Live Online Tracking
You can watch the leaderboard live on race day! Share this link with family and friends so that they can see the results no matter where they are on this beautiful earth.
You can watch the leaderboard live on race day! Share this link with family and friends so that they can see the results no matter where they are on this beautiful earth.
Holy smokes was the wind blowing fiercely during my first open road solo bike ride. Barny, my coach, picked the windiest day for my first long bike ride! On Saturday, April 14th, I took my no-longer-brand-new-to-me bike out for my first venture onto the open road by myself. Sharing the road with vehicles without the comfort of a group ride was intimidating. Before I left the house, I made sure I had my helmet, brightly colored clothing, lights, nutrition, and hydration. Prepared for every situation was comforting. What I needed was a bubble to protect me from the 30-40 mph wind gusts.
In late March, I previewed the 11.2-mile Rookie Tri bike course with a group of about 60 cyclists from the Austin Triathlon Club. On my solo bike ride, the Rookie Tri bike course was sandwiched in between an out-and-back on the Southern Walnut Creek Trail. The excessive wind become evident right when I started, but I wouldn’t let it deter me. I’ve ridden a couple times on the trail, but never to the end. I studied Google Maps so that I knew every turn and when the trail would end. Signage where I turned onto the Rookie Tri bike course says the trail is 7.75 miles long. But if you cross Decker Ln. you can ride another 2+ miles of trail just west of Decker Lake. If you parked at Govalle Neighborhood Park and rode the entire out and back you’d complete ~20 miles. I don’t think I got lost, but there were a couple times where I second-guessed where I was. I ended up riding 32 miles in 2:11:33.
The Southern Walnut Creek Trail is perfect for introductory bike rides. The trail is 10-feet wide in most places and only narrows on some bridges. There is an honest incline once you get towards the end of the trail, but otherwise, it’s relatively smooth. The trail follows Daffen Ln. and ends near Decker Elementary School. This is where my journey on the Rookie Tri bike course began. I’m familiar with the course, having cycled on it and run on it during the 2016 Decker Challenge. I know where the hills are, I know where the sharp turns are, I know where the shoulders disappear because of the bridges (side note: know your cycling hand signals to let others know your intentions).
The wind was blowing so strong that there were times where I could barely control my wobbling bike. I managed, but at times I would have to drop a gear when cycling into the headwind. It was nice when the wind was at my back, but that wasn’t as frequent. It was normally head on or hitting me from the sides! I pushed through the inclines, tamed the wind, and eventually made it back to Decker Elementary. Boy was I happy to see that school, it meant I was at the Southern Walnut Creek Trail entrance. I popped off my bike for a few minutes and sat under a tree eating some energy beans and drinking my nuun performance.
I hopped back on my bike to complete my last real trek into the headwind. Riding alongside Daffen Ln. didn’t get any better with the wind until I crossed Johnny Morris Rd. and turned south on the trail. The wind died down a bit once I was back on the trail, but there were a few gusts that made sure I paid attention. The views along the trail are phenomenal this time of year, especially with water in Walnut Creek.
Aside from general soreness after my 32-mile solo bike ride, the pain I felt most was from sitting on my seat. I’ll spare you the details. Remember, I’ve never pedaled more than 18 miles. The last 6-8 miles weren’t my fastest because I was standing up at certain times, not pedaling. Thank goodness the Rookie Tri bike course is only 11.2 miles!
Want to take the same route I did but with a group? Then join the Austin Tri Club’s group ride on April 21st!
For only $19.99 (regular price $39.99), you can receive the FinisherPix Photo Pack in Digital Format.
The FinisherPix Photo Pack includes ALL photos we identify of you in all digital formats (Basic digital image, Digital images with Finish Time, Digital images in certificate format.)
A link to download all images will automatically be emailed to you when photos are available online.
So wear your bib proud and smile for the camera!
Just a few days ago I wrote about swimming being as difficult as I’d imagined. All of my swimming, except one swim, had taken place at Big Stacy Pool. I was comfortable at that pool. There were familiar faces. My routine was consistent: change clothes, swim, shower. On April 9th I show up for my regular lunchtime swim to find out Big Stacy is closed until the end of the month! What?! Doesn’t the City of Austin know I’m training for my first triathlon?! And to think, I was getting more and more comfortable in the water. Now what do I do?! Graduate.
I knew of a few other pools, so I skipped across town to Deep Eddy Pool. The adjustment took time out of my swim workout, but I had to get in a swim. The switch made me get out of my comfort zone. New location, more traffic, different showers, $3 entry fee, etc. This was a baby graduation. I had to learn about a new (to me) pool and all of its nuances, including the temperature difference. The water temperature was closer to that of Barton Springs (~68 degrees). Deep Eddy isn’t free to use like Big Stacy, which added to my process. Side note – Deep Eddy pool is the oldest pool in Texas, built during the Depression Era.
By now, swimming laps has honed in my stroke and breathing. My familiarity with swimming and level of comfort in the water has grown exponentially since my first swim. Less time is spent on each end of the pool catching my breath. What’s next? Graduate.
