Golden State Triathlon (Sprint) - October, 2004

Finish: 53 out of 362 

Pre-race Strategy

No real prerace strategy here. I just hope I can swim fast enough to not completely lose a podium spot. This is a draft legal race, so I will be killing myself on the bike to make up time, while the front group works together and saves it for the run.

See you at the race.

Race Report

This race is always a lot of fun. Very low key and short, so there is a lot of activity going on after the race. I am a Sac Tri Club member, so I get a reserved rack. Since it is a local race, it is first come first serve on te bike rack. I showed up and almost all the rack spots were taken by other members :( I found a spot to stick my bike and proceeded to get my area ready for the race. I keep my shoes on my bike, and the area between the swim and T1 is not muddy, or real dirty I did not need a lot of area for my stuff. I just had my running shoes, a spare water bottle, race belt and racing hat on the ground. I got everything out and was taking off my warmup clothes so I could get body marked and then I realized I forgot my shoes in the car. I had stayed at my mothers house the night before and just packed everything in my Transition bag, but did not want my nasty shoes in with my clean clothes. So I just left them in the car and figured I would remember them (LOL). So I ran over to my car (about 1/2 mile) and back and finished laying out my stuff and got body marked. Then I grabbed my wetsuit and put on the legs and proceed to walk over to the swim start. I walked over with my buddy Brian Leighton, who always races elite at these small races and usually is in the top 3 overall. We chatted and I started putting my wetsuit on. He decided to go without one for fun We get to the beach and I finish zipping up my wetsuit and hear that it is 7 minutes until the start.


The under 29 males and all the elites (male and female) go off together. So I wander into the water and get a few strokes in to get used to the water. I felt okay and then went over to the starting line area and positioned myself near the back. Knowing I had not swam in over a month (minus the Granite Bay tri) I knew I was not going to be near the front or mid pack at all. The turn around bouy had broke loose and was drifting down river. So they delayed our swim start for about 10 minutes while the got it and re-anchored it. After a lot of people being upset and being very cold in the water (w/ no wetsuit) they finally started the countdown. I started my watch with 10 seconds to go and was ready. It was an unusually large group heading out in my wave. They had the elites, M29U and the relay folks all going out, but it must have been at least 70 folks. More than I am used to in these small races where it is lucky if there are 20 of us starting at once. We were swimming along and I was comfy in the middle of the main group and happy to be able to stay there. I found some feet that were my speed and possibly a little slower. Since I knew I would struggle later on in the race because of my lack of swimming I decided to just stay with this guy. Unfortunately he could not swim straight and we managed to swim from one side of the river to the other side. I was pretty far off course and decided to try and get back with the main pack. They were just to the right of me, but by the time I got back over near them they had gone by and I could not catch on. I swam along by myself, the only thing keeping me going was knowing I was not last and that the other wave will not catch me if I keep a good pace. I made the turnaround and started heading towards the swim finish. This was down river now, but I sure did not feel like I was swimming any faster. I just kept chugging along trying to keep my stroke efficient and knowing I had to push hard still. Finally I made it to the shore and stepped out of the water. I tore my number off my wetsuit and started up the stairs. Pretty steep stairs, and I was kind of glad there was a guy there to help us. I got up them and started running across the grassy field to get to T1. There a lady asked me my number so they could get my swim split. They think I really know my number (lol) I tossed her my number I had on my wetsuit and then hit the stop button on my watch and headed into T1. I was in the bottom 3/4s of my AG coming out of the water.


In the transition I did really well. I came up to my bike and got my wetsuit off and grabbed my helmet and put it on with my sunglasses. You can ride in the transition area, so I hopped on my bike and started pedalling. I could have been a bit faster, but I was very happy with how quick I got out.


