The Final Race of the Season October 12 2016

As we all transition from triathlon season to the mellow golden days of autumn, it’s a great time to reflection how the season went and think about plans for next year. For Matt Ginder-Vogel, the season concluded with the final race in the Wisconsin Tri Series, the Devil’s Challenge Triathlon in beautiful Devil’s Lake State Park.

On a foggy morning, Matt gathered with his age group to swim ¼ mile in clear, still-warm Devil’s Lake. He was in fourth place coming out of the water, but as he often jokes, “When swimming’s your best event, it’s all downhill from there.”

The bike ride was 15 miles through the hilly Baraboo bluffs. Thought Wisconsin was flat? Wrong. The unglaciated region, where Devil’s Lake is located, is surprisingly hilly. Matt says the bike ride was actually pretty challenging, although he was able to hold to the middle of the pack pretty well.

When he was waiting for the race to start, he pointed at the other folks in his heat.

“See all these people? They’ll all pass me in the run.”

It wasn’t quite like that, but almost. Still, the 5K run, through the state park, challenged him. He came in…

When asked if the transitions were stressful at all, he shakes his head.

“Transitions used to stress me out,” he says. “But actually—I’m serious about this—The Carrier has changed that for me. Because there literally is a place for every single thing I need for a triathlon, and I know where everything is, I feel very calm about transitions.”

The Carrier in transition area

A quick glance around the transition area at this triathlon revealed that more people clearly need The Carrier (we’re not biased at all), because no other bag holds four water bottles (all of which Matt drank in the course of the race and right after finishing); is as comfortable to carry; sits upright; has a detachable swim compartment with a shoe/dirty laundry bag; and has as many clever hidden, visible, and mesh pockets.

Matt felt great after the race and plans to do more sprint triathlons next year, working up to longer distances. He’s also considering some longer swims, like Sharkfest and other Midwest swim races.

“The great thing is I feel like I can keep training for shorter distances easily in my day-to-day life,” he says. “Having a race on the calendar motivates me to stick with my plans to swim, bike, and run throughout the week.”

What about winter, which lasts for seven months in Wisconsin? Amazingly, there are indoor triathlons, winter fat bike and ski races, and snowshoe races to keep Matt in shape.

Whatever your training plans are for this winter, we wish you well, and we hope you’ll take your Carrier along with you for the ride...or ski, or snowshoe.