This graduation will be bigger. At first, I was uncomfortable swimming longer distances. I’ve since become comfortable. Now it’s time to revisit being uncomfortable again.
I’m planning my first open swim (since my mock Rookie Tri championship) in Barton Springs. The lanes aren’t 25m or 33.3m. They don’t have a black line guiding me under water. There aren’t lane lines to keep other swimmers from swimming in my direction. Basically, all comforts of the pool are gone. But, this is essential and I need to swim in open water before Rookie Tri. Afterall, the swim portion of Rookie Tri takes place in Decker Lake, not Decker Pool.
If you’re just starting out like me, don’t spend 100% of your time in the pool. Become comfortable with swimming in the pool, then branch out. Being as prepared as you can for Sunday, May 6th, will ensure a much better experience!
“What do I wear on race day?” That’s one of the most common questions we receive.
This is both a simple and a complex question. In reality, you can wear anything, but there are some things you should consider purchasing to make your triathlon experience more comfortable. There are numerous options for what you should wear on race day. Find what works for you and stick with it!
The most important part of this outfit is that you try it out before race day. If you don’t have the opportunity to go for a swim before your bike ride, just use a garden hose. While it may draw some looks from the neighbors, you will be happy to know what to expect on race day.
Just not cotton. You want breathable athletic wear to wear on race day. This can something like a swimsuit or workout shorts.
Triathlon shorts and top.
Tri shorts have a small bit of padding that will make your bike ride much more comfortable, but not be too bulky on the run. Shorts should fit snugly and not hang off the body.
Tri tops have pockets in the back that are perfect for carrying some fuel with you on the bike. They also dry quickly. Some even come with a built-in sports bra. You want a sports bra that is supportive enough for running.
The one piece. If you can find one that fits you well then this is the easiest way to go. Set it and forget it – no readjusting your top or shorts along the way.
Each brand is cut a little differently so don’t be discouraged if the first one doesn’t fit.
Add a swim skin or wetsuit.
Swimskin = reduced drag in the water, but no buoyancy.
Wetsuit = reduced drag in the water, buoyancy, and warmth.
James Balentine with City Limit Cycles will be on site in the morning to help with any last minute bike mechanical issues you may have. Once the race starts he will roam the course providing neutral support to all athletes. While James can help, it is best to be able to handle basic mechanics like tire change by yourself. You can follow these steps here.
There is an aid station in transition that can be accessed before the swim and before the bike. There are no aid stations on the bike course so it is important to take any nutrition or liquids that you want with you before you exit transition.
The aid station will have water, nuun, and clif bar gels.
There is one aid station at mile 1 of the run course that will have water, nuun, and clif gels.
Nuun Packed with electrolytes and using clean ingredients, nuun is the perfect way to upgrade your sports drink for your active lifestyle. sodium, potassium (bicarbonate), magnesium (sulfate), calcium (carbonate), vitamin c (as ascorbic acid)
Once you cross the line you will be handed a reusable water bottle filled with cold water. You can use the WaterMonsters located around the festival to refill your water bottle.
Participants can also visit the drink/ snack tent for ice cold sodas, fresh fruit, snacks and more. Visit the food tent to grab your post-race taco! Yum!
Those 21+ can visit the beer garden as well.
Get started with these pre-race tips three days before Rookie Tri. Label all of your gear with an indelible marker. Write your name and phone number on the inside of your running and biking shoes, on the tag inside your wetsuit, inside your helmet, etc.
Make sure your toenails are clipped.
Put on the goggles and adjust them to fit. Do a test in the pool or sink to make sure they don’t leak.
Study the course so you know what to expect. Where are the turns, uphills, downhills or flats? How many aid stations? Where are they located?
Organize your gear: Follow these pre-race tips the night before, lay everything out, and go through your checklist. Then put related items in separate bags for easier sorting. Attach the race number to the bike frame, helmet, and the clothing you’ll be wearing for the bike and/or run.
Tip: Use a race belt to attach race numbers. It’s quick to put on and good for both the bike and run (plus, no safety pins). Wear it so the number is visible in back for the bike, then rotate it to the front for the run.
Eat normally: Don’t eat new things; stick with the foods you usually eat. Try to have some protein (chicken, fish, turkey), a little healthy fat (avocados, nuts, olives) and a lot of carbohydrates (fruits, vegetables, whole grains, beans). Note: It’s best to eat this way for three days before your event.
Get some sleep: Go to bed early. If you’re nervous about waking up in the morning, set multiple alarms (alarm clock, watch, cell phone, wake-up call) for a more relaxed and peaceful sleep. Plan on waking up extra early so your body can adjust its “routine.”
Eating: Eat something. As with the previous night’s meal, eat the same foods your body is used to eating, and eat at least two hours before the race so the food can digest. A beverage high in carbohydrates is a good alternative if you have problems with eating and digesting foods before a race.
