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Wildwood Tri Race Report

Wildwood Tri Report Bitchfest

Yeah, get your seatbelts on and get ready for the ride!  This race was a doozy kids! 


I had a BBQ at a friends on Friday night and when I got home, I just wanted to go to bed, so I decided to pack in the morning.  Mistake #1.

Wake-up call, 3:30am.  Got up easily, had my regular english muffin with PB and started packing.  Typically, I lay everything out and check it like three times before packing but this morning I was just kinda going through the motions and not paying very close attention.  Mistake #2.   

Drive down was mostly uneventful.  I have been making the drive to Wildwood since I was ten years old, and driving it myself since I was 17.  This morning I decided to take the way my parents go, which I have done in the past but not too often.  My mom was with me so I figured it was all good.  And it was.  Until we got to the fork in the road…luckily both ways end up at the same point because it did NOT look familiar to either of us.  Meanwhile I was being tailgated and starting to worry that I was going to be late.  We ended up getting into Wildwood in time but once we got parking I was cutting it close so I rode my bike up to the race site and my mom walked up to meet me.

It was at about this time I started remembering all the things I forgot to pack- including my watch, my race belt and my visor.  WTF Jill?!?!??!  It definitely had me starting on the wrong foot and it was at that moment that I decided this race was just going to be what it was…no point getting all upset since I couldn’t do anything about it!  At least I had my goggles, helmet and sneakers!!

(Oh, and I must make an addendum to my list from the other day.  Had I ever thought I would see this, EVER, I would have included it but I cannot even fathom what would possess a RACER to SMOKE in transition.  Ok racers…listen up…no smoking in transition!!!)

Swim- 14:26; 193/402

Note this: the “400 meter swim” was actually around 650 meters, if not more.

This was without a doubt, hands down, the most difficult swim I have ever raced.  The waves were huge, it was choppy and it was a fight the entire time.  I ended up kicked once in the stomach but was able to recover quickly.  I started a little back but passed a shit-ton of people and ultimately, all things considered, had a good swim.  Good, but tough. 

What I would do different:  

Nothing…in a swim like this all you can do is fight through it.  Getting into a rhythm is difficult and it becomes about just moving forward.  And in the end, I beat more than half the racers, so I am really thrilled.

T1- 4:24

Worst transition EVER!  I had to get my TT shirt on and then pin my race number on.  The shirt was not cooperating and the faster I tried to go the longer it seemed to take.  I felt like I was in there forever!

What I would do different: 

Um, don’t forget my race belt.  Yeah, that’s it!

Bike- 39:55; 15.0 pace; 363/402

The bike sucked.  Yeah, that about sums it up.  It was four…FOUR…laps around a fairly tight course.  Each bike out was great; the wind was at my back and I was riding at 17-18mph, but at each tight turn, I was slowing down to like 11-12mph right into the headwind on the way back which kept me at like 13-14mph.  Oh, and I was kinda bored. 

The fun part about the bike was that I passed my mom on each loop.  Even though I wasn’t loving the race, I was keeping a good spirit and each time I passed I would say something like, “I shouldn’t have left my Cervelo at home” or “this is me not loving the bike” with a huge smile on my face. 

What I would do differently: 

The wind element was out of my control.  As for the course, it was crowded and tight, so to say I would do anything different would be a lie.  For me, it is all about racing safe…if it costs me  few minutes to be safe, than I am okay with that in the long run. 

T2: 1:37

I tried to haul ass because without a watch I had no idea where I stood.  But in my rush to get in and out, I forgot to take my GU.  Mistake #3.

What I would do differently: 

Bring my damn race belt!!!!!!!!

Run- 32:01; 10:20 pace; 347/402

On the way out I saw my mom and said “I heart Wildwood, but I do not heart this race” and got some good laughs/cheers from the crowd. 

The entire run was on the beach.  It was not even possible to run down the soft sand, so I just kind skipped through it until I hit the wet/hard sand.  My legs felt okay but I couldn’t seem to get moving very fast.  I shuffled along to the first turn-around which was at a half mile and back up on soft sand and that is where I met Lonnie.  She was also walking through the soft sand and we started chatting.  We ended up running together for a while.  We kept a solid pace, chatted off and on and kept each other going.  I  am pretty sure I would have walked a lot more if I had not run with her.  With a little less than a mile to go, I slowed down a little and Lonnie went up ahead.  Pretty shortly after that, I came upon a girl walking, gave her a “let’s go” and we ended up running the rest of the course together.  We even sprinted into the finish together which was a lot of fun.

What I would do differently: 

Remember my watch!  And my visor!  And yes, my race belt!!!  Seriously, not having a concept of time was really agitating…and without my visor I was hothothot!  But most of all, I missed my belt!

Overall: 1:32:23

This race had problems written all over it.  Additionally, it challenged me from the very start.  Had I paid for this race, I might be more upset with myself, but it was free for volunteering and was a good day at the beach!  I don’t think I would race this course again, paid or free, mostly because I didn’t really love the course.  But it was super well organized, had great volunteers and was a good challenge for me.

