Posted by: bradhammond | August 21, 2011

Finish Strong Triathlon

Today (Aug. 20) I raced in the Finish Strong Triathlon in Monroe, WA. I did the sprint distance of 1/4 mile swim, 14 mile bike, 3.1 mile run. I actually think the swim turned out to be a bit longer, but that’s ok.

This was the only the 2nd year that they have held this race, but I thought it was pretty well organized. They had an Olympic distance race start first and used the same basic course for both races. The course was marked pretty well, and there were a couple of water stops on the run.

 
Swim:


My wave went off second. I warmed up very briefly, and the water temp was very comfortable. We were supposed to start on the beach and go to a buoy that was diagonal from the beach, so everyone lined up at the closest edge. I was behind 4 or 5 other guys, but I figured that was better than swimming extra distance. I knew there a few people from my wave who were beating me during the swim, but I felt like I was going pretty fast and passed a number of people from the earlier wave or the Olympic race. My time was 8:22, which would be a lot slower than I averaged in my 2.5 mile swim on Wednesday, so I think it was probably a bit long. I was 12 / 160, so I am happy with it!

T1:

Pretty uneventful, there was a guy at the next bike rack who got in just before me and I beat him out. 58 seconds was far from the fastest, but quicker than most of the people.

Bike:

There was a really long run from Transition exit to the mount line, maybe 200 yards, and I passed two people before I got on my bike. The bike ride was pretty flat. It was an out and back course, and there were some gentle uphill and downhill sections, but I only used my small chain ring 2 or 3 times. I passed a lot of people, although many of them were doing the Olympic race, and no one passed me. The highlight was going by a farm that raised miniature donkeys – they were very cute, and there was a field with lots of them. The weather was beautiful, and it would have been a very pleasant ride, but I was pushing my body way past the comfort zone. My bike split was 39:26, which includes the long runs between transition and the mount/dismount lines. I had the 8th fastest bike split, and I’m quite pleased with that.

 

T2: 

A little more eventful – when I hung my bike up by the seat it slid off, so I wasted a little more time racking it again. My T2 time of 48 seconds was slower than a lot of folks.

 

Run:

 

I passed a younger guy soon after we got out of transition, but within a half mile he was passing me back. Then I passed a 48 year old man and opened up a pretty good gap on him. For a while I was afraid that if I looked back and didn’t see anyone close I would slow down, but eventually I took a peek. I thought I was getting close to the end of the run, but there was a long out and back section left to go. I was not too thrilled when I discovered that. Soon I heard someone coming up behind me, and it was the first woman – she had made up the 3 minute wave difference and was passing me like I was walking. Soon the 48 year old passed me back as well, and he beat me to the finish by 9 seconds. My run split was 23:26 and ranked 27/160, which was kind of disappointing on such a flat course.

My total time was 1:13:00, about 8 1/2 minutes behind the winner. I was second in my age group and placed 10th overall. I stuck around for the award ceremony, and I got a pint glass with the race logo on it – I will put it to good use!

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