Last Sunday was my first triathlon of the season, the BlasterBlast, sponsored by the Colorado School of Mines in Golden, CO. The course was a fairly flat sprint distance that seemed a tame enough race to kick the summer off. Dave came with me, which made it a hundred times more fun than getting up early by myself.
The swim was 750 meters, an easy distance for me since I used to swim the mile in college. When you register for a race, they typically ask for your estimated swim time so they can slot you in a heat. I am always super conservative because I figure I would rather have to deal with slower swimmers than get in the way of a faster swimmer. But what has happened (several times now) is that I end up in a heat that 1) starts almost an hour after the official race start and 2) includes swimmers who are much slower than me and I have to navigate around and try to pass. I was on the tail of the guy in front of me every time he got to the pool wall and a polite swimmer would have let me pass. But he kept pushing off anyway so I had to slow way down and do breast stroke so I didn’t get kicked in the face. Next time, I’m going to be more accurate with my swim time so I can get in a faster heat.
It was a cool morning and I was worried about staying warm after the swim so I wore two layers for the bike (over my tri suit) and planned to strip one off during the transition to the run. The bike leg was 200K (12.5 miles) and it was the worst course I’ve ever been on. The path winded around downtown Golden, which crossed lots of main roads, had a lot of hairpin turns, and was pretty much the local bike/walk path. Lots of pedestrians, walkers, and really narrow two-lane trails with very little room to pass. And lots of dogs! I would rather crash my bike than hit an innocent dog or person which means I spent most of the bike course going very slow. It didn’t even feel like a race. But it was a beautiful day so I figured I’d just have a good time and look at it like a good workout.
For the run, I really wanted to keep my inner layer on instead of the outer but my bib number was pinned to the outer shirt and it would have taken a few minutes to undo the pins and repin during transition so I skipped it. The run was an easy 5K (3.1 miles) and it was over pretty quick. The last quarter mile was a cruel uphill climb back to the school. My legs felt like anvils after the bike so it was a bit of a slog and I need to figure out what is going on with my legs because that happens every time.
Overall, it was a fun race and I met some great people and one incredibly inspiring woman. Patty Townsend is in her 60’s and has been running triathlons for 10 years! Holy smokes I want to be her! She agreed to let me interview her for my blog so look for an interview in a later post.
Thanks to Dave for getting up early, for driving, letting me use his shirt to dry off after the swim (while I ran to transition), and for taking pics and being my champion. Next race is the Olympic distance San Diego World Triathlon on May 12th!