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Kring & Chung Newport Beach Triathlon - TriathlonSprint

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Newport Beach, California
United States
54F / 12C
Total Time = 2h 41m 46s
Overall Rank = /
Age Group = Athena
Age Group Rank = 10/10
Pre-race routine:

Yesterday I drove out to Irvine for packet pick-up. I was having a very difficult day due to some family issues and the pick-up was a nice distraction. I had been very apathetic about this race. Part of the reason was that this was the race where I didn't have fears. In the past, every tri has had something that scared me - first race jitters, cold water, waves, bike hills, long run distances, you name it! This time it looked like a course that was right at my ability and didn't scare me at all. Also, there is a situation going on in my personal life that has put me under a very large amount of stress. As a result, training has lagged, and this race has been the last thing on my mind this week.

Just being around the athletes and vendors at packet pick-up was enough to motivate me for the race, or so I thought. I got my stuff, bought a sweatshirt and headed over to see the bike course.

I had gone to the Newport Beach Triathlon last year as a spectator to see what a triathlon was like. I was training for my first and wanted to see how things went at races. So, I had already seen the swim course, which is a flat, back bay swim. I had looked up the bike course on the maps thing on BT and it didn't seem to have any crazy hills. The run course was the biggest question mark. I knew it went through a parking lot at the beginning, and knew that the turnaround was up a hill on a trail near the corner or Jamboree and PCH, but didn't know what all was between those two points.

I drove the bike course and thought it looked great, except for one very steep, but fairly short hill. I thought I could ride it, but knew that if I had to walk it, it was short and I'd be back in the saddle quickly.

Last night I was so indifferent to this race that I didn't even begin packing until almost 9 pm. I also never checked or degreased and lubed my bike. I usually do, but just didn't want to. I sat down to write my race plan, which I always do the night before and realized I didn't really have one. I was just hoping that I would have a 2 to 3 hour escape from all this stress, so my race plan was to (1) move my body and (2) have fun.

This morning I got up and got ready. My husband and kids were going to come to the race, but my husband started feeling sick and achy during the middle of the night, so they ended up staying home. I ate my usual pre-race breakfast of a banana, yogurt, bagel with peanut butter, and two espresso Gu gels. My stomach was in knots, but not from the race. I couldn't eat as much as usual. I stretched hoping it would relieve some tension, but it didn't.

I went downstairs to finish getting ready but was starting to feel like I just couldn't do this race. I felt so emotionally drained and anxious and didn't see being able to commit the amount of focus and energy that a race requires. My husband was watching TV so I talked to him about everything that was going on. I watched 5:00 (the time I was supposed to leave at) come and go. I watched 5:30 (the time the transition area was supposed to open and I was supposed to be at the race) come and go. I didn't care about the race and didn't think I'd be doing it. Then it was 5:45. It hit me...the race starts in one hour and the transition area CLOSES is 55 minutes. I might have just missed the window to actually get there and do it. Then, a bolt of adrenaline shot through me and I realized that I wasn't ready for a DNS just yet. I doubted I could get there in time, but it was worth a try. My husband was worried about me racing to get there, only to not make it. At this point, I just had to try.

I still hadn't even pumped my tires, so I went out on the balcony and did it. I feel bad because that woke up my downstairs neighbor. As I was finishing up I heard the neighbor yelling up asking me what I was doing. I didn't have time to get into it, and vowed to write her an apology note later.

I grabbed the bike, my transition bag and purse, and headed out the door. After getting loaded up and on the road, I saw that it was 5:55 and 45 minutes until they closed transition. Newport Beach is about a 40 minute drive normally. Oh crap. I knew traffic would be way less, and hoped I'd be okay.

I got there 25 minutes later. I still had 20 minutes to find parking and set up transition area. I thought I could do it. Of course the parking lot was PACKED! I found a space, sort of, next to a big motor home and headed off!

I struggled to find a place in the transition area. I had no sooner racked my bike and they were announcing that the area was closing. I hadn't taken anything out! I'm so glad that this was my 7th race, because I was able to set up in a matter of minutes. I gave a quick call to my husband letting him know that I had made it and was racing. I grabbed my wetsuit and swim gear in my hands and started walking. Luckily I still had 40 minutes until my wave.

