Packet PickupI think I've done this race five times, and I've never once picked up my own packet. My wife did it again this year, and that's great. Apparently some little old lady paid her a compliment that made her day. So that's fun to hear.
Race MorningThe race started at 8, I set my alarm for 6:00. It's a perk of living down the road from the race. The plan was to leave the house by 6:45. I hit snooze and started moving around the house around 6:30. I ate some breakfast and biked over with my sister in law.
The morning was a little chilly, I had long sleeves and long pants on during the bike over. And I remember my hands getting cold. We got to the race site and went straight to the bike racks. The ends of the racks were reserved till 7:15 for registered elite racers. Thankfully, we milled around long enough that they announced the ends were open and I just grabbed the first one I saw. I got marked and chipped and found my friend Jeff who was doing his first non-Waconia triathlon. The water temp was 73, so I put my wetsuit on. We headed down to the water to get ready for the start of the day.
|Coming over to see my family before the race starts|
A new feature to the race this year was a time-trail start. The sort of unique twist on this was that it's self seeded. Meaning, they want you to line up by projected swim time. The elite group would not be participating in the time-trial start, they'd go off a few minutes before the rest of us in a mass start. I sort of milled around the front of the line. It was sort of funny, because people were standing near the front, but not actually committing to be first. So I took position up front, and then heard a guy talking to a girl who I assume was his daughter. He suggested she had a projected finish time of 4 minutes. Uhh, that's FAST. We were supposed to line up by twos. She hesitated. I said "if you're going to finish in four minutes, you're going first." Then I asked her if she thought she'd really finish in four minutes, she said "well, probably just over."
|Standing next to speedy|
So the guy asks us if we're ready, we say we are, and off we go. First thing I notice, the girl hesitates. I don't see here again till almost the end of the swim. After that I don't see here till she's coming into the finish line.
|The start, you can basically run to the first buoy. That's me out front.|
The swim was pretty uneventful, when you basically start first because you are seeded fastest and that turns out to be true, you don't see anyone else. I did catch a few of the elite racers. I was surprised to find out that one was doing breaststroke and another was just kicking on their back. I guess it just goes to show that you can place well and really suck at swimming. I'm about 100% sure that's only true about swimming. You can't place well if you suck at either of the other two sports.
I came out of the water feeling pretty good.
|Check out the spray coming off my feet!|
|Butt is in gear|
I felt like I got out of transition pretty fast. I saw my wife and kids running to cheer and take pictures. Unfortunately, I messed up getting into my shoes on the bike, and ended up stopping to fix the strap that had come undone. I'd estimate that between transition and the break on the bike to fix my shoe two people passed me.
|Trucking out, no socks, no shoes. Soon to be no service :)|
The bike didn't actually feel that great. I lamented about this a couple of years ago, but when you start out front, the only thing that can happen (unless you're going to win) is that people pass you. And that's what happened. Most people who passed me stayed out front. I did pass one guy who was part of a relay, but that's about it. In the beginning a 15 year old kid passed me on a hill, I caught him on the next downhill, then he caught me a while later on another hill around the half way point, I passed him not too long after that and didn't see him again during the bike.
In the last couple of miles I realized I was going to miss my bike goal. I didn't know what the swim time was, but I was pretty sure I was going to miss my bike goal. Another couple of guys passed me on the last turn, but stayed pretty close. I came in right next to one of them. Again I felt like I had a good transition, I am pretty sure I blew through there much faster than that guy. So at least I passed him back. Though in my rush, I left my watch on my bike. Oh well.
During the bike I counted maybe one guy who was in my age group that passed me. I was probably passed 6 times total.
|Coming into transition - note my shoes off|
The RunI started out the run, and immediately my calves were cramping. I tried to run through it at first, but took a small break to massage it, maybe 5 seconds. The rest of the run was pretty uneventful. I got passed, of course. Also, my no sock plan was back firing on me. One of my toes was absolutely killing me, I was pretty sure there was a just a single piece of sand digging in. Also, toward the end a rock found it's way under my heel and started to get on my nerves. But I pushed through it, and it moved on.
Overall I felt like the run went pretty well, I counted another couple of guys from my age group pass me. I figured coming into the finish I was in fifth in my group.
The FinishI tried to pick up speed near the end, but my foot was seriously killing me. All I could think was "take these shoes off"
|Coming into the finish. This does not make me look fast|
|Hugs from my son - shoes are off|
|Hugs from my youngest|
|Toe damage - the blood actually soaked through the top of my shoe.|
Obviously I'm a little disappointed that I didn't make the goal, though only missing by 2 minutes doesn't seem like the end of the world. I did feel like I had a good race.
That's good enough for first overall. The four minute girl didn't pan out, though if she had that would have been awesome!
This was almost predictable - I have no idea how I pulled those fast speeds at the end of the season last year. I felt like I pushed pretty hard on the bike.
I'm pretty happy with this. The run felt good, nice and hard. Obviously I wish I was a faster runner, and I'm not even too sure how to achieve it - again I get caught on the run and fall from second to fourth. Another nice thing was that I did this with no watch to keep pace. That makes me happy. Also, later, a couple of hours later I figured out with the help of my wife that actually it wasn't a piece of sand that wrecked my toe, when I looked at the blood spot on my shoe it was actually a seam that just dug into me. Oh well, I guess I'll wear socks till I can get some other shoes.
3/30 in my age group - technically 4/31, but the guy who got first placed 3rd overall, so I move up. I'm 1 minute out of third, 1:45 out of second, 8 minutes out of first. At this race third place means nothing as far as podium or awards, so we didn't even stick around because my sister was on her way to my house for a vacation.
I felt like I had a great race. I got the opportunity to race with my sister-in-law and a friend. Also my whole family was there along with my brother-in-law. The more the merrier!
I like the low key nature of this race, also it's close to my house. I do like this race a lot, and would recommend it. I think it's fun to watch this race get a little better every year. I liked this format for time trial start, I liked the DJ they hired to MC, they had great volunteers and plenty of them, there is a good mix of talent and I think the course is decent.
|Uncle Sam came to cheer and hang with family|
|The kids played when everyone was off and racing|
|The whole group - it was a fun morning|
|Packing up with help from the girls|
|Wearing dad's goggles on the way to the car|