Thursday, July 28, 2016

B.J. "The Potato" Christenson Breaks Down Spudman

The Spudman takes place this Saturday in Burley, ID... although not a Utah race, since it attracts so many Utah triathletes we consider it worthy of a preview.

Who better to provide that preview than Local Legend B.J. Christenson?!? Sure, he's going to Kona for the 9th time this year, but his true love is the Spudman. This year will be his 20th!

  • The swim is one of the main reasons why Spudman is so popular. Not sure if you can swim a mile?? The current takes that away, it's the great equalizer!
  • This is great for anyone who's a little timid in open water or stepping up to Olympic
  • It's a wide river, plenty of space to spread out
  • No turn buoys, just swim straight down river
  • Stay towards the middle, the current is stronger there
  • There's a slight bend as you go past the island. The current will try to push you into shore as it bends, so try to stay a little closer to the island
  • As soon as you sight the exit bridge and the poplar trees, start beelining towards shore 

  • You may want to walk your bike out of transition, walk up to the road before trying to mount. Most people don't mount very well on a slight incline, and there are sometimes goatheads there. Better to carry your bike to the road
  • You place your bike the night before, and I like to check things over early race morning. Get any fluids on your bike, then head to start. 
  • There are a lot of people, so plan lots of time. Start time is 8:00, but beginning at 7:00 they won't let you thru anything
  • Another great thing about Spudman, if you’re new to triathlon this is one of the easiest bike courses you can ride
  • Country roads, flat. 4 turns, big square
  • There's some chip seal, which comes with rolling resistance; you'll want to ride with a little lower pressure than you’re used to
  • Of course everyone tries to avoid drafting, but don’t get your panties in a wad if you see it. There's no way to spread it out. There are gonna be little groups that form whether you like it or not. If you want a perfectly clean race, race in the elite wave!
  • On the grass, really nice on the feet. It's nice that they open that golf course for the race so you don’t have to worry about stepping on thorns
  • There's a short, "punchy" hill in the beginning, but then it's flat around country roads 
  • 2 mile stretch of gravel on the canal bank can be a little bit slower section 
  • For people starting a bit later it can get little warm. There are 3 water stops, every other mile, but if you know you don’t do super well in heat you should make plans.
  • The finish line is awesome, you come bouncing through the trees then onto the golf course grass

Post race?

If you don't have to take off right away go check out Shoshone Falls in Twin Falls, only a 30 min drive. It's actually taller than Niagara. The Snake River's also a great place for a post-race bbq or boating.


B.J. has collected the whole set! Known to throw some epic tea parties.

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