After hitting the restroom I struggled with my wetsuit, although it went around my middle easier than usual. Maybe I am losing weight! I headed over to the water and the first two waves were already in the water. I felt ready to race. I looked forward to the distraction.
Event warmup:

I walked down to the water and everyone seemed nervous about it being cold. I was more concerned about it being muddy and stagnant. It was about 60 degrees, or a little under. After the 52 degree water at UCSB, this was a treat! It was a little cold getting my arms in, but no biggy. The water was murky, not unlike Puddingstone Lake at Bonelli. It was WAY better than the storm/sewage water at Long Beach Tri. Seemed like great water for a race – not too cold, salt for buoyancy, but no currents, waves, or scary creatures below! It just might be my dream swim venue! :)

I was so glad to see other Athenas at this race. There were few, if any at my last 4 races. Now, I don't mean the 6 foot tall skinny "Athena because they're tall" kind of women. I mean women that carry extra weight like I do. It just feels nice to not be the only woman out there who knows exactly how cruel spandex can be.

I swam for about 5 minutes just getting used to the conditions and talking to several other racers. Once I saw the 4th wave go I knew we were next, so I headed up onto the beach and took my spot at the start line. I had made it this far, and was glad to be there. I have never had a DNF and I wasn’t going to start today.
  • 17m 50s
  • 880 yards
  • 02m 02s / 100 yards

The starter yelled "go" and we were off. The field of women was really spread out on the beach, but there was still a scrum until the first turn. I didn't go out as hard as usual. I reminded myself that this race is meant to be cathartic and a form of "exercise therapy" more than a cut-throat race. It was hard to get to the first turn because there were several women who had to immediately start doing backstroke or breaststroke. To me, if you can't do freestyle and keep a decent pace, you shouldn't position yourself at the front of the pack. I spent a lot of energy starting and stopping and trying to get around them.

It was super crowded trying to get around the first buoy for a left turn. Several of us popped our heads up and even talked a little because it was slow and we were just backed up. After the turn things really opened up. The water felt great. Not too hot, not too cold. We were now heading toward a far buoy near a boat dock. I held a comfortable, but not particularly fast pace and didn't worry about time or my position in the pack. As we neared the buoy I realized that I was sighting off the dock more than the buoy and on closer inspection, they weren't as close as they appeared. I had to correct my course a little.

I hung a left at the next buoy and continued my comfortable swim. At this point I was passing one or two men that were struggling with their swims. Before I knew it I made the final left hand turn and was now swimming parallel to the shore. I had one buoy left to go. I looked down at my HRM and saw that it said 14 minutes. The competitive side of me kicked in and I thought I could do better than expected and started to speed up. I then realized I had longer to go than I thought and didn't want to overdo it, so I slowed back down.

I reached the last buoy, hung a right and was swimming back to shore. I felt the slimy mud in my fingers and stood up. I was worried about sinking into it, but didn't at all. I walked out of the water. I knew it was a long hike back to T1 and I was a little dizzy, so I climbed the little sand burm and headed toward T1. There was a volunteer with a hose cleaning our feet. That was nice. I made a joke to her about the apparent seashell stuck between my toes.

Other women in my wave were now passing me on the run to transition. This always frustrates me. I outswim them, but they pass me on the inordinate amount of time it takes to get to T1. At one point I jogged a little of it to get my muscles in my legs warmed up. By the time I stepped on the mat to go into the transition area, it had been 4.5 minutes since I got out of the water! Unbelievable! What kills me is that it is added onto my swim time, not my transition time. I hate that. My standings show me being 7/10 in my age group and I know that I wasn't, based on swimming. I really think that transitions should be that...transitions and not lumped in with sports times. But, it's not my choice! The only race where I was FOP on the swim was Catalina and the timing mat was like 20 feet from the water's edge so I really was that place on the swim. I probably rank higher on the swims than my results ever show. Oh well.
What would you do differently?:

Given the circumstances, not much. Yes, I could have gone for a better time and really gone harder, but that wasn't what I could do today. My focus was different this race than any previous. I could have sighted a little better on the back side. Otherwise, I think I did what I wanted to do. I had a fun swim. Actually, this may now be my favorite swim venue. It was the best of both worlds...the buoyancy of ocean with the calm, safe feeling of a lake. I love it!
Transition 1
  • 11m 8s

