Sand Key Triathlon - Another of Floridas finest

Well, its was a close run thing that I even started, let alone raced! I decided yesterday that my bike must be fine and never checked it out. When I came to get it out this morning the chain that had rusted solid since I last used it(4-months?) - Anyone that read the last "Cathcarts Corner" in the British Triathlon TriNews magazine will see the irony in this! But its only my spare bike, honest!

It was a mad 15-minutes while I tried to get it sorted out, the only oil I had was Extra Virgin Cooking oil, but couldn't free it, bummer. Decided to drive up to the race and see if there was a mechanic there who could replace it for me. It was a long drive at 5.45 a.m. as I beat myself up for not checking it out yesterday while I had time, and for yet again treating a triathlon like a "fun run".
Rusty chainMuch to my surprise when I got to Sand Key up on Gulf Boulevard in Clearwater and it was still dark, that the guys from Chainwheel Drive bike shop in Clearwater were in attendance and had a chain. It took a while to get the old one off and to fit the new one, in fact they'd officially closed transition but the guys did good. I put my shoes in the pedals, chucked the bike on the rack, left my running stuff and set off down the beach to make the start. Lesson number-2, even when rushed stick to your checklist, I'd left my swim googles back in my bag. Oh well nothing for it but a 1/2 mile sea swim without them.

Apart from the fact that about 2-miles of the 3.1-mile run was on sand on the beach, I had a good race and came in 5th in my age group and 89th overall. Not too bad for a race that it didn't look like I'd get to start! It was a great location, closed roads, the beach was fabulous(for sunbathing) and there were great sunsets. I note for wetsuit swimmers, the water was too warm and wetsuits were not allowed!

This is the location for the first ever Ironman 70.3 World Championships in November 2006. I'll upload some pictures and descriptions of the location, maps, links etc. and add a link here when I've done it.

Stats for the day:
Total time: 1:12:38
Swim:         12:00, 4th(included run up beach)
T1:            1:12
Bike:         28:57, 4th
T2:            1:04
Run:          29:27, 11th
Race entries:   280
Distances: Half mile swim/10.5-mile bike/3.1 mile run


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