Saturday, August 27, 2005

Heart of the Sound Tri

This is a fairly new (started in 2001) little sprint triathlon (1/2 mile swim, 15 mile bike, 5K run) on Vashon Island in the Puget Sound. My friends Troy and Gay live on Vashon Island and Gay volunteered for the race. I flew in last night to Seattle and, due to the ferry delays, didn't get to Troy's house until 11pm. Luckily the triathlon didn't start until 9:30am. I did manage to assemble my bike while waiting for the ferry so it wasn't all lost time.

I drove from Troy's house on the north end of the island down to where the police officer was directing traffic and parked at the high school to catch a shuttle down to the race on the Burton peninsula.

I arrived at the race at 9am and Gay helped me checkin. They weren't going to let me race due to losing a barend cap. I wrapped my baggage receipt around the bars. The water in the salt-water lake was smooth for the swim. They started first with the relay wave (relays for a sprint?) and then with older waves first, and men 35-49 ended up being the fifth wave. I had more problems with the Aquasphere goggles getting water in them, and had to stop several times to clear the water. But great visibility when I wasn't doing that. I didn't notice my time out of the water, but I was moving slow. Clearly if I want to do well, I'll have to change my "no swim" training model ;-)

Gay cheered me out of the water into the transition and I jumped onto the bike. The bike course is quite hilly, which I love. I was glad I brought the road bike instead of the tri bike. I had lots of derailleur noise in most gears and was not shifting well, probably due to not putting the derailleur back on quite right. I should have done some checkout runs and potentially adjusted it before the race. The course is a loop that gives you a nice tour of this pretty island. Its also long for a sprint (15 miles) which also helps me. This is now one of my favorite tri bike courses. The bike course is what will bring me back. I did wipe out once on the course going into one of the steeper climbs, I shifted off the triple front derailleur and lost my chain and fell. I got back on the bike right away though and attacked the hill.

The sun came out just in time for the run, which was a loop on the road outside Camp Burton. Two loops of about 1 1/2 miles each, with a nice little hill in it. I'm not crazy about the double loop though in any race. I did each loop in about 11 minutes for about a 22 minute run split. Unfortunately I wasn't really timing my splits. And the race results didn't break those out. I finished with 1:42 for the race, exactly in the middle of the 13 40-49 year old men.

A fun race with a beautiful bike course. Its inexpensive $55 and reasonably well-organized. I'll be back next year.


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