One five inch scratch, a bruised groin and one sip of water later and I did it. I finished my first Triathlon (sprint)on Sunday. I believe I can fifth overall….I have no Idea if this is good or not. However what I can tell you is that my legs are sore and sixth place was 45 years old. Never underestimate your competitors!
The Swim-I had no idea how violent the swim would be, especially looking around at the start seeing a sea of people half my size. Well not half my size but a good three quarters anyways. Essentially being bigger made me an easy target to grab onto allowing people to pull themselves by. This is what led to my 5 inch scratch on my arm, I’m pretty sure it would have killed an ordinary man… I now know the ferocity of the start and will be ready for next time.
Transition #1- Getting out of the water I looked back and realized I was not doing so badly, but I was now approaching the transition. Something I had not entirely practiced especially under a bit of stress. As the water billowed out of my purple wetsuit with red knee pads I ripped out my legs out and dried my feet. I’m pretty sure I was the only one drying my feet, however, my bike shoes are a bit big and there is no way I was going to wear my bare feet in them. After struggling with my socks and frantically putting on my sunglasses and helmet I proceeded to run up the astro turf with my bike to the road 50 m ahead. I rate my first transition a six out of ten…I think the socks and the drying of the feet was a bit of overkill, it is now noted for next time
The Bike-As I ran out of the transition zone I noticed I was probably one of two-three bikers who did not have aero bars (handle bars pointed forward for a more aerodynamic position). At first I thought that since it was such a short ride that they may not help too much, but being one of only a few without I started to question my choice. After the ride I still have no conclusive evidence that it would have helped, however, I do know that sitting on a bike seat for 40 min without bike shorts is painful. After passing a couple of bikers on the ride and being passed by only two, one being Simon Whitfield I felt I had done pretty well. Photo by Kevin Light.
Transition#2- That being said I now had to negotiate my way through rows upon rows of bike racks to where my shoes were located. At this point I learned another valuable lesson, remember where you put your shoes….After making a couple wrong turns I finally found my shoes and went straight to work, “loop swoop and pull”. Nope… what I should have been doing was, “pull and clamp”. Yup, no aero bars and no quick tie elastic laces…next time.
Run- Straight up a hill and across the road, legs stiff and tiring, feeling like a glass of water. I tried to grab a cup as I ran past the refill station, however my hand, instead of carefully grabbing the cup, smashed it and the water gushed out. Leaving only a single drop of water for my parched lips to savor. Well, that was all I could get, and all I would get, my legs and mouth would have to wait till after the race to refuel. There was one thing that was keeping me to push on though, it was a slightly balder head than mine and possibly a bit greyer as well ahead of me. For my own personal pride I needed to push on and get by him. As I crossed the line I was ~20 seconds ahead of him and I had come 5th overall in the sprint triathlon!Photo by Kevin Light.
Lessons learned- practice transitions, hydrate more and try the new gear. Next race will be on June 21st in Victoria. I would also like to thank LifeSport Coaching and Saunders Subaru for putting on a great event and giving me a car to cruise around in for the weekend!
Pics coming soon