2012 Firecracker Triathlon…the race.
7-1-2012….4am alarm. Only one thing getting up this early could mean…race day.
Quick breakfast, got dressed and mixed a couple of bottles of Gatorade. Gear was pre-packed the night before. Out the door and off I go to the University of Arizona’s Hilibrand pool for the 2nd race of the Tucson Tri series. The race consists of a 750 meter serpentine swim in the Hilibrand long course (50m) pool, a 3 loop 12 mile bike that is slightly uphill for half of each loop and slightly downhill the other half, and a flat 3 mile run consisting of a short out and back and 2 loops of the UofA mall. The morning weather was overcast, hot and hummid…the Arizona monsoons are in season.
After racking my bike and setting up my transition area I got body marked. I then had a few minutes to catch up with friends. It was then time for the youth race to start. I was a volunteer to help monitor the bike course…a great way to get in an easy warmup and to recon the course (one section is notoriously rough and has construction going on). One loop with the future of our sport ages 8-15. Once I returned I ran a loop of the run course to warm up and then got into the pool for a few hundred. It was now race time!
My start was about 10 people from last.
Up and back on the right then under the laneline…repeat x 7 1/2. I quickly got into my pace and felt smooth the entire swim. I must have been seeded right since I didn’t have to pass or get passed (we started at 15 second intervals). After the final length I was out of the water and running for T1.
Swim time 12:29 44th fastest of the day/3rd in agegroup
T1 was fast…drop goggles, helmet on, go. A nice flying mount and I was off. Slipped into my shoes and got up to speed. I quickly started passing earlier starters and had a lot of traffic for the first 2 laps. The 3rd loop was less congested but still had some slower traffic. Fast and smooth on 3/4 of each loop and fast and death grip on the aero bars on the rough 1/4. The legs felt good as I motored along. I consumed a bottle of Gatorade to counter the heat and humidity. The cloud cover however was helping to keep the sun from beating on us. Te temps though were reaching 90! After 3 loops I made the turn into transition for T2 and slipped out of my shoes.
Bike time (including T1 and T2) 30:46 9th fastest of the day/2nd in agegroup
A quick dismount and a short run to my rack. Racked bike, helmet off, running shoes on…run! While running out of T1 I put on the hat, glasses and number belt. I quickly got up to speed and quickly noticed the clouds had parted…the sun was hot! As I hit the first aid station I was refreshed with the ice-cold spray from a super-soaker! Grabbed a cup of water, drank half and dumped the rest over my head. Again I was picking off slower traffic. Each aid station was half a cup of water in the mouth, half over the head. I was feeling the humidity but focused on maintaining my pace. After the second loop I turned and burned! Headed for the finish. I crossed the finish line and was cooked!
Run time 19:44 15th fastest of the day/1st in agegroup
Total time 1:03:00 good for 9th overall and 2nd in my agegroup.
I now lead the series for my agegroup with 1 race to go!