Official Website of Sarah E. Rippel, BS, CPT, FMS

-2010 Voo Du “Big Du” Rocked!-

Halloween 2010.


A crisp, fall morning out at Farr Park in Baton Rouge…the setting for the Voo Du races!

Was I stressed about this race? No. In fact, my pre-race strategy the day before involved Sapporo, sushi, Shiner Bock, and not enough sleep! ;D

I do believe i’m on a bit of a mission to prove to people that you CAN do things your own way, and still kick ass!

So…I got up early that morning, donned my gear (really reppin’ Fleet Fleet), and set out. I had no clue what to expect. In typical “Sarah-about-to-race” fashion, I quietly set up my stuff in the transition area. I got my bike shoes attached to my bike so that I could step onto them and pedal away, then slip my feet into them, which is something i’ve been practicing for months and months. I paid a visit to the port-a-potty, as I always seem to do at least once pre-race. I talked to a few friends who were there helping and cheering people on.

My race number was 13! I was told that I should turn it upside down, but I didn’t…I didn’t want to get in trouble, lol. It was a very nice feeling knowing that I didn’t have to jump into chilly water to start a race! I was going to run a 5k, ride 18 miles, then run another 5k. Time to go!

And we’re off! We took off in a huge pack, running towards the levee. We ran up the levee and the run course was an out and back on top of it. My main thought was “pace yourself,” as I tend to want to go too fast when I run. My pace has definitely improved over the past year and a half, along with my overall ability to know just how hard to push. It’s a good feeling!

Coming back from the first 5k was a relief because it was bike time! 5k = 28:15.5

Did I mention that I LOVE being on my bike?

Get out there speedy-quick & do it!

I think they were getting a kick out of my 650 front wheel! LOL

The hot rod is ready to roll!

So, the bike leg of the race was an out and back route on River Road, which (as many already know) means a pretty much constant headwind no matter what. River Road is twisty and always windy. This morning was no exception! To make matters even more interesting, I had set my Garmin to “multisport” mode, but evidently messed something up (as I always seem to do when attempting this), so I was still in “run” mode. I was trying to figure out what speed I was going…I kept glancing down and seeing “3:15 min/mi” and then trying to calculate, lol!

Also, roughly 15 minutes into my ride, I discovered that I had been pedaling so furiously and not seeming to be going nearly as fast as I should because I was riding in my SMALL chain ring! When they checked my brakes and stuff prior to setting up in the transition area, it must have gotten switched over. Whew! Good thing I noticed! The fact that I had no freakin’ clue how fast I was going really seemed to mess with my head, but I continued to push push push!

After a little while, I heard someone behind me, and was passed by the Master Women’s winner. She practically zoomed by me, and that was a bit of a wake up call because I realized I had no clue who was behind me! I stayed behind her for a good while, and there were points along the course where we “danced” a bit, passing eachother and eventually talking. I asked her how fast we were going and she said “20.5” at that point. She pretty much owned the ride! What was really awesome was the fact that towards the end of the bike leg, she “chicked” a guy…and so did I! Always feels good to do that (y’all know I love ya, guys)!

18 mi = 58:43.3

Okay…now it’s time for another 5k!

Just 3.1 miles left, and then it’s “beer thirty!”

Ack…I look like a heel-striker in this pic!

The third leg of the race, which was the second 5k, was pretty brutal. What I love about the 5k distance is the fact that I can pretty much just turn and burn. I knew that my current “comfortable” race pace was somewhere around an 8-minute mile, so I stuck around that. Towards the second half of the leg, I cranked it up and was hovering around the 7:45-min mile mark. Felt good, so I kept at it! I passed a bunch of guys and I had this feeling that I was in first place for the women around this point. There were no women ahead of me. It was pretty cool. I just gutted it out and in the “homestretch” (roughly the last 50-100 yards) towards the finish, I turned up the head and sprinted past another guy. I didn’t have to do that, it just felt like the right thing to do. 🙂

5k = 25:09.6

DONE! What a great race!

Guess who came in FIRST in the Women’s Open division?



2 responses

  1. Nice Job Sarah! From one winner to another, congrats! Just don’t hit a string of 2nd place finishes like I did this past summer with my 5K’s! 🙂

    November 9, 2010 at 3:52 pm

    • Thank you, Rick! 🙂

      November 16, 2010 at 3:04 pm

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