Laurel 2nd at Muskoka 5150

Bec and I made the last minute decision to drive up to Canada so I could race the Muskoka 5150.  After the prior weekend's races, I was out of the top 25 in the rankings for the Hy-Vee Championships and needed some points in order to qualify for the race.  I really want to at least give myself the chance to race against the best and being relatively "close" to Muskoka, Bec said, "Well, we'll just drive to Muskoka".  She made a bed (bedroll/bedclothes were involved!) in the back of her Subaru Outback next to our stacked up bikes, and at 5am we headed north.   Having made many trips of this style to NY and Michigan growing up, we knew we could get it done!  Twelve hours later we were in beautiful Muskoka where the air was crisp and the sky was bright.  Well worth it!  We had enough time to do a short evening run and enjoy the sunset.  

The next day we rode the challenging, hilly bike course.  I usually don't ride the entire bike course plus more before a race but couldn't resist.  It was just too nice!  We also got to visit with the Branciaglias and take a swim off their dock on Pen lake.  Because of the heat wave, the water was warm and perfect for swimming.  

And that was it for the relaxing, cottage country holiday.  Sunday was time for work!  The swim started in a lake and finished in a river.  I had an ok swim and came out of the water 20 seconds behind Alicia Kaye.  I thought I'd try to keep her in sight on the bike but after a few ups and downs and turns she was gone!  She flew through the ride while I was kind of going backwards. I ended up 4 minutes down!  I knew when Bec didn't give me a split that things weren't going so well.  She just said, "Pass everyone in front of you and then it's just you and the road."  I quickly passed a bunch of people who were ahead of me and moved into 2nd place in the first kilometer.  Then she was right, it was just me and the road, or in this case, the track, trail, dirt road and hills!  This was my kind of run and I ended up making up over three minutes to finish just a minute behind 1st.  

I highly recommend this race and the 70.3 they are holding in September.  The courses are hard and hilly but beautiful.  I will definitely come back!  Even if it involves 24 hours in a car.

Special thanks to my super sister/supporter Bec and to our sponsors for making this weekend happen.  It was great to race in the home country of our bike sponsor Cervelo so a special thanks to Lesley and the crew.  Also, to my superfans the Woods who got to see their first triathlon.  And, I have to thank Lisa Bentley (a triathlon legend) for cheering for me and inspiring me to run fast on the second lap.  

Time to train for the Ironman now!