Distance (Sprint): 1/2mi s, 16.1mi b, 5k r
Time: 7am (I was in the 4th wave)
Weather: mid-hi 70s, sunny, humid
I went to visit my college roommate for the weekend (she's in CT), so I only had an hour drive the morning of the race. Better yet, I actually heard my alarm ;)
As indicated by the name, this was an ocean swim and the water temp was 71degrees. Most people were in wetsuits, and not just for buoyancy-- they actually served as protection from jellyfish in this race! While I saw one or two, I think I survived unscathed. Ocean swims are tough. I've only done one before (in my second tri) and spent what seemed like minutes in a panic, not swimming, as soon as I entered the water. I was hoping this time would be better, and tried to anticipate the shock by getting in the water for a few quick strokes before the start.
(I took this after the swim, so I drew in some buoys :))
It was a beach start, with a rectangular course marked by big orange buoys (we swam clockwise). The elites went out first, followed by two waves of men. All the women and first timers were in the last wave. My swim wasn't perfect, but I kept swimming despite the waves and saltiness that almost immediately entered my mouth (I wasn't swallowing it, I could just taste it). Eventually I settled down and somehow was the first in my age group out of the water!! At 16min 24sec, there's still room for improvement, but I handled this ocean swim better and was happy with that! (For reference, the fastest women out of the water were around 12 minutes.) The run up to the transition area was a little long but the white sand was nice and soft so it wasn't too bad.
I was a little worried about the bike course, as the race packet contained many warnings about the conditions of the road. Luckily, the town had done some paving for us the week before, and there was only one small section that was not so hot. The course had some rolling hills, one good climb (shorter than the last one), and some amazing views!
I felt pretty good for the first part of the bike (passing people!), but lost a little in the last few miles (and got passed by a few ladies). I was pretty happy with my bike time (52m 29sec), which averaged out to 18.4mph. Not my fastest bike time, but not the flatest course ;) I have recently (this summer) discovered how much my bike performance depends on nutrition, and am still trying to figure out how much I need. Based on the way I felt, I should've taken in some more calories towards the end of the bike, but since I wasn't going out on a run afterwards, I didn't. I came in from the bike second in my age group (less than two minutes behind)...
~sigh~ While I handed in my chip instead of heading out for the run, I know the run was nice and flat, and heard that it was a little hot (maybe not alot of shade?).
A couple things of note-- the body marking wasn't in the best spots (hard to see from the front and our helmets weren't marked) so I had to search unmarked photos to find mine. I also only had two photos from one photographer on the bike so that was a bit of a bummer. (There would've been more had I done the run) Nice technical shirt, but other than that a pretty lackluster swag bag. That said, it was the first year of the event and I liked the course a lot (even if I need more practice in ocean swimming)! The Amica 19.7 race series is great, as there is a universal distance at different race sites. Sure the course profiles will be different, but at least it's a little easier to compare your times. There's two more of their races in the area (Boston & Newport) later this season if you're interested!
I'm getting ansy.