I went to the race with my friend Rachelle, who was tackling her first ever triathlon. We have been running buddies for a couple years and run similar paces, so I am glad she is getting into swimming and biking so I can have more training buddy options :)
This race had assigned transition slots based on bib number. At the other race I did you just showed up and it was first come first serve. I'm not sure which I prefer. First-come, first-serve seems a little more fair, because those who put in the effort to get there early can get the best spots with easy in/out access. On the other hand, assigned slots means I can sleep in and not worry about whether I will have a hard time find a space or not. I guess I prefer the assigned slot method for now. Less stress = win.
|Me at my transition spot|
|Another transition shot (this was about half of the transition zone)|
The swim at this race was a staggered start. I have yet to experience a mass swim start at a triathlon. (There was a mass swim start at the 1-mile open water swim race I did last year though). They lined us up by age group and then sent in swimmers one at a time every couple seconds. It was a little bit chaotic because you couldn't really hear the announcer at all but it didn't matter too much. The important part was that we were getting in the water one at a time, and that leads to less kicks in the head! There was a timing mat that started your chip time as you left the beach and entered the water. I swam out to the first buoy and rounded the corner and didn't realize I was sighting the wrong second buoy, so I went a bit off course for a while before I corrected. This swim was probably the smoothest open water swim I've experienced so far (out of the 3 races in open water I've done). I never gotten any panic or anxiety really, like I usually do when I encounter fish, seaweed, and another "fun" underwater surprises. I guess I'm finally getting used to it! There was a lot of seaweed forest in the course, which was annoying to swim through/on top of, but it was okay.
|Tactical error at the start of the swim, wherein I dove in without my goggles on. Oops! Stand up, put on goggles, restart. :)|
The "swim time" included the run to the transition area, which was actually pretty far, I thought. And painful. I hate running barefoot on pavement! Your swim time ended when you crossed the timing mat at the entrance to the transition zone. My official swim time= 20:22. Rank= 6 out of 30 in age group.
I wore my tri suit throughout the whole race so I just had to dry off a bit, put on socks and cycling shoes, helmet, and grab my bike. I don't really like rushing through transition, I find it stressful. I wasn't lollygagging by any means, but I also wasn't "in it to win it" so to speak. My T1 time= 1:50. Rank= 10 out of 30 in age group.
I actually don't really remember too much about the bike ride. I remember kind of leap frogging with this girl for the first half of the race before losing her (behind me!) in the 2nd half. It was a little bit weird on the bike course because toward the end I seemed to be passing a lot of people who were going a lot slower than me, who you wouldn't have expected to be so far along in the course at that time, but I think they were the duathlon folks. This course had a few hills, compared to the pancake flat bike course at the Sylvania Women's Only triathlon I did last year. It was also an out & back so the sharp U-turn at the end was kind of annoying. It was a changed course though, due to potholes, so I'm not sure what the "normal" course was. Bike time= 33:51, 18.1 mph avg. Rank= 3 out of 30 in age group.
|When you match your bandana, tri shorts, handlebars, and fingernails in neon green, you go faster. True story. |
This one I had to change shoes into my running shoes which always takes me FOREVER. T2=1:16. Rank= 21 out of 30 in age group (oops).
My legs didn't feel nearly as dead coming off the bike as they did last year at my first tri. That was a good thing. :) The run itself was a lot of trail! They had warned us that there was a section of trail, but it was actually a really large part of the course. According to my Garmin, the run course was a bit short of a full three miles. Run time= 22:20, 7:27 min/mile average. Rank= 2 out of 30 in age group.
I ended up finishing in 2nd place in my age group with a final time of 1:19:40. This race was really cool because there was an actual podium for us to pose on! The downside was that it took FOREVER to read through all the results (4 deep in each age group in both the sprint and the mini-sprint).
Me and Rachelle post-race. One of me in my "superhero triathlete" stance. Annndd the ribbon matches my bandana too. So much win. :P
|Post race crowd|
|A real live podium! I find it sort of amusing that the three of us in 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place are standing at pretty much the exact same height, despite the different sized boxes. 1st place is a short girl, and 3rd is a tall one! Funny!|
|This is the combined map from all 3 legs of the event from my Garmin. For a zoomable map and splits and such, see: my training log on RunningAhead.com|
I thought the haul at this race was great! There was even an *actual* packet to pick up. It's been awhile since I've seen stuff in a race pickup bag. Nowadays it's all "virtual race bags" with coupons and stuff.
|The pre-race packet.|
|LOVE the shirt! So cute!|
|It does run super small, but they warned us about that. I got the large and it fits perfectly.|
|Age group award glass. We were allowed to choose between several options for our prizes, including jewelry, a glass, and...I forgot what else. Obviously I went with the glass.|
|Cute medal, albeit super hardcore girly.|
Great race, especially for newbies. Lots of fun, laid back vibe, lots of help/instructions to get you through it. Love the shirts, medals, awards, etc. Would definitely do it again. They should offer an olympic distance!