St. Anthony's Triathlon Race Report

Saturday April 30, 2011

I arrived at the swim venue ready to get in my pre-race swim, bike, run. I was with Charlie, Austin and my bro, Mike (I'll refer to them as the three stooges). We grabbed our cap and goggles and headed down to the purposed swim start. Tampa Bay was quite choppy but we decided to get in anyways. For comfort, there were plenty of other racers out there warming up. I worked at planing my sighting, line and getting used to the water. Overall the swim went well.

Next we got into our bike gear and took to the road for a short ride and preview of the course. All seemed great, bike shifted gears with no problems, the wind was light and manageable and I felt strong and well tapered!
Once we got back to the cars we slipped on our running shoes and did a short WU and CD with a four strides mixed in. Again I was feeling good, light and quick on my feet. The atmoshpere was exciting. Seeing all the racers, transition, and the expo really got me pumped up.

Race Day - Sunday May 1, 2011

Walking to transition I quickly noticed the strong easterly winds, approximately 20-30 mph. It was dark and hard to see the bay but you could hear the waves crashing on the sea wall.

Not long after arriving in transition while setting up my bike, the race director was on the loud speaker announcing a change to the swim course. It had moved away from the pier and sea wall and shortened to 1000 meters. This seemed to be a great solution and allowed to still include a swim. The run from swim exit to T1 was quite long ~ 1/2 mile or so, but everyone seemed glad the race directors came up with a solution as apposed to canceling. After getting in a quick run warm up with the Three Stooges we all headed to the start.

Swim: The water was still fairly choppy but there was no sea wall or pier to crash into. My wave was the seventh to start. I lined up on the far left side with hopes of dodging all the chaos and having clear water. That didn't happen, this was one of the toughest swims I have had. The girls were rather aggressive. I decided to let them fight and I took to the outside and swam wide. This added a bit of time to my swim but it was better than being uncomfortable and risking a busted lip or loosing my goggles. 

T1: With the long run ahead, I ran controlled and focused on not going anaerobic. I found my bike right away, through on my new aero helmet and sunglasses and ran off with my bike in hand. This was the first race I was attempting a flying mount.

Bike: 'Flying' onto my bike was rather fun but the cobble stone road made it interesting getting my feet into the shoes. I waited till the turn onto the asphalt and had my feet in with no issues. Having such an early wave start there was minimal bike congestion. The course was very technical with lots of turns and speed bumps but the winds that were blasting in the morning didn't seem bad on the course. My heart rate monitor wasn't working properly so I road by feel. If my quads started to burn I backed off a hair. This worked very well. I had one of my strongest rides to date and felt comfortable and in control the entire ride.

T2: The dump and run. I found my spot with no problems, slipped on my shoes then grabbed my race belt and was off.

Run: Leaving transition was fun, the crowd was great. People were lining the sidewalk path screaming and cheering. I saw my brother coming in from the swim and we got a high five in there. This got me pumped up and excited to take on the 6.2. Again my HR monitor was not working so I had to go by feel. Shortly into the run I started having side stitches. I wanted to 'hurt' more than I was and found it hard to push the intensity up with the side pains but I held a steady pace and pushed through the miles. I was passed by 3-4 girls in my AG on the run. Mentally I tried to stay focused on my plan and run my race. I was able to do this till nearing mile 5.5 and another girl came up from behind. Her breathing was very labored so I decided to see if I could hang on. We fought for position and held onto each other till the finish shoot, then ahead of us I saw another girl in my AG so I found an extra gear and pushed on to catch her. I finally was at her shoulder while we crossed the line. For the first time I pushed myself to the limit of collapsing. I charged forward trying to slow but my legs couldn't keep up. I fell to the ground and immediately volunteers came over asking if I was okay. I only gave a thumbs up because I still couldn't breath. Soon after the girl I chased down came up to me and said, "hey, I know you." Turns out it was a girl from last year that had out sprinted me for first in our AG at Mad Dog Triathlon. I still didn't know if I got her or not. But I was so excited to know she was the one I had fought to catch.

Post race: I got to see the Three Stooges heading out onto the run and cross the finish line. All three of them looked great. Charlie was flying through the run, making it look effortless, Austin was all smiles, and Mike too looked very strong. We all gathered and partook in the free beer and pizza.

Sandy Holt
bib number: 454
age: 25
gender: F
location: Tallahassee, FL
division place: 9 out of 104
gender place: 70 out of 994
time: 2:22:18
pace: 0:
swim: 16:51
t1: 4:42
bike: 1:11:20
t2: 1:29
run1: 24:29
run: 47:56

Congratulations to Charlie for winning M30-34 AG, qualifying for Hy-Vee US AG nationals, and being the 2nd overall AG finisher!

I ended up beating that girl by 1 sec!

Thanks Mom, Phoy, Madison and Ethan for coming to the race and supporting all of us. Seeing all of you on the course throughout the race really helps to keep me motivated. And thanks Mom for a wonderful dinner on Saturday. Your sauce is to die for :) Love Ya, mean it!

1 comment:

  1. YES!! I'm so glad you beat her!! I remember when she cut you off last year at Mad Dog! Karma is a b*tch!! haha!