Saturday morning I raced the Huntsville Sprint Triathlon which celebrated its 30th(!) year, making the race older than me! Anyway, this is a pretty unique event consisting of a 3 mile cross country run, a 6 mile bike ride, then a 400m swim in the pool. The run course is very challenging and features a steep, life-sucking hill in the middle.
After warming up as I would for a 5k, I arrived at the starting line about 10 minutes before the start. As we were waiting for the gun, a guy next to me asked me what my pace would be. I told him I expected to go out around 5:40, but quickly realized he was out of town and didnt realize that on the CC course, you should add at least 15-20sec/mile to your equivalent road pace in order to get an idea of what you should aim for. I think he realized that quickly, though, and I didnt see him after the first 400m.
I did, however, have someone pretty close for about the first mile. However, after I got down the big hill and into the second mile, I realized I was pretty much all alone. I hit the hill and was actually still feeling (relatively) good at the top so I continued to cruise the rest of the run all the way through to the finish, right around 17min.
From there it was a quick transition and I was out on the bike. Attempting to bike hard after that run just isnt fun. So I took off spinning like crazy to hold onto my lead. There is an out-and back portion which allowed me to get a quick check on the comp, and it looked like a I was somewhere around 2 minutes up, so that was reassuring. The rest of the ride was uneventful, save the last intersection with a light where the cop, who was there to direct traffic, was waving a car through as I was about to arrive. Thankfully my yelling seemed to be rather effective and a near catastrophe was diverted.
Off the bike and into the pool and for 400 meters. I made it through without drowning, jumped out, and was happy to notch my 3rd win in a row at this event.
Hanging out after the race was a ton of fun as it was great to see so many people experience the sport of triathlon for the first time. Although this race gets a lot of beginners, it is certainly not easy! The run is actually very difficult and it is always hard to have to swim at the end of a race, even if it is only 400m in a pool, so congrats to everyone who finished!
Next up: Rocketman Triathlon this Sunday!