Saturday, June 06, 2009

My First Triathlon (in a while)

Last week I completed my first Sprint triathlon and did the 26th annual Seahorse Challenge in Climax. Being on the "larger" side, I competed in the Clydesdale division with fellow 200 pound plus competitors. The weather was a bit brisk at the beginning of the race and the water was a reported 68 degrees (the coldest starting temp in the history of the event). Good thing I invested in a full wetsuit last winter, and it certainly came in handy for the swim. Surprisingly there were competitors that went without a wetsuit, and I can't imagine...

Thinking that my swim would be the "weakest" part of the event and never swimming in a pack before, I heard stories from others that you better be comfortable with getting kicked in the head and arms flailing all over while you take off. Well, they were right and at the beginning I almost had a panic attack as the splashing and bodies were all over me (at least it seemed that way). I took a break and "doggy paddled" for a bit to regain my composure and eventually settled into a rhythm and by the time the 500m distance was coming to a close I felt pretty good.

Coming out of the water at 11:02 I trudged up the hill towards the transition area to get ready for the bike leg taking off the top part of my wetsuit while en-route to my bike. It took me a while to get my jersey pulled over my head in the midst of my heavy breathing and wet skin. Finally getting dressed and shoes on, I took off and had a good ride, averaging over 20 mph, putting in the second fastest bike time of all the Clydesdales.

With two of the three disciplines now under my belt, I put on my running shoes and headed out for the last leg of the triathlon. While I was in the transition area between the swim and bike for almost four minutes, this time I was changed and back out on the course in under two minutes (but still room for improvement). Ending up with a 30:28 5k certainly didn't break any land speed records, but the good news is leg cramps stayed away and was comfortable at the finish. I figured I'd be good to run a 9 minute mile pace and ended up 8:58.

At the end of the day I finished 8th out of 29 competitors in the Clydesdale category with a finishing time of 1:22:05 and 71st out of the entire 164 member field in the Sprint division. That puts me in the top half of the field, so I'm pretty pleased. The good news is that I'm "hooked" and will be doing more of these this year. I'm searching for an Olympic/International distance event for my Pedaling with a Purpose event and will again raise money to fight neuroblastoma. So, stay tuned. See you again soon, but I've got to go swim now...
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