Saturday T and I were able to sleep in a bit because our sprint tri was in our backyard! Woot! We decided to meet at Quarry Lake at 6:30. T offered to come pick me up, but I decided to bike over since it was all of 1/4-1/2 mile away from my house. I packed up my tri bag, strapped it on my back and pedaled over to the transition area.
The day started off gloomy and overcast, totally unlike the last couple of tri mornings, but completely like we remembered from this event last year. Speaking of which, we realized that the 2007 Mermaid Sprint Tri is what started this madness! Last year we were doing our first one and we proceeded to do 5 sprints that year. Now we've even got an Oly distance under our belts. Kuhl, no?
By 7:00 we were pretty much all set up in our respective 'age grouped' transition areas. Then the spectating could begin. The most bizarre thing we saw was a woman who set up her bicycle trainer in the transition area and used it to warm up. Really?!?! Why not just ride your bike around? Ah well, she must be a pro or something....but then why would she be doing Mermaid ?!?! Weird.
Soon enough the first waves (one of which was the duathlon participants) were coming through transition. And chaos reigned, I must say. There were people riding through the transition area (a DQ at any sanctioned tri), people riding OUT the bike IN area, and one person even riding out onto the bike course with her helmet still hanging from the handlebars of her bike! At a sanctioned event, they'll DQ you for riding to the event (before it even starts!) without your helmet. Funny how last year we didn't really notice any of this. Maybe it was better run last year, but I think it's because we've done some more serious events since then. At least we were being entertained while we waited for our waves to start. For some reason the waves were reverse aged, with oldest participants going out first. And I think because of that they decided to separate the waves by 15 minutes. So I'd been there about 2 hours before my wave even went off. And as we went down to the water to get ready to start, I realized I forgot to eat my pre-race snack and I was hungry. Sigh, great planning there.
This time it was my turn to take off first and leave T with her wave. The other age groups hadn't looked quite as big as my wave was, and I felt it in the early part of the swim. I again had the out of breath, slightly panicky feeling. Really, really need to work on getting that under control. I never really felt like I settled in to a groove so it's a good thing the swim was only about 400 yards. Exited the water peeling my wetsuit off as I went. Up the transition and onto the bike.
The bike course was 3 loops around, and we were to keep track of our own loops. Yeah, any wonder why this course wasn't sanctioned this year? T had told me that we finished the bike loop in about 37 minutes last year (ya' *had* to tell me ;-), so I definitely wanted to do better this year. Sadly, I just wasn't sure that was possible. Even with Ruby's help that's a pretty good clip. Also, the bike course seemed really crowded this year. I was trying to pass people, but having to slow down and wait on turns for folks to get out of the way. I finally completed my three loops and headed in to T2 and my run.
Off with the bike stuff, on with the run stuff and out onto the course. I remembered the route from last year, which is nice because it's great to know what to expect. I especially remembered the beach finish and seriously....who wants to finish up a tri with running through sand?!?! Ugh.
Turns out I actually have improved over one year ago today, despite how slow I still am:
2007 ~ 2008
20:22 ~ 9:43 swim
4:04 ~ 2:33 T1
37:24 ~ 35:08 Bike
1:55 ~ 1:14 T2
29:29 ~ 24:38 Run
1:33:15 ~ 1:13:18
On a parting note, I also have to mention that apparently the timing chip system wasn't working so well. They first listed my swim time as 1:09, yes one HOUR and nine minutes. T found that quite amusing, I think. :-) Also, a bunch of people are missing swim times, T1 times (including the person listed as first place overall), etc. I have to say that if I were person #2 overall, I might be *a little* upset that someone with no T1 time beat me. I know, I know, it's a 'fun' little event. But c'mon, we all know I have not established control over my competitive side just yet.
Next up: 6/21 Tri for Fun Sprint Tri
(And yes, I know that Fun is even in the name of this one and I'm working on it.)