I came into this race extremely nervous. There were going to be 500 people racing, and 12 in my age group. This is the largest sprint race I have ever done. It is a short, fast course with a pool swim. We woke up early Saturday for the 2 hour drive to Parris Island. Joel and I rode in my small car with my bike in the back seat, my best friend Loraine took her car with our 2 girls (ages 3 and 5)so she would be able to take them home right after the race. The race was a 500 meter pool swim, 10 mile bike, and 3.1 mile run
Got to the race site, picked up my packet, got body marked and set up transition. Double checked transition and hung out with my family at the indoor pool area. My girls were getting restless, so we were doing our best to try to entertain them. Finally it was time to get in the swim start line. Which wasn't a line at all, it was a gaggle. Apparently, they were following number order for the first 50 people or so, and after that it was jump in whenever. Fortunately, they had everyone step on a timing mat before jumping in the pool, so nobody's swim time got messed up in the chaos.
The course was down and back in one swim lane, and them go under the rope on the same side the swim started on. With swimmers going off every 10 seconds the swim was a bit crazy. After 3 lengths I had to pass the swimmer in front of me. I managed the pass and kept swimming. After a few more lengths I wanted to pass another swimmer, but there was a swimmer coming on the other side, so I was stuck behind the swimmer in front of me, and the 2 swimmers behind me were close, so we did the accordion. At the wall I let the 2 swimmers pass me since I am not a very fast swimmer and didn't want to mess up anyone's race. I finally finished my 500 meter chaotic pool swim, got out of the pool, saw Loraine and girls standing there cheering and ringing the cow bell, and ran down the ramp into T1. Swim time was 11:40
T1 put on my helmet and bike shoes, grabbed my bike and left transition. I saw a guy getting on his bike right at the transition exit and told him the mount line was up there (about 15 meters away) he just shrugged it off and rode on anyway. I went to the mount line and hopped on and rode away. T1 time was 1:03
Bike was a flat course with 2 out and back sections. Felt good on the ride, was trying to push hard but my legs didn't want to cooperate. Passed a few people. Made sure to drink enough fluid on the bike toward the end to get ready for the run. My Garmin said the course was almost 11 miles. Saw the mount line coming up but didn't want to do a flying dismount since I didn't want to scuff up my brand new Pearl Izumi Tri Fly III shoes. Bike time was 31:29
T2 took my helmet off, flicked my bike shoes off, put my running hat on, put my Zoots on, grabbed my race belt and put it on while exiting transition. T2 time was 1:10
Going out on to the run course my legs felt sluggish. Knowing it takes about a mile for my legs to stop feeling funny I just kept moving as quickly as possible. I was able to pick up the pace at the turn-a-round at the halfway point. I saw the finish line and my family and I took off in a sprint. Was great seeing everyone at the finish line. Run time was 22:18
Total race time 1:07:37
I got hugs from my family, my oldest told me she was proud of me. I felt like I had a chance at an age group award, but the girls were hungry and had enough of the race and were so over it, so Loraine took them to lunch and then home. Joel and I hung around to wait for awards. I found some local folks to talk to and hang out with (well, sorta local, even though Savannah is an hour away, I still consider people from there local) and made some new friends, which is always a big highlight of any race.
I tied for first in my age group(what are the chances of that happening?), but since the trophies were per-printed, I was given the second place trophy because of the alphabetical order rule. It's a nice acrylic trophy with the race name lazer printed on it. It was a fun race, and I will probably be back next year.
Operation Iraqi Freedom Veteran, Army Wife, Ironman Finisher
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