If this triathlon doesn’t scream Sacramento, then I don’t know what does. This isn’t your average tri – it does NOT go swim, bike run. In great Eppie fashion it goes by its own accord – run, bike, and paddle (aka kayak). Eppie G. Johnson (Remembrance) was the found of EGR and also the owner of Sacramento’s Eppie’s Restaurant. Philanthropist and do good-er, he did many things for the community. His physical presence may be gone this year, but his spirit will always live on with this race!
This race has various options from Iron person to teams, the team option has a slew of different divisions and is also differentiated by equipment. I have yet to do an Iron person challenge, but I’m hoping to do this next year. This year, like all of the other years I’ve competed, I was part of a team! Team Hot Mess, to be exact. We were a co-ed team, consisting of myself (runner), Meeks (biker), and B (kayaker)! We were literally a Hot Mess, because none of us trained for our legs of the race and a few of us had some major body issues (damn being 31)! Nonetheless, we were gonna compete as best as we could and enjoy the race!
|Perfect reason why we are Team Hot Mess|
For some reason, this race starts later than one would think. Especially because this race takes up a decent section of the highly traveled American River Trail/Parkway. However, an 8 o’clock start was the scheduled start! As I was going through my pre-race morning, I took my normal grid gear picture and ate a very average pre-race meal! I was running less than 6 miles, so I didn’t eat too much.
In the hustle and bustle of figuring out the logistics, I spaced on bringing the parking pass AND the timing chip. As we were trying to enter the parking area of the park I realized I didn’t have the pass, luckily the parking fairy was near and there was a perfect spot on one of the side streets, score! Then as we’re walking up to the pathway where the run starts and were standing there…it hits me like a mac truck! I look down at my ankle…shit, I don’t have the timing thing! Ahh, I basically scream at the Boy to run home and get it. Stand there for five seconds and let myself think, and realize there has to be a tent/table of staff who an assist. So I crazily jog looking for this table and within 10 steps I’m at the side of a van with a table. Of course it would be easily remedied, my mini freak out was for nothing! Although our timing would be under a different number (than our bibs), problem solved!
|Pre-Race Couple Selfie|
I always forget about how this race is ran. There is NO timing mat at the beginning. If you are at the end of the pack, your time still starts at 8AM – just like everyone else. The only people who start at 7:58AM is the adaptive division, otherwise its a clusterf**k of people. I always forget this and start near where my pace/mile should be. Essentially, screwing myself and my team! Maybe next year I’ll actually remember this and go near the 6min/mile pace sign…even though that would be a total crock of shit…but I’m willing to look silly for my team time total!!
And we’re off. I’ve run this road, as have thousands of Sacramentan’s, hundreds of times. It’s nothing fancy, but it is a clusterf**k because of the narrow trail and the hundreds of people running on it! Since the trail goes under main city streets, there three times you have to go down the levee and right back up the levee!
It was an exceptionally warm morning, I’m glad there were a few water stations and some hosing off if you preferred, along the running course. Before I knew it, my almost 6 miles were up. I was coming up to the Guy West Bridge and I started looking for my Boss who was taking the professional pictures and the Boy! I actually ran faster than I had anticipated, so I wasn’t sure if he’d be there on time, but that sweet fella was there, camera ready. My boss had text me the night before and said that he’d be shooting the race, last minute! So although I was on the complete opposite side of the trail, I cut off some guys (sorry) to make sure he snapped some good pics of me. I was able to run and finish strong, which I wasn’t sure would happen because of my current knee issue.
|Just finishing my leg. // Photo Cred: The Boy|
|Cutting Off Folks // Photo Cred: The Boss|
|Photo Cred // The Boss|
After you run past the Guy West Bridge, it is a slow decline off the trail into the bike stating area. I looked it up the night before, because there are corrals for different divisions. All co-ed teams are in corral B, but still (as it is each year), the adrenaline is pumping and I get all confused. The first corral always seems small, but it’s fairly large, before you get to the B corral. Since we are used to planning out our race tactics, Meeks knew she would be posted and ready to go and I would stop, take off the timer and put it on her ankle and she would shoot off. However, this year, she decided once she saw me, she would go the VERY END of the corral and wait to have a better start. I was not ready for this…I had to sprint the entire length of the corral! I was screaming at her, to the comic relief of all the bikers waiting for their teammates. I was laughing and annoyed, and frantic to get her the ankle timer. Once it was secured she was off and I was panting like a dog.
Another side note, each year my Garmin or tracking device never says I actually ran 5.82 miles. I mean this is common for most races, and I’m glad it’s not longer, but just don’t want there to be confusion that I’m super fast or anything 😉
Average Pace/Mile: 8:19
From here on out, I’m pretty much cruising. I found the boy, drank some water and we made our way back to the car. Since I know I have to wait for both of them to finish, I take my regular trip to Starbucks for an iced coffee. Once we secure the caffeine goodness, we made our way back to the finish area, which is also the start area. Again, we lucked out with parking and got a perfect spot.
|Post Race Couple Selfie|
I’d first like to say thank you to the volunteers. They have a blend of volunteers, a few people with special needs and some other volunteers, sprinkled along the course to keep the non-racers out of the racers way along the bike path. But ever year, there is an over zealous volunteer (or two) that yells (meanly) at everyone. They need to take a chill pill, but you can’t really tell a volunteer that since they are donating their time. Oh well, what are you going to do!
Our favorite spot to watch the finish is from the bridge. You can see all the kayakers coming in, but still hear the colorful commentary from the finish line. We can usually see B finish and cheer for him, even if he can’t hear us. After we see his wobbly finish, we race down to the finisher’s expo. However, this year we didn’t bother staying.
There are two ways to get your kayak out of the water. Either carry it or kayak across the river and get it out on that side. We’ve always done the later and this year was no different. B didn’t even want to come the finish party, so we met him at the car w/ his kayak to get it situated on top of Big Blue.Everyone was starving, so after we packed up the kayak we were outta there.
It was not our best race, by far. But I’m grateful to have friends who enjoy competing as much as I do, but who also do not lose sight of enjoying the race as well. I ran better than expected and had a good time, so it was a good race in my book. Our stats aren’t too bad, we were middle of the pack, but if you compare them to previous years…well, let’s just not! I’m not really sure why the timer didn’t catch any of the other leg either!
Hopefully next year, I’ll be able to write this recap from the perspective of an Iron person!