I escaped... pretty much according to plan

A good race at Fort De Soto. No, a great race at the Fort. Fred and Joe put on another classic. Not sure if I liked the course changes but heck everyone did the same race.

Arrived early, in fact before transition formally opened. Got my bike and kit set-up, didn't forget anything. Transition was at the North parking lot away from the old Fort transition, but was much longer and narrower and probably fairer, irrespective of bike position. Milled around with my headset on listening to some uptempo house music.

Met Stephane Garrigue who was in my rack and in the 30-34 age group, nice guy, Frenchman now lives in Clearwater. Scoped out the mount and dismount line and then stripped off and made my way to the start line. They always do a good job with the national anthem at the de soto races. This year the number was 2366, the number of US killed in Iraq in order for us to enjoy the freedoms we have...

After a quick warm-up swim the 40-49 swimmers were lined up in the pen and off. I settled quickly into my swim but having looked at my time(18:30), really didn't try hard enough. The swim seemed long but can't complain, what was true was that it was a long run up the beach and into T1, I pretty much sailed through as I didn't have a wetsuit to remove and again ended with a top T1 time(3:13) which included most of the long run from the Beach.

Everything went well on the bike and I'd scooped up maybe 10-places when I lost one of the lenses from my Rudy Project glasses, knowing that with the longer run I didn't stand any chance of winning I turned around and went back to get it. After restarting with probably a loss of between 1-minute and 1:30, I was strong to the finish with a 28:26 time for the 11-miles, giving an average speed of 23.21MPH - Frankly I think this means the course was short, my bike computer showed 9.6-miles at 21.5MPH

Another quick transition(1:19) only top-50 which again would have been the long run through transition and out on to the run. Unlike previous years where almost the first thing you had to do was head up the huge concrete steps to the top of the Fort, this year we had to run almost 2-miles for the privilege, once down the other side it was the long run back along the beach and compressed sand trail to the finish line. My run was faster than I expected(30:15) but still not fast enough. My finish time was 1:21:28, just outside my predicted 1:20:00 almost certainly accounted for by the "lens" issue and by the longer transition. So pretty good.

Afterwards was the usual after race food fest and raffle. While I was stood talking to Stephane, I won a $50 Dollar gift certificate in the raffle for clothing from the excellent OutSpokin bike shop. Having collected my certificate and I walked back to Stephane to give it to him. He'd race'd hard, and could use some bike upgrades and hadn't understood the point of collecting the egg as we went across the top of the Fort. Good karma...

Stats for the day:
Total time: 1:21:28
Swim:         18:30, 28th
T1:            3:13 (included .5-mile run from beach)
Bike:         28:10, 33rd
T2:            1:19
Run:          30:15, 33rd
Age Group Pos.   28/52
Overall Pos.    235 
Race entries:   860
Distances: Half mile swim/10.3-mile bike/4 mile run

Two weeks now to get my swimming in shape before St Anthonys!

Escape from Fort De Soto race web site
Fort De Soto via Google Earth
Full Race results
Fort De Soto Steps
Race Photographs
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