Texas Triathlon Race report - clockwork

Well the good news is I finished in the top-10 of my age group, 8th to be precise. The bad news is that 8th was last, but I executed like clockwork, apart from minor gear slippage, no problems at all.

The course is probably the 3rd hardest I've ever done, and 2nd hardest at Olympic distance. The European Triathlon Championships in Lucerne Switzerland, I think 2004 was much, much harder and hillier. It was a great, informal and fun, small race.

For the first five years of my triathlon career, including my three Team GB performances, I took triathlon much more seriously. In the last few years I've been much more casual about race prep. and what I do on race day. After my blow-up at the Longhorn, I decided time to get focussed.

What did I do different then? Well the night before the race I was staying at the Tin Strar Ranch,  some 12-miles north of Fredricksburg. Instead of leaving late I woke earlier than my alarm, got up and left. I was at the race site in time to sleep in the car for an hour, despite the 70-mile drive.

I took my time get everything prepped before leaving the parking lot. Everything was ready. I just had to remove my shorts and my Tri-Force cycle jersey. It was a small, very informal race and that was nice. Plenty of room to rack, not in order. But by chance I racked next to 94, I was 95.

Next change, I wore my wetsuit. It's only the 2nd time in a year. I cocoa buttered my neck put on the wetsuit and went to the start line. Men Under 39 were the first wave. Not sure what happened but it looked like the lead swimmer followed the lead canoe, they went well off course for the first bouy. I'd worked out my site lines and start position. The start was in the water, the gun went off pretty much 3-mins after the first wave and I was off. IT was a relatively easy swim and I went as fast as I could comfortably. Not many clashes, all the way to the first two buoys, around and it was only in the last 100m that some guy, sans wetsuit, started to zigag across my path.

I was out of the swim and into transition as quick as I could, I desuited in transition, just when I was getting my legs out, 94 came in and was gone, before I switched watches, put on my helmet and ran. Since he was in my age group, he was going to be my catcher, I was going to chase him all the way. As it turns out, this was the last time I saw 94 until we got back into transition after the race, and he was in the age group below mine. I swam faster at St Anthonys earlier in the year without a wetsuit, and it definitely slowed my down in transition.

The bike course seemed to be pretty uphill, except for a mile or so around mile-8, and a couple of steep'ish down hills. There were a couple of sections with no shoulder, and some long stretches of rough road. Pushing back into the park I still felt fairly good. My dismount was perfect, about 50m from the dismount line, I took my right leg over the rear wheel, braked slightly and hit the line sprinting to my place. As far as I knew I'd over taken two in my age group which put me in 3rd.

Next change, in T2 I actually put socks on. Despite putting talc in my shoes, I decided I wanted comfort, out on the run I flipped my race number, and there were the two ibuprofen that I'd taped on the underside were still there, I took them without water and carried on. Although slow, I made it round the first lap, including the hill. On to the second lap, one after one the rest of the guys in my age group passed me. I walked part of the hill on the second lap and pushed through to the end crossing the line in 2:55:06.

Not too much pain, a bit tired but overall a competent race and a good finish.

Stats for the day:
Swim(1500m):      28:26 4th in age group, 49th overall
Bike(26.2-miles): 1:27:07 4th in age group, 39th overall
Run(6.2 miles):    59:33 8th in age group, 94th overall
Total: 2:55:06 8th in age group, 60th overall, 53rd male.

If I'd have entered as a Clydesdale, I'd have been 3rd. If it had been an Aquabike,  4th or 40th overall. 
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well done!
sounds like a tough course! good job - sounds like you had fun.