This was a really fun event! Great turnout, with 80 first-time triathletes competing! How cool!!!
It’s really good to see the local scene grow like that. I know not everyone is going to get hooked and start training/racing a lot, but every little bit of growth is great. We have great weather for year-round training and a bunch of local and big-time events within a few hours of here, and that’s just the triathlons. The running and biking scenes are big too, so there’s always something to do.
If the turnout for the kids race is any indication, the sport is going to explode in about 10 years. And from what I saw, swim times are about to drop dramatically. These kids are fish…all of them. Competition at Olympic distance races is going to get tight. Hopefully that means there will be more of them soon. I love that distance.
Oh yeah…swimming. I didn’t do the whole race, but I swam on the Miles of Love relay team, and we won! I was definitely nervous because (1) I’m not a front of the pack swimmer, especially as a sprinter and (2) Everything changes when you’re on a team and the other two people are counting on your performance. It looks like the work I’ve been putting in on the swim (but I still need a lot more) is paying off. Luckily, the swim is by far the shortest leg of the event, so I didn’t have a huge impact on our time.
I picked out a kid in the same color cap (relays and 55+) I knew would beat me at the start. He was a real swimmer–wearing swimming gear instead of tri gear. He whooped me pretty good; about 40 seconds. Luckily I found the feet of the 2nd fastest swimmer in our cap at about the midpoint and followed him most of the way in. I think he beat me by about 3 seconds, so I feel good about how I executed that. It was hard hanging onto his feet, even with the draft. But it was nice to let him do the sighting and just focus on staying behind him. Side-by-side, he’s definitely more than 3 seconds faster than me.
The best part for me was that I got to swim at the front of a wave instead of the middle. I relished that opportunity–probably the only one I’ll ever get. What a difference it makes when you aren’t being pummeled from every angle! The only real difficult part was navigating through a group of swimmers from the wave before ours. That’s when I lost the guy I was following, but we didn’t have far to go at that point, so I just pulled as hard as I could.
Transitions were super-smooth for our team. It’s really nice when you don’t have to do anything except hold your foot out and let someone else move the chip. Our cyclist (Tom) KILLED it. He was wearing a Go-Pro camera–check out the video! I can’t report on his leg, but the video speaks for itself. He didn’t get passed by anyone and had one of the top bike splits over all. Pretty good for a guy jacked up on Sudafed with nasty chest congestion!
T2 was just as smooth as T1. I felt bad for our runner (Beth) having to wait for the two of us to finish before she could start. I know how anxious I was, and I got to go first. Tom and Beth are both really competitive, so there was a bunch of nervous energy going on. I’m sure she was relieved to get the chance to just run. After T2, we hung out in transition and watched the minutes on my watch tick by as we waited for other relay cyclists to come in. Tom gave us a huge cushion, and Beth brought it home strong! It’s pretty easy to report on Beth’s portion of the race: It was a 5k. 5ks hurt!
The most nerve-wracking part of the whole day was waiting results to be posted. That’s usually not something I even consider. I’m so MOP, especially since I’m not Clydesdale eligible any longer, that official results/standings just don’t have any meaning to me in individual events.
A huge thanks to the organizers, lifeguards, volunteers, and Brevard County Sherrif’s Department for keeping us safe, hydrated, and fed for this event!