Battle at Buckhorn

It was a beautiful morning, a little chilly and fairly low humidity which would be great for the run. Last year it was pretty hot and humid and there is no shade on the run course. Maybe this year I would have a better run and have a chance to win the coveted belt buckle. There are several other fast girls racing this year so I will have to have a great race to win.

Swim – The course is a triangular shaped course starting in the water. The water was still pretty warm, so no wetsuit, but I decided to wear my Huub swim skin to see if I could shave some time off my swim. I felt pretty good on the swim and came out of the water a few seconds behind Bri Gaal with Erin McGowan already out of transition on her bike. 40 secs faster than last year, yay!

T1: focused on being fast so I could leave on the bike with Bri. It’s so much more fun when you have someone to race with on the bike course. Other than fumbling a bit trying to buckle my helmet I was out pretty fast…so I thought until I got to the bike mount line and looked down to see I had forgotten to pull my swim skin off from my waist. I can’t believe I did that AGAIN! It’s funny how I never made mistakes like that in my first few years of racing, only after racing for 9 years. I really need to remember to practice my transitions before my next race.

T1.5: Ran back to my spot in transition and racked my bike so I could take off the swim skin and then headed back out of transition. Another 46 secs. So much for the 40 secs I saved on the swim!

Bike: Thanks to my transition snafu at least one girl passed me in transition, and two were already ahead of me, so I would need a strong bike. Passed one girl right away and then Erin about half way through the bike. I was pretty sure I was in 2nd place behind Bri, but she was too far ahead to see. Felt pretty good on the bike but didn’t really have any one to pace with so had to keep reminding myself to push my pace when I found myself losing focus. It’s a nice moderately rolling course with only one big climb at the end.

T2: No issues in transition this time. Still not super-fast.

Run: Thanks to the cooler less humid weather the run was much nicer than last year. The run is a two loop course so you get to see the competition several times during the run. I went out pretty fast but started to slow down a bit on the second lap. Luckily I found myself running with a fast girl who was on her first lap, so I just focused on staying with her until I turned towards the finish. As expected I didn’t come close to catching Bri but no women caught me either, so I was pretty happy with my run and 2nd place overall finish. This is a popular local race so I usually see quite a few people I know which makes it a lot of fun. If you haven’t had the chance to race Battle at Buckhorn, I definitely recommend trying it next year.

This entry was posted in Uncategorized by Cari Soleo. Bookmark the permalink.

About Cari Soleo

I am originally from Greenville, NC but have been living in the Triangle area for more than twenty years since graduating from UNC-Chapel Hill (Go Heels!) For most of my middle and high school years I played tennis, but in college I took up running to stay in shape, and continued to run on and off after school. Like many other moms, I started running again to get back into shape after having kids. In the summer of 2006 I decided to take on my first half marathon that October. While training for my half, I started swimming for cross training, which I really enjoyed. At the time, it seemed like everyone I met was talking about the sport of triathlon, so the following year I added biking to the mix and trained for my first sprint triathlon at Riverwood in April of 2007. One race and I was hooked! Over the past seven years, I have done many races, from sprint to half ironman distance, and have run several half and full marathons. My husband trains and competes in triathlons with me, and we have two kids, aged 11 and 13, who are competitive swimmers (and way faster than me). I am very excited to join such a talented team this year and look forward to another great season!