I added this sprint triathlon last week and I’m glad I did! Several of the local Sunrunners triathlon club were going so I knew it was going to be a fun day.
Wake up call was 3:30 am and I was picked up with my transition gear at 4:20 am. We headed directly west and drove a little over an hour and 20 minutes or so and ended up at Webber University, a small school, literally in the middle of Florida. The race is based around the Scenic 17 highway that runs through the middle of the state. I had never been to Frostproof but after experiencing the hills there, I will certainly be back for training in the Spring! Its a lot closer than Clermont and also has small towns so little traffic.
We pulled into the school and headed for packet pickup. It was still dark but the air lacked a lot of humidity which was a pleasant surprise considering the weather we’ve been having. Bikes got unloaded and we headed for transition near the lake.
The sun rose and race time neared. I got in the water to warm up but it did not go well! Apparently there was a thunderstorm the night before and the lake’s bottom got churned up so there was no visibility whatsoever. I also felt like I was sinking with every stroke. It was a herculean effort to swim 100 yards or so. Not the best way to start the day but not much you can do (other than choose races that take place in salt water!)
There were three waves and the women took off last. It was a simple clock-wise rectangle. Throughout the swim I felt taxed and hot. Had I not been in the water, I would have had sweat dripping off of me. The swim cap certainly didn’t help. I eventually made the turns and headed back towards shore but it was into the sun which resulted in a line further left than I wanted but oh well! When I reached land the watch said “9:00” but add on getting out of the water and to the mat.
Swim: 10:25 (7/8)
Transition was up the hilly beach and across a field. For the most part, T1 went smoothly.
T1: 1:55 (2/8)
This was certainly the hilliest bike course I have raced. I say raced because I wasn’t able to do IMFL 70.3 but I did ride the course before. On the longest descent I reached up to 37 mph, it was crazy fast but I tried not to move and just went with it. We went up and down hills which was a nice change from the flats of the coast. There was no wind thankfully. Coming back into town, I was shifting from the small chain ring to the big chain ring and it didn’t quite catch which caused it to fall. I looked down, confirmed the situation, cursed the chain and hopped off to fix it. It was a quick fix but I got grease all over my hands. I think the pit stop cost me about a minute or so and I had a good pace going but hey thats racing.
Bike: 49:06 (3/8) 15 miles
Heading back into transition, there were a couple of speed bumps to maneuver over. Right after you had to dismount. My left cleat wouldn’t unclip, which is the foot I always start with but I got my right undone. Unfortunately, my momentum was going to my left, causing my bike and me to topple over and onto the ground. It was a very graceful landing but hey, my left cleat came undone! I think there was some dirt stuck in it from the chain incident.
Once I got up, I thought I had things under control but then I headed towards the wrong side of the transition fence and had to be re-routed. Apparently I wasn’t the only one who did this upon sharing race stories later.
T2: 1:10 (5/8)
I was happy to be on the run and felt good. The first half mile was tough because it was on grass and sand and was uneven. Once we got onto the road though, I knew it wasn’t going to be much longer. This was a rolling, hilly course but I enjoyed the change again. The second half of the 5k was mostly down hill and then around part of the school’s fields towards the finish line. I didn’t feel the heat which was good unlike Friday night’s 5k.
Run: 25:12 (3/8) 5k
Total: 1:27:50 (3/8)
After the race, I caught up with the guys who finished and watched some others cross the line. There was a pool available with an outdoor shower to use. The results were posted quickly. The first time I checked them, there were two girls in my age group who had finished about 8-9 minutes ahead of me, man they were quick! There was no one else from my age group posted but I figured since they were so far ahead of me that I wasn’t placing. Well, I checked back and I came in 3rd! I was pretty happy with the result and to also hear that my ambassador and friend Vinny came in 3rd overall and 1st in his age group and that Craig also came in third in his age group. It was a very successful day!
I’m really glad I raced this weekend. I learned about shifting on my new bike and that I’m not dreading training on the hills for IMLP. Since IMLP is the same time, I won’t be able to do this race next year but will certainly come back after that. My swim is still holding me back but I have to just stick with it and go with my bike and run. BTW, this race had the best post-race fuel: pizza, Panera bagels, cookies, fruit, water and BEER! Yes, ice cold beer and plenty of it!
Things I learned this weekend is that my fitness is good. In addition to the Scenic 17 tri, I also did a 5k race Friday evening at 7:30 for Girls on the Run. There was a summer theme so some of us got dressed up and had some fun with it. It was a two loop course, hot, humid, and flat. It was hard and I wanted to walk when others were but I didn’t and got through it. I came in 1st in my age group which is always fun.
This weekend I’m racing in the Loggerhead triathlon in Jupiter which is a long-standing race. Its also one where a lot of the local triathletes come out to race in so we’ll see some fast people. I’m hoping that since its a salt water swim that I’ll be able to post a better swim time. The bike and run are flat so it will be fast.
After Saturday’s race, I have one more triathlon left, Rev3 Maine. I don’t think I’ll add any more triathlons but we’ll see 😉