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Albany Aquatics Sprint Tri Race Review

April 23, 2012

First tri of the season. Done! For the first time in my race history, I slept the night before! So much so, when the alarm went off I was confused as to why. Must have been that 3 hour ride and 25 min run yesterday!

I left my apartment just before 5:30 and was greeted outside my building by some drunk dude who exclaimed “no way, someone else is up?!” who then wanted to walk with me down the street and tell me all about his previous experience as a bike messenger. His enthusiasm for bikes was a little much at that time of the morning.

I have been trying to be pretty calm about this race and just consider it a practice. Of course that is hard to do, when I really just want to win (I seriously need to get over this). But it really was just about going through the motions and working out some kinks. I was pretty anxious about the swim portion of this race since it was in a pool and not open water. I don’t know why, I was fine. I did however wake up thinking my start time was 8 am, not 9 am, so my morning nutrition was a little off timing wise.

The swim portion wasn’t nearly as messy as I imagined. Everyone was given a start time based on their submitted 500yrd time to try and match skill level.  There were 3 people in my lane at the beginning and we started 5 seconds from each other. About a couple laps in, somehow we gained another person. I definitely gassed it early on in the race because I didn’t want the person behind me have to pass me. Well, he did anyway and I just had to suck it up.

This was a small tri with only about 150 participants, and then a duathlon event. It was really low key and a good beginner or practice event. The pool swim actually makes it great for beginners because you can stop if you need to and the start isn’t chaotic. The bike course was fairly flat and winded through farm fields which were rather pretty. Plus the day was absolutely gorgeous: around 70 and sunny. Woohoo! (Oops, hello first sunburn of the season.) This event is small and has a small budget, but that is ok especially if this is a practice race. It is hard to find a tri at this time in this area, so going into it if you know its practice it is good.

I ended up finishing second in my division. (Awards were ribbons, like you get in high school.) I was slow on the bike! But I guess for being a steel bike and riding with running sneakers, I didn’t do so bad. I also learned that in the future I should take a little ride before the race on the bike. Something funky was up with my bike and I couldn’t get it into low gear without some horrible horrible sound, so I ended up pedaling in high gear and spinning way more than I needed, and needlesstosay, getting passed.

Results here. I will also update our race page when splits are posted.

Overall a good day. Burger, fries and milkshake always taste good post-race. Thank you Burgerville, my post-race-reward.

The best moves on the road, however, came on the drive home when I narrowly escaped making a 4 car pileup a 5 car. When a pickup blew a tire a few cars in front of me and slammed on the brakes, the cars behind it had little time to break, including me. Realizing I was able to hit the car in front of me, I swerved to the left somehow wedging myself between the car ahead of me and the cement barrier, with inches to spare, and right before the person behind me hit the person ahead of me. Me and my car escaped without a scratch. Again, the Honda Fit, fit.

Alright, Haines City….race fever is happening.

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