Clothing: It’ll probably be cool in the morning, so dress in layers. Swimsuit, compression clothing and/or tri suit, light shirt, sweatshirt, sweatpants, and hat.
Timing Chip: Put the timing chip on your left leg—on the right leg it could catch on the bike gears.
Arrival: Get there about an hour before the race. This leaves time for a calm transition set up, going to the bathroom, and meeting others that are racked around you and in your swim waves.
Transition: Transition areas can get hectic during a race so make sure you know the flow of swim in, bike out, bike in and run out.
If you’re out riding on the road, trail, or in a race, it’s essential to know how to change a flat tire. You can take all the precautionary measures there are to protect your tires. You can check the tread regularly, ensure the air pressure is correct, and avoid sections of the road or trail that could cause damage. The bottom line is, flats happen, especially when you least expect it. Here are 10 easy steps every cyclist should know, eventually you’ll have to change a flat tire.
1.) Open quick release on break calipers
2.) Open quick release skewer on wheel & remove wheel
3.) Take one side of tire off the rim with your tire levers
4.) Pull out the punctured tube
5.) Check the inside of tire for road debris and cuts in tire
6.) Make sure the rim strip on wheel rim is in it’s proper place
7.) Insert new inner tube between wheel rim and tire
8.) Put side wall of tire back onto the rim
9.) Inflate the tube to recommended pressure
10.) Put the wheel back on the bicycle, insert skewer, and re-clamp break calipers
Remember to always be safe and practice precautionary measures by moving yourself and your bike as far off the road as possible when you change a flat tire. If this means into the grassy ditch, then move there. When positioning yourself to change a flat tire, make sure you face oncoming traffic so you can see what is coming your way. If you’re riding with a group, ask someone to stay back with you and help keep an eye on oncoming traffic. Take a few extra proactive measures when you change a flat tire so you can finish your ride!
First, it is best to have your hair and your cap wet. Then, the best way to do this is to hold the cap by the sides and open the cap as wide as possible. Then bring your head forward into the cap. Start by pulling the cap over your forehead then carry on working it down towards the back of your head.
If you have long hair you should put your hair in a mid to low loose ponytail. Leave your hair out to the back. Pull the cap on halfway. Then twist up the rest of your ponytail up into the cap. Try to put it in the cap as evenly as possible so that the cap still has a good seal. Tuck any flyaway hairs along your face up into the cap. These small hairs can get tangled in your goggles when you are swimming and it will be painful to unravel them when you are done.
Be careful not you use your fingernails when putting on your cap. A small tear can quickly grow and you don’t want anything distracting you in the swim.
Putting the swim cap too low on your forehead. Make sure that your goggles are touching your face and not your swim cap.
Swim cap colors will be posted on the schedule page of the website before the event. You can see last year as an example.
Introductory bike rides can help if you’re experiencing one or two of the following. The sport of triathlon is brand new to you. Running is pounding your knees and you’ve begun cycling to cross-train. Triathlon injuries took their toll years ago and you’re returning to the sport, slowly but surely. Your friends tricked you into a weekly bike ride with the promise of beer, chips, and queso after.
Whatever your reasoning, you need to become familiar with your new bike. If operating gears is new to you, using them can be tricky on your first few rides. Your bike presents a new feel, leaning into the curves, becoming comfortable with the handling, drinking your hydration, eating your nutrition.
This 3-mile looped, one-way roadway is ideal for your introductory bikes rides. The Veloway is located in southwest Austin off LaCrosse Ave. and is closed to traffic. Parking is ample. Most noteworthy, this route is strictly for cyclists and rollerbladers, no runners or walkers (watch out for the wildlife!). The roadway is bisected with a continuous white line (slower cyclists keep to the right) and everyone moves in the same clockwise manner. You can relax a little knowing you don’t have to keep an eye out for non-wheeled individuals or riders coming in your direction. There are gorgeous views, a few tight turns, and some nice straightaways. Make sure you get into the right gear for a nice climb around Mile 2! Porta-potties are available.
The Southern Walnut Creek Trail begins at Govalle Neighborhood Park off Bolm Rd. in east Austin. It features nearly 7.5 miles of 10-foot wide concrete paths and splendid views. Like the Veloway, there is plenty of parking. Be advised, runners and walkers are allowed on the trail and traffic flows both ways. On your introductory rides, ensure the other lane is clear and yell out “on your left” if you plan to pass others. There are a few road crossings along the trail to be aware of as well. Add 11 miles and some nice climbs to your bike ride when you preview the Rookie Tri bike course! The trail rides alongside Daffan Ln. and eventually hits Decker Ln.
Representing north Austin, the Brushy Creek Regional Trail reaches Round Rock to the east and Cedar Park to the west. Check out Stone Canyon Pool if you park to the east. Park to the west at Twin Lakes Family YMCA if you use this route for your introductory bike rides. Be aware of runners and walkers on this 6.75-mile multi-use trail that connects neighborhoods and existing parks. Traffic flows in both directions and there are multiple restrooms along the trail. Make sure the other lane is clear and yell out “on your left” if you plan to pass others.