Revenge of the Wetsuit

I’ve been the proud owner of a lovely rubbery-smelling, tight-fitting Xterra Vortex 3 wetsuit for about 18 months, but have only raced in it once. Sure, I’ve worn it several times, first for Triathlon Camp in May 2010, then a couple of times at the quarry in Haymarket for open-water practice, and just recently in the pool, in the rain, until I was kicked out due to thunder. The lifeguards at our pools have amazing hearing. They can hear thunder 100 miles away.

But the only time I’ve actually raced in the wetsuit was at Giant Acorn Olympic last year. I was supposed to wear it at DC Triathlon in June 2010, but the water was too warm. Same thing happened at Charlottesville Tri in June 2011. I seem to pick races where the water temp is generally above 80 degrees…at Charlottesville it was 83.

Not that I really mind all that much. Putting on a wetsuit is such a chore. And it makes me sweat. A lot. And once it’s on I have to pee. Which is fine in the lake or river but not so great when wearing it in the pool. And taking the thing off isn’t much fun, either. I almost locked up a calf muscle trying to get my foot out of it last week. I’m usually quite relieved when “no wetsuits” is announced.

Speaking of wet, our area has been deluged with rain all week as a result of Hurricanes Lee and Katia and now we have major flooding. So it wasn’t surprising, given the rising waters and the risk of debris floating around, when Nation’s Triathlon, scheduled for Sunday, announced Thursday morning that the swim portion of the race was cancelled. The Potomac River drains thousands of square miles and so clearly was not going to be safe. Those of us doing Reston Triathlon, also scheduled for Sunday, immediately started asking about conditions at Lake Audubon. Around 3pm Thursday Reston Association Parks and Recreation Director Larry Butler was kind enough to give us this update:

“I was out at Lake Audubon earlier today and while the very upper end of the lake was a bit turbid where Snakeden Branch enters, the bulk of the lake was in good shape in terms of color and flow..I am hopeful that we do not get a very heavy, medium to long-term rainfall duration piece of this storm system as that might change things.”
But just three hours later we were told: “Larry looked at the lake again and now it’s not looking so good.  Stay tuned.”
Man, I love suspense as much as the next person but this was killing me!
Meanwhile, here’s what we were seeing:

Lake Audubon Thursday


Reston parking lot Thursday...thanks Matt for adding the Modified Reston Tri logo!

Click here for Youtube video of Lake Audubon










Reston Patch released an article Friday morning that had no mention of the cancelled swim, and simply talked about new safety precautions for the event.

And then we got this:

Update, Friday 9:26 a.m.: The swim portion of Sunday’s Reston Triathlon has now been canceled.

“The triathlon board has determined, in the interest of participant safety, to cancel the swim portion of the triathlon,” says Reston Association Parks and Recreation Director Larry Butler.

“After being out at the lakes and dams all afternoon and into the evening, and checking Lake Audubon this morning, there is a considerable amount of turbidity and debris in the lake.  Water quality is also compromised.”

So Sunday’s Tri is now a Du. And my wetsuit will be staying home. Again.


  1. Well it would stink if you lost the swim portion to log or baby carriage ..:) no really good luck this weekend, looking forward to seeing your results regardless if it’s a dual or tri? Above all be safe and race fast.

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