Race Report: Boulder 70.3 Aug 5, 2012

This was one of the most memorable races I have ever done.  Did I take first place?  No.  Did I have an emergency or an injury?  No, thank God.  Did I do something incredibly foolish or have a funny story to tell in retrospect?  No…nothing out of the ordinary.

This race is memorable because of the support I had present:  my own personal cheering section.  I have been lucky enough to have had these before, but this one was made up of a different demographic.  Some facts about them:  10 people over the age of 70, three walkers, 12 hand-made signs, a blow-horn, pom-poms, an expensive camera handled by an adept photographer… Ten residents from the retirement community for which I work, along with the Activities director, Molly, and her college sophomore daughter Emmy, and Lucas on his mountain bike armed with cell phone for communicating with the group as he rode throughout the course cheering me on.  It was an incredible opportunity to share this sport that I love with some very special people who usually would not get the chance to ever see me in action.

Set up under a shady tent. Finish chute in background

I have worked for Frasier Meadows Retirement Community in Boulder for almost 8 years.  I started there only two short afternoons a week, working in the Wellness Center (which is a small gym setting with a therapy pool, classes, massage, and other wellness-based amenities) and it has grown into a full-time, very wonderful career job for me.  My boss and other employees at FMRC, along with the administration of the company, have always been very supportive of my training and racing.  In the past when I’ve done well at races, and when I qualified for and did Kona in 2010, they threw parties for me!  With cake!  And cards!  The residents and employees of Frasier are wonderful.  If I was a violinist, or a tapestry-weaver, a writer of poetry or a fly-fisherwoman, they would love and support me and my recreation.  It so happens that I am an Ironman triathlete, and for years they have asked me the most commonly asked question, “Why do you do this??”  One dear woman asked me how I deal with “lactation” (she mean lactate acid, which she had read about in an article regarding Olympian swimmer Michael Phelps).  The other most common questions are “Do you do these three sports all in one day?”, “How and what do you eat?”, “How do you deal with, you know,…bathroom..?”, and “Why don’t they have you run first when it’s cooler, and swim last when it’s hot??”

On the gravelly run course - beautiful Boulder background!

Last year my boss, the director of the Wellness Center Lyn McQueen, told me she wanted Frasier to become a sponsor of mine and how did they go about doing that?  I hadn’t ever written a sponsorship proposal, but with some help I did it, and submitted it to HR and the administration.  After some time, explanations, and meetings, I had myself a new sponsor!  And this one was doubly special because I am truly honored to wear the Frasier logo on my race kit and represent what I believe to be an amazing organization that truly serves its clients (residents) well, and cultivates a unique community devoted to thriving in the older years of life.

Frasier Residents and Molly with handmade signs near Finish Chute

Oh, did you want to know about the race??  Well, it was the same course as last year – roads I have ridden and run upon hundreds of times.  This course is all too familiar but that is obviously an advantage to the out-of-town competition.  And let me tell you there was a lot of competition!  The top girl, Liz Blatchford, was a British Olympic hopeful and is an incredibly talented triathlete.  The rest of the pro female field were similarly ranked:  Really Good.  (understatement!)  I had a good swim for myself (28:15), a solid bike (2:20), and a decent run (1:33).  Even my Transitions were quick this time!! (Something that has really needed improvement).

Swim Course – nice and calm, planned well to not have to sight into the rising sun

Map of Bike Course – mostly flat even some downhill, only a few hills.  Quite fast!

Map of Run Course – almost all on dirt or gravel, hardly any shade, some tough hills – physically and mentally challenging!

I finished 6th, just in the money, and happy with my personal performance.  My coach, Curt Chesney, had 3 pro females in this race and we all placed in the Top Ten.  I would highly recommend his coaching!  (He currently doesn’t have a coaching website, but if you are interested contact me (Facebook: Whitney Garcia Athlete) and I’ll put you in touch with him.  His style can be grueling but if you’re serious and committed, he’ll make you a faster and better athlete!)

Mandy Mclane, Curt Chesney (coach), Christine Anderson, Whitney Garcia

And if you want some incredibly supportive, kind, creative, fun-loving, willing to sit in the heat next to the Finish Line with a blaring sound system of music that is neither from their era nor remotely appealing to them, good-sports, proud and encouraging elders — apply for a job at Frasier Meadows Retirement Community.  If you’re part of the “Frasier family”, they’ll welcome you with open arms no matter what your sport or how you finish.

Proud as can be, my Frasier Family Fans!

A heartfelt THANK YOU to:

Molly Briggs, Lois Thompson, Maggie Vall, Clint Heiple, Bruce Thompson, JoAnn Joselyn, Bob Moench, Mary Jane Hall, Emmy Briggs, Laura Fischer (not in photo), Jim and Priscilla Scholton (not in photo).

 

A huge THANK YOU also to Dave Christen of Ironman Boulder 70.3 and his race production crew, who made the Frasier group as comfortable as possible.  They provided us with a special pass to enter a closed road, VIP parking, a pop-up tent for shade, chairs, a cooler of bottled waters, and access to the Transition Area port-o-potties (that’s not such a treat, but it did come in handy!  Haha!)

 

And of course, THANK YOU to my closest supporter and “manager”, Lucas “Cowboy” McCain!

Lucas and Whitney post-race

3 Responses to “Race Report: Boulder 70.3 Aug 5, 2012”

  1. aunt Lynnie says:

    What a wonderful blog and what a wonderful group of supporters. You are saving me a spot there when I get more mature, right, Whit??

  2. Nancie Garcia says:

    I will ditto what Aunt Lynnie says completely! But need to add we want adjoining rooms AND tredmills at Frasier Meadows when we are just a little more “mature”! Just wish we could have been out there with them cheering you on from under the canopy! And 6th place with all the extremely stiff competition was phenomenal – Total Congrats, Whit!!
    XOXO

  3. Molly says:

    very cool Whitney! You are just a gem in every way!!!