took a four day roadtrip down to the Wilflower Triathlons at Lake San Antonio in California on May 1, 2016. This was Erik Larson's first triathlon, and below he reports on the experience!
The Wild Flower Triathlon was an amazing experience being my very first triathlon, as well as recently joining the UW Triathlon Club. Prior to leaving to Lake San Antonio, California for the event, I had heard a lot of hype about the triathlon, which made me very excited to be able to finally do my first tri!
After renting 2 vehicles (one of which was donated by GMC!), we managed to squeeze seven bikes, race gear including race wheels, sleeping bags/ necessities for camping, a nine-person tent, and six other people into these two vehicles. I was astounded. The two-day road trip to California I found was a lot of fun, although we couldn’t sight see and take our time driving, my enjoyment was filled with visiting with my teammates who I got to learn much more about and answered my questions about the very popular triathlon we were headed to. In fact I learned this triathlon was a much bigger event than I was expecting, and the course was supposedly a lot harder than other triathlon courses too. But I didn’t think much of it.
After a full days driving and a terrible night’s sleep, all of us woke up bright and early with happy smiles and continued into the afternoon driving to Lake San Antonio. Upon arriving I felt myself start to get more excited and nervous for the race the following day. After we all set up camp in the campground we went to check out the bike course and rack our bikes for the following morning.
The morning of the race was very exciting for me, and quickly turned into being nervous as I watched the Wildflower volunteers set up the swim course. I didn’t dare tell my teammates, “I don’t think I’ve swam that far before,” because I definitely haven’t. Although I did express my nervousness to them, they were very comforting towards me and made me more confident. Starting the race and ending the race was honestly a big blur, the adrenaline and excitement I experienced was very new to me which I enjoyed a lot. Although my chain fell off while mounting my bike, some leg cramps during the running course, and the exponential amount of hills that I wasn’t expecting throughout the course, it had to be one of the most amazing experiences. The feeling of crossing the finish line and finishing my first triathlon was beyond words, and I definitely am excited to do my next race! My teammates finishing times were Brianna Troksa who got 02:41:59 (2nd OA Collegiate female), Teresa Wang who got 03:13:24, Courtney Klein who got 03:27:31, Jason Klein who got 2:53:12, Nick Barclay who got 2:59:42, and myself, Erik Larson who got 3:07:53. Tim Durham also raced the sprint course, finishing 5th OA. Finishing this amazing adventure we were able to take a detour through Redwood National Forest and visit the California Coast before finish the drive back to Seattle, Washington!