I came, I saw, and I didn't drown.
Goal #1 achieved.
Waking up at 4:45 AM in order to race was far from the worst part of the experience (Vince may disagree).
First ever race involving a swim for me. No swim training whatsoever. We get to the race and find it to be very well organized for the most part. Vince had left his timing chip at home and thus was forced to arrange a new one from the registration table; a process that took up nearly all of his pre-race prep time. Lesson learned? Hmm.
Nearly toasted by the idling, when the gun finally sounded it didn't take long for me to notice I was definitely going to struggle to complete the 500m distance.
That suspicion was confirmed as I reached the turnaround buoy along with 5 or so other wannabe-survivors. At this point the rest of our group had established a substantial gap on us, and the group behind us was over taking us. Tried as I could to front crawl I just couldn't maintain any rhythm without swallowing a bunch of water, so my stroke could best be described as "ensuring survival".
Walking out the ramp onto land my legs were wobbly and I must have looked a mess. The pictures will soon tell...Fairly slow transition 1 as I tried to put that brutal "swim" behind me.
Had the worst transition location, right near the water exit, and furthest from the bike exit.
Had to run that on my road shoes, then struggled a bit clipping in.
The bike portion was a nice ride. Without a speedometer I had no real idea how fast I was going. I was passing people, a lot of them. Counted 20 from my age group alone. But I was not really pushing it, knowing I still had to do a run and that my brick workouts this year have not produced strong running speeds.
The 15 mile ride went by pretty quickly and I felt quite good at the end. My clip on aerobars were slipping as well when I put any presure on them. Lost time in transition as people were whipping past me with shoes still clipped in and running through the gates.
I was carefully trotting on my road shoes, careful not to wipeout!
Putting my vibrams on went great though. Each toe slid right into position without a problem, and off I went.
I realized the benefit of my shoe choice immediately as I passed a bunch of guys on the bridge ascent out of the park. My legs felt light and I just focused on my pendulum running style that I know would provide me the fastest run.
Again, without my working watch, I had no idea of my pace. I kept hoping that Leith would appear since I hadn't made up the time on the bike, but alas, I would only see him at the finish.
Crossed paths with Vince and then Eric.
I picked up speed around the halfway point and pushed steadily to the line.
Overall, I ended up a minute slower than my projected time, possibly attributed to my slow transitions and bike split, although I put in a faster run than I anticipated, so I'm happy with that.
Vince had apparently been suffering from stomach cramps during the run and had to stop a few times. He also had a 3 minute T1 because of having to dig through his pack to get his bike shoes, then feed the straps through the sockets, etc.
Could all have been eliminated with proper preparation...
Eric was neck in neck with his bigged AG threat through T2, but then succumbed a couple minutes to him on the run to take 2nd. Still awesome. His bike time was only marginally slower than mine, and he had the best swim time of the Paauwes.
Eric's girlfriend Jill came in 1st for her AG. Not a large group, but not bad for her first Tri.
Astrid too did well, however the results have her listed among the men, along with a bunch of other girls, so he final time is still TBD.
Leith had a great swim, then thought he saw me go past him on the bike and was determined to catch me. He was so competitive that during T2 he chose NOT to put on his vibram shoes at all and go barefoot to try to catch me!
Hope the blisters from running on the hot concrete are very painful!! LOL
Leith's brother Brandon also did his first triathlon and said he had a blast.
Another brother spectator is going to do it next year, as are some of Jill's kids.
As quick as the race itself was, the post race events dragged on. Sun had also fully emerged and temperature must have been over 90.
Fully sunburned and with a healthy dose of humilitation, we departed for post-race pool and margaritas.
Very fun event, but embarrassing to be left in the water with only the ducks remaining.