Hi all, here is my race report and some general ramblings about my first triathlon.
The event: FAU Wellness Triathlon
Personal Data: 42 years old male, 6'3 239lbs
Bike: 1980-82 SR Semi Pro Aero, all 600 AX except cranks, normal pedals so I could use my running shoes, no straps or clips. 23lbs ready for battle.
Conditions: 75 degrees F, wind 10-20 mph
Distance: .25 mile swim, 10 mile bike, 5k run
So here I am at 5:30 in the morning driving in the pitch back pre-dawn. Almost to the race site and I see about a half-dozen serious athletes riding their bikes to the event with their backpacks stuffed. I guess the ride in was just a warmup for them. Eerily, there is almost no one else on the road. Why? because they are already at the race site. These people must be crazy, I think to myself. However, I'm right there with them so I must be nuts too. "Are you sure you want to do this?", asks the other half, "I can't back out now". Oh well, here goes nothing.
I find a parking spot and take a walk to find get familiar with the area. It's nearly impossible to get my bearings but I find the timing chip table. Note to newbies: Take your bike and other stuff with you so you will have something with your race number on it. I had to go back to the car, yay. Assembling your bike in the dark is not the best way to do it but it can be done. Bike together now, go back to timing table, get chip, find volunteer to write numbers on me and now for the real fun.
The transition area! Holy smokes, this event has about 800 people and they were all here before me. There are all manners of bike here ranging from Batmobile to Beater so don't be afraid to bring anything with wheels. I saw mountain bikes and even a couple of Fat Sand bikes (4 inch wide tires).
I finally find my rack and squeeze in the best I can. The light is starting to come up and so is the wind. There seem to be some confusion about the Swim, maybe we're doing it, maybe not, maybe running a 5k instead of swimming. Yikes, a 5k on each end of the bike? I hope not. As it turns out, the rough conditions force us to cancel the swim which is a relief to most of us, instead we end up doing a 1 mile run on the beach. I'm starting in the 5th wave and they go off every 5 minutes starting at 7am. I never run on the beach so I'm just thinking, "be calm and don't blow yourself up in the first mile".
I get through the mile beach run and now it gets interesting, transition? Crud! Now it's light and the gravity of it's largeness really sinks in. I run right past my rack but catch myself about 2 racks later and quickly double back. I throw on my jersey and helmet and head out of there. I know where the exit is but where is the damn mount line? Note for newbies: Know before you go. Luckily, I don't make any serious mistakes and make it out to my home, the bike. I'm gonna smoke all you suckers, haha! On vintage Steel nonetheless! Yeah right Sparky. While putting on the wheels in the dark, I never bothered to check to see if my computer works. Nice job yahoo. I must have moved the magnet so now I have no info on my speed. I'm hoping to hold 20mph. I do the bike leg on pure feel, which is not easy as I still need some energy for the 5k and don't know how hard I can push and still be able to run. Not to self: Do some Bricks next time.
The bike leg is fun and at least I know the route really well. It's 5 miles out and back with 2 180's and mostly flat. I pass some people, a few people pass me and I generally enjoy the ride. I stay in the drops for 90% of the bike leg and feel like I've done what I can. Now I get to go run 5k, oh boy, lucky me!
I get to the dismount line and find out my legs don't work, well they sort of work, but I feel like I'm running in clown shoes. I really should have done some Bricks. Ah! this sucks. Hamstrings are tight, quads are tight, more yoga please. Find my rack, strip the jersey and helmet, thrown on shirt, quick quad stretch and boogie out of there, more like plod but whatever, you get the idea. 5k's of fun awaits.
Run, shuffle, plod it doesn't matter, just keep moving. It can't last forever, right? Oh man, how much farther to the turn around? I can't stop now, I've traveled so far (Foreigner now in my head). Scrolling through my mental playlist, I settle on some old Army cadences for a quick chuckle and then roll into Pink Floyd. Stop for a sec to remove a hitchhiker from my shoe and probably shouldn't stop again, feels too good, no more stop, pain good, stop bad. Getting comfortably numb and make it to the turn around and start to notice the faces of the people going the other way. Every emotion is visible, some ready to quit, some ready for the challenge, all suffering. Either way, I feel better now but I still have a mile to go. Will I crack? What place am I in? I'm not last but where? What time is it? Damn, this ain't no joke.
Oh man, finally in the home stretch, another quarter mile or so and it's over. Around a couple more bends, people I don't know are cheering, this is frikin cool, don't trip, don't puke, charge to the line,LOL. sure. Run through the portal, slow to a walk, try not to fall while a volunteer removes the timing chip from my leg, someone hands me a finishers medal but I'm too uncoordinated to put it on at this moment. I get a huge adrenaline dump that I could have used 5 minutes ago but it still feels good. Slowly catch my breath and get some water and just enjoy the endorphin rush, feels good.
Total time: 1hr 19min 46 sec
Beach mile: 8:30
Transition 1: 2:19
10 mile bike: 31:42 (about 19mph)
Transition 2: 1:45