Report – Carlsbad Sprint Triathon

date: Sunday July 11th
distance: 1k swim, 25k bike and 5k run

Equipment:
Swim – Sable WaterOptics and Blue Seventy Reaction wetsuit
Bike – Ritchey BreakAway w/Aero set up, Shimano Di2 and Rotor Cranks, Rolf Prima Vigor
Run – Saucony Grid Sinister

Finally this weekend had some weather change. Early morning fog letting up a bit and the waves settling down from the previous days hi surf advisory. All making for ideal race conditions. One of the most difficult factors for this race is the parking. One must arrive early to find prime parking. The race may start at 8 am put to get a parking spot I chose to arrive at 5:15 or so. Transition opened little late, and there was a massive line of athletes with their bikes lining PCH, good thing they close the road form traffic.

Arriving this early allowed for a little bit of relaxation time, rode a couple of block to verify saddle height since I changed pedals the other day and will be racing with Pyro Platforms to make for speedy transitions – need to raise the saddle quite a bit. Did a longer ride on PCH (Carlsbad Boulevard) to double check and all seamed just about right. Headed to the transition line and waited about 40 minutes before they opened up the gated,  talked with other competitors to make the time go by a bit faster. Setting up transition pretty simple, throw down a towel and make sure helmet and shoes in right position for easy application. Still a long time before race start, so did a few warm up runs on PCH to get the legs and blood going.


Time to head down to the swim start, which was 1000 or so meters up the coast. The sight was impressive with all the athletes all strung out as they made their way to the starting arch. As mentioned, the waves had settled down from earlier in the week – a good thing for all athletes. I was did a bit of warm up swimming as I made my way down to the start and took advantage of some waves for a little body surfing.

Ok, time to race. Air horn signal for our wave to go, wave five. Long run out  before water height appropriate for true swimming. I jumped a little early to start my dolphin entry, water was still to shallow. It seemed as though our wave was timed just right to clear most of the breaking waves, However, quite a ways out there were a couple of “big” once that messed me up. They threw off my momentum and stalled/pushed me back a ways. I was hoping to have a real good swim but I think I lost 45 secons or so. It appeared I was in the middle of the pack…kind of sucks but live and learn. I did pretty good on my sighting and staying close the buoys to minimize extra swim distance. Heading in I was not able to catch any wave (see minute 2:50 of this video and see how much an advantage a wave can give you.)

T1 seemed pretty uneventful, suit off shoes on. Decided to not bother riding up the slight grade out of transition, did not want to have any issues. I was using my platforms pedals so I was biking with my run shoes already on. This is a fast bike course, a few undulation on PCH, a little wind here and there but overall it fast and straight. I felt I was performing pretty good. for the most part I was watching my watts… pushing 220-260 and under 200 on the downhills or so on average. I probably should have had my cyclometer on MPH and used that to keep me going as fast as possible.With the Shimano Di2 shifting its smooth shifting all the way now worries about missing or dropping chains.

T2 again uneventful, just get rid of the bike, really no transition time since I already had my running shoes on. I’m still getting my running form back, and short fast racing leg turn over is the key. I am not there yet but still did pretty good.

This was my first “real” triathlon this season, done some TCSD club races, a marathon and an half distance aqua bike. As you may have read from my earlier blog writings I have been in recovery for foot issues and have been hesitant on my run training. Running has been my strength in the past and I hope to get back into for before my big event in September (Rev3 full Cedar Point).

So, I finished the race 7th in my age group out of 77 athletes. I would call it the 2nd tear of athletes since the guys in front really did great. I was 12th in the swim, 8th on the bike, and 4th on the run in my group. With a finish time of 1:22 and change, I was 6 minutes off the winner who had the fastest swim time of the day overall. He killed everyone right there. I only wish I knew how one does that well.

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The Carlsbad triathlon is a great race. It is a “true” sprint race compared to many of the other sprint races in the area. I hope to be back nest year. And I have thank Richard Duquette, bicycle injury lawyer of 911Law .com for helping with my entry.

photo: credits:
Heading down into the “pit” aka: transition area. photo courtesy of James Ismailoglu
Many of the run course images courtesy of Triathlon Club of San Diego

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