September 21, 2013
Gina and I headed up to Clearwater very early race morning, getting there just over an hour early. We met Sara, our team captain, to get out bibs, chips and shirts, then headed back to the car to get ready. We were going to run the 5K first, which was chipped timed, then bike the 15 miles, which was not timed. We brought our bikes over to the small bike area next to the run start/finish. They were not real bike racks, so you could not "rack" your bike. We ended up leaning out bikes against the bushes boarding the road and the Scientology Resort area that was right next to Coachman Park. We later saw one of the security guards from the scientology compound come over and look at all the bikes against "his" bushes. He finally left after giving everyone the evil eye.
After a bit of a late start we were off running. We headed up a small hill before turning right. After a couple of blocks We made another right turn and then started our run up the steep bridge. My time was pretty good up to this point. I tried not to slow down to much, I was hoping to PR! As I started my down hill run, I picked up the speed, and felt like I was flying! I looked at my watch at one point and saw that I was at a 6:56 min mile pace! WOW! I started to catch up to Gina a little on the down hill, but she pulled ahead again on the flat road. We made a u-turn a little bit after the bottom of the bridge (missing the first and only water stop), then made our way back over the bridge. My time slowed down even more on the second up hill, but I kept working as hard as I could to run fast. Made up time again on the down hill. We came off the bridge, made the left, ran a couple of blocks, then made the last turn, down the hill and through the finish line. Got my PR by 15 seconds!! So happy.
Finish time: 25:15
We got over to our bikes, taking our time to get going since the bike part was not timed. Then, we made our way back over the bridge and tried to find the flags that marked our course. It was not easy. There were no bike lanes in some areas. It was pretty scary with the cars not giving us much space to ride. Thankfully we didn't get lost, but we did have to stop quite a few times to look at the map I brought with me.
When we got back, we found out that Gina got 2nd in age group and I got 3rd for our 5K run. Pretty cool. A great morning of racing. :)