This was my second year racing Door County, and my seventh 70.3 ever, so I guess it’s time I take a stab at writing a race report. Because apparently, triathletes love homework.
Swim: Door has been shortened to a 69.3 for the last couple years due to inclement weather and rough swim conditions, so it was a relief to have beautiful, calm water this year. The swim is my strength, and I was very excited to get to do the full 1.2 miles this year to build up a little bit of a lead. Water temp was 73 degrees, so I was super comfy in my sleeveless wetsuit. My swim time was actually 2-3 minutes slower than usual for me despite sighting well, but I was still first in my wave by a couple minutes. Obviously, we were all victims of some sort of gang of water gremlins.
Bike: This was probably my roughest leg this year. I got a new bike last month, and I’m still getting comfortable on it and working on a few fit and mechanical issues. The bike course is rolling hills (my favorite) and always has impeccable traffic control. Given some well-known issues with certain other races this year, I was very pleased to see multiple officials out monitoring the course as well. Door County has pretty decent roads with the exception of about a ten mile stretch in the middle. That stretch also happened to have a surprise head- and crosswind, adding insult to injury. I was hoping to shave a couple minutes off last year’s split, but I added a couple instead.
Run: Door’s run is brutal, and I love it. The first five miles are flat-to-rolling with a decent amount of shade. At mile 6, you get to go up a pretty good hill, followed by an even steeper, longer hill at mile 9. Crowd support on the hills and through town is fantastic. I got lucky and saw a few of my teammates on my way up both hills to help spur me on. From mile 10 on, you’re in full sun with practically zero spectators. The race director takes pity on us around mile 10.5 with a misting station, and again at mile 11.5 with popsicles. If you’ve never had a popsicle at mile 11.5 of a 90-degree run, you are missing out. My coworker was the runner on a relay team that started 40 minutes ahead of me, and I achieved my goal of passing her just after the popsicle station. The final half mile of the run course is a pounding downhill all the way through the finish chute, and I love to let my legs loose at that point and just pray I don’t end up on my face. I was well off my goal time for the run also, which I’m chalking up to the heat and humidity. I had the fastest run of my group by a pretty good margin as well, which never happens because everyone knows swimmers hate to run. So clearly, being one of the last waves to go off, we were all struggling a bit by that point. The ice baths at the finish line were heaven after a long, hot day.
Overall: This is always a super smoothly run race with phenomenal support, from both volunteers and spectators. It doesn’t hurt that it’s located one of the most beautiful venues in the state, either. It’s not a mystery why it’s a perennial favorite for long-course racers.
Overall time: 5:19:36
1st place age group
7th overall female