April 8 seems like just yesterday but in fact it was weeks ago. Better late than never right? Anywho, this race was awesome and completely sucked at the same time. If you have read my other posts, then you already know this but if not, I am from Virginia. About middle East coast in the U.S., we experience winters with snow, sub freezing temperatures, and all of the other cold things that people enjoy, but nobody wants on race day. I traveled to Napa California (CA) where I thought some sunshine and warm weather would really make for a great race. I WAS WRONG…..
I woke up in Sacramento CA race morning around 330am and arrived at the race site in Napa CA at approximately 5am. Get this, it was 37 degrees when I arrived. At race start, air temp was 39 degrees, and water temp was 57 degrees. I myself was not prepared for such a cold day, and neither were several others.
The swim was not too bad. About 400m in, my hands froze, and I was unable to put my fingers together for a proper swimming motion, and when exiting the water, I realized my feet were frozen as well.
My T1 time was a whopping 12mins. It was so cold, I could not put on my gloves, and struggled to get off my wetsuit.
The bike began pretty easy. My body quickly warmed up, and even tho their were many hills, was able to get into a rhythm. My hands and feet were another story. They were frozen to the core.
Rain started around mile 15, and by mile 20, it was a downpour. Let me tell you, rain plus 30mph downhill, frozen hands, and 40 degree weather do not mix well. At mile 44 of the bike, withdrew from the race. My hands were so frozen, I became unable to shift the gears, use the brakes, or grab a water bottle. My feet so frozen I was unable to unclip. One small slip, and down I would go. No brakes, and off the mountain I could roll. It wasn’t worth the risk at that point.
I wasn’t the only one who made this decision. In fact, after speaking to spectators, about 25% of racers were dropping out due to being just too cold. In total, over 50 racers were treated for signs of hypothermia.
You live, and you learn. No injuries, and I am here to race another day.