SheRox Sprint Triathlon – San Diego, CA

Here’s the recap of my race (early) this morning!

But first, I mentioned a while ago that I signed up for this race and wanted to do better than I did in my only other attempt at a sprint triathlon (2.5 years ago).  Now I should start by mentioning that my Charlottesville sprint was a 500m open-water swim, a 16 mile hilly bike, and a 3.1 mile trail run.  Today’s race was a 750m open-water swim, a 12.4 mile flat bike, and a 3.1 mile dirt run.  So the swim, my weakest event, was longer and the bike, my strongest event, was shorter.  This course was absolutely flat too, running around Fiesta Island in Mission Bay, CA. C’ville’s course was definitely mountainous terrain.

I’ll come back to all of that, but now let’s talk about today.  I got up at 4:24am, packed the car, and drove about 20 minutes south to Mission Bay (right by Sea World).  It was cold, and dark, and raining.  Awesome.  Rain never happens here so people were all aflutter at the race check-in.  This was an all women’s event and there were LOTS of first time triathletes, in fact over one-third of the field was new to the sport!  I checked my bike and helmet, then set my bike on the rack for my group (5) and was pleased to see that our rack was at the end of a row and closest to the bike exit/entrance!  Then I got back in the car to organize and eat breakfast while attempting to stay dry. When I’d warmed back up I set up my gear, checked out the entrance and exit locations for all aspect of the event and just hung out. Oh, and I got my race numbers written on my arms and leg, attached the wristband so I could access the transition area, but the bib number on my tank, and Velcro-ed the timing chip to my ankle.  What a process!

Race time started with waves 1-4, which were the buddy and survivor groups.  This race raised money for ovarian cancer research and it was really cool to see these women off!  Group 5 (me!) was in green swim caps and included ages 0-28, so I just made it.  We headed into the water, which was 68 degrees, and started on the horn.  I had opted against a wetsuit mainly because I never got around to getting one and didn’t want to run one for the day when I wasn’t used to it.  I was completely fine and definitely made the right choice for me.

The swim is where I was most nervous since I haven’t done a ton of open-water swimming and there are so many factors that come into play.  Who is in front of you and kicking you in the face? Who is on your right and splashing you every time you breathe? How long will it take for your goggles to fog over? Which of those buoy colors are you supposed to be following? How will it take the fastest athletes from the next group to catch you? I managed to deal with all of those questions and more as I went and felt fairly strong throughout.  The only clustering was right at the end when we made a sharp turn toward the shore and people stop swimming and try to stand too early.  But I made my way around that and up the boat ramp (yay, no sand!).

Here’s where no wetsuit is an advantage, I just had to take off my goggles and swim cap as I jogged into transition.  Luckily the women with bikes on either side of me were not there so I had space to quickly throw on my tank top, shorts, shoes, and helmet before heading out to bike.  Once over the transition mat I hopped on and took off.  Now, I usually consider the bike to be my strongest discipline and I knew the course was flat… but I didn’t factor in the water on the road or the fact that most people had road bikes instead of the hybrid I use.  Basically, they were being super cautious on turns which I could take faster but then they caught me on the straights because their tires create less friction.  I was feeling good as we looped Fiesta Island twice, and was proud of myself for remembering to suck down water to help flush the salt remnants from the swim out of my mouth.

Coming back to the transition station from the bike, I was kind of apart from packs which was nice and I coasted easily in.  This is my favorite part of the race because all I do is chuck my bike and helmet, grab my watch and jet off to run.  Because I don’t have clip-on bike shoes, I don’t have to change anything here so my second transition time is always wicked fast.  Starting the run, we were by all the spectators and I was jazzed but tried to remind myself not to go too hard since it is a three-mile run, not a sprint.  In spite of that, I cruised through mile one in just over 8 minutes (what?!) then hit mile two in closer to 9 minutes.  This part of the race was just fun because all the women were cheering each other on as we did two loops.  There were a lot of training clubs/groups that kept seeing each other so that made it fun.  I crossed the line with no problems at all, and even felt I could’ve pushed it harder, which is a new feeling for me!

Overall, my goal was to finish in less than two hours.  My last sprint I finished in 2:12:40 but again, there were differences in the courses.  I just saw my official results online and I finished in 1:27:38, which I am REALLY pleased with!  I was 266th out of 684 participants in my distance (there was also a super sprint, which was half as long as our race) and 45th out of the 81 women in my age group (24-29). I was beaten by the youngest racer who was only 12 years old and by two women in their 60s, however I did manage to beat out the 71-year-old female by about 15 minutes… but good for all of them for running!

Here are my splits and age-group places (out of 81) for each section of the course:

Swim (750m) – 16:03 (54th)

Transition 1 – 1:39 (10th)

Bike (12.4mi) – 43:57 (56th)

Transition 2 – 0:33 (1st) Oh, yeah 🙂

Run (3.1mi) – 25:30 (30th)

The most surprising thing here is my run time, because it is the fastest 5K time I have ever recorded in a race, and it was after a swim and bike!  It was also the physical event I placed highest in, which was cool too. My times for each of the events were faster averages than two years ago in C’ville by a long shot, which was awesome to see too. Overall, I had a great time and I was extremely happy with my times for each aspect of the course.  Now I get to rest up for two weeks before training for my next half-marathon begins… YAY?!

7 Comments (+add yours?)

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