This was my 2nd Columbia Triathlon and I can see why it’s such a popular race: great venue, great support and volunteers, well organized and the best club tent!!
On to my race report:
Up early and got to the park at 5:15 to get a decent parking spot. Not a great transition spot this year: it was all the way in the back right hand corner (when running from the swim to the bike). At least there was a sliver of concrete to avoid the mud. Oh well, slow transition times ahead…Off to the club tent to hang out and get ready. Totally makes all the difference having a home base with good company and great food.
Swim: 24:41 25/168 AG
Water felt a lot warmer than last year which was nice considering the “balmy” weather on race day. The Thursday OWS also made the water seem warmer than the creek (thanks Chip!!) Start is always a little crazy but nothing too chaotic. It seemed like I sighted better this year and found some open water right after the turn at the dam. Overall, a pleasant swim without pushing my heart rate too high.
T1: (time included in bike split but it was probably close to 3 minutes). The wetsuit definitely came off quicker this year but the run to my bike seemed to take forever. I wasted a few extra seconds putting on arm warmers which I probably did not need. I was happy with the decision for the first 15 minutes but after that I could have survived without them.
Bike: 1:18:38 19.4 mph 45/168 AG I really wanted to break the 20 mph average barrier this year (I was 19.0 mph last year). I thought that I had trained enough on the bike to go at least 1 mile per hour faster. I always try not to kill myself on the bike so that I have something left for the run which is my strength. I felt like I was pushing myself but not killing myself on the first half. I think I’m a better climber since I typically pass those fast people in tri bikes that previously blew by me on the downhills and flats. On a few downhills, I had to take it pretty easy with many people braking at the top, middle and near the bottom of the downhills and they were already 3-4 wide at that point. The 2nd half I thought I pushed it a little harder but ended up only averaging 19.4 mph when I looked at my bike computer just before transition. I just need to find a race that has more up-hills or maybe get a tri bike…
T2: 1:56 (45/168). I thought I had a solid T2, I did a nice flying dismount and ran pretty hard to my far, far away transition spot. I did waste a few seconds putting on new dry socks but I like to have comfortable feet…
Run: 41:16 6:39 avg 7/168 AG. I was shooting for a sub 40:00 run but it was not meant to be. The first mile went well, feet were a little numb but quickly got used to the pace. Around the 1.5m mark my race belt snapped and I had to stop, go back and pick it up and then tie it so that it would not fall off. I’ve never had that happen before and I’ve used the same race belt for years!! Then around mile 3, I tweaked my right hamstring. I could tell that my strides had shortened so for the next 3 miles I did not want to push too hard and end up doing more damage. Not sure why my hamstring was hurting, it’s never been an issue before.
Finish: 2:29:22 29/168 AG. I did want to break the 2:30 barrier so I was happy with my finish time. My stretch goal was 2:27 but I’m pleased with my time and it was about 4 minutes faster than last year.
Post race is always the best part of any race and especially Columbia. Kudos to the volunteers at the club tent. The food was fantastic and it is always nice to hang with such a good group of people. You could certainly tell that the other clubs were jealous of the Mid Maryland tent!!