300 yards open water swim - 12.3 mile bike - 3.1 mile run
Results (based on chip time):
Swim 7m53s (pace 2:38m/100y) OA 35/100 AG 2/7 GR 8/39
Bike 41m14s (speed 17.9 mph) OA 37/100 AG 4/7 GR 11/39
Run 30m57s (pace 9:59 min/mile) OA 70/100 AG 6/7 GR 25/39
TOTAL 1h 23m 09s OA 58/100 AG 5/7 GR 19/39
OA= overall, AG= age group, GR= gender rank
Slept like a rock... That's a victory in and of itself. Maybe, just maybe I am getting used to this racing thing and don't go crazy each and every time anymore.
I am a natural planer, so of course I had the address in my GPS and was trusting it to get me right where I needed to be and in time... I got there at 6.40am (race start was 7.30am) and other than one other car was no soul at the Laurens YMCA. Turns out, that the triathlon wasn't at the Y, but at a location 8 miles down the road. I called a friend of mine that I knew is familiar with the area and also doing the race and he was able to give me directions right away. The people in the other car figured it out in the meantime too and so I followed them. Once we were at the location, all the parking spots close to transition were already filled up and I had to park a little away from everything. I grabbed all my gear and hauled it down close to transition and then hit the porta-potty line. It was 7am then. Awesome! 30 minutes time to pick up my packet, get body marked and set-up transition. It's amazing how much of a routine I have established by now and I got everything done in time. I didn't even freak out when I let out all the air on my back tire (by accident) and wasn't able to get air back in*. My friend became my life saver for the second time that day and was able to organize a pump and pump up my tires. We were at the shore line of Lake Rabon with minutes to spare, but then the start was delayed a little.
*I had this issue before and this was the straw that broke the camel's back. I am going buy myself a good pump ASAP!
We started in waves. The boys went first and the girls followed them 3 minutes later. I spent those 3 minutes chatting with a girl that I know from other races. Made the time fly. This was only my second wave start/ open water swim in a triathlon. Also, this group was much bigger from what I experienced at AOC. I lined myself up to the very outside (and away from the swimming direction) and once we got going, I realized that this was a mistake. Swimming is my strong suit and I have no business hiding myself at the start to then have to swim over everybody. Live and learn. Of course, the reasoning was, not to get into the human washing machine, but by having to swim around and over people, I couldn't avoid this anyways. The water actually felt refreshing compared to the training triathlon I did a couple of weeks ago in the same lake. It was over before it really started and I felt good getting out of the water.
Two notes about my swim time: The race was advertised as a 300 yard swim, but it was closer to a 400 yard swim. Also, there was no timing mat at the swim exit, so the run up to transition is also included in the swim time.
Decent transition. Nothing noteworthy.
In all the rush, I still remembered to put the bike into a small gear before racking it. It's all about routine! ;-)
Hopped on the bike and was off. I didn't quite expect for the bike to be this hilly, but the route was really pretty and they had an amazing number of volunteers on the course securing all the intersections and giving directions. Even though the course had a couple of turns, it really never was an issue. I was making good progress on the bike and half way through I decided to push it as hard as I can and just use for the run whatever is left. I passed a ton of people and got passed a couple of times, but mostly it was guys and girls that weren't in my age group. Maybe three miles before T2, a girl in my age group passed me and I really wanted to stay close to her, but she just pedaled away from me like it was nothing. The best moment during the bike was getting chased by a group of horses (behind a fence). The way in and of the Lake Rabon lake access area had two nice hills that we had to climb back up to get back into transition. Getting off the bike, I felt good and was really happy with it.
I really have to try to get T2 under 1 minute. I lost some time getting the Garmin off the bike, even with the quick release. The problem was not the quick release, but that I am too short to reach over the rack properly.
Those hills that I had to climb up getting into transition. Well, I wasn't done with them quite yet. I would have to conquer them two more times before crossing the finish line. The run felt alright, but the hills really got to me. I was also fighting with a headache at this point. It was funny, I woke up this morning with a headache, but it was gone after breakfast and then back on the run. There was also some cramping going on around my left shoulder blade. Just didn't feel too awesome at that point. Around mile two, things started to feel a little better and I was able to pull away from a girl, I first followed and then we ran next to each other for a while. Needless to say, that I was passed by the dozen, but what's new.
The crowd support around the finish line was awesome, because it was right next to a picnic shelter with all the food, so all the finishers stayed around and cheered everyone in.... Up to the last person... She got a super extra loud round of applause! This tri community really rocks!
"On Your Mark Sports" did the timing of the event and the results were up in no time. After crossing the finish line, I grabbed something to eat and talked to some friends and then walked over to the results and already saw my name listed.
After that, I cleaned up a little (no showers on location, that was a little bummer) and then waited for the awards. I didn't expect to place, since I knew that there were at least two girls ahead of me that I saw and was sure there were a couple more that I didn't see.
Once the awards were over, I was about to head to the car, but then ran into one of the volunteers (I met her during the AOC course previews) that helps organizing the whole series. She just tore down the transition area and we started chatting a little and I ended up helping to break the racks down.
This race officially concluded my triathlon season and now the focus will be on running for the next couple of months. I will still bike and swim (once shoulder is back normal) for cross training and to not to have to start from scratch next season. All of the races that I did this year were part of the Upstate Y Tri Series and I am planning on joining them next year for at least six races (in order to qualify for series ranking).