I can say I am officially a triathlete. What a learning experience it was. It was a low key race with mostly college kids as it was sponsored by UCSD. It was their first event of the season and for some of them it was their first race too.
I arrived at the race site early to scout. FIESTA ISLAND in mission bay, SD. Literally on the otherside of the bay from sea world. A short drive from the intersection of the 5 and the 8 highways in SD. What did I learn? The place they had listed as the start smelled HORRIBLE. Not like your typical beach smell. I found out later at transiton that they found a dead whale there. They had a huge "perimeter" set up where they burried this whale. They moved the swim to last years start. I decided not to swim it because of the smell and I wasnt checking in to the hotel for a quite a while. Saved my wife the misery of a car with me and that STENTCH. The technical corner I was warned about for the bike was a little challenge. The corner is down and a hard left with the crosswinds its easy to take it too wide. This part of the island is where the perform water ski jumping in the bay. Never seen that before. So I coasted the ride and noticed there was a lot of other coasters out there. I decide to cut it all short and head to movin shoes for packet pick up.
I arrived at packet pick-up to learn some interesting news. First the race didnt have the timing chips they ordered. It was then I let my anxiety go and I realized that this is a nice and easy way to do a race. I dont know these people or this place and I can put my training to the test. They also had to modify the race and change the run. The run was now on the dirt. I had just been by the race site scouting and I noticed there wasnt any dirt on the whole island--IT WAS MUD. wet mud too. The kind of mud that makes the jeep lose its control and I always seem to end up in it. So then I though oh boy should I trash my running shoes or should I get some trail runners? Got some trail runners. After packet pick up decided to try a few shops out and see if they had some tri jerseys for me. I found one that I will to work some more to get into. I have to drop more weight. Had a real nice dinner at a restaurant near the hotel in downtown SD.
I arrived at the start/transition about 4:30. I got my area set up in the dark and cold. As I am setting up I notice them setting up the buoys for the swim. Did I really swim that far in training? Is that 500 yards? Also noticed a person that looked familiar. Turns out parvity from survivor was a competitor. (she beat me too but then she won her division) There was a long walk to the start. I was in the 4th wave. The race starts and I let the more aggressive swimmers for a second or 2. Then I swim. As I sit here I dont remember the swim too much. I am swimming and looking around to not get smacked. Turns out I wasnt even touched once. I am spending too much time looking around and not enough time just swimming. I caught a bunch of people and the winners of the wave behind me caught me. I exited the water screaming my number as instructed. I transitioned to bike a little slow to protect me brain from the "fog." The place where most crashes occur. I think I was one of the fastest on the bike with a ridiulous bike. 5 and 10 thousand dollar bikes are literally FLYING past me. I was going about 20 miles per hour and they were passing me like I was standing still. I did my share of passing too. 3 laps around the island and on the 3rd lap is when I started to feel the fatigue. I transitioned to bike rather fast. Now onto the run, the most familiar of the 3 disciplines. I wanted a pace in the 8's. I couldnt keep my number on the belt. I struggled with it as I ran then decided just to hold it. I was about 3/4 of the way through the first mile when parvity ran past. I had to tie my shoe or I could have hanged with her. She made up the stagger. I passed some people here too. I wasnt happy about the first aid station to be out of water. Oh well. I dealt with out it. I saw a lot of people heading the other direction as me which means that I didnt finish last! What a funny thought. I finished with no soreness, no pain, and only just fatigue. 10 min later I was feeling great. I think the olympic distance is more of where Im at. Julie looked over the shoulder of the girl writing down times and it said 1:39. Which means if you subtract 12 min for the wave start then I finished in a about 1:27. Some 2 and a half minutes under my goal. The results will be available soon. All in all a good race. I picked up some details about transition that I didnt see as a spectator.
A funny story. One guy in the college race (the defending champion) broke his goggles 1 min before the start. He ran back to transion (3-4 minutes) and couldnt find anyone who had back up goggles. He did the swim without goggles, did the backstroke the whole time for fear of an infection from the water on his contacts, and still finished the race in 3rd place. He came out of the water 4-5 minutes behind. CRAZY! (more to come in the next few days)