This was my first "normal order" triathlon. Until now, I've done four reverse sprints and several duathlons and a biathlon. The course required a weigh-in. Apparently, this will be required on most of the west Texas sprint triathlon due to some mistaken beliefs by some of the registrants. One would-be Clydesdale was put on the scale and was found to be well under 200, even fully dressed and fully hydrated. "Well, I was 200 last night," he mumbled, before being bumped into his proper age-group category...he then apparently left, because his name did not appear in the results.
The swim was 400 yards, with people starting every 20 seconds based on their reported estimate. This is where I panicked. Did I put down 100 meters or 100 yards? What if I under reported my time, and get passed by a million people? (See, I told you I worry a lot) When it was my turn, in typical Texas fashion, the timer yelled in a drawl, "All rat, girl - you got 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, now get out there and swim, girl!" I passed one swimmer, and another swimming passed us both, so I was pretty on target with my original estimate. Swim time: 9:01.
To get to T1, I had to run out and through a grassy area, about 40 yards. Since this was my first "normal" tri, I thought the long run to the bikes would dry them, but my socks stuck and rolled up and refused to go on, and my T1 time was 2:14. Finally, I had everything ready and headed out on the 10-mile bike. Here, I learned a valuable lesson: Don't fill your aero bottle full. My ride through a b-u-m-p-y residential area resulted in a Gatorade shower. Stickily, I turned up the service road to I-40, straight into about a steady 15-20-mph wind for a few miles. Then a right turn onto a large boulevard - traffic police holding back traffic the whole way. Along the way, teenage volunteers were screaming at EVERYone at the top of their lungs; I must admit that works for me - when someone yells and claps that loudly at me, I speed up because I feel obligated to make it worth their while. Part of the bike course goes past some stockyards - whew. When I came into T2, three guys were standing around at my bike rack spot chatting, and tried to stop but skated right into them...note to self: new blacktop is surprisingly slick when wearing "clipless" biking shoes. Bike time: 41:02
Here's where it gets interesting. The run was flat, and the wind was refreshing. However, I hadn't done a run at the end of a tri. I was whooped. Pooped. Whatever. I staggered along, occasionally darting off the course to run through someone's sprinklers, and taking a few quick walk breaks when I got a stictch in my side and felt winded, but eventually I remembered my original goal to finish the triathlon in under 1:30 and picked up the pace. I am convinced now that my run is my weakest link, during this split I was dropped by at least a half dozen runners. Run time: 36:37. My total time was 1:30:06. Argh! Okay, I'll make some excuses for the really long transition run and decide that I made my goal...
(above, left, number 2 son Jon rounding to the finish...on the right, me.)
My only complaints about Amarillo: (I love Texas so much - I truly do) It's not terribly veggie friendly. Like most of Texas, everything is celebrated with a meat bbq or steaks. We ordered bean burritos at Toco Villa with no cheese, and they put a meat sauce in them on top of the beans. I know it doesn't sound like much, but I haven't eaten meat since 2000 and so I was a little disappointed. If you're a veggie and looking for a good, cheap, high-glycemic post race meal, I recommend a Taco Villa, but be sure to say, "no meat sauce on the burrito, please."
Race rating: Nice for beginners, like me!
Results: First place, Athena.
Friendliness rating: A+, like nearly all of Texas.
Funky smell rating:
I'll post pictures when I get them back.
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