It was finally time for triathlon season to start and shake off the rust of the winter. I’m taking a lower key approach to racing triathlons this year and my late decision to sign up for the Seahorse triathlon reflects that different mindset. Even with the late sign up, there was still time for the weather forecast to change from 80’s to mid-90’s, I had to be prepared for a hot one. There was great representation from the team at the race with the relay team, RJ and myself plus more non competing others giving us all great support – thanks Micheal and great photos – thanks Stephanie.
A quick warm up swim revealed I was feeling relaxed and ready to go. The water was pleasant without being too warm at 72F so I went with the full wetsuit. I stayed relaxed and focussed despite someone who was trying to draft me constantly grabbing my feet through the whole swim. Other than my drafting partner the water wasn’t too crowded and I was able to get around the two laps efficiently which was my main aim. I clocked a steady 30:57 for the 1500m. I had a hiccup in the first transition when my wetsuit decided to adhere to my right ankle. Doesn’t matter how many times you rehearse, these things happen. I must have lost close to a minute by the time I had untangled myself.
The bike course was smooth and fast with just one longer incline and a short section of rough pavement that had to be negotiated on each of the two laps. Dan riding his relay leg blew past me at about 10K giving encouragement as he went. I settled in and rode a fairly conservative leg averaging 21.2mph for the 40K. My second transition thankfully went exactly to plan and I was in and out in 41 seconds.
The run was interesting, a mix of pavement, grass and wooded trails. I felt like I was running one of the faster Dances With Dirt legs for a while. The run course was another two lap affair made up of multiple intertwining loops. I’m sure I saw RJ eight times out on the course! I started out at 7:30 pace and was able to maintain for the first few miles. The humidity started to build and eventually my legs that had felt strong to that point faded in the last ten minutes. My family came out to cheer me on at the finish which always makes for a great ending to any race.
My finish time of 2:36:50 was in the ballpark of what I was expecting from myself today. It was respectable enough and would even have won my age group last year. Unfortunately there were a lot of faster people out there today and I was only 6th in age group and 37th out of 101 overall but no complaints. All in all I came away satisfied with my performance, shook off the rust for a new season and have a good marker for races to come this year. Now it’s time to really go to work.
See Dan’s post below for photos.
– Neil Jenney