Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Kerrville Triathlon Festival - A Must-Do Event for 2012

WOW.  High Five Events, you get a standing ovation.  Well done.

You guys even got the weather to cooperate.

The drive in wasn't so bad.  Two-ish hours from the Austin area, through beautiful central Texas.  The Inn of the Hills hosted the event, and the packet pick-up, expo, and athlete meetings were all in the same building, about a block away from bike check-in.  The whole thing felt well organized and welcoming from the beginning.  I was one of the last minute registrants, but, not a problem, the race organizers still had it work smoothly.  I registered for the quarter iron distance, got my wristband and shwag, and got some last minute items from the expo.  I picked up some Zensah sleeves, anticipating a cool start for the next morning (Thanks, Hill Country Running!).  Bike check in was next.  T1 was about a block away from packet pick-up, and once again, well organized.  Everything went smoothly.  Thanks to the help of a volunteer who is slightly OCD like myself, the race number got onto my bike and my bike got checked in.  Off to T2 and run bag check in.  Once again, thanks to the help of a VERY smart volunteer, I got my bag set up and ready for T2.

Next stop?  Got to find dinner.  Chili's was very welcoming, and the servers even seemed excited for the race, wishing us good luck on the way out the door.

Back to the hotel to get ready and rested.

The morning was in the 50's.  Off to the races.  Parking was near the finish line/T2, with a shuttle to the starting line/T1.  The half iron distance waves went first with the quarter (olympic) distance waves last.  As far as an open water swim goes, the water was a dream.  It was as calm as you could get, and you could get a view of the half iron distance swimmers as they went by.  The race announcer was a hoot!  I'm not sure who he was, but he had us cracking up while we were waiting for our wave.  Then, 3-2-1 and my wave was in the water and off!  The water was almost warm enough to go without wetsuits, but not quite (which was good, because most of us used wetsuits for warmth before the race, not during!).

The swim was good.  After my wave thinned out, it was fairly calm, with very few people running over each other.  Then, out of the water, up the ramp and over to the strippers.  And first, I need to give props to the guy that made the ramps.  'Cause dude, you rock!  Back to the strippers...  If you've never done a triathlon needing a wetsuit or that had strippers, you need to.  These guys and gals are awesome.  You and they get the wetsuit down to your waist, you flop down on your butt, they rip the wetsuit down over your feet, and off you go.  But this is where I had a problem...  When the strippers ripped my wetsuit off, the chip strap on my ankle broke.  No, I don't mean came undone.  It broke.  And the chip must have flown a good ten feet or more.  Thanks to some sharp eyed volunteers, they saw it take a hike, and got it back for me.  So I wasted several minutes while one of the awesome volunteers figured out how to make the thing work for the rest of the race.  Did I mention how awesome the volunteers were?

Run up the hill and to my bike.  Except for the mishap with my chip strap, T1 went well.  Then, onto the bike leg.  Which.  Was.  AWESOME.  If you're familiar with Central Texas, you know that cycling can sometimes be a crapshoot.  Hills, traffic, chipseal, hills, lights, itty bitty shoulders, hills, roadkill...  You name it.  Well, the course was mostly flat-ish, some chipseal, and wide shoulders/protected roadway/quiet roadway.  Gorgeous hill country.  Two hills that reminded you that you were, in fact, still in the hill country.  Fast enough of a course that I was grateful for my sleeves!  Great, well supported course.

Then into T2.  Great transition-uneventful.  And on to the run.  Well supported.  Did I mention well supported?  Two loops through downtown(?) and a park.  Then the finish line.  It was a beautiful thing.  They even stretched a tape across the finish line for each finisher so you could "break" it.  Results were up so quickly that my head was spinning!  Post race massage, snacks, and adult beverages were available.  There were finisher's medals for everyone that completed the quarter and the half distance events (I'm not sure about the sprint from the day before).

I just got my email saying that pictures were ready, and my post race high is typically smooshed by viewing those pictures. Well, Kreutz-thanks for not ruining that high!  Kreutz Photography did a really good job.

My stats:
4th in my AG, 7th woman.  24th finisher overall. Time 2:50.  Great place to start!
Congrats to all the finishers. 

The volunteers were amazing
Beautiful race
Well organized
The volunteers did such a great job
Great swim course
Awesome bike course
Nice shuttle between T2 and T1
Post race party
Kreutz Photography did a great job
Well organized
The event was about the triathletes, focused on having fun
The town got involved and was very welcoming.
Did I mention the volunteers rocked it?

Mud in T1
Half of the run course was off road
The run course may have been longer than it was advertised
At least one aggressive cyclist that would pass people and then cut them off-she was really rude!

Hands down, the best triathlon I've ever done.

So once again, High Five Events, amazing job.


  1. Sounds like you had a great weekend!! I will put this race on my calendar for next year.

  2. Good to hear, tougholdbuzzard. I hope to see you out there!

  3. Thank you for your race report. I have thought about doing this one instead of Longhorn. Longhorn is pretty late this year and I just thought about trying something different.
    Thanks again!