Jocelyn’s “Long Awaited” 24 Hours of Triathlon Report

26 09 2007

I don’t know why I have procrastinated in writing this race report, but I am thinking that this is the finality of my ‘Pro for the Day’ experience.  Let me explain what the ‘Pro for the Day’ thing is.  This is unique to the 24 Hours of Triathlon.  Basically, the race director ‘randomly’ selects one amateur male and one amateur female athlete from the list of entrants and awards them the ‘Pro for the Day’.  For this, we received:

  • a Fitness Test (Lactate Threshold and Fuel) from the Boulder Center for Sports Medicine,
  • a loaner Time Trial bike (mine was a BMC TT02 – very sweet ride),
  • a loaner wetsuit (I actually ended up using my own, well Sarah’s, which is the same as mine, but smaller since I bought the wrong size earlier this year – Kudos to Sarah for letting me borrow it many times this summer),
  • tons of apparel from Descente – who makes some of the best cycling and triathlon apparel .
  • Free pair of Newton running shoes – those not familiar with these, they retail for about $175 and they feature a brand new concept in the world of running – these strips of rubber in the forefoot sole area that literally spring you through your stride – they really are improving my running form and speed
  • Two pairs of sunglasses from my friends at Zeal Optics – these guys just moved their corporate headquarters and I can see them from living room window now.  I love these shades.
  • Bike helmet Head lamp, blinking red rear light, and running head lamp from Princeton Tec – these are the best around – the running head lamp really stays put.
  • FuelBelt – a long distance runners staple item – I have been using one for a few years and these are wonderful because they don’t bounce around and they allow you to carry a variety of drinks (sometimes you don’t just want water, and you don’t just want one kind of sports drink)
  • Headsweats – they really make the best visors and hats – every visor or hat that I own is this brand. 
  • GU – they gave me a case of gu an gu20 for the race.  I actually used it more in training because I was able to eat solid foods when I was between segments.
  • Red Bull – another case of this stuff – a great pick me up energy drink.
  • Fast Forward Sports – last BUT certainly not least – I would not have made it through this race, or even to this race if it was not for my coaches Michael Kelly and Scott Fliegelman. 


OK, now that I have officially plugged my sponsors, time to move onto the race report.


The day before the race I was a bit overwhelmed by how much gear I needed to put together.  I will not bore you with the details, but there was A LOT of crap to haul.  It was pretty tiring and the effort of it made me worry that I may not have enough the next day.  Another part of the package was a room at the Radisson near the race venue – a very nice perk and gave me an extra hour of sleep.


I arrived to the race venue and met my ‘Sherpa’ or ‘Soigner’, Molly.  She was wonderful.  Her job was basically to take care of me.  She set up our tents – we had one that went over my expedition to utilize for a changing room while the back of my expedition was set up with a blow up mattress and some comfy blankets for rest time.  The other tent was a shade tent which was key for our break periods too.  My teammates, Doug and Heidi, were also very thankful for the help.


The race start was a bit of a debacle because they had not finished placing the buoys on the swim course when the swim started.  Doug was our first athlete on our relay team.  The boat was still placing one of the outer buoys when the fast swimmers approached it and they followed the boat with the moving buoy instead of going around the buoy that marked the course.  Next year, hopefully they will have different color buoys marking the swim area and the course.  In this race, each team must complete one full triathlon and then they can do the three disciplines in any order they wish.  Heidi did the bike, then I did the first run.  Then, we moved into swimming and went Doug, Heidi, Jocelyn until we completed 6 swims each.  We swam until about 2:00?? Maybe earlier – I don’t remember.  All of us had very consistent swims – Heidi is a rock star all around!  I have to say, we had a very cohesive team – we never fought, disagreed and really worked together to support each other.  None of us were ultra competitive – only with ourselves.  We all pushed it to our limits, but never got discouraged or overly exhausted that we wanted to quit. 


We moved onto the bike and did the same – Doug, Heidi, Jocelyn – we each did 6 bike legs.  The bike legs were 9.4 miles and pretty easy course – there was one hill at the end, but not too bad.  Our last couple rides were in the dark, so we all slowed down, but still were posting great paces.


We changed up our strategy for the run because we all needed to get a block of rest.  So, Heidi and Doug went and alternated running and each ran 3 times – the run course was 2.8 miles.  Then I went out and ran with Heidi and we each did 3 runs, then Doug came out and ran with me – 3 times each again.  For a total of 6 runs in the middle of night for all of us.  The only interesting event on the run was when I spotted what I thought was a mountain lion – in Cherry Creek Park in the middle of Denver – I know, silly, but when you are sleep deprived and physically exhausted, your mind does silly things.  I started to back peddle when I saw another runner coming toward the animal.  As she neared it, it slipped into the field next to the path.  I ran back toward her, and asked her if she saw it, and she said ‘yes, it was a DEER’. Oops, now I feel really dumb.  Oh well.  On a positive note, it was a perfect night for running – it was cool, but not cold and a nice breeze. 


We finished running around 4:30 am and needed to figure out our strategy for the rest of the race.  We ran a couple more legs, bike a couple more, and each did another swim. 


We finished with 22 total triathlons – I did 7 swims, 7 bikes, and 8 runs for a total distance of 3.5 miles swimming, 65.8 miles of cycling, and 22.4 miles of running.  Almost and Ironman distance.


I would certainly recommend this race to others – not in the cards for me next year because I signed up for IRONMAN WISCONSIN and it is only one week after this event.


Oh – and the coverage will be on NBC Sports on Oct. 6th at 4:00 PM.  Set your tivos!  I did not get the coverage they had promised for the ‘Pro for the Day’, but I did have an interview and they did film me a little.




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