Coming out of T1 I started to put my shoes on. My plan was to have them on before I left the park. Which I did so I was happy. I already saw people ahead of me and proceeded to start passing people right away. I am really not that used to swimming that slow and was just flying past folks. I was looking for guys coming the other way to see what kind of lead others had on me and if there was a group forming that I could get on with. Being a draft legal race I just wanted to find at least one person to work with to make the ride easier/faster. I rode by myself for the first lap, passing people like crazy. The guys ahead of me were almost all in groups and powering along. Finally coming out into the second lap I caught up with a female elite. She was moving at a good pace and I passed her and then waited for her. Even if I pull for 5 minutes and she goes for 15 seconds that is enough for me to get a bit of a break from pushing the wind. We worked together and was going well. I did most of the work, but just having a small break was nice. Especially since everyone was in a group. We continued through the second lap and onto the third lap and about 1/4 of the way down the road a group of three guys past us and I proceeded to grab on. They went by pretty fast, but not to fast. So I grabbed on and rode with them. The guys made there pulls one by one, but they were not very long at all. The guy in front of me was on the front and I was getting ready to make my pull. The guy in front toook a long pull and was going to continue until we got around a corner. He setup way inside for the corner and came out of his aerobars. This is a corner that can be taken at 50kph in your aerobars if you have a decent line. I chose to take a good line and go around the guy coming out of the corner. Althoug he went in way to hot for his line and rolled all the way out to the edge of the course. I sat up and almost got on my brakes and just overlapped wheels a bit. Then one of the guys from behind started yelling that someone needs to pull through. It was my turn, but I got myself blocked in. Eventually someone pulled through and the group picked up the pace real fast to try and drop and weak riders. I stayed with them without any problems and we went around the turnaround. There was four of us and the main guy leading the group (and yelling) was at the front. He pushed an okay pace and had to stand up during one of the inclines. I rolled up next to him and had a few words with him. I mentioned that "everyone was out here to have fun and no one is getting a paycheck from this race. No need to yell, but please do tell us what we are doing wrong. After that I got on the front and made my pull, and then decided to up the pace a bit. Doing that dropped everyone else except the one guy. He rolled past me and mentioned that I made a good pull and he kept the pace high. He pulled off and I went to the front and told him it was time to pick it up to get to the run. I dropped down another gear and pulled us through the rest of the flat ground and then down a slight hill. After that I pulled off and he was at the front leading the way through the business district we had to ride through. We rode back up a small incline and I went to the front when we got to the top. The wind was blowing like crazy coming back into the park and I was on the front just trying to keep a good pace. I rolled into the park and started taking my shoes off. I got them off and looked back and I had gapped him for some reason. I continued the pace into T2. I managed to move up into 3rd place coming off the bike.


I come into T2 feeling pretty good. It was time to run the 5k and that was of no worries to me. I hopped off my bike and sat down to put on my running shoes. I did not loosen the laces tight enough and had some problems getting them on. I finally got them on and put on my race belt and my racing hat.


Coming out of T2 the announcer mentioned my cool racing hat and gave me some airtime :) I ran along and grabbed some water and continued on. I saw the female elite I road with up the road (her T2 time was a lot faster than mine and the guy I rode with too). I planned to just keep them in my sights and make sure I kick decently. My left calf was starting to cramp up, but I kept running. It is only 20 minutes of pain I have to endure, so I can handle it. I ran along and they both opened up a bit more of a gap, but that was not entirely important since they were not in my AG. I past the 1 mile marker and felt fine. Shortly after that I saw my buddy Brian coming the other way, this is the same point on the course that I saw him last year. So obviously I am not doing to terribly bad. I continued on the run and heard some guy from behind tellling me to pick up the pace. It turns out my buddy Todd Dooley had caught me, luckily he is not in my AG either. He ran past me and I held on for a few seconds and let him go. I kept going to the turn around and then continued on the last 1.5 miles of the run. I got to the 2 mile marker and looked back, I could only see one guy with a bright orange shirt behind me. I figured he would catch me with about a quarter mile to go, so I upped my pace a bit in case he was in my AG. Sure enough with a quarter mile to go he caught me. I matched his pace and ran side by side with him. Then I figured I would have some fun, so I surged ahead. He followed, then he surged and I followed. Then he surged again and I was done. I saw no one coming behind me so I let up the pace a little and cruised across the finish line..

Overall Finishing Position: 53 (3rd in my age group)

After the race I spent a few minutes with my family that showed up and then they headed out of there. It is so great to see friends or family come out to watch a race I am doing. I love hearing my name as I race, it gives me more motivation. I hung around and chatted with a few of my friends and cheered people on as they came in. Then the guy that was yelling on the bike course came up to me. He apologized for yelling and said he was sorry. That was great, I am glad he did that, I do not like it when folks yell. He was just tired of pulling a group of folks around the bike course and was a little upset when no one pulled through. I understood his mood and with knowing that I can see why he yelled. He is a very nice guy and competing in IM Florida next weekend. I grabbed some food and talked to some other folks. I tossed my bib number in the drawing for some raffle prizes. I ended up winning a nice Zoot running top. TBF is great, I love winning free stuff! Then the results came out. I walked over and looked, I ended up 3rd in my AG. HOT DOG, my bad swim did not cost me the podium, but I did come to find out it cost me the race. I could have won my AG if I would have swam close to my time last year. I got my 3rd place award and then went and grabbed my stuff and headed home.

Swim Time - 00:21:14
Swim Trans - Included in Bike time
Bike Time - 00:45:12
Bike Trans - Included in Bike time

Run Time - 00:22:13

Final Time - 01:28:39 3rd place in the 25-29AG

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