Sprint triathlons hurt...sprint triathlons at altitude hurt even more...With some recent changes to my race schedule I opted to stay at home this weekend to train and race a sprint called the Littlefoot Triathlon (750 meter swim, 15 mile bike, 4 mile run). After a solid week of training and putting together a very good swim & long run on Saturday I was looking forward to testing my body and racing through the fatigue.
Sean Wendt and his crew put on a great event...very low key and a grass-roots atmosphere. Bear Lake State Park was a beautiful venue with the chilly 55 degree swim, rolling bike course with plenty of twists & turns and flat run along the lake. I think the run was shy of 4 miles in looking at the splits...
Swim (11:01) - The pro wave was set to go 20'' after the last age group wave which gave me plenty of time to get in and warm-up. Just as the starter was about to count us down a boat moved in to adjust the first turn buoy which had blown off course from the stiff winds. After a couple of minutes and some laughs it was time to go! I found myself on the feet of Matt Balzer and the leaders for about 50 meters before my heart told me to back the bump off. For the remainder of the swim I tried to calm my breathing which was way out of control and swim with a small group of three. With a short run to the bike rack I began to fumble with my wetsuit and lost some precious time in T1 with a transition just over 1:00 - yikes!
Bike (39:41) - One of my goals was to simply hurt through this bike and boy did it hurt! The lactic acid quickly pooled in my quads as my heart continued its pounding. The two loop bike course was a hoot with lots of technical sections and couple of hills. During the first loop I came into one of the turns a little too hot and overshot it going right through a section of cones (had there been a barrier or bales of hay I would have been up & over :) Getting back on course I continued to work and try and bridge up to the guys ahead of me. I rode through the first loop in around 20'' and I wanted to get the bike under 40''. Not missing any turns on the second loop I caught a guy near the end of the bike coming in just under the forty minute mark.
Run (19:22) - Onto the run and my focus was all about finding some leg speed! Joe Gambles and the guys from the Riptide Multisport Team were pushing things well up front. As the run progressed I was gaining a little ground on the guys up the road, but in a sprint you have to be with the group from the get-go.
9th place overall in 1:11:54. It was an entertaining way to spend my Sunday morning and I think my breath is finally coming back to me :)
Congrats to Joe for his solid win and all the athletes for a competitive, fair & fun race!
Keep it smooth...