I got into T1 and walked to my rack. I'm so glad that someone on my rack had bought a big palm tree shaped balloon. It made it easy to find. My wetsuit got stuck, although I got it off a little faster than the last few races. A lot of the women around me were chitchatting as we got ready. Once I got my bike I ran it to the mount line. There were a lot of people cheering, which is always nice. Also, the first wave was now returning on their bikes and heading out on the run. That's always a tad depressing.
What would you do differently?:

I do need to figure out how to get that dang wetsuit off faster. One of the race directors said that she keeps an extra bottle of water and pour it down her wetsuit before pulling it off. I didn't want to try it the first time on race day, so I need to try it after my next OW swim.
  • 1h 23m 51s
  • 15 miles
  • 10.73 mile/hr

I clipped in and it took a minute, but no biggy. The first 2.5 or 3 miles were a flat but curvy course on Back Bay Drive. It was a small one way road that wrapped around the bluffs of the Back Bay. I took a good mile or so to warm up, as I always do. I felt pretty good and mostly got passed, but passed a few people as well. I thought the curves were going to be technical, but seemed not nearly as sharp as they had in my car the day before. At one point I laughed because a guy in a Superman costume was coming back the other way. Too cool!

I knew the steep hill was coming, and finally...there it was. I shifted gears to start the climb and dropped my chain. D@mn! I was able to clip out on a moment's notice, which is good. I fear not clipping out if I have to stop suddenly. I popped the chain back on but was now looking straight up at a hill that I didn't have a chance in hell of getting up from a dead stop. Oh well. I started walking. I was very happy to then see three women in front of me hop off of and walk their bikes as well. As I was walking up the hill, Aquaman went past me. Must be a friend of Superman's!

The hill was short and I was up it in no time. I got back on my bike at the top and made the turn to go up East Bluff Drive. This was uphill but a much more manageable uphill. I struggled to clip in, but eventually got it. As I was riding along, I kid you not...I was passed by Wonder Woman. Ha...I'm sensing a theme. Pretty freaking funny and good for a laugh.

I made a U-turn at Vista del Sol and was now on a nice downhill portion. Unfortunately there was a cluster of riders ahead of me that were difficult to pass, so I had to kind of slow down and ride with them. I then made the next U-turn before Jamboree and was heading slightly uphill. As I climbed the slight hill it happened again...I switched gears and dropped my chain! D@mn! I get it...note to self...don't let personal problems and self pity interfere with important pre-race bike maintenance and checks. I felt like an idiot.

This time I had to flip the whole bike upside down to fix it. Once again, I forgot to close my bottle and there was Gatorade splashing down on everything. Great. I fixed it quickly and righted my bike. I realized that doing so had scratched the face of my bike computer. D@mn! I clipped back in and started to go, and the chain was still jacked up. I had to jump back off. Now, I know I needed to ride slowly and figure out the problem. But, I was at the top of the crazy steep hill about to go down. I couldn't clip in, deal with this descent, and figure out a chain problem. So...I did the unthinkable...I walked my bike DOWN a hill. WTF??? But, I wasn't sure what else to do at that point. It was actually scary because there are people hitting 40 mph on that downhill, I'm walking along and convinced they're going to hit me. I actually shifted to the other side of my bike so that it was in the road instead of me. I got to the bottom, clipped in, played with the gear shifts, and off I went.

The ride back was colder and harder. I was now going into a headwind, plus the sun was back behind the clouds. It was the first bike race where I remember feeling a tad cold. But, it wasn't too bad. I did see several squirrels on the ride back. I also laughed at a sign that said "birds only beyond this point". Can the squirrels read that? What a dumb sign! :)

I got back near the transition area and made a turn for the second loop. I realized that all the other riders around me were heading into the dismount line. D'oh! Oh well. I was only halfway done. The ride back out was nice. Less people which while depressing from a race standpoint is always nice from a traffic standpoint.

