Posted by: bradhammond | July 22, 2010

Seafair Triathlon

Sunday, July 18 I did the Seafair Triathlon.  It is a large race in Seattle – I believe the course is about the same as for the Danskin, which is an even bigger race, but due to the gender restrictions I think this is my only chance to race on that course.

Prerace: The Elite wave was scheduled to start at 6:55, and the transition area was supposed to be cleared by 6:30, so even though my wave didn’t start until 7:45 I got there at 6 to set up my stuff in transition. The woman I set up next to wanted me to move my bike further away so that she would have more room for her stuff. I didn’t think it was too close, but I moved to the opposite side of the rack and snapped my bike shoes onto the pedals. I left my running shoes and helmet in place and brought my swim stuff out with me. There were huge bathroom lines before the race started, but after the start that was no longer a problem. I watched some friends start and finish their waves and finally it was my turn.

Swim: My wave was for men and women in the 50-54 age group, and people seemed pretty modest about trying to be in the front row, so I started right up front. I swam pretty fast for the first 100 yards and then I started drafting off another old man. It felt very comfortable and easy swimming right behind him, and I didn’t have to worry about sighting. After we turned the second corner of the triangular swim another swimmer passed us, and I drafted off this person who was going a bit faster until we hit crowds of people from earlier waves. At this point I had to weave my way through the bodies and I tried to bring it in fast. Swim split was 14:06 and it felt very easy – I think if I had drafted off someone just a little bit faster I could have gone about 13, but I am quite happy with this swim.

T1: Stripped off wet suit with no problems, snapped on my helmet and ran out. Huge transition area. 1:47 – not super fast, but not bad. Fastest I saw in results was 0:58.

Bike: I ran across the mount line and was about to slide my foot in the shoe and take off when I noticed I had clipped the left shoe to right pedal and vice-versa. This made me feel pretty stupid, but I yanked them both off the pedals, put them on my feet and got going as quickly as I could. The bike course was very flat. There is one short fairly steep climb to get up to I-90 bridge and a couple of long grades as you go from the floating section of the bridge to the higher non-floating ends. No one passed me on the bike course, and I passed a lot of people from the earlier waves. There was a little bit of wind on the bridge, but not too bad. I am best on fairly flat rides, so I really liked this course. Time 34:27 includes about 30 seconds for dealing with my shoe mistake.

T2: No issues, time 1:26. Fastest I saw in results was 45 seconds.

Run: The run is mostly flat, with one long hill. There were plenty of people out there to pass, and I went after them. Just after the 1 mile mark I got a side stitch that made me slow down a bit. I only had 2 people pass me the whole run – I guess most of the faster runners were already way ahead of me! I didn’t see the 2 mile mark, and had no clue how much was left until I saw the 3 mile sign. At that point I had a lot of energy left, so I sprinted really hard the rest of the way. Time 23:50 – not as fast as I’d like to be going, but after the side stitch I wasn’t expecting much better.

Results: Total time 1:15:36 was 151 / 1104 overall and 4 / 31 in my age group.

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