Sullivan Triathlon Race Report

Triathlon season kicked off yesterday with my first race of the year. Sullivan is a fairly low key sprint triathlon race featuring an indoor pool swim before heading outdoors for the bike and run. They had a sold out crowd of 300 triathletes with some obvious good competition. I started right in the middle of the 300 registered races as number 150. With the time trail start, 1 swimmer going in every 10 seconds, it gave me some time before I made the running start into the pool. The swim went fairly easy; I passed a couple of other guys early, and then had clear water all the way to the finish. I jumped out in about 8 minutes 40 seconds for the 400 meters. I bit slower than I hoped for, but swimming under the lane lines going from lane to lane is a bit awkward. All in all, the easiest swim I’ve ever had in a triathlon. For such a small town they had a first rate swimming facility.

The first transition to the bike went very smooth, and had one of the fastest splits there. The bike itself was open and windy as well advertised. It was also cool with temps in the low 50’s during the ride. Nothing to complain about, as it was just as they said it would be. Did see one guy in front of me miss a high speed turn and went tumbling into a ditch. He popped up okay, so I went on. Only real concern was my left contact folded up leaving me with blurry vision for most of the ride. It eventually just came out and stuck on my sun glasses for the last part of the ride. Kind of comical looking at your contact stuck on the glasses. It actually stayed there till the mid way of the run when a gust of wind sent it flying. Thankfully no troubles with my right eye during the rest of the event. I made the 13.4 miles in 36 minutes and change (22.1 mph average). Not my best ride, but reasonable.

Bike to run transition was a bit awkward as my legs were cold, and I got bumped hard as I got off the bike. One other guy finished next to me and gave me a good jolt has he got off his bike. Not a big deal, I still made it out okay, with the toughest part just getting my cold stiff legs to start running.

The run itself was okay, started feeling better after mile 1, but didn’t seem to have a lot of speed. Seemed fairly consistent from mile to mile, but that’s just a guess. The run course was scenic and mostly on trials which I really liked. The finish was nice and they had some decent post race refreshments. Run split was around 22 minutes 10 seconds for the 5k, a 7:10 pace per mile.

As the results were posted I ended up 20th out of 267 finishers. One ahead of me was a team so I guess I can say 19th. It was reasonable coming off the broken rib and missing several weeks of swimming and running. Won 1st in my age group, but only because I was racing in the 45-49. One guy in the 50-54 went faster. For sure, I need to run and swim faster if I want to have any chance at making the grade at age group nationals. Time to get busy!

Results at http://www.sullivanil.us/triathlon/08SULLIVAN%20TRI.HTM
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