September 7, 2009 was the date of my first sprint triathlon - the Blackland Sprint Triathlon. Some good news, some not so good news…no bad news as I had an incredible blast and I met several cool athletes during the race. I think what stuck out the most for me was the bike ride -I didn't have to worry about any traffic and slowing down at corners like I do when I am biking at home.
Final time – 1:38:18. I missed my set goal of 1:30. I’m going to chalk up these eight minutes to the flat tire I had on mile ten with five miles to go but more on that later.
Swim – A pool swim at the Collin County Community College in Plano, TX. 50 meter pool, six laps. First group was smoking fast. I don’t know their time but the winner swam it in 3:48! His final time was 1:03:11! The 1st woman was 1:10:23….Congrats to both of them….smoking fast in my humble opinion!
My wife timed me for the first two 50m lengths both at one minute but I faltered and tired a bit and finished at 7:32. Side note: one guy choked a lot of water on the first lane and was pulled from the pool by the lifeguards. He rested for about ten minutes and entered back where he was taken out of the water and finished. His name was Will and it seemed every person in the pool area was chanting his name when he finally climbed out of the pool to record his swim time!
T1 time – 3:15. One reason for this was that we had to run from the indoor pool, up a hill to the transition area which was at least another 50 yards away, then I put on my shirt with my bib number, socks and running shoes since I don’t have clipless biking shoes. I knew doing all this would help me on T2 so I moved as quick as I could. I grabbed my shirt, helmet, shades, socks and put my shoes on and I was off.
Bike - The ride was nice and smooth. Their were several hills, a couple of steep declines - those were fast and SO MUCH FUN! One female kept trading places with me as she would pass me on the downhills, I’d then catch her and pass on the inclines and stay a bit ahead on the flats. When I finished loop one I came to a downhill, then here she comes again…WOOSH…flying by…argh! So not fair…HA! This is when the “not so good news” happened. At mile ten I heard a noise like I had gotten paper in my spokes or something. I looked but saw nothing but a few seconds later my rear tire blows out.
So, not only did I not have a spare tube, CO2 cartridge, tools etc. with me, but I don’t have quick release levers for my wheels on my bike. It’s an inexpensive bike to say the least. I was stuck in thought, do I run 5 miles with the bike on my shoulder or do I huff it out on a flat and ruin my rim? Needless to say, I biked on a flat for the last five miles. I ended up with a 16.5 mph speed even with the flat. What stunk is that I was averaging around 19 mph before this had happened…ugh! One side note….on lap two I passed the police speed checker they had posted to let us know how fast were going. I was going 13 mph and then it bumped up to 21 mph. WHAT? A guy on who knows what kind of bike flies past me and since he was moving so fast compared to my limping bike I didn’t get to see what he was riding. I did enjoy all the bikes in the transition stage before the race started and some very friendly people at the event.
T2 – 1:38 – I come limping in on a flat tire. I was told this by several people on the course letting me know I had a flat! I dismounted and thud...my legs were lead. I expected this. I walk/trotted to my rack, stowed the bike, took off my helmet, grabbed my watch and was off. Having my socks, shoes, shades and shirt with my bib number on already really helped.
Run - I take off and my wife is there to snap a picture and cheer me on before going to the finish line. But WOW….I did some brick work before during training but the energy I put in biking with the flat really ruined my legs. I ran a ½ mile and had to walk for 30 seconds to catch my breath. When I was finally back running again I knew my pace was way off. I was hoping to run an 8:30 pace or better but it wasn’t happening today.
The course went through a neighborhood, around the college campus and around an open field - the grass was a welcome change from the asphalt on the other part of the course. The finishline was in the College Amphitheater which was really cool since when you approach you can hear the crowd cheering on the finishers. I reach the back side and to my surprise there was a steep incline to get to the top of the Amphitheater but then a nice decline in so it was a good kick for everyone. One guy was kicking past me at the bottom of the hill and I had to yell, “Nice Kick.” I think it inspired him as he kicked into even a higher gear. Too cool!
I reached the finish line and on my left a guy hands me an empty water bottle, on the right a woman handed me an ice cold water. I drank, opened my empty water bottle and unfortunately was not a winner.
For one man and one woman though, the empty water bottles had winning tickets for prizes with the ultimate…a Cannondale F7 Mountain Bike. We later came across the woman who won as she was telling her friend about the excitement we witnessed. That was great. Overall this was a fantastic event, well managed, sold out for its second year after increasing their number of entrants for this year.
I know it’s long and Thank You for reading. I am so ready to check on when the next one I can enter.
Side note…my hats off to any and all athletes out there that not only complete in these sprints but the Olys, Half and Full IronMans! Salute to you!
Final times – 1:38:18 – Swim 7:2 – T1 3:15 – Bike 54:31 – T2 1:38 – Run 31:21(10:07M pace)