I returned to the Boulder Reservoir to participate in the 5430 Sprint triathlon. Last year was my first triathlon in 20 years and I was very happy with my time of 2:03:35. This year I managed to shave off almost 5 minutes to finish the event in 1:58:48. The largest improvement was knocking 3 minutes off of the swim and a little over a minute off the bike. The only leg that felt faster was the bike, but I was only going 0.4 mph faster. My transitions felt slower, but they ended up being faster than last year.
The course conditions were terrific and Ironman did great in terms of race organization relative to packet pick-up yesterday. I arrived at the course around 6:00 AM and was body marked immediately and set up in transition by 6:15 AM. This left me nearly 1.5 hours to mill about and consume some pre-race nutrition.
I started out slow in the swim and stayed to the outside. This worked out really well and I did not experience any contact. I tried sighting off of Haystack Mountain rather than the buoys and that worked out really well. I even sped up the last 200 yards and stood up only after touching bottom. The jog to T1 was slow but deliberate.
T1 was pretty smooth. I was able to get out of my wetsuit OK and spent an extra few seconds drying my feet before getting dressed for the bike. Going without socks and gloves may save me some time, but those are 30 seconds I am not willing to fight for right now.
The bike leg was pretty fast just like last year. Relative to the rest of the field, the bike split was my worst. I thought I did a good job pacing, but would have loved to have had my power meter working. The calibration was still off so I just kept the head unit in my bag to save a few grams. I did not have my Garmin 305 either, so I was just racing by feel.
T2 was great. I really don’t see how people run in bike shoes. I guess I need to practice it. I was actually a little slower in T2 compared to last year.
The run was tedious. Although I was only 13 seconds off of last year’s pace, I definitely felt more fatigued. I think this is a result of the faster bike split.
All and all it was a great race and I wish I had another triathlon on my race calendar. Depending on how the next stroke and stride goes, I might try to get into a late season event.