Castaic Sprint Triathlon (400 yd swim, 10 mi bike, 3 mi run)
**All times are approximate (my watch and garmin) as this race is not chip timed.
I arrived at the lake about 6:30am and met up with Liana (@fittorent) and Bob (@rcmcoach) and headed down to the transition area to find a spot to set up. I quickly nabbed one of the remaining end spots and headed over to register. After I got my transition area setup, Liana, Bob, myself and JT (not on twitter) stood around and talked until it was time for the pre-race meeting. Once Dave (the race director) went through all of the final instructions, we made our way down to the water. I dove in and did a few minutes of warm up before they closed the warm up area.
Myself and JT were in the 3rd wave to go and when the siren went off, my heart started racing. Over the last few months, I have really been working on my swimming and was ready to tackle this open water swim. I eased into the water and tried to stay on JT's heels but I got cut off by 2 other swimmers, so I just decided to go it on my own. I found a nice rhythm until I got between 2 other swimmers that ran into each other just in front of me. I flipped over on my back for a few seconds to let them get ahead and for me to re-group. Other than the turn at the buoy, the rest of the swim went well. I made it out of the water in 6:26 which is over a minute faster than last year. I made the 200 yd run to my transition area feeling a bit spent. I quickly put on socks, bike shoes, helmet, sunglasses and my garmin and away I went.
The ride out of the transition area is slightly uphill, so I was glad I put my bike in an easy gear to get started. Once I made it out of the park and onto the streets, I was feeling pretty good and started to really move. I passed a few people on my way to the prison, one of which was a girl about 15 or so, on a beach cruiser. I felt really bad because I know there is a pretty good hill that is about 1 mile long that she was going to have climb on that bike with only one gear. I hit the hill and worked my way up. Towards the top, my legs were starting to burn, but I knew just a bit more and I would be at the top and heading back downhill. I was excited to finish the bike without any problems, 2 years ago I dropped a chain and last year I dropped a water bottle early on. Bike time: 34:36
After throwing on my shoes and tying them (I still havent migrated to Yankz, etc) I headed out for the run. The course was changed back to the same run course as in 2008 which was a 1.5 mile out and back around the lake. For the first 1/2 mile, I found it difficult to find a breathing rhythm, but once I did, I got into a nice pace. I just followed the string of people out to the turn around and then picked up the pace a bit coming back. The last 1/4 mile, I really picked up the pace, running sub 8 min/mi and sprinted across the finish.
Run Time: 26:05
Total Time: 1:11:13 (over 3 minutes faster than last year.)
Final thoughts: I really enjoy this race for several reasons...it's small, about 200 participants, it is a fund raiser for the Canyon HS Cross Country program and it has some of the best volunteers that I have ever experienced at a race. If you are looking to do your first triathlon or just want to have some fun, the second sprint triathlon in the series is on August 7, 2010...hope to see you out there.
I also want to say a special "Thank You" to Liana and Bob for coming out to cheer all of the racers on...you guys rock!
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