This time when I got to the steep hill I just hopped off. I knew I'd have to eventually and didn't want to have more chain problems. As I got back on I noticed that my bike computer wasn't working right. It would only tell me my speed and distance at it's convenience. Must have jacked it up while turning it over. I rode up to Vista del Sol and made the turn. On the way down I saw that there were still two people behind me! Woo hoo! Oh wait...there's two more! Woo hoo! I also survived the rest of this section without dropping the chain and got to actually ride the downhill this time.

The rest of the last miles was fairly uneventful. I got excited every time I saw a rider on the other side of the road, because I knew they were behind me. I also got excited when I saw two cutie little baby hares near the road. Nothing cuter than baby animals! How warm and fuzzy was that?

I knew one woman was behind me, yet sped up near the end and held her off. I then got to the dismount line and clipped out.
What would you do differently?:

I need to make sure my bike is in working order before a race. Period. Also, I need to close the water bottle and remove the bike computer if I'm going to flip it.
Transition 2
  • 03m 48s

Okay...I got really p1ssed off in T2. As I was running in with my bike there were finishers and their families EVERYWHERE! I love the front and middle of the pack people. They rock. But I do wish they could realize that some of us are still racing and deserve to not have to stop for them cruising along with their families. People were walking on the bike course that I had to get around. The transition area itself was full of families. I had a hard time making my way through it. Everyone should have to experience being at the back of the pack at least once. Maybe then people would be more considerate. Granted, most people are…this is a small number I’m talking about.

When I got to my rack, someone's bike was on top of my wetsuit. That thing was expensive! Oh well, I moved my wetsuit and cursed the inconsideration of some. I got into my running gear and headed toward the run out.
What would you do differently?:

Not let rude people get to me.
  • 47m 9s
  • 3.1 miles
  • 15m 13s  min/mile

So I started the run already ticked off about the inconsideration of the athletes who were done with the race. I ran out of the transition area and was now running along a sidewalk, once again having to say "excuse me" to all the people milling around ON THE RUN COURSE. I took a left at the kiosk thing and looked around. I was now in a parking lot where a bunch of finishers and families were once again milling around. There were no volunteers, no flags, and no markings of any kind to indicate which way the run course went. I stopped and looked around and said (rather loudly) "what the f**k?" I yelled "are there any volunteers around here?" Nope. There weren't. One guy who was there to watch the race asked me what I needed. I said "I need to know which way the freaking run course goes." He pointed and said "that way". Um...okay...I hoped he was right.

I ran "that way"...still no indication that I was going the right way. Then a runner passed me coming back, which made me feel better. I got close to the bridge and finally saw flags marking the way. That was nice. Marking the run course...what a novel idea. I ran over the bridge and there were quite a few runners returning, including Superman, Wonder Woman, Aquaman...and now Spiderman as well all running in together. It was great! Can't wait to see that finish photo on Brightroom.

I was now running on a sidewalk alongside a parking lot. Pretty blah run as far as scenery. Most tris have had ocean side or trail runs that were at least a little bit scenic. Even the run through UCLA was nice because the buildings are so beautiful. Not this one...just a parking lot.

My lower back felt a little twingy and I was worried I'd have to walk a lot like my last race. But, to my surprise it got better and I didn't have to.

I then made a left hand turn onto a bike path that ran along the backside of an RV campground (read parking lot with hookups). I was starting to miss that parking lot. Now I was looking at people's trash bags and occasionally smelling their sewage lines. YUCK! I did at times inspire me to try to run faster to try to get away from there.

I kept a decent, but not stellar pace at this point. I did pass the 2 mile sign that was facing the other way. If this is an out and back course, shouldn't that also be the 1-mile marker? I thought it was, but was wrong. Strange.

I finally got to the 1-mile marker and yelled to another runner asking if there was an ade station coming up. She said yes. I got my cup of Gatorade then turned right to run up the path to the turnaround. My legs were burning on the climb, but I never stopped. I saw a lot of women far thinner than me walking that hill and even flat portions of the course. I ran the entire thing. There were bunnies on the trail, which was cool. I turned around and enjoyed the feeling of the downhill run.

I saw that there were still several women behind me. YAY! I got some more Gatorade and braced my nose for the stinky run past the campground. I made it back over the bridge, through the unmarked parking lot, and was now heading toward the finish chute.

