This was my first Olympic distance triathlon ever, and the event did not appoint. The lake swim was great and the lifeguard support was great as well. I kind of veered off course a little bit towards the end of the swim, but the lifeguards directed me towards the proper course and I did not lose that much time in the water, thankfully. Even with that, I was able to finish with one of my best swim times. After getting out of the water, it was on to T1. T1 was marked off very well, and I was able to change and get to my bike without a problem.
Out of T1, I was able to get a good start onto the bike course, and the bike course was challenging. The first part of the course was a steady climb until you got to around mile 4-5, then it was rolling hills until the turn around at mile 12, and then you come back on the same course. I will give props to a fellow tri-athlete who helped push me through the first part of the course. Anyways, one thing I will tell everyone to watch out for is right when you turn onto the bike trail (around Mile 19-20), there is a little bit of a bump there in which you will catch some air, and you might wipeout if you aren’t careful. I almost ate concrete on one of my training rides, but I was able to remember on race day. Once you get onto the bike trail, you have a downhill grade until you get into T2. I had problems in T2 because I could not find my shoes at all. T2 was a mess! It looked like the triathletes put their bikes anywhere that they could find room, and then went to get their shoes. Because of that, I lost at least 2-3 minutes in T2, and I was constantly yelling, “Where are my shoes?” Since this was my first, I will chalk it up to a “live and learn” experience.
After finally finding my shoes, I was out of T2 and onto the run course. The first 1-2 miles of the run course were slightly downhill and I was able to make up some of the lost time in T2. After the downhill, there were some rolling hills, and there was the nightmare…Vista Del Lago. It felt like that street doubled in height since the training runs. Luckily, one of the race grader people were also running the course, and was able to motivate me up the hill. Thanks a lot for that RaceGrader because I was definitely out of gas at time. Finally, after getting up Vista Del Lago, I was able to finish strong, and set a good time for my first Olympic distance triathlon. I will say that I am hooked on triathlon training, and I will be participating in more of them in the future.
My only beef with the post-race festivities is that the organizers need to give out a medal. It was a long enough distance and time to give out a medal. You can do it Orange County Tri people! Other than that, I will most likely return next year to participate. I take that back, I will be back next year. My goal is to break the 3 hour mark!