Monday, June 06, 2016

2016 Tri Shark Classic Triathlon

There wasn't any sprint specific training coming in to this race. I'm focused on Vineman 70.3, July 10th so this race was to practice transition and dust the cobwebs off of racing.

The last few times I've done this race it's been hot and humid. This time it was cool and rainy which made me feel like I'd need to be extra cautious on the bike. Fortunately when the race began the rain had passed and it stayed cool.

Into the water I positioned myself at the front of the group with the intention of gradually working up to speed. What actually happened was that after starting I sprinted toward the first buoy but started getting really hot. I had contact with a few people and followed a guy that was going really wide. As it got hotter my wetsuit felt like it was getting tighter and tighter and I felt like I couldn't breath. I kept telling myself that everything was fine and took long breaths. I finally had to slow down and gathered myself after the first buoy. On the back stretch I got an elbow to the goggle as I was passing someone. By the second turn buoy I had settled into more of a rhythm but it was almost time to get out so I tried to build speed again then I ran into a "pink cap" person. I felt bad because those are the people who have indicated they're uncomfortable in the water. Out of the water and got my wetsuit stripped. Out in 9:56 which was 37/359 overall and 3/27 in the 40-44 age group.

The run into T1 felt like it took forever since we all had to run to one end to enter. Water dumped out of my helmet as I put it... Running out people had gathered at the mount line and were blocking. I went to the left and was able to flying mount and I was finally rolling. I used the park road as a small warmup. My legs spun pretty easily (no tightness) so I figured I'd be able to push a little bit through the course. Out on the road and I started passing in earnest. I got blocked by people riding next to each other but fortunately calling out for the pass worked each time. I saw some of the BCF race team crew and they heckled me (cheered for me) which was great to hear. I kept riding a little below time trial pace focusing on spinning up hills and staying low and aero. There was a guy in a black & white 70.3 kit that had a Seahawks #12 tattoo that I saw in the transition area earlier. He was pretty fast and although I knew I could pass him on the bike I decided to adopt his pace instead. We had some back and forth and up the hill he surged up the hill standing up which I wasn't willing to commit to. On the flat next to the Comlara trailhead I caught and passed him again by just spinning. As I passed I said "Go Hawks" and not long after that he made his final pass. I dropped back and matched his pace at a good distance which was fast but not too difficult. Following that pace allowed me to get ready for the run on the way into T2. Done in 32:44 (23.8mph) which was 6/359 overall and 2/27 in my age group.
Out of T2!
T2 went smoothly although my socks were like sponges on my feet. The Asics racing flats I bought at the 2014 Chicago ITU race that I'd never run in felt really great! So, I established a nice pace and went with it. I immediately unzipped the front of my kit to stay cool and had no problem keeping pace or passing people. Then a couple guys passed me around mile 2 and I made the decision (which I regret now) to let them go. In such a short race and only 1.1 miles left to run I should have jumped at the chance to have a pacer but I didn't. Coming back after the turnaround I felt really fresh and just held the pace. Taking the turn back to the finish line I sped up a little and was sprinting to the line. I needed a moment to catch my breath from the sprint but everything felt fine and I was still feeling good. So, that was a 5K in 22:25 @7:14min/m pace. That's 33rd/359 overall and 7th/27 in my age group.

Love these medals!
Results link! My effort was good for 11th/359 overall and 3rd/27 in the 40-44 age group. I'm happy with my result but I think I could have picked it up on the run when I got passed and moved up. Looking at others in my age group (4th & 5th overall) the run is where I made conservative decisions that didn't necessarily help me. Next time...
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