I crossed the finish line and it was weird because the only people there were the volunteer removing timing chips and the Brightroom guy. The awards had started (early) and was nowhere near. Usually they are near the finish chute, so you get cheers from people waiting around. Not today. Odd.

I stayed a minute to high five the woman who finished behind me, got my water bottle and headed back to transition. I felt good that I had done this race, despite what was going on in my personal life, and it felt great to finish.
What would you do differently?:

I think I did the best I could. If I had been more consistent with training, I could have gone for a PB, but that didn't happen.
Post race
Warm down:

I wanted to walk around for a while, but saw that the transition area was dismantled and figured I'd better go get my stuff. I packed up, got my Endurox and walked back to the Westy. The Endurox tasted the bottle wasn't clean, or something, so I didn't finish it.

I packed the car then walked around more and called my husband. The tough thing is that as soon as I was walking and not focused on the race, all the stress and gloom of the weekend's events came flooding back. Oh well. At least I had a 2 hour and 40 minute escape from it.

I grabbed some McDonald's on the way home. I decided to forego my ice bath because I didn't feel too bad. I did get in a nap which I know I should do after every race. Also, the issue that was causing so many problems ended up getting resolved later in the day, which was a huge relief.

What limited your ability to perform faster:

My mental state as well as my physical state. I haven't trained consistently and was very distracted by my personal life.

Event comments:

The Newport Beach Triathlon is a good one. I think the swim course is great. I like the salt water and the calm conditions. The transition area is too far from the swim, but was otherwise fine. The bike course was fun and very scenic. The run course was poorly marked, smelly and ugly. It was the worst run course I've been on. My biggest complaint is that the race organizers, who usually rock (they did an awesome job with Long Beach and Cataline) need to keep spectators and finished athletes off the course and need to keep spectators out of the transition area period. Overall, I liked the race and will do it again.

Last updated: 2007-11-13 12:00 AM
00:17:50 | 880 yards | 02m 02s / 100yards
Age Group: 7/10
Overall: 0/
Performance: Average
Suit: Zoot Two Sleeveless
Course: Flat bay swim, counterclockwise rectangle(ish)
Start type: Run Plus:
Water temp: 59F / 15C Current: Low
200M Perf. Average Remainder: Average
Breathing: Good Drafting: Below average
Waves: Navigation: Average
Rounding: Average
Time: 11:08
Performance: Average
Cap removal: Average Helmet on/
Suit off:
Wetsuit stuck? Yes Run with bike: Yes
Jump on bike: No
Getting up to speed: Below average
01:23:51 | 15 miles | 10.73 mile/hr
Age Group: 10/10
Overall: 0/
Performance: Average
Wind: Headwind
Course: Two laps - mostly flat along back bay with a lot of curves and turns, one steep hill and some more gradual hills
Road: Smooth Dry Cadence:
Turns: Average Cornering: Below average
Gear changes: Bad Hills: Bad
Race pace: Comfortable Drinks: Just right
Time: 03:48
Overall: Average
Riding w/ feet on shoes
Jumping off bike
Running with bike Good
Racking bike Average
Shoe and helmet removal Average
00:47:09 | 03.1 miles | 15m 13s  min/mile
Age Group: 9/10
Overall: 0/
Performance: Average
Mile 1 - 16:01; Mile 2 - 16:32; Mile 3.1 - 13:36
Course: Out and back through a parking lot, RV campground and up a hill at turnaround
Keeping cool Good Drinking Just right
Post race
Weight change: %
Overall: Good
Mental exertion [1-5] 5
Physical exertion [1-5] 3
Good race? Yes
Course challenge Just right
Organized? Yes
Events on-time? Yes
Lots of volunteers? No
Plenty of drinks? Yes
Post race activities: Below average
Race evaluation [1-5] 4

2008-04-21 10:36 AM

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Long Beach, CA
Subject: Kring & Chung Newport Beach Triathlon

2008-04-21 10:58 AM
in reply to: #1351314

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Cypress, CA
Subject: RE: Kring & Chung Newport Beach Triathlon

Sounds like this is one of those races you'll remember for a while.

Good for you for showing up and powering through.

