I was really looking forward to this race...I even slept a reasonable amount the night before. I read the collective wisdom from this webpage and it really got me in the right frame of mind...small is beautiful, boil it down. The first thing I did in the transition area is lay everything out, small, organized, sequential!! Everything was going my way--I even found a good parking spot on 10 Mills road!
Since no wetsuits, things at the beginning were really simple--go to the MMTC tent and chill. Things were moving on time--I followed my ritual and pushed forward to be one of the first in the water for my fast 5 minute warmup. I like it out by the far buoy and blasted off from there. I was really pissed that some old guy was keeping pace with me so I hung out side by side with him. As we hit the first big yellow buoy a group of 5 or so swimmers some 15 yds in front of us abruptly turned left. I dog paddled a second and instantly realized we had another buoy to go and boom, I went from 10th to second in 10 seconds as it took most of the group 10-15 seconds to figure it out.
The rest of the way I only saw one purple cap out there with me and I finally lost him as I ventured into the heart of the red caps. Now I was within 200 yards of finishing and suddenly I realized why I was blowing by so many of the red caps--many of them seemed to be twisting, cursing, and trying to throttle all the sea grass! I did my best to ignore the creepy stuff and mercifully than touched the beach and, in a flash, I was at my bike because I didn't have to take a wet suit off...Hallelujah!!!
The bike was really fun. I was maintaining a good pace and shooting for a guy wearing no shirt about 1/2 a mile ahead. I keep him in my sights and finally caught him at Mt Albert. A really intense great biker passed me, then i passed her, then she passed me again and I never saw her after that. But the give and take was exhilirating. Wow, it was starting to dawn on me that, even without my watch to document things, I knew I was going fast. Hit the school for a nice short downhill to the turnaround and that time to crank back home.
Now I've never gotten aerobars but have considered it. In multiple triathlons I've have been passed more than I can count by riders with aerobars. I finally did something I've never done before--I passed a guy with aerobars and stayed in front of him the rest of the way. I was really pumped.
Coming into the transition area I slowed as commanded and 3-4 people flew by me and cut me off. But I stayed focused on getting to my running shoes and a cold sip of water I had there. I was a bit wobbly as I switched shoes but got out pretty fast I thought (I wish I had my stats). I have run that stretch 50 times but it always seems uphill the first mile (it's not). I held my own, starting to get a bit hot as the sun rose higher, and passed a few folks (including some MMTC folks--Lisa told me in the tent after the race that I passed her and it pissed her off and she ran a better race after that!) So I hit Gatorade hill and the beautiful people of MMTC were handing out drinks and encouragement...thanks and it meant a lot--it was like a pacifier for a baby. Despite the support, I walked--BRIEFLY--3 times but I kept pushing. When i hit the tape I was beat and hot. Nothing like those cold towels they handed out. After an hour of checking the times posting area where most of my age group already being posted I started to worry that I had been DQed and finally I decided to go home. I finally decided to log on at 4 to see how I did and I was stunned and exhilirated when I saw my finish. I turned out I had achieved so many of my goals at the race..and all in all a lot of fun!!