2010 Ukiah Sprint Triathlon Race Report

Bingles had been hyping the Ukiah tri all summer – and geez, it’s only a little sprint tri – so we signed up. I raced pretty hard and got on the podium! Third place baby! Yeah yeah, third place among the men between 30-34.

Woohoo!

The numbers:
Race: 2010 Ukiah Triathlon
Course: 0.5mi swim, 21.7mi bike, 3mi run
Overall: 1:43:20, 28th/370 racers (92nd percentile), 3rd/19 racers in age group!
Swim: 14:28, 55th place (85th percentile)
T1: 2:15
Bike: 1:00:26, 24th place (94th percentile)
T2: 1:37
Run: 24:12, 61st place (83rd percentile)

Sara and I drove up at 5:30AM on the morning of the tri, which was a good call. We met Brad in the college parking lot (the T2 transition) and setup our bike-to-run area. We weren’t hustling or anything ’cause the spots were reserved by number, so imagine our surprise after we drove over to Lake Mendocino (T1 transition) and found that it was first-come first-served. Bummer, we got really shitty transition spots right at the bottom of the hill. Oh well.

We went for a quick swim to warm up and massed at the bottom of the boat ramp waiting for the first wave start.

A little bit of minor chaos ensued as the organizers clearly weren’t prepared for the 500 people who showed up. No one could hear the announcers, I couldn’t find Sara, and because they had run out of the correct colour swim caps it looked like a mob scene for the first wave. Peeps were still swimming back/forth as the announcer was giving us the countdown to the start. It didn’t help that the announcer was competing with some music being played through the same PA system.

And we're off!  I'm the one with the pink cap.

I got a good start and didn’t hyperventilate. Breathing was good and my pacing was good, I was trying to find some clean water when I got elbowed hard in the face. I was wearing new goggles for this tri, smaller ones that fit very tightly over my eyes. When I got clonked the left eye cover kinda pushed into my eye socket. It wasn’t terribly comfortable, but it wasn’t leaking and I could kinda still see, so I kept swimming. The short half-mile swim felt really super easy, it was over before I knew it.

The gravel in T1 really worried me before the race started, but I had so much adrenaline pumping as I came out of the swim I didn’t feel a thing. Maybe my feet were numb. T1 was okay, 2:15, not very good.

I hopped on the bike and went hard. Bunny-hopping the off-camber speedbumps on the way down from the lake, staying in full tuck on the few small hills early in the ride, I pushed as much as I could and passed a whole ton of folks who finished the swim before me. It feels great to zoom past other racers but each one is a small reminder of how much I suck at swimming. Only three guys passed me, each on dedicated tri bikes with cool wheels. Man I wish I had a full disk wheel, the *whoom* *whoom* *whoom* noise they make is incredible.

Arriving after a blistering bike

The course was pretty good except for one rough patch. It was really rough. Not bumpy, just rough. Rough enough to numb the crotch area. That’s not so good. I saw Kevin Buchholz (of Echelon in Santa Rosa) coming back along the course at the 7-mile mark, and Brad at the 12-mile mark after I turned around. I jumped off the bike and ran it into T2, later I guess the guys at the entrance were letting people ride into the pits and someone in the crowd started yelling, hahaha. The bike was good, just 12 seconds longer than an hour, which puts my pace at 21.7mph, not bad!

T2 was faster than T1, just 1:37.

Heading out on the run; yes, I beat that guy on the P3

The run was hard. I didn’t keep anything in reserve through the bike and I struggled to find my pace. The course was cross-country, lots of up/down/left/right on a dirt path through a sun-baked hill. Surprisingly harder than just plodding along a straight bikepath or road! I ran three miles in 24:12, or a 7:48/mile pace. Not good, I should have been about a minute/mile faster. I saw Brad coming into T2 as I was finishing the run and I guess I beat the girls to the finish line.

Sprinting to the line!

Turns out I won a medal! I came in third in the 30-34 age range!

Fun race! Organization was only okay – I’m realizing that the Wildflower was absolute tops for course organization, crowd control, spectator enthusiasm, etc.

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