Generally I don't think it's a good idea to race an A race just three weeks after Kona. But you don't always have a choice. When I was looking at my race schedule this year, I knew that the weekend of October 30 was going to be a big one. I didn't really tell many people about this race because I didn't want to get the "Isn't it too soon" lectures. I just kept it to myself. Sometimes the pressure to do well can get to me, so if I can help it, I try to keep a few things under wraps. But I've been training hard for this one, and Chuckie had set out a plan. We were hoping for an overall female win. We also planned to use this race to see where my speed is at, and how I'm progressing for the year. Last night I was nervous, I had my typical pre race meal and I got to bed early. I woke up early, had my pre race breakfast and did some light stretching. The drive over went well, uneventful. Troy, Annie and I met up with Chuckie who had decided to come out of some sort of quasi-triathlon retirement for a go at the racing scene. It's always great to have your coach at your big races, even if they are racing too. On the start line, most racers were in a really jovial mood. Some had dressed up, no doubt because tomorrow is Halloween.

On Team Trakkers we are not allowed to race in our Splish swimsuits. We have these great Trakekrs Uniforms that we usually wear. But the weather was supposed to be quite hot in Denver today, and as you know I've really been working on my body composition. So I decided to race in my Trakkers swimsuit. It's the first race I've ever taken the plunge with this sort of thing. I made sure to wear my green Saucony Kinvaras to match the uniform.

Before I know it we are off. I'm running hard and I go out with the lead group. This race had 1100 participants and the last thing you want is to get stuck behind those slower than you. I scan the group I'm with. I try to count what place I'm in. I can't tell who is a woman and who is a man. It can be hard to tell. I go through mile 1 in 6:47. Oh, also, I forgot to tell you I had a weird dream a couple nights before where I raced with my swim cap on. Although it sounds totally strange, I decided it kinda might be a good idea. I ran it by Chuckie and he said "go for it".

So, back to the race, we get running onto the bike path and there is a section where it's very technical. I have a slight altercation with a guy on rollerblades. The race director let the rollerbladers off a few minutes ahead of the runners. I try to pass the roller-man on the narrow windy path without knocking him over. He gives me a little elbow, I give him a little back, and boom, down he goes.

I'm now afraid the roller-guy is going to get up and chase me down so I pick up the pace. I hear him behind me, he's breathing hard. I'm breathing harder. I look down to see 184 heart rate. Well, it's my A race, I've been training hard for this one, I think I'm the lead woman, but I'm not going to keep the lead if this roller-man catches me and has his revenge.

Luckily I drop him just before an aid station. I panik slightly for a moment as I struggle to get the water for the aid station cup into my mouth. I suddenly felt parched and was freaking about the water, but I got it down and kept running hard. I get through that second mile in 6:40.

I'm starting to feel the effects of the hot day, and the tough racing condiditons. My swim suit feels good, no wardrobe manfunctions as of yet. I start going back and forth with two guys. One is on a scooter and one is on a skateboard. For a moment I'm a little frustrated. I trained so hard for this event and now I'm finding myself racing two guys who started minutes ahead of me and clearly have an "advantage". But I push on. I pass them on an uphill and they come flying past on a downhill.

I pass them for good on the next hill and I know I'm in the homestretch now. I catch a glance at myself in the window that I'm running past. I can tell my form is holding together, I'm still running strong. The hills of the last mile have made their impact, my pace slowing to just over 7. But I'm so close.

One more glance in the window and I can hardly hold it together. I'm getting almost a little loopy from the effort and I let out a small giggle. I'm going to do it. I'm going to be the first female across the line. I'm just hoping that none of the people ahead of me are women, I don't think they are.

I come down the homestretch, I'm so happy. I do a little finishline dance that looks like a swimmer, you know, to go with the swim cap theme. Troy is yelling at me to go harder. By the way, the swim cap idea is a great one. If you forget to take yours off in transition during your next triathlon, no worries, they are great to run in!

Before I know it I'm done. The finish line announcer tells me I'm the first woman across. YES! Goal attained. I check my time 21:08. Solid for this course. Solid, Chuckie will be happy with that! I jog back along the course to find Chuckie. He's clearly forgotten just how hard racing is. I think he'll be taking a big nap today. He was crazy enough to actually get down and do a few pushups in the middle of his race for show. That guy is such a crowd pleaser!

What a great race. It feels so very great to have WON. This one is going straight to the top of my race resume. It's not every day that you can score a big win against a stacked field like this. I'll remember this one for a long time going forward. Thanks to Chuckie, Troy and Annie, and also to my sponsors.

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An now for some pictures!

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you are going to love them!

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ready?

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The Denver Mountain Gorilla Run is a great race that benefits efforts to keep the endangered Mountain Gorilla alive in Rwanda, Uganda, and the Congo by fundraising for the Mountain Gorilla Conservation Fund. It's an absolute riot of a race where everyone is given a gorilla suit to race in and to keep. I had an absolute blast and want to send a huge thanks to the race director for a fun, unique and well run event.

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