2008-04-21 12:00 PM
in reply to: #1351314

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Sherman Oaks, CA
Subject: RE: Kring & Chung Newport Beach Triathlon
Good job.  I did the race last year.   I woudln't blame the athletes for intermixing after.  More of the volunteers job to make sure the area is clear.
2008-04-21 12:14 PM
in reply to: #1351693

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Long Beach, CA
Subject: RE: Kring & Chung Newport Beach Triathlon

GolfMark - 2008-04-21 10:00 AM Good job.  I did the race last year.   I woudln't blame the athletes for intermixing after.  More of the volunteers job to make sure the area is clear.

Yeah, you're right. My annoyance was just targeted at the people that were in my way. The volunteers should have cleared the area. The funny thing is that a ton of volunteers were along the bike course in pairs just cheering (because the course was mostly obvious) yet few doing crowd control near the transition area. Thanks!

2008-04-21 12:46 PM
in reply to: #1351314


Subject: RE: Kring & Chung Newport Beach Triathlon
Congratulations. I also did the race and agree whole heartedly that the run was not the best it could be. When I started the run, I thought I had gone out of a wrong exit from the transition area and asked someone on the sideline "Is this the run course?" And then was not sure he was right when I go to the parking lot. The hill was a cruel touch after the bike hill (x2).

Keep it up. I find that training and racing improves my ability to deal with other stressors in life.
2008-04-21 1:45 PM
in reply to: #1351314

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Northridge, California
Subject: RE: Kring & Chung Newport Beach Triathlon
Good for you, Jocelyn, for making the decision you did and getting to the starting line. Reading your blog, I know that wasn't easy, but you did it and it sounds like you made progress even when you weren't totally engaged in the event. Congrats!

2008-04-21 4:04 PM
in reply to: #1351314

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Silverton, Oregon
Subject: RE: Kring & Chung Newport Beach Triathlon
Nice job Jocelyn!
2008-04-21 4:09 PM
in reply to: #1351314

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Extreme Veteran
Glendora, CA
Subject: RE: Kring & Chung Newport Beach Triathlon
great RR abd congrats.
2008-04-21 10:14 PM
in reply to: #1351314

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Newport Beach
Subject: RE: Kring & Chung Newport Beach Triathlon
Great job!!

Sometimes a race is just the distraction you need to overcome the problems in your personal life.

I hope you got all those sorted and I am glad you conquered the race when you thought in the morning that you wouldn't even start!!!
2008-04-21 10:30 PM
in reply to: #1351314

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Bay Area, CA
Subject: RE: Kring & Chung Newport Beach Triathlon

Glad you did the race.  What's funny is that I know EXACTLY where you were - my sis lives right by there (off of Jamboree Road and PCH).

Kudos to you for not letting personal issues get in the way (although leaving it late) and doing the race anyway.  Lots better than my usual method of blowing off the race, and then disappearing for a month or two while I have a major pity party. 

2008-04-22 12:33 AM
in reply to: #1351314

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Extreme Veteran
Subject: RE: Kring & Chung Newport Beach Triathlon
You're an awesome girl!  Way to go on that race.  Really nice job. 

2008-04-22 2:05 PM
in reply to: #1351314

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Subject: RE: Kring & Chung Newport Beach Triathlon
Congrats on getting to and doing the race! Sometimes getting there is harder than the race. I did this race and thought it was fun and a bit challenging. To bad about the run course, I remember it being some chalk on the ground which would be hard to see if everyone was milling about. Keep up the great work!!
2008-04-22 9:27 PM
in reply to: #1351314

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Lakewood, CO
Subject: RE: Kring & Chung Newport Beach Triathlon
Way to get there despite all that was going on in your life.  You did a 1/2 mile swim in 18 minutes with a 4.5 minute jaunt up to T1 - I want to swim like you some day.
2008-04-22 11:10 PM
in reply to: #1351314

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Melon Presser
Subject: RE: Kring & Chung Newport Beach Triathlon

Jocelyn, great job on getting to the start line. You do have some fire spirit in you!

Way to go on pulling together a solid race despite your difficulties. The run was great, especially up that hill. 

2008-04-23 9:26 AM
in reply to: #1351314

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Owings, MD
Subject: RE: Kring & Chung Newport Beach Triathlon
Great job, Jocelyn!  Your race reports are great.  I really feel like I'm there watching you!  Laurie
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