HITS Triathlon Series Championships - Palm Springs Race Report

All packed up and ready to go! 1st stop, LA. 2nd stop, Loma Linda. 3rd and final stop, Palm Springs! 
*Kaori Photo/iPhone

[SLO to LA] Spent the night at the parents house in LA so we can finish the drive to Palm Springs fresh the next morning! It was great to see them, and got to eat mom's food! Always the best kind of food.

This is Derick Smith. Fellow triathlete. He's from Long Beach. We have the same car. Cute.
*Kaori Photo/iPhone

I took Will on a quick drive along the cliffs of Palos Verdes, and stopped at Golden Cove for some Starbucks coffee! Met up with a triathlete friend from Long Beach, Derick Smith, to talk about a few exciting things we're planning on for the future! Can't tell you yet! It's a secret! :)

Grabbed some lunch with Liz Gruber (Wildflower Collegiate '13 Champ Stud/Currently racing for Wattie Ink.), and went thrift shopping in Loma Linda! She ended up finding one of her friends tri-suits! Will and I found a couple of 'ugly' christmas sweaters to wear at our teams xmas party happening later that evening.
*Kaori Photo/iPhone

[LA to Loma Linda] Stopped in Loma Linda for lunch with Liz Gruber at Panera Bread, and convinced her to go thrift shopping with us!

[Loma Linda to Palm Springs] Left Loma Linda for our final destination, Palm Springs. Saturday was the half & full Ironman at HITS Triathlon Series, Palm Springs. Got to see many athletes finish! It was a COLD, WET and WINDY Saturday... probably the worst(and dangerous) racing conditions... Picked up my packet, and walked around the expo, and guess who I ran into at the race!? Rachel Casanta! I met Rachel at the USAT/WCCTC Training Camp 2/3 years ago at Lake San Antonio. She was one of the coaches at the camp. It was great to see her again at the race this past weekend.

Race site! 
*Kaori Photo/iPhone

I wish part of the run was to climb up one of these mountains... that would have been fun...!
*Kaori Photo/iPhone

[Pre-Race Prep] Left the race expo to get some grub in our hungry tummies. Had some good pasta at Sammy's Woodfried Pizza. Finally checked into our hotel room at 7:30p. Got my transition bag ready for race day, and MarcPro'd my legs. What is MarcPro? Check it out in the photo below!

Pre-race prep! MarcPro is a electronic device which helps with muscle conditioning by stimulating muscle in order to improve/facilitate muscle performance. Love the shock therapy!
Check them out: www.marcpro.com 
*Kaori Photo/iPhone

[Race Day] 4:50am wake up call. Breakfast. Change. Pack up car. Check out. Go.
We make it to the race site, and I set up my transition area. Contemplating if I want to wear my cycling vest to keep my core warm, gloves, arm warmers... or not. It was extremely cold that morning! The sun came out and began to warm up the area a tad bit... by 7:15a it was warm enough to not wear the extra warm gear on the bike.

Transition Area
*Will Jaeb/iPhone

Ran into my good friend, Grace (from USC Tri) at the race! 
Good to see you, my friend!
*Will Jaeb/iPhone

Panoramic shot of Lake Cahuilla! Triathletes getting ready to start the race...
*Will Jaeb/iPhone

[Swim Start] The water was freezing. I couldn't feel my feet/hands/face.... ! Murr! Burr! Had to move around quite a bit to stay warm. It was an in water start. Check out the race start video below...

Warming up(on the right) before the start of the race
*Will Jaeb/iPhone

*meeeep* and off we go! Some decided to RUN the first 30 yards of the swim... hmm
*Will Jaeb/iPhone

We made 2 loops of the swim course. Swam around the buoys and once you completed your first lap, you had to run out of the lake and around the cones(as shown below), and back into the lake for lap 2. The race start was great. I stayed up front for the entire swim, caught a bunch of the guys that started 3 minutes before the ladies wave. Great start. 

Just finished the 1st lap of the swim, onto the 2nd after running out onto shore and around the cones... !
*Will Jaeb/iPhone

I had about 3min 45s on the 2nd woman out of T-1. I couldn't feel my feet! They were stone cold! I even yelled that to the volunteer at the bike mount, and he said I would be able to feel it by the end of the run... real encouraging. Thanks, bud. Ha ha!

So i'm finally on the bike, and ready to rock & roll. I feel amazing, my legs don't hurt, they feel fresh, arms are a bit tight from the swim, but I won't really need to use them any more so... whatever. All core & legs now. Lets go. I pass a bunch of guys the first 8 miles on the bike... and maintained my spot for another 3-4 miles...  *POP*  there goes my back tire. Done. I was LIVID! I didn't carry a spare tube, because I normally don't carry them on spring & olympic races... sure if I were doing a half Ironman & an Ironman, yes, I would carry an extra tube... but I was going for speed & time. It's not worth it to me. I took my shoes off, and I begin my 12 mile walk back to the start... Still can't feel my feet... I was afraid to look at the bottom of my feet, and find layers of skin missing (gross, I know, sorry. It hurt, ok? Haha).  As I'm making my long walk back, I'm looking to see where the 2nd woman is on the bike, I don't see her until about 10min later. 12 minutes later, a film crew drove up to rescue me! Dun da da dun! Not really, they were filming a certain athlete, and they just offered to pick me up. Thank The Lord! As a photographer, I was in awe of their equipment... I was able to hold a RED Camera! $50,000 video camera. So amazing. Quixotic Racing was the name of the group, and Josh Korb was the videographer. Check them out, www.quixoticracing.com and www.korboration.com. I had the privilege to help film! They pick me up on the side of the road, and they put me to work! I was strangely okay with that. We follow and film Quixotic's athlete, Mohammad Charara. He ended up coming in 3rd for the Olympic distance race. Turns out he was on the UCLA Triathlon Team, and knew who I was and chimed in a good word for me to Drew Porter (founder/president of Quixotic Racing). Drew came up to me after the race and asked for my contact information as a possible sponsored athlete for Quixotic. Lots of good came from a bad DNF. We shall see what the future holds for me in the triathlon world... :)

Thank you MarkPro for this awesome shirt and of course, the MarcPro device.

Check them out at www.marcpro.com

Thank you Gymnazo for making me stronger physically and mentally. 


Thank you Fluid for aiding me in my nutrition during my race & recover! 


Meet Will. This is my dearest boyfriend, who traveled and supported me all the way to Palm Springs from SLO and back. He did this even though he has finals the following week! Love the man to death. Thank you for being the most awesome cheerleader/boyfriend/supporter I could ever have. Love you! 
*Kaori Photo

The biggest thanks goes to my coach, Coach Roger Warnes. I love this man. He is the most encouraging, motivating coach I have ever had. I would not be where I am now without his coaching. Thank you, Coach! 

*Kaori Photo

Thanks for reading! Hopefully I'll finish the next race! :) 

*Kaori Photo//iPhone