I had the pleasure of participating in My Way or the Tri Way this past weekend at the Aurora Reservoir. As usual, Racing Underground hosted a well organized, well supported, and fun event. This event was on the Arvada Triathlon Club calendar so it was nice to see 8 members in attendance (2 with podium finishes) along with a few of my other friends. I will certainly keep this event in mind next year.
My wife picked up my packet Friday from Campus Cycles. Friday night, I packed my gear using my new Rudy gear bag which worked out great. This thing really swallows gear, even as I have a tendency to over pack. Friday night I visualized the race several times and that really made everything feel much smoother race morning.
I opted for the “Tri Way” and prepared for a Swim, Bike, Run order. After setting up in transition, hitting the port-o-let, and donning my wetsuit, I did a few bobs in the water to make sure I had no goggle or wetsuit issues. The water was a brisk 68 degrees, so I was glad to have the wetsuit. All participants started from transition. From transition it was 150 yards to the water, most of which I walked. This took me about 1:30. My swim leg was officially recorded as 22:38 and that includes the walk back into transition. That was very much on par with my 19-20 minute plan. I sighted reasonably well and was tight on the turns. I made sure I hit ground with my stroke before running up the beach. It was great to see Jeff and Cliff out there capturing images and cheering.
Transition 1 was pretty smooth by my standards. My left foot got hung up on the wetsuit, but otherwise I was smooth and controlled. I exited transition after 3:00 minutes.
I felt really good on the bike leg, primarily because it all starts downhill. The course was well supported with plenty of course marshals on the simple out and back. I was getting passed constantly on the bike leg. I kind of neglected biking in my training as I knew I could roll through a 20K bike without issue. Unfortunately that resulted in a 52:41 bike split which was my weakest leg relative to my competitors. I did take on a GU about an hour into the race and hydrated well. I averaged 123W on the course which is great for me. Unfortunately that translated into an average speed of only 13.4 mph with my mashing cadence of 64 rpm. I was hoping to finish in around 45 minutes (16 mph) so this was a little disappointing.
Photo Credit - My Race Shots & Racing Underground
Transition 2 was really quick. My feet were nice and dry and slipped right into my shoes. I grabbed my visor and race number belt and was off.
The run started with a stop at the port-o-let. After relieving myself of over-hydration, I took off on the rolling course. The loop style run was 3.5 miles, but I felt pretty good and was pacing at about 10 minute miles for most of the course. My official split was 37:38 and considering my training, I was very pleased with that. I would have liked to have finished in 32 minutes, but did not have a 9 minute pace in me. I took on Gatorade at the first aid station and water at the second aid station.
I blasted through transition the final time and it took me 1:18 to dash down to the official finish in 1:59:03. I was 147/257 Overall, 92/126 Men and 26/29 Men 40-44 in the Swim-Bike-Run division. I was mentally targeting a 1:50-1:55 finish and felt like I left 95% of it out on the course. I might have been able to shave a couple of minutes, but really enjoyed myself and was happy to have a tri on the books for 2015.
Post race it was fun to hang out with the club, grab some food courtesy of Noodles & Company and watch the awards session. A good friend of mine had his first podium finish and it was really great to see him pick up his award. I didn’t win anything in the raffle, but it was a great morning for racing.