What I am learning most about myself is that even when things don’t go right, a race can still be a really good time.  Prior to this year, having forgotten all that stuff would have really thrown me off.  I didn’t like it and it definitely cost me serious time (especially in T1) but so what…not every race is going to be perfect.


My mom and I went to breakfast and then spent the day at the pool.  Every year for the last 17 years, we have stayed at the same place.  They have a great pool and totally didn’t care that we spent the day there.  We had great weather and it was the perfect ending to the day!  After some time in the sun, we grabbed some lunch and headed home.

 And of course…photos!

Pre-Race photo!


Headed in from the swim…

…And into T1

On the bike…

Coming out from T2

Sprinting in…finishing strong!

Post finish line photo, take 1

Post finish line photo, take 2!

Ah…post race coffee/breakfast ❤


I may or may not have mentioned previously, but this was my last full tri of the season.  I have a race next weekend but my teammate Kurt is biking and I am swimming and running.  Although I called this the “bitchfest” I am really proud of myself for getting through this race as challenging as it was…I have come SO FAR in the last two years!!!


21 thoughts on “Wildwood Tri Race Report

  1. Smoking in the transition area? Seriously? Wow. Reminds of John Daly’s philosophy: Caffeine + Nicotine = Protein. Maybe that works for golfers, but not triathletes!

    Way to push through a difficult race!

  2. Oh my gosh. That run on the sand sounds so hard!

    You have such a great attitude! Way to just go for it and have fun despite missing a few things.

    A smoker?! That is crazy!

  3. Way to go Jill! You did awesome as always:) I would be toast without my visor…I feel for you! Great pictures and you look fantastic! Enjoy the rest of your weekend!

  4. “It is what it is” is starting to become my favorite motto 🙂 Sometimes you really just can’t change a situation and it does no good to throw a tantrum about it. Way to roll with it!

    The pictures are great! Running in the sand sounds tough, but I’m sure the scenery was beautiful.

    Enjoy what’s left of the summer before school starts.

    PS…ordered my Yurbuds today 🙂

  5. I can’t believe someone was smoking in the transition area, that’s so disgusting! I’d have probably got annoyed and shouted at them for making the air horrible! Yuck

  6. Way to hang tough girl!
    Sorry i missed that one?
    Hope to see you next weekend at Medford maybe I’ll come and jockstrap.

    P.S. Aren’t you doing Marlton lakes this year?

    • No, I’ll be down the shore for Marlton Lakes. I am already going to be doing a lot of driving back and forth so I am not going to make it.

  7. Way to go Jill! You powered through even though things weren’t perfect for you.
    I love that photo of you sprinting to the finish.
    Is the swim in the ocean!? I meant to ask that about another tri you did earlier this summer.. That sounds tough!!

  8. Jill – I’m all for taking the “hard way” when it comes to racing and training – I look for the hills, pick challenging races and courses, but I have to say – you really “redefined” it at Wildwood.

    Congrats for overcoming so many obstacles. (A smoking Triathlete …. really ?!?!)

    Very proud of you and your post-race pictures really capture your adventurous spirit. You rock.

    Best from deep in the heart of Texas, J

  9. omg smoking should be banned entirely from sporting events, and i won’t even go there as far as the athletes themselves smoking. ridic!!!!

    i’m glad you had your goggles/helmet/ sneakers.. phew on that one!!!!!!!!!!!

    looks like a great race! you’ve been racing it up this summer! nice work 🙂

  10. Even though it might not have been your best race I couldn’t do it so I’m proud of you and admire you for doing it.

    And for next time ……… don’t forget your race belt 🙂

  11. way to go jill! with all those hiccups i don’t know that i would have had half the good time you still made of it. i would recommend next time bringing your watch and bib number holder thing though. at least you had the true necessities i guess?

  12. You can so tell you are a tri vet because you just took it all in stride and kept on going. I always think some of our worst races teach us the most and make the next one all that much better.

    so awesome your mom was there! I apprecaite friends and fam who take the time to cheer

  13. HAHAHAHA! The smoker! There is a marathon I run each year, in Lake Tahoe, and the guy who usually wins or comes in second is a local and doesn’t race except for this race every year. At the end of the race every.singlel.year – he lights up a cig afterwards!! WTF? It’s sad and funny all at the same time!

    NICE WORK out there considering all that you had going against you 😉 You are such a rockstar this year!

  14. ugg this sounds like quite the frustrating race! i have done this before too, thinking oh i will be fine by not setting stuff out, etc and its definitely NOT fine. especially with all the stuff you need in tris. i guess just a lesson we have to be reminded of sometimes huh 🙂 you still did amazing considering everything – nice job!!!

  15. Jill, you have no idea how much I would LOVE to see a triathlete smoking in transition. PLEASE take a picture or do a little interview next time (“soooo, i understand your lung cancer strategy, but doesn’t the ashtray increase wind resistance on the bike?”).
    So great that you could end such a difficult race on a high note.
    And all of your comic relief mid-race, your mom must have loved that.
    (Still catching up on blogs, forgive me!)

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