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St. Anthony Triathlon 2018 Race Report

Created: Saturday, 28 April 2018
This was my second time at this race in St. Petersburg, FL. My goal was to improve on my time from 2 years ago. I was successful! Beat it by 5 minutes. It wasn’t easy, but it was a great race. I swam 0.9 miles in 38:27. Averaged 21.4 mph on the 25 mi bike, then ran a 9:07/mi for 6.2 mi to finish at 2:48:02.

Preparation

 
I drove down from Atlanta Friday, two days before the race. The evening was spent relaxing, and ensuring all my nutrition and gear was in place. For breakfast, I had oatmeal and fruit. For nutrition, I used Hammer Nutrition Heed in my water bottles, Hammer Gel pre-race and in my race belt, and a Hammer Energy Bar.
Pre-Race swim done. Felt great in my Zoot skin suit
Saturday, I enjoyed watching the super sprint race, cheering on the newbies and kids. Reminded me of my early days of racing, 5 years ago. It was then time for the swim. 78º is the cutoff for an optional wetsuit. The Gulf 77º. I decided it was too warm for a wetsuit, and swam in my Zoot skinsuit instead. The water felt great! I was concerned that I would overheat if I swam in a wetsuit. I decided to stick with that plan. One I would question later.
After the swim, I took my bike out for a spin, and made sure everything was in proper working order. My seat felt low, so made a seat adjustment with my tools to raise it. I was dreading the race check-in based on my experience last time, but was pleasantly surprised. No long lines, and I was able to move through the tables quickly. It was now time to rest up, watch the Cleveland Cavaliers and get ready to race.

Swim

The morning of the race, the water temperature dropped to 76º! I decided to stick with my original plan. When I arrived to the race start, about 80% of the field showed up with their wetsuit! :-O The thinking is, get every edge you can get. Wetsuits add buoyancy, making one faster in the water. I didn’t want to change my game plan at the last minute.
My swim wave was one of the first ones of the day. No time for a warmup swim. It was an in-water start. My wave is the largest of all the age groups. 127 racers showed up. The men encouraged each other while we waited for the start canon. Several mentioned, let’s be courteous out there. No swimming on top of each other, no elbows, no grabbing. The Boom from the cannon sends on our way.
It was crowded, a lot of bumping into other swimmers. The sun was barely coming up over the horizon, so visibility wasn’t good. Surprisingly, the swimmers were very polite to each other! Thank you all! The swimmers that trying to pass me, didn’t try to do so by swimming on top of me. I even almost swam on top of someone. When my hand came down, it was all his back. Another moment, I got pinched in between two swimmers. Both times, I just stopped for a brief moment, and continued once I was clear.
 
Swim Exit
The wetsuit swimmers were flying by. Towards the end, I started seeing the swim caps from the waves that started behind me. When I saw the 4thcolor, I became uneasy. I was thinking, I’m swimming way too slow. A lifeguard kayaker signaled that I was swimming too wide, and pointed for me to swim towards the right. On the final stretch into shore, my chest became very constricted. It seemed like I was about to panic. I knew it was mental, there was nothing compressing on my chest. I started singing my songs to relax my mind, and keep on swimming. No matter what happens in the water, I have one option: Keep On Swimming!
I made it to the stairs. Whew! I’m thankful for the volunteers, I was definitely a little unstable as I came out. Another volunteer unzipped my skinsuit. I took it off down to my waist, then ran into T1.
Distance: 1500m, 0.9 mi Time: 38:27 2:21/100 yd (No wetsuit) Beat time from 2 years ago with a wetsuit by 1:11 Age Group Rank: 112/127 Overall Rank: 962/1207
T1
I didn’t waste any time. Skinsuit came off, bike shoes and helmet went on, and I was off onto the bike quickly.
Time: 1:50
2:24 2 years ago

Bike

 
 
Faster! Faster!
My goal was to crush the bike course, and beat my previous average of 20.4 mph. I did just that, passing everyone in eye sight. There were only a few that passed me, and stayed in front of me. I was concerned about congestion, but that was not an issue due to my early swim start. There was a section of bricks that was bumpy of enough to launch my eyes from my head! Near as bad, was a rough road that we had to travel out & back on. A homeowner posted a sign saying, “Yes, we know this road sucks!” Yes!!! On the second half of the ride, a group of us kept leap frogging each other. After the third, and last, turn around, I laid down the hammer and left them behind me. The end of the bike was also on very rough road. I usually take my shoes off on my bike in preparation for a quick transition, but I didn’t want to take either hand off my handlebars for a second. The pre-race seat adjustment I made was perfect. I was very pleased with my bike. ¡Rayo!, my Quintano Roo PRsix bike was very fast, with a 21.4 average.
Distance: 40k, 25 mi Time: 1:09:37 AG Rank: 54/127 OA Rank: 264/1207 1:11.14 2 yrs ago

T2

No issues finding my transition area since I walked through how to find it numerous times that morning. Bike shoes came off, put on my Zoot Acai shoes, then started running with my race belt and visor in hand. They were put on while running.
Time: 1:39 1:49 2 yrs ago

Run

 
Sprint to the finish! One chance for a great photo!
 
The run was actually tough. The temperatures were warming up, and my legs did not feel loose and fast. I realized early, that I was not going to beat my run time, but remained determined to have a strong run split. Most of the race, I was able to stay under a 9 min pace. At numerous times though, I just couldn’t maintain. I pushed through. It was a simple out and back route. I used one Hammer Gel at the halfway point, and grabbed water at each water station. Often, a second cup just to dump on myself to cool off. I was able to really pick it up at the end, and finish strong!
Distance: 10k, 6.2 mi Time: 58:31 Pace: 9:07/mi AG Rank: 78/127 OA Rank: 526/1207 55:35 2 yrs ago
 
Run Strong!
 

Finish:

Time: 2:48:02 AG Rank: 75/127 OA Rank: 501/1207
 
Finisher Medal
 
Team Zoot teammates
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