It seems like many athletes have a favorite race or competition that they attend. It might be because they preformed well the year before or maybe it’s because they love the atmosphere that the competition has. Timberman is my favorite race for both of those reasons.
Once a year I get the privilege to go up to Grand Rapids, MN, and attend a well organized event with helpful volunteers. The race course is always filled with happy faces and determined attitudes. The competition is always fierce on the race course, but even some of the most serious athletes are up for a good time once they cross the finish line. Timberman isn’t a race that is only for a select group of competitors, but instead it’s for the beginners, the experienced, and the people who just want to have fun.
Arriving at Sugar Lake Lodge is always an exciting and welcoming experience. People are setting up transition, getting body markings, and preparing for the race ahead of them. I love being able to talk with people and make new friends all the way up until the air horn goes off. Although I love joking around before my race, I know that once everything starts that it’s time to focus and do my best.
The swim is pretty self explanatory just from the name of the lake. The sand is truly like sugar, and the water is at a comforting depth because the bottom is visible for the entire swim. This allowed me to just focus on my breathing and try to keep powering my arms throughout the whole swim. I was able to achieve a pretty good time in the swim, but what I truly wanted to know was how I was going to do on the bike. I had been working hard during the month of June to improve my bike speed and I really wanted the training to portray in my race results.
About half way through the bike course I realized that all of the time I had spent on the bike paid off. I was actually able to maintain my goal speed and for once it seemed like I was passing people instead of constantly being passed. I pushed myself to the limits on the bike, and I was very satisfied when I came to the dismount line. It was a long waited breakthrough, but I knew the race wasn’t over.
I had to keep my determination through the run even though it would not be easy. It was a hot day and it really tested me mentally because I know that I don’t do well in the heat. One foot after another and I was getting close to being done. It was a relief to see the final home stretch because I was ready to be out of the sun for a while. As I got to cross the finish line I realized that even though I had not raced in a long time that it was worth it. I broke barriers and I got to see a glimpse of what I can accomplish the rest of the season.
Although missing the overall podium by one spot was tough, I was thrilled with how I did. I improved my time by four and a half minutes from the year prior and I was able to place fourth overall with intense competition. I believe the reason that I do well at Timberman is not just from how much I trained up until the race, but I think it has a lot to do with how excited I am every time I get to be there. Racing is a privilege that I am grateful for each and everyday, and races like Timberman always seem to make it that much better. I know it’s still a year away, but I can’t wait for next year. 😉