by Laura Miller, Kyle’s Bikes 2014 Triathlon Team
This was my first time racing Bluff Creek Triathlon. I had raced at Don Williams Park several years earlier when the Iowa Games Triathlon used to be hosted there. The courses were similar.
The two weeks prior to the race I was up at Ft. McCoy, Wisconsin training with the Iowa Army National Guard. This threw a twist into my training plan. Also in the weeks leading up to the race, I was also experiencing IT Band and hip issues that were limiting my running distance. Originally I had signed up to compete in the Olympic distance, but with all the issues I had been having I decided to switch and move down to the sprint distance. I was disappointed at first, but it was the smart decision to make. I could have made it through the Olympic but it would have just set me back further in healing up my IT Band and hip issues.
The swim is a point-to-point swim. We were bused from one side of the lake to the other. Because of the layout, this did not allow for family members and friends to be there at the start, but the transportation was good.
The water was comfortable and fairly clean for an Iowa lake. My only fault for the swim portion was that the boat dock where you exited the swim was very slippery. But it was nice that they had several volunteers helping swimmers out of the water and onto the mats.
The run up into transition was a little bit long, but it was quick to put biking shoes, my helmet, and sunglasses on. Then it was right out onto the bike course.
The bike course for this race was a simple out and back. Immediately when you exit transition you go right into a hill. Before the race I did a quick bike ride to cycle through my gears. I set my gears so I was ready for the hill out of transition.
I went out on the bike hard knowing that this is where I would gain most of my time since I did not know how my knee/hip would feel on the run.
The run course was an out and back, with a portion of it going through gravel roads and a mowed grass path. Once I got onto the run course I felt really good, no IT Band or hip issues. Another female that was on the bike course with me was running a similar pace so I kept up with her and eventually passed her at the turn around point. I was able to pick up the pace, pass two more female runners during the last mile, and finish strong.
I finished 1st in my AG and 3rd woman overall. It was a great race, well run. It would be a great option for anyone that wanted to give the sport of triathlon a try.
Full results from Bluff Creek Triathlon are online at True Time Racing.