Sunday, May 31, 2015

Memphis in May Sprint Tri Race Report

It has been a while since I had raced a sprint race, actually it had been 3 years since I have done this distance so I was really looking forward to this race. Another reason I was looking forward to this race was because it would be the first time I got the chance to race alongside my bride, and a third reason I was looking forward to this race was that a lot of my friends were doing this race as their first triathlon! So it was a big day for all!

To bad the weather decided to make this day a lot harder than it needed to be. It rained ya'll!  Hard. The day before and even into race morning, it was a mess. The expo tent was ankle deep water and honestly, it would have been very easy to say "forget it". I have raced in the rain before and I hated it! Thank God for radar apps on the iPhone! We were checking it  often waiting for the rain to move out, which it finally did. We were then able to get our transition areas setup and get in the water for a swim. I was mulling over the decision of whether or not to wear a wetsuit because they said the water was 75 degrees at race time and I leaned more to the short swim vs. time to take off wetsuit and decided to go without the wetsuit, which  in hindsight was the right decision for me. It started raining once again once we started to line up for the race and I was shivering, I couldn't wait to get into the water. So, with no further delay, let's get into the race itself:

Swim: 13:57

Finally a race picture I like!
The swim was a basic triangle shaped swim that was said to measure 580 yards. We all started on a time trial start going off every 3 seconds. The line moved pretty fast and before I knew it I was jumping between people that were walking and wading into the swim. I felt very little bumping heading towards the first buoy and was doing OK. It was a little tough to sight due to the weather conditions and I brought the wrong goggles. I meant to bring my clear lenses but for some reason, they did not make the trip. As I got to the first green buoy, there was a lot of bumping. It was awesome! We all made it around the buoy and started heading for the next green buoy. There was about 8-10 of us I am guessing that were all in a group. Out of nowhere, I see a canoe near me and someone yelling, so I stop to see what's up and they are yelling that we are suppose to go around the orange buoy before hitting the next green one! So I make a 90 degree turn and head back to the buoy!  I know!  What was I thinking? I should have just kept swimming. This really cost me some time and added an additional 100 yards or so to my swim. I was very upset at myself for messing up the swim. I just did what I could and I knew my time was going to suck. As I was running up the ramp, a friend of mine yelled that my wife was about 10 seconds ahead of me! My reply was "you kidding me?" and he assured me she was already in transition. Now, my wife is a strong swimmer, but I had a good minute or two on her and while she might beat me in a pool swim, I am more at ease in open water, so yeah, I was surprised. It was only later that I found out my swim time and it was no where close to the 10-11 minute time I was expecting. Swim pace: 2:23/100
T1: 1:06

Knowing that I was already behind my expectations, I think I had one of my fastest transitions ever. I was slamming things down and getting out of there. I really wanted to beat my wife out of T1, which I did because she opted to wear the wetsuit.

Bike: 39:34

After the crappy swim, I decided I needed to crush the bike, so I went out harder than normal. I knew it might affect my run, but I did not care. I was able to pass a ton of people and felt fast! I stayed in aero a lot. The roads were wet with some flowing water going all the way across the roads, wasn't an issue but it made me nervous. My max speed got up to 27 mph and I tried to hang on to top speed as long as I could. I averaged 18.2, which I was happy with. I felt good on the bike, I felt fast.

T2: 1:30

My feet were so wet from all the water on the road that I had trouble slipping my feet out of my shoes as I was riding in, so I just kicked out of my pedals and ran it in my bike shoes to rack my bike. I had my shoes tied up in bag incase it rained some more and I had trouble getting my shoes out. I made a bonehead decision to go without socks on the run. My thinking was that my feet were already so wet that shoes probably would give me an issue for the 3 mile run. Yes, this will come into play shortly.

Run: 29:42

Yeah, I can't believe I was under 30 minutes either. This run was tough because (1. I was undertrained and (2. I made the bonehead call to run without socks. My watch never picked up after T2 and that messed with my head also. The 1st turnaround seemed really close and I thought that was a good thing, but since I did not know the run course well, I did not know about a 2nd turnaround point. After the 2nd turnaround point, it was much hillier and my feet were blistering up pretty good, so yeah I was hating life. I think the one thing that turned my attitude around was that I was talking to someone along the course, telling them about my bad swim and how I went harder on the bike, they simply said, "those are over, run this race". True words indeed. I knew I needed to suck it up and finish strong, so I quit worrying about the other legs and hit the levy and ran it home.

Finish time: 1:25:52

All in all, it was not a bad overall time, it was only a few minutes off my sprint PR time. Yes, I wish I had a better swim, and yes I wish I had worn socks on the run, and yes, I wish it had been dryer, but that's the way it goes sometimes. That is what is great about triathlon, you never get what you expect and then sometimes it works out better. I expected to do better, but I was right on the mark of where I wanted to finish. I also found joy in doing sprint races. It doesn't have to be long races anymore for me to feel like a triathlete.

Another win for me was racing with my wife. She always has a big smile on her face when she hits that finish line and truly looks like she is having a great time. Sometimes I wish I had that joy of finishing rather than the disgust of missing a buoy!

And Congrats to my friends who did their first triathlon!  Jay, Jason, Philip and Dwight!  Proud of you guys and I hope you enjoyed the sport as much as I do, and I must warn you, my journey started with a sprint race...just say'n.


  1. Awesome job! Sorry the weather sucked though! That definitely makes for a harder day!

  2. Great job mate. Great to read a race report penned in your fair hand again...


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