|Race day sunrise|
|Swimmers begin rounding the buoy’s and heading for shore.|
We rounded the last buoy and headed for shore, and I began to back off a little bit so that I could catch my breath for the run up the beach. Once I hit the shore and I looked at my watch, I saw that I was at about 11 minutes, which was much faster than my goal of 15 minutes. However, I still had to make it up the beach to the timing mat, a few hundred yards away.
|Exiting the water and heading toward transition|
As I crossed the timing mat I saw that I was around 13 minutes. A great swim!
Everything went absolutely perfect in T2, I don’t think I could have done anything any differently. This time I saw only two or three bikes, which told me I was still in good shape. Got my running shoes on and my race number, and sprinted outa there!
T2 Time: 1:03
My goal was to run 7:00 miles, and I was just about there. I remember from my previous race in Carlsbad that I hit the gas too early and burned out in the last couple hundred yards (at which time another racer passed me). So I held back a bit longer, while trying to keep my pace around 7 min.
The run was much like the bike in that the first lap was empty, aside from faster 20 somthing’s passing in the opposite direction toward the turnaround. The second lap was more congested, but I found it more easily navigable, and was able to continue passing people while maintaining my pace. It was a great feeling as I approached the turnaround the second time and the volunteer pointed to the turnaround but I was able to point to the finish and go through the chute. I didn’t really hit the gas at all at the end of the race, but I should have finished strong. But at least I finished feeling like I didn’t need to puke.
The best part is I looked at the time as I crossed the finish and saw “1:13:00”. This meant that I actually beat my goal by 2 minutes! I then realized that, being in the second wave, we started 3 minutes after the first wave. That means I beat my goal by 5 minutes!
|Happy finisher with energy to spare!|
Run Time: 21:25, 7:09 min/mile
Total Time: 1:10:25, 5th place age group (out of 46), 40th overall (out of 611)
Overall, I enjoyed this race. The course was great, the climate was awesome. Organization had a lot to be desired, but I can’t complain about a fifth place finish in my age group. I wasn’t aware of my placing when they first began posting results, as they were just posting overall. I could see that I did pretty well. As I pushed through the crowds to see the posted results (in the smallest font possible), I tried to determine how many 30-34 age groupers were ahead of me. I thought I saw two or three, but I couldn’t tell. While we had other plans for the day, I had to convince my tired wife and kids to stick around for the awards ceremony.
The awards ceremony wasn’t very organized as they were giving awards out to the relay groups and youth groups before getting to the age groups. They announced the names and I found out that I didn’t get a podium spot (which was okay, because it wasn’t very organized – they didn’t have a podium). I was just happy with my performance. Given this was a “B” race and I didn’t want to be aggressive, I think my time was awesome.
When I got home I learned that I got 5th place in my age group, and missed third by a little over 2 minutes. For my second finished race, this is not too shabby. Putting this into perspective, at an Ironman race, there are 50 spots allocated for the Kona World Championships. At times, 30-34 will get at least 5. Being 40th overall, and 5th in age group would secure a Kona spot! Granted, the Ironman is a lot more competitive, a lot longer, and a lot more challenging, but I have time, patience, and determination. It may not happen next year, or even the following year. But the point is that for the first time that goal actually appears on the horizon and looks achievable. I think I’ve come a long way in the last year. Great things are yet to come!