Running Bear: Ramblings of a Numb Ass

 

Initial Strategy

This would be the first time I raced a triathlon with a bike start. I like not having to worry about putting on bike shoes, helmet, glasses and whatnot after swimming. I thought it would be a good idea to wear my swim goggles around my neck for the entire race. However, I would find out later that they were unusable since I just finished running 5k and was emitting too much body heat, causing them to fog up.

I choose my road bike for the 10k course. It is all road and had no need for anything with bigger tires. I did not worry about wearing a bike jersey and shorts. Instead, I wore comfortable running clothes that I could also swim in.

This would be my second sprint triathlon of the year. I thought I might have difficulty managing my energy output. I would try my best to avoid red-lining it too hard early in the race.

Bike Start

The start of the race was the 10k bike ride. The path was rolling hills with lots of tree cover. I thought the roads to be in great condition for the most part. It was funny seeing the expressions of the local people working in their yards as cyclist flew by their place. The roads were empty of cars for the most part, making the entire ride much more enjoyable for me. Lot of rolling hills that can wear a person down, if not careful.

The volunteers made it easy to navigate the course. They stood at every intersection, pointing me where to go. It was nice being able to focus on the road in front of me and not worry about much else.

Transition

The transition from bike to run was at Colonel’s Cabin. I laid my bike down in the grass  next to the wooden fence. I switched out my shoes and started the 5k run. Nutfarmer had a clipboard and appeared to be doing something important 😉

Run

The run route was well shaded from tree cover. You could hear the sound of birds and other animals in the mostly undisturbed forested area. It was nice to see a volunteer off in the distance for each turn. I made sure to give them my thanks when I passed. I pushed it harder than I anticipated which made it difficult for me to slow down my breathing for the swim.

Transition

At the end of the 5k run, I was greeted by Can’t Hold It. She directed me to the dock and instructed me not to dive. I could see the spectators waiting at colonels property. There were kayakers and an emergency vehicle out in the water as well. Coco was the nearest of the kayakers and would escort me.

Swim

The swim was by far the most difficult part for me because I had trouble slowing down my breathing after the 5k run. Thinking back, I should have done a backstroke so I could breath more easily.

My goggles were useless. I ran hard for the 5k and my goggles would fog up from my body heat. I ended up swimming with them around my neck. I had a strong lead by this point, and was able to complete the swim without being passed.

Second place

Finish

triathloning year around paid off and I finished in first.  I was awarded cheers, beers and some swag. It was the first triathlon I have ever won and couldn’t help but get caught up in the moment. I sat on the dock after and waited for the other competitors to finish.

Final Thoughts

The entire event felt like you were just hanging out with friends. It was campy, festive with lots of support. I enjoyed not being bombarded by advertisements, loud music and all the other things that many of the other triathlon events do. Finishers were awarded with a teddy bear and a cooling towel. A+