3 major highlights from this race:


#1 – Immediately before the race, Brandi licked Shot Bloks and stuck them onto her bike’s frame, making them easily accessible during the ride.  No fussing with the wrapper on the road.  She swears by this technique!  Is that not the greatest idea ever? 


Reminds me of the bike-and-vaseline trick.


#2 – The race was at the Trump National Golf Club Charlotte, which is along the beautiful Lake Norman.  The race start was ON the 18th hole!


Right off the green and onto the lake…  I loved this course!  It was amazing and beautiful.  A totally unique experience to do a triathlon off a DONALD TRUMP golf course and within a lakefront community.


And #3 –  After years of being a bit lazy in transition, I managed to pick up my pace and did T1 (swim to bike) in a respectable time of 1:47. I got out of T2 (bike to run) in 44 seconds! It’s a vast improvement in comparison to my my usual 3 – 5 minutes.


Here’s a quick race summary:


Claire timed her early morning wakeup for 4:45, 15 minutes before my alarm clock – perfect!  Brandi and I made the hour trek north without any delays, and we checked in, got bodymarked, and headed to transition. 


I opted for a new transition technique… I usually stick all my gear for T1 in a reusable grocery bag and everything for T2 in another bag, so I run in, grab the bag, and rifle through to find my shoes, hat, etc.  Time consuming, but I was always paranoid about misplacing something!  This race, I laid things out directly under my bike on a small hand towel (like most people do), and it was WAY EASIER than fishing around a bag or a bucket or whatever.  Also, I didn’t bother to rinse my feet, skipped the bike gloves, and did all my nutrition on the course (I used to eat and drink in transition).  This all equaled a faster time!


I ended up finishing in 1:36:19.  Swim took 14:46 minutes, bike was 50:41 and run was 28:22. 


I had problems with the swim.  I ate breakfast too early and was too nervous to finish my ‘second breakfast’ before the race… I definitely felt like I was lacking energy and dragging during the swim.  Also, I was under the impression the swim would be 750 meters, but it most definitely was shorter. 


When I started the 13 mile bike, I ate all the fuel I had on me immediately.  That helped my energy levels a lot.  I went into the 5K run feeling strong and eventually caught up to Brandi.  It was been really fun training with her, and she had an awesome race, too! 


Pictures galore…




Side note:  the country club’s bathrooms were the nicest pre-race potties that I’ve ever been in by miles.  No portapotties!  And the run from the lake to transition took you from the shoreline into the club’s BALLROOM (like with the chandeliers and fancy carpet and everything!) before dumping you into the parking lot out front.  Cool, huh?





And last, but not least, I had the most amazing icy cold root beer after crossing the finish line… Oh sweet heavens.  Tasted so good when it hits your lips. 


On the way home, we drove to Chipotle and got tacos to refuel. 


That (plus a comfy change of clothes!!) was such a perfect ending to an awesome race.



  • Erica {Erica@EricaDHouse.com} May 18, 2015, 8:10 am

    Looks like you had a great race! I’ve been debating on getting into tri’s for years. I had a horrific bike accident in high school (4 minor reconstructive surgeries on my face and 4 teeth lost) so I have some legit fears about being on a bike, but I really want to face those fears next year post-baby!

  • Erin @ Her Heartland Soul May 18, 2015, 8:13 am

    What an awesome race! Way to go girl!!

  • Victoria May 18, 2015, 9:15 am

    Congrats on your race, and on your streamlined transitions – talk about free speed!

    I sure hope Brandi cleaned her bike recently. Even so, depending on what she used to clean it, there could be some not-so-great-for-you residues hanging out. Can’t imagine that’s good for the frame’s paint either. Seems like it would be better, in many ways, to get a bento box and stash a pre-opened pack of shot blocks in there.

  • Fiona @ Get Fit Fiona May 18, 2015, 9:52 am

    It looks like you had some gorgeous scenery for your tri.

  • Melissa @ Mel's Miles May 18, 2015, 10:49 am

    Congratulations on an awesome triathlon! That looks like such a cool place to race!! Reading this recap and also watching some family members complete a tri yesterday are convincing me to do one sometime soon 😀

  • Rachael May 18, 2015, 10:59 am

    Why not just get a bento box for the top of the frame? They’re so awesome for long rides, because you can stash food in there for super quick access — or for when your bike jersey pockets just aren’t big enough, ha! I also usually keep more “permanent” things in there like tampons, salt pills and Nuun tablets.

    Other tip if you don’t have a bento box (or do and just want even more fuel) is to tape the top tab of GU packets to the frame with electrical tape. Like this: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CjnfZ-60XMQ

  • Julie May 18, 2015, 11:01 am

    Wow, Caitlin, that sounds like a great race! I couldn’t run a 5k that fast just by itself on fresh legs! 😛 Such a cool tri course!

  • Sagan May 18, 2015, 11:04 am

    You look SO CUTE!

    Sounds like a fantastic race (and course). Congratulations! I’ve never done a triathlon and I’ve never really thought about all of the things that go into the TRANSITIONS between each section… that’s interesting.

  • Courtney! @ Redefining Athlete May 18, 2015, 11:37 am

    Congrats on the great race! Beautiful photos! looks like it was the perfect day!
    Shot Blocks on the bike frame?! Blech! When I’m in the aero position, that’s like exactly where all my sweat drips off. Plus I’d be too worried about them falling off and needing that nutrition. Once I finally figured out how important eating on the bike it, my performance has gone up and up!

  • Rebecca @ Strength and Sunshine May 18, 2015, 11:45 am

    Awesome race girl! Such a beautiful location! But way to get back into it <3

  • Ash Diamond May 18, 2015, 12:05 pm

    I wonder how they keep from getting the country club dirty and the grass destroyed? Regardless this sounds like a GREAT race! You look so strong!

    • Caitlin May 18, 2015, 12:07 pm

      I also wondered the exact same thing!!!!

  • Kate @KateMovingForward May 18, 2015, 1:57 pm

    What a beautiful race and fun place to do it! Those bathrooms looks swank. Congratulations on a great race and speeding up those transitions!! You’re a rock star!

  • Amanda May 18, 2015, 2:28 pm

    Congrats Caitlin! Tacos are such a perfect ending 😀

  • Carolina John May 18, 2015, 2:52 pm

    Well done! Yes proper transition prep will certainly lead to faster t-times. Try leaving your helmet upside down on top of your aerobars instead of on the ground. That way you put that on last right before you pull the bike out of the rack you don’t even have to take the time to bend over. #themoreyouknow

  • Samantha B May 19, 2015, 5:35 pm

    Great recap! Has made me really excited to get back into triathlon training!!

  • Meagan May 25, 2015, 11:32 pm

    Do you ever worry about people stealing your stuff? Do they have people watching the bikes? Love the “lay it all out” idea

    • Caitlin May 26, 2015, 6:42 am

      I think it happens but very very rarely.

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