Whew. That was a tough race. But real fun. Here's my RR.
My buddy Dave and I have talked about doing this race for awhile. We signed up, tested the course, and were ready to rock the race. Paula, Dave, and I drove up to Farmington on Friday, watched the Flyers game and rested up for the race.
Race morning: Woke around 4:45AM, downed a dry mini bagel, yogurt, banana, and a Luna bar. Headed out to the course and set up our bikes. Then drove to the lake and set up T1.
The race is similar to the Grady Williams Triathlon, in the sense that there's a lake swim, and then run up to Lions Park near San Juan College. This race had a 20 mile mountain bike course instead.
After we got set up, I warmed up with a couple strokes in the lake. The swim was 1.5km, split up into two 750m counter-clockwise laps with a little jog in between each. I planned on starting on the right near the front. I wanted to expereince a little pounding in the water to get used to mass starts for other races. Once we started, I was right in the thick of things. I was able to set up a little space for myself and attempt to get into a rhythm. However, about 200 yards into the swim, I felt terrible. I couldn't breathe, I felt constricted, and I had a tough time sighting. I was considering quitting. Still, I told myself that if I still felt this badly after the first lap, I could reevaluate things. Sure enough, once I hit the first buoy, I was OK. The rest of the swim was pleasant. The water was a good temperature.
1500m: 28:14 (1:43/100yds)
T1 (swim to run)
During this transition, I purposely took my time. I wasn't in a big rush and wanted to give my HR a chance to settle down.
time? Probably rolled into my run time.
My plan here was to RELAX. Get into a Zone 3 or so pace and grind it out. I had to resist the urge to keep up with someone in my age group who passed me (and who probably went on to post some crazy fast time). The first 4 or so miles were uneventful. Some hills and soft sand. The last leg of the run, however, was ridiculous. I understand the whole "off-road" part of the race, but seriously, the race directors sought out the deepest soft sand and steepest short hills to navigate. After zig-zagging through it all, I finished feeling OK.
Time: 6 miles, 49:11 (8:11/mile)
T2 Run to Bike (1:54)
I took my sweet time again. Put on my gloves while standing around, banged some sand out. Tried to gather myself for the impending doom of the 20mile mtn bike ride.
Thankfully, Dave and I had ridden the course already, so we knew what was coming. What I didn't know was how slow I am on a mountain bike. I started the bike in 40th or so position and finished in 70th or so. Dudes (and plenty of women) were flying by me. I couldn't pull over enough to allow the masses to pass. I don't know if it was my 30lb bike, lack of experience, or fear of wiping out that kept me slow. Either way, I didn't do well at all. At the end of the first loop, there's some climbing. I was too tired to focus on getting a good line up some of the technical stuff, and I had to walk my bike a bit. I was feeling fatigue in my legs and didn't know how much gas I could give it. I decided to go at a medium pace and focus on staying upright. I was waiting for Dave to pass me at any time. One bright note: on the pavement, I was able to TT' it and pass a few folks. Sure enough, they passed me right back once we got onto dirt.
time: 19.5 miles 1:52:22 (10.2 mph)
It was a fun race. The volunteers were helpful and there was a great atmosphere. There were also a bunch of fast people from out of state. My friend Dave finished strong and we went out to the local brewery after the race for a well-deserved beer.
(kudos to Paula for all the pics and support!)