This past Saturday was the PA Warrior tri, which was a small sprint race at Memorial Lake State Park. I awoke to a beautiful cool morning perfect for racing. The race distances were approximately 700-800 yard swim, just under a 12 mile bike, and a 3 mile run. The first good news of the day occurred when I realized all males were starting in the same wave. This makes it easy to determine your position once the race has started. If someone is in front of you, that means they are beating you, no need to look at ages on calves and then try to compute wave start times. This makes the race much more fun, in my opinion, I race for the competition against people. Times can provide some useful post race information but for the most part I'm not concerned with time, I'm worried about the person breathing down my neck or the carrot just up the road.
Once in the water we had ample time to enjoy the squishy bottom while waiting for the start. I quickly settled into a nice pace just off the feet of the leaders, which is where I stayed. Fortunately no one was able to create a gap. The swim was pretty non-eventful except for when competitors around me suddenly began to stand and run or dolphin dive while still a long way from shore. I ended up doing two dolphin dives, then questioning the legality of such a move during the middle of the swim. As I watched the competitor beside me run through the water, I visualized being yanked from the race at the swim exit, so I stayed in the water. I'm always amazed at how little mental capacity I have, during a race, based on the crazy decisions that I sometimes make. Running is clearly legal, some races start with a run into the water, and almost all races conclude with running or dolphin diving.
The wetsuit came off in a flash in T1, moving me into third to start the bike. I was quickly passed twice, while also catching and passing a rider myself, putting me into 4th. Unfortunately for me, the top 3 were able to pull away, leaving me in no man's land. It can be frustrating watching your competition pull away while you are giving your best effort, my goal at smaller local races is always top 3.
Into T2 I rolled, hoping to make a catch on the run, but knowing that without visual contact, I was fighting long odds. T2 was a bit of a struggle today, which briefly dropped me to 5th, I snatched back my 4th place position rather quickly, while simultaneously turning my attention to gaining a visual on 3rd place. Alas, today I was in for a solo run with no visuals in front or behind. Due to my isolated nature, I was pleased with my run, but I was disappointed that I didn't have the opportunity to make a chase for 3rd place.
Overall, I was pleased with my effort, the legs were a bit heavy, but Lake Placid is the goal, and this race was to be a fun way to mix in some intensity. Mission accomplished. The day was capped off with a casual ride home to get in some miles.
I'm on the right.