Monday, March 19, 2012

Race Report: Parris Island Sprint Triathlon

500 meter pool swim - 10m bike - 5k run

Results (based on chip time):

Swim 9m 30s (1:44 min/ 100 yards) GR 17/127 AG 3/10
T1 1m 23s
Bike 33m 18s (speed  19.4 mph) GR 20/127 AG 4/10
T2 1m 19s
Run 26m 04s (pace 9:03 min/mile) GR 52/127 AG 7/10

TOTAL 1h 11m 33s GR 29/127 AG 5/10
GR= gender rank AG= age group


We left work early Friday and drove down to Beaufort/ Point Royal. We were there in time to pick up our packages and then made our way back to the hotel, had some dinner on the way too. I think, I was out like a light by 9pm.

The hotel we stayed in offered "breakfast", but thankfully, I had bananas and almond butter with me. They didn't even have toast or bagels, so I had a waffle with almond butter and a banana as pre race breakfast. Not bad at all as it turns out.

Showing off the Trek SpeedConcepts.
We then made our way to the base (the race is held on the Marine Corps Recruit Depot Parris Island SC) and snagged a prime parking spot right across from transition and right next to Coach Katie. We also ran into in racing buddies, team mates and CrossFit Buddies right away.  A friend of mine says that this race is like the first day back at school after the summer break. The whole gang makes it out for the first race of the season!

After a lot of chit chat and setting up transition, we made our way to the combat pool for the pre race meeting and to RACE!


For the registration we had to give a 100 yard swim time with which people were seeded. The lower your number, the sooner you were supposed to start. At least that's the theory of it all, since it was alright to enter the water any time you wanted. I was standing around Nicole and Sarah and while my number didn't "go" with their numbers, we just lined up and then got into the water right after each other. I think we were right about where we were supposed to be or maybe a little too far back. It didn't even take two lengths before I passed the first swimmer and I did that a couple of times during the 500 meters, without being passed (at least I can't remember being passed). The swim is going back and forth in the same lane before ducking under the rope, so sometimes it was a tight squeeze. Right around the middle of the swim, my arms felt a little heavy and the breathing got out of control, but after that, things were getting better again. I just don't care for pool swims... It's tight and you get thrown off your rhythm with all the turns. Not lying here, I was hoping for a better time, but also have to mention that the swim time includes the short run from the pool to the entrance of transition.


T1 wasn't all that bad and fairly efficient. The only hiccup was, that I forgot to remove my cleat clovers and had to stop one more time to take them off before I headed out of transition.


First order of business after getting on the bike was drinking and sucking down a gel and then putting the hammer down. The course was pancake flat, so we pedaled all the time. There was some headwind and some tailwind going on. I was hoping for a 20mph average on this course and for this distance, but didn't quite make that. Just have to try harder the next time!

Terry was right in front of me after getting on the bike (he got into the water a couple of minutes ahead of me) and I passed him within the first mile and he passed me back maybe around 5. Then he lost a spare tire and stopped to pick it up. I didn't expect to see him again after that, but he ended up passing me back around mile 9 with the words: "Baby, come on! Let's do this!" I tried to stay close to him, but just wasn't able to do it. My baby got strong on the bike!!!

The bike course was a little long.


Too slow... Not efficient... Try again.


So here we are again on a run course. In the past, I often gave myself a card blanche to suck on the run as long as I pushed it in the swim and on the bike. This time, I promised myself to keep on pushing. I started off with side stitches on both sides, which is always fun. Fortunately, that settled after the first quarter mile. On purpose, I wasn't even looking at the Garmin until it beeped for the first mile (9:08 pace). Good start! The water stops on the course where right before mile 1, at the turnaround and then right before mile 2. I grabbed a cup each, took a sip and the poured the rest over my back. I saw Terry right before the turnaround and he kept trucking along, besides his foot injury. The second mile came in at 9:13 which was a little disappointing, but it motivated me to push a little harder for the last mile, which was quite a full mile (8:44 pace).

The run course was a little short. It all evens out in the end. You will never hear me complain about a short run course! ;-)

Post Race:

The trading of race stories started immediately after crossing the finish line! It took us a while to make our way back to the transition area to grab our things and get a shower in before heading back to the finisher area again. Right before the awards, we were able to snap a quick team picture! GO TEAM!

We headed out half way through the awards ceremony to make our way to Charleston in order to preview the TRY Charleston half iron distance bike course on Sunday.

Edit to add: Please also check in with one of my team mates that completed her very first triathlon at Parris Island. Congrats, Cynthia! GREAT JOB!!!!

Race Review:

Parris Island is a great season starter. It's short and sweet on a beautiful course. For me, it was the first time on any sort of military base and it was sort of a foreign and weird experience. It was great!

I found the swim seeding or not seeding a little irritating, but overall it worked out alright for me.

The bike course was not overly crowded and the roads were mostly smooth. The turnarounds were wide, so it didn't slow you down too much.

The run course good, but certainly no scenic. Good thing that it was an out and back and I had plenty of entertainment with people watching.

The post race food was excellent and plenty.

Overall a 4 out of 5.


  1. Sounds like a good first race of the season! I am still unsure of whether I'll be racing any triathlons this season (haven't been in a pool in a loooong time...) but seeing recaps starting to pop up again is making me want to find one to squeeze into my schedule!

  2. The whole swimming around alot of other people still scares me (whether I'm in a pool or not). Sounds like a good race to start the season and always room for improvement!

  3. You are one of the "fast girls" for sure, your swim and bike were awesome, I really cant run but you ARE fast! It was fun and I appreciated your support, I think it is great you and Terry can do this together. Hope I can make Charleston.

  4. Racing already! No more time to piddle around on the SRT with my fat, slow self :) Glad you had a great first-race of the 2012 season.