You see, I have never done an open water swim in a race. In fact, I never have even practiced open water swimming. If there is swimming to do, why not do it in a perfectly good pool? Yeah.
The swim was 750 meters. The distance was no big deal - although the longest swim I have done in a race was 400 meters. Before the start Vic told me start wide. That was the big plan! The air temp was in the mid 60s at the start. The water temp was 76. I expected that to feel cold, but it actually felt pretty warm to me. My wave was the last one to start. I lined up wide and then we were off!
I went out hard, but not too hard. it was a clockwise loop of this lake and since I breath to my left I was able to sight the shore as I swam. After a couple of minutes I settled into a strong pace and then I took a sighting of the first turn. EVERYONE was way to my left! Ahem - I was swimming a bit too wide. From there I swam a bit then sighted; swim, sight, repeat - and from then on I managed to stay on track. No one was near me so it was not a difficult swim at all. But of course when I hit the turn I was then in a pack! I made the turn and then proceeded with the swim sight routine. We were now picking through the stragglers from the previous wave. I could not really see them ahead of me, and occasionally had to pause to sort them out. I made the second turn and now we were headed from home. We were also headed due east - meaning straight into the rising sun. I could not see the last buoy when I took a sighting because of the sun in my eyes. So I just followed the pack. After a while I passed a yellow marker which is not the orange one that I was looking for. I was about 10 meters from the exit! I never did see the last marker. I was the second swimmer from my wave out of the water! How that happened, I'll never know.
It was a long run to the transition area from the lake. I got through the transition with no issues. I got the on bike and then my Pyro Platform came off. Drats. The Pyro is a platform that allows me to wear my running shoes on the bike. I had to pick the stupid thing up and then get it clipped back into the peddle. Finally I was on my way. The bike course was really crowded. For the sprint it was two loops and for the Olympic it was four loops. And since I was in the last wave everyone was out there ahead of me. I just hammered away and was passing tons of people. And not surprisingly there were the occasional dudes with super bikes that were flying by me. On the second loop I really focused on pushing hard. I felt like I had a really good bike.
Finally I was done with the bike. As I ran the bike through transition I got my helmet unclipped, and then I yanked it off, but my glasses went flying off to my right. Drats. Slight pause to pick them up. Then I racked the bike and I was outta there. My T2 was 47 seconds which tied me for 6th in the race and broke my streak of two T2 wins in a row.
I was feeling pretty good on the run and continued to just pass everyone in sight. The difference between the run and the bike is that on the run, I don't get passed. :-) Today was no exception. And I got the one guy that was outta the water before me in my wave and I got the two guys from my wave that passed me on the bike. :-)
I was 10th overall , and first master. I was 12th overall on the swim, 35th on the bike and 6th in the run. Victoria was 10 seconds faster than me in the swim, and we were dead even on the bike. That is a big improvement for me relative to the Tri-Rock.
All in all, I have to say this felt like my best triathlon to date.
All views expressed in this post and on this blog are my own. None of my comments should be construed to represent the views of others including and not limited to: BMC Software Inc., Corel Corporation, Dun and Bradstreet and AC Nielsen. Copyright Chris Hughes 2004-2012