Tuesday, October 4, 2011
Pinehurst Sprint Triathlon Race Report
Well this was a cold cold day! But I was wearing a wetsuit! And at least it wasn't raining! That's what mid to low 40's will do to a lake that's 75 degrees!
As you can see, I was really excited about this race, since it had been 3 months since my last race and I was really itching to get out there and race! So, I signed up for the Sprint instead of the International, because of my lack of swimming (AGAIN!) and I have the Army Ten Miler next week, so I wanted to go easy (or easier). So, on to the report.
The morning started out early as we drove the 50 minutes to Pinehurst and the temp was hanging in the mid 40's, not a good start, but I got there in time to set up my transition and hit the port-a-poties. After that, got in to my wetsuit (VERY WARM) and headed down to the water to stretch out and get ready. Well the grass was wet and ICE cold (see a theme here?) and the sand wasn't much warmer. But to my surprise, the water was nice. I stood in the water and ran into an old Army buddy and we chatted until it was about time to start, so I wished him and his wife luck and headed over to the corral.
The swim was a beach start and my wave had about a 100 folks, so I let everyone run in before I strolled into the water and started my 18 minutes of flail and pray. With the steam and the sun, sighting towards the first set of buoys was hard, but I found them by swimming with the "current" of the 100 or so bodies in front of me. I did just about every stroke imaginable and I dragged my butt out of the water in 18:57, so about where I was aiming for.
T1 was uphill about 100 meters, so I ran it in a fast shuffle and began to try to take my wetsuit off. That was no fun, I felt like I almost dislocated my shoulder getting the stupid top off, so my T1 time was SLOOOOOOW. 3:03 Slow, but I got it off, helmet on, glasses and a long sleeve shirt and I was out and on the road.
Once I got on the road, I went into attack mode. There was a slight downhill to start followed by a 1.5 mile uphill and folks were stacking up on the climb, so they were ducks in a barrel, since I have been training hard on the hills lately. I also drove the route the day prior (BTW, HIGHLY recommended, so you know where the downhills and uphills are!) and I knew when to lay back and when to chase more folks. I was having a great time on the bike, and it was a 18 mile course. The climbs were in the 11-15 mph range and the downhills were a nice 26-37 (!) mph, and I was loving it. I ended up with a 51:28 and a nice 20.9 average.
T2 was good, racked the bike, shoes on, and out the door. My game plan was simple, go the first half slow since it was almost all uphill for the first half, and rock the 2nd half. The cool temps helped, and I was moving and waiting for the turn around, and then I started to move out. I picked off a few folks until the dam, and I really started to turn it up and reeled in to more when the older dude told me to catch that kid ahead, so I took off after him but just before the line I couldn't get him, all 19 years old of him. Bummer! I did run a nice 22:45 with the hills.
But again this race came down to the swim, and I need to get my swim sorted out if I want to compete for AG podiums in the future. But we will have to see for in the next season, if there are is one for me (I might be deploying for next month). But we will cross that bridge when we come to it.
Overall, I think a good learning season for me, so I hope that I can have a 2012 season, if not, I will just keep training and be ready for the next season. As far as the first ever Pinehurst Sprint, I think this was a great race, and a very challenging bike course and hilly run, but it was a fun great race.
Stay turned for next weekend's race!