By: Kelvin Brillante, Tri-California Ambassador
Wildflower Triathlon long course is in the books. As always it was a
bitter sweet weekend. The weekend was filled with fantastic camaraderie,
a lot of food, and a huge expo that included free massages and
chiropractic care! In regards to the chiropractic care, I have to give a
big thanks to Monica who did a super awesome job on readjusting my hips
and back and taping up my shoulder the day before the race! Away from
the expo, camping was a thrill with my Bangarang Runners and Fil Am Tri
team. I believe that our campsite was just one of the loudest campsites
out there that weekend (sorry to the teams who were nearby). Many
stories, jokes, smiles, laughs, and of course race nerves were shared
among the group. I miss it already and definitely am looking forward to
next years Wildflower! Anyways, onto the race stuff. Going into this
race I had really high expectations of myself; I mean really high!
Unfortunately, my personal expectations were not met but at least I
earned a personal record. Even though I did not reach my original goal, I
crossed that finish line pretty stoked out and am very happy with my
finishing time considering how the day went. So lets start off with the
swim, run, bike and run.
So now that you know what to expect from the Wildflower bike course, it's time to set your sights on prepping for the run course. As with the bike course, the run course isn't flat and fast, but it's also something you can work to master and maybe even surprise yourself with great results.
Brandon Del Campo is a former pro and current top age grouper who knows the Wildflower course like the back of his hand. His advice? Get ready for the hills! "The run course is very hilly with one super steep climb around mile 5 and then a long uphill at the 10 mile 'U-turn,'" he says. "You will also find a demanding one mile downhill at the end. That last mile is a total quad buster."
With a hill fondly dubbed Nasty Grade Hill, it's a sure bet that the
Wildflower long course race has a challenging bike course laid out for
you! But don't let that intimidate--we're here to help with a few tips
and tricks to make your 56-mile tour of the hills more comfortable.
Any time you ar prepping for a challening bike course, one thing you
want to do is take a drive of it the day or two before hand so that you
can put to memory what's in store. The above named hill, for instance,
comes late in the race. Better to know when to expect it than go in
With the release of the Agility and Instinct strapless hand paddles, it is clear that FINIS has found some
advantages in producing paddles without the traditional elastic straps. Coaches and swimmers who have not
had the experience of swimming with these training aids will ask us what the benefits of using this type of
paddle are. Following the old adage of "if there is one question, there are bound to be more people with the
same one", we hope to provide a few examples as to why swimmers will benefit from using these paddles.
So why strapless? Doing without the straps reduces the opportunity for one to swim with incorrect form. If
there are errors in hand entry, positioning, a low elbow, or any general loss of contact with the water against
the palm, the paddle will become dislodged and provide instant feedback to the user. We call this method of
training remaining "palm positive", which essentially means continuously pulling water throughout the entire
After kicking off my professional triathlon career way back in 1991, I ceased to call
triathlon my career at the end of 2013...However, Wildflower still has a magnetic pull on
me and I decided that I needed to come back here one last time.
Back in the day, the Wildflower festival was considered in the industry as the unofficial
long course World Champs and the start of the Northern hemisphere triathlon season,
it was the time when everyone came out of hibernation for the first major professional
race for the year.
For years I had heard of this legendary race, but being based in Australia I was focused
on events down under and it wasn’t until 2000 that I finally got myself together to have
a crack at this iconic race.