Benderson Park, Sarasota, FL
My first tri of the season! I wasn't initially going to do this race. The race organizers (the Storm Tri Club) moved the event from Siesta Beach to Benderson park this year. So, it's a lake swim, instead of Gulf swim. I don't really like swimming in murky water! A few months ago, there was an in-store sign up party at Fit2Run, and I decided to sign up, via Carolyn, since I was in Ft Lauderdale getting ready to run a marathon! In the weeks leading up to the race, I heard many stories about how there are gators in the water and how gross it was. That didn't help at all! Also, I was so focused on running training, I didn't get out on my bike much, so I knew that part of the race wasn't going to be as good as it could.
|I brought Kidz ZonePerfect|
Bars for the girls to enjoy post race.
Race morning: Carolyn and I arrived at the race venue at around 6:15 am race morning. I figured 30 mins would be plenty of time, but it wasn't! We gathered the gear we needed in transition, went to get out chips and body marking done and then went to transition. I got everything set up before realizing I had left my race bib and belt in the car! I had 5 minutes left! So, I ran out and over to my car, grabbed the bib and belt and made it back into transition just in time. Of course, about 10 minutes after they closed the area, I realized I had forgotten to put my sunglasses in there! Not a big deal for the run, but I needed them for the bike ride! We now had a long wait. The international distance triathletes would go first, starting at 7 am. My wave was the last one and set to go off at 7:50 am. Carolyn and I hung out and watched the other races start. I wasn't aware of how the swim would start until now. It was different than all the other triathlons that I've done. You had to swim about 60 meters out to a buoy where the start was. This meant treading water for about 5 minutes before it was our time to go!
The Swim (400 meters): Finally it was my turn to swim out. I got in and slowly made the swim over. I wasted so much energy trying to keep from drowning. Thankfully, my swim wave only had 8 people, so I had some room to move around. I would NOT have liked it if I had a lot of people around me. Soon we heard that we could go and I was off. We had a long swim south, turned left for a 50 meter swim and then turned left again for a long swim back north. The wind was pretty strong, which made the water pretty choppy and not easy to swim in. I was so happy to make the last turn around the last buoy and then run out of the water. I made my way to transition, dried off my feet, but on my socks and shoes, grabbed my helmet and bike and made my way out of transition. Swim: 15:13. Transition: 2:23
First place Athena age group
The pros: Loved having my Storm top on. I got lots of encouraging words from fellow Storm racers. That was great. Plenty of water stops for the run. Good directions for bike and run. Pretty good post race food and the shirt was much better this year.
The cons: the swim out to start was by far the biggest con. I actually would not do this race again if they have the same swim out start. Also, we had to bring our bikes the day before. I can see how it would be helpful for a big race to have everyones bikes in transition the day before, but this race had a little over 200 people. I don't think it was needed.
Looking forward to a better race in July. Next sprint triathlon will be in Englewood on July 13th. I plan to train better for this one! But first, I've got back to back marathons to get ready for next month. :)