This weekend concluded the Tucson Triathlon Series, a 3 race sprint series that takes place at the University of Arizona. The race starts off with a 825 yard swim in the Hillenbrand aquatic center, followed by a 3 loop, 12 mile bike on the surrounding roads and capped off with a 3 mile run of 2 loops of the UofA mall. The course is fairly flat and fast.
I came in to the race sitting comfortably in the lead in my age group and in 2nd overall for the series title. To get the series title was going to require a great race on my part and a not so good race on the leaders part. I could only control half the equation. With my year-end focus race coming the following weekend I came into this race fairly rested.
Saturday was packet pick up at TriSports.com. I squeezed it into my busy Ironman Hawaii viewing schedule.
Sunday morning started with a 4a.m. alarm. After a quick breakfast I was on my way. I arrived around 5 and the transission area was already active. I racked my bike, set up my gear and got body marked. I then returned to my car for a short nap since I had almost 4 hours until my wave start. Short nap complete, I still had plenty of time. I caught up with old friends and watched some of the early waves in action. I went for a quick warm up run, gave my gear one last check and then jumped into the warm up pool for a short swim.
It was now GO time. I jumped into lane 15b and awaited the horn.
At the sound of the horn we were off. 33 lengths of the pool. I felt good and was holding my position with those in the surrounding lanes. Sited the red “lollipop” indicating 1 length to go. As I exited the pool the series leader was 2 steps ahead of me. A quick look at the watch showed a slow swim for me, 12 minutes flat. I was hoping for an 11:30 or better.
I made quick time of T1. Helmet on, grab bike, go! At the mount line, a flying mount, shoes on and get up to speed.
I was making up ground on the bike. Catching and passing the fast swimmers. Mid way through the 1st lap the series leader caught me. I kept him in sight for the remainder of the ride. As I approached the bike finish I slipped my shoes off. as I hit the dismount line I hopped off the bike running. Racked my bike, helmet off, running shoes on. As I ran out of T2 I put on my visor, sunglasses, and number belt.
T1, bike, T2 combined time 30:06
These short runs hurt! I felt good though and quickly got up to pace. Once I got to the mall I could see the series leader ahead. On the second lap his lead had grown slightly. knew I wasn’t going to catch him today but wanted to finish strong. 2 of the young speedsters caught me . I attempted to stay with them but knew their pace would have ended bad for me so I settled back to my pace to the finish.
Run time 19:43
Total time 1:01:49
7th overall, 2nd age group
2nd overall, 1st age group for the series
Next up Soma Half Ironman…my season finale.
Another season is getting close to the end. I have 2 races coming up soon to finish things off. First up will be the final race in the Tucson Triathlon Series on Oct14. I am currently sitting in 2nd overall for the series about 1min 30sec out of 1st and am leading my age group by over 20 minutes. With a good race I am hoping to take the overall series. It will be tough but I will give it my best effort.
This will be followed a week later by the SOMA half ironman in Tempe, Az. It has been a while since I have done SOMA and will be nice to return to this race. The legs have the mileage so we shall see if everything comes together on race day…will be nice to finish the year with a new PR on the course!
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!