2010 Celebration was basically my first triathlon. I wasn't going to sign up this year, but decided to add it late just to have a comparison race. I was hoping for a top 10 AG finish, but M35-39 sure is competitive. I almost am looking forward to turning 40 so I'm in a less competitive AG.** Seriously, how many people want to turn 40? Triathlete age-groupers sure are a strange breed!
(**This comment was in mostly in jest, I am aware that the 40-44 times are usually just as, if not more, competitive than the 35-39!)
Swim: 20:43 (20/81 AG) Last year: 26:27
Nutrition: Gu and water 10 minutes before start
After seeing how hard I could swim in the Chesapeake Bay 1-miler and still feel good coming out of the water, I decided to try and push this more than I had during Columbia. I was a little concerned about swimming without a wetsuit, as I hadn't done an OWS without one yet this year. But I started out hard to get some space then kept up a strong but sustainable pace. My sighting was excellent and I felt like my lines were solid the entire time.
-5:44 over last year
T1: 1:53 (11/81 AG) Last year: 5:15
I must have stopped to blow dry my hair last year. 5 minutes? Really?
I did have an excellent rack spot in row 'A' which did help a little. Any serious triathletes may want to consider changing their name to Aaaaa to ensure a nice rack position.
-9:06 over last year
Bike: 53:16 (19.7mph 10/81 AG) Last year: 58:38
Nutrition: 16oz gu brew, 1/2 package Stinger chews
Slower average than for Columbia and only slightly faster than a training ride on the course earlier that week. I thought I'd be able to break 20.0 but was still happy with my time. I passed a number of riders coming out of the park on 108 then didn't even have anyone around me until coming back to 108 at the end. Seeing the stronger riders from later waves having to weave around slower riders really underscored the advantage of being in the first wave.
-14:28 over last year
T2: 1:13 (13/81 AG) Last year: 2:38
Nutrition: 1/4 Gu
I went sockless for the bike but decided to run with socks. Faster T2 than Columbia, so I guess adding socks didn't cost me too much time.
-15:53 over last year
Run: 26:38 (7:50min/mile 15/81 AG) Last year: 32:57
Nutrition: Sip of water at every stop then rest dumped on my head
Felt good coming off the bike, nothing like Columbia. At the T2 exit someone yelled I was 11th. Which I already knew from counting riders before the turnaround on the bike. I knew I wouldn't be able to hold onto that place but I didn't want to fall back too much beyond that. I was only passed by 3 runners, one of them a woman from the wave behind me and the other two were in my AG running sub 7-minute miles. Each passing had me picking up my pace though as I was determined to make this hurt. PR or ER baby! My last mile was 7:07, and I definitely felt like I left if all out there.
-22:12 over last year!
Overall it was a much nicer day than last year but the obvious difference was that for last year's race I wasn't a club member and this year I am. The tent, the support and the random "Go MMTC!" calls from the crowd and other athletes is clearly what pushed me to such a big improvement. Thanks!