North Mankato Triathlon Relay Report!

>> Monday, June 30, 2014

Or, "Racing with 8 Family Members!"

Or, "Everyone Gets a Medal."

Or, "Don't Miss the Last Paragraph for a Big Reveal!" No seriously, there's some fun news in the last paragraph of this post. No need to jump ahead, but just make sure to not skip over it.

Saturday morning, we hit the road just after 5 a.m. for North Mankato. Henry passed out for a bit:

Unloading next to Steph and Jon.

The TINY Hiniker Pond all ready for the 0.25 mile swim.


As I mentioned in a post last week, a LOT of my wife's family was going to be racing. I was doing the swim in 1 of 2 relays we had there, and 2 more people were doing the whole race individually. Three of us were in the first wave ("Old" Matt the individual clydesdale, "New" Matt doing a relay swim, and me doing a relay swim). Here we are all doing awkward things a few minutes before we started:

Crop in on us, and it could be an album cover for an awkward boy band.

Old Matt, New Matt, and me.

Evie (my niece) couldn't contain her excitement.

Wave 1 lined up!


That's Old Matt to the far left, and it looks like he just majorly face-planted in the water.

Our tiny first wave working our way out into tiny Hiniker Pond.

I got to the inside quickly. I NEVER swim on the inside, and usually prefer to start way to the outside. But with a short swim and with me in a relay, I was ready to go hard on the inside. I actually ended up right along the noodles seen in that photo above, so I had to swing back out to the right to made it around that first buoy.

My form was good. I was swimming strong. We got to the first turn and I popped up on the back-stretch to make sure I was headed in the right direction. At quick glance, I noticed I was in (around) 6th place. That's GREAT for me! Sure, it was a small race and I was only doing the swim, but LET ME HAVE THIS. Thanks.

I powered back to shore and tried to get up the beach as fast as possible:

Steph and Evie were going NUTS for me! (OK, maybe not.)

Less running and more time in the gym has resulted in some biceps.

We were looking for our other relay swimmer (New Matt) to come in next, but Old Matt had a good swim and beat New Matt out of the water:

Old Matt working on his zipper.

Lookin' good, Old Matt!

New Matt just behind him!

New Matt up the hill, past the flag, and into T1.

Angela out of the water! (She started 3 waves behind us.) That's the final of our family group!

Steph's friend Megan finishing her first triathlon swim! She was worried about it.

Funny story: Megan was worried about being the last out of the water, so Steph shouted
"THERE ARE PEOPLE BEHIND YOU!" She had to stop and look to see for herself. :)

Everyone was out on the bike. I got to the other side of transition so I was ready to cheer the bikers back in. No surprise: the first back from our group was Old Matt:

Matt ready to dismount ahead.

Pharmie (my wife and my relay partner) came in next!

My relay runner Steph starting the run! New Matt was running over with
Evie and Henry to cheer on Steph, but they didn't make it in time!

Jon (the other relay biker) coming in.

Jon's "tux jersey" needs to make an appearance with my "leisure suit" jersey sometime.

I was crouched down next to this truck to take these photos at the end of the bike. Nice.

It had big bald tires.

And then I caught my reflection in the bumper. Oh, did I not mention I was running around
and cheering in only my pink plaid shorts and orange Brooks? Well I was.

Angela coming in!

Angela in T2...

... and running out onto the final run.

My wife pulled a 40:13 over the windy 14 mile ride, and she just held off the other relay where Jon finished in 37:24. (I'd given us a lead on the swim.) Old Matt blazed the ride in 34:39, and Angela nearly out-split my wife with a 40:29. Everyone was out on the run course!

Old Matt about to finish!

Our 2 relays finishing SIDE BY SIDE! That's Annie and Steph!

I don't "call things" too often, but I called this about 5 minutes before it happened. I told Pharmie and Jon next to me "I wouldn't be surprised if Annie catches Steph and then they just stick together to finish." Well, it KINDA happened like that. Annie passed Steph, but started feeling like hell. Steph actually caught back up to her after a few minutes. Look at their faces - that tells the story:

Annie = fried. Steph = cute smile.
TRUE STORY: Henry saw this photo and said "I think Annie got caught on something."

The relay sisters finishing side-by-side.

Angela hitting the finish.

We'd all finished. And we'd all placed!!!! Old Matt was the 3rd of 8 Cyldesdales, Angela was the 2nd of 9 in her age group, and us 2 relays were 2nd and 3rd out of 8 teams!


Team "3S:" Steve, Pharmie, and Steph
• 0.25 Mile Swim: 7:05, 1:37 pace (2nd of 8 teams)
• T1: 0:29
• 14 Mile Bike: 40:13, 17.9 mph (5th of 8 teams)
• T2: 0:25
• 3 Mile Run: 27:39, 9:13 pace (6 out of 8 teams)
Total: 1:15:48
Place: 2nd out of 8 teams overall
(Check the finish line pic of the sisters finishing side-by-side, and you'll see that Steph's chip was about to cross first, so officially we were 2nd and they were 3rd with the same finishing time listed.)

Team "Chafing the Dream:" New Matt, Jon, and Annie
• Swim: 10:57
• T1: 0:24
• Bike: 37:24
• T2: 0:22
• Run: 26:43
Total: 1:15:48
Place: 3rd out of 8 teams overall

Matt Linder (AKA: Old Matt)
• Swim: 10:28
• T1: 0:01 (a computing error)
• Bike: 34:39
• T2: 1:13
• Run: 25:22
Total: 1:11:42
Place: 51 out of 163 overall, 3rd out of 8 clydesdales

Angela Starry
• Swim: 9:48
• T1: 1:25
• Bike: 40:29
• T2: 1:07
• Run: 25:06
Total: 1:17:53
Place: 70 out of 163 overall, 2nd out of 9 in her age group

There was another relay that finished in front of us, but apparently their swimmer missed a FEW of the buoys, and their team was disqualified. (People said it looked very unintentional - like he got "tunnel vision" and just cut across to a buoy while missing the actual turn.) That was the only relay swimmer who beat me! (And it was because he cut it way short.) Out of the 163 individuals, my swim time would have ranked 16th. Yes, sure, everyone else still had to bike and run, but that shows that I had a pretty decent swim. I wasn't as STRAIGHT as I swam in Trinona few weeks ago, but the effort was better throughout compared to Trinona.

It was time for Charlie to take a nap, so I strapped him on:

Pancakes and Red Bull post-race!

Jon, New Matt, and Annie (and Evie) after getting their medals!

Steph, Pharmie (and Henry), and me (and Charlie) after getting our medals.
Yes, I went in front of everyone to get my award with a Baby Bjorn. #DadLife

Angela getting awarded!

Matt looking at his winnings.

Apparently, our 2 teams were "Team Monochromatic"...

... and "Team Color." Wow.

The about-to-be-married couple post-race.


After walking back to the car post-race: I had my tri bag on my back,
sleeping Charlie on my front, and crazy Henry in the stroller.

Henry slept like this the whole way back home. So dainty and proper. Like his Daddy.

Oh, and that "big reveal" I promised at the top: This WAS going to be Steph's first individual triathlon. But then she talked to me and Pharmie and said we should team up with her using the name "Injured, Postpartum, and Pregnant." Yep, Steph's knocked up with baby #2! That partially explains why she was running so easy and looking so good at the finish. Steph just took it easy on the run and sped up just a bit to catch Annie near the end. Congrats Steph and Jon!

Check back for ANOTHER relay swimming race report in the next day or 2! Yesterday I teamed up with Devon and Jeremy for the Waconia Triathlon. More soon!


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