By Kaitlyn Patterson, Team OAM NOW Triathlete
Falling one week after the Michigan Titanium, the Boyne City Tri had remained somewhat of a question mark on my calendar all summer. Hard races at MiTi for Alex (Vanais) and I had left us tired, but after we could walk normally again we decided to race this fun event. We both raced the inaugural Boyne City tri last year, and it is where we caught the tri bug.
The morning of the race was chilly and windy, but stayed dry. There were whitecaps on Lake Charlevoix as the swimmers, in colored caps, congregated on the beach. The race organizers tried to assemble an elite field, but it consisted only of one male and one female. Alex and I both remained in our age group fields as we don’t have elite licenses.
The waves and wind made for a rough swim and a significant amount of water ingestion. I was thankful the water was clean as I repeatedly took waves to the face. I saw many people clinging to buoys as they tried to gather themselves. Despite the difficult water conditions, I was the first one in my wave out of the water; it was a minor miracle. The field was small and the elite wave started earlier, but I’ll take it. Alex, on the other hand, had some chasing to do with four minutes to make up after the swim in the men’s field which was deeper.
The bike course began with a flat portion along the lake before some significant climbing later in the race. It was strange to be first out of the water and, as a result, I was definitely lacking a sense of urgency on the bike. My bike and run were solid and I kept the lead for the age group win, but was topped by the elite racer in the overall results.
Meanwhile, Alex was in a tight race. He had chased down the leaders with three miles to go on the run. Despite an amazing effort, the Ironman last weekend caught up with him and he couldn’t match the acceleration of one competitor resulting in a 3rd place finish overall, but first place in his age group. He still had the fastest bike and run splits of the field, including the elite racer.
Our OAM teammates also rocked the hills and waves in northern Michigan. Robyn pulled out an age group win despite fighting a cold. Chuck finished 11th overall with another age group win in the sprint tri.
Yet again Boyne City tri was a well run event with lots of support and a great atmosphere. All in all, it was another fun day with OAM teammates and a great way to conclude tri season!