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After weeks of triathletes submitting their entries for a chance to win a spot at the 2013 Norseman Xtreme Triathlon (set for Aug. 3) as well as a prize pack, a winner has been chosen.
Jessica Kelley will be headed to Norway in a few short months with a blueseventy wetsuit, a race kit package worth $1,200, race support and accommodations valued at $1,500. Until then she’ll be working with Matt Dixon of Purple Patch to prepare for the difficult race. Jessica will be sharing her experience with Triathlete.com. Read her first entry below:
Testing The Waters
I confess I entered the blueseventy Norseman Xtreme Triathlon contest on a whim. I had originally planned to focus on shorter races for 2013. Ultra-racing can be hard on the body and after doing long-course for the past couple of years, I was planning on taking a break. When I got the email notifying me that I was a finalist for the Norseman slot, I looked at my husband and said “Uh oh.” (Actually, I said something a little more colorful than that, but I think this is supposed to be a G-rated blog.)
Of course, I am beyond excited to do Norseman, and after I found out I was a finalist I did everything I could to get the coveted race entry. (Just ask all my Facebook friends who voted for me in the hopes that I would stop talking about the contest). But as you can imagine, once I knew I was going to Norseman, there was a definite shift in my training. I started gradually ramping up the miles and replaced my regular interval workout with hill repeats. I still want to do a couple of the races that were originally on my 2013 short-course schedule, including a small sprint tri this past weekend as a season opener.
The Thursday before the sprint, I headed down to blueseventy to pick up my new gear. The guys at blueseventy really went above and beyond, hooking me up with swimsuits and apparel as well as the basics: a Helix wetsuit to a thermal skull cap and neoprene booties, necessities which will definitely serve me well when I jump off the ferry into the Norwegian fjord in August.
You know how the saying goes: Everything new on race day! …Or not. But I was so eager to try out my new gear that the first time I used my new Nero goggles was 20 minutes before the sprint tri started, during my warm-up. And wouldn’t you know they fit me perfectly straight out of the box. My new Helix was amazing and my race kit was super comfortable. Turns out you can get away with everything new on race day if you have the right gear.
The swim start was a little rough for such a small race, but I held my line and was first woman out of the water. I kept the lead through the bike and the run, and ended up winning first overall woman, which is always fun, even at a small local race.
Speaking of water, yikes it was cold! It served as a good reminder that I really do need to take the Norseman swim seriously. If I was cold after 5 minutes of swimming during the sprint tri, I need to start thinking carefully about how I’m going to keep myself warm (or at least not frozen) for 2.4 miles in Hardangerfjord. I didn’t wear the skull cap or the booties during the sprint as I figured the race was too short to bother, but I will definitely be wearing them for future training swims and at Norseman.
I’ve got a lot of work ahead of me as I prep for Norseman, but I’m excited to tackle this challenge! Thanks for following along with me. And many thanks to those who voted for me on Facebook, and to blueseventy for giving me such a great opportunity.