Chaparral Sprint Triathlon – Race Report

4th tri of the season is now in the books. Sunday was an early morning. The Chaparral Triathlon is in the south end of town and I’m way up in the north end. The Chaparral Tri offers 3 different races – Tri – it, Sprint and Olympic. I opted to do the sprint distance cause I got razzed for doing just the tri-it distance at Coral Springs and well I didn’t feel like doing the Olympic. The Sprint distance wasn’t the usual instead the bike/run were supposedly a tad short but I’ll tell ya more about that later.

T1/T2 check in closed at 7:30am so while I wasn’t due to start my race until 10am I still had to be there way early. The plan was to be there for 7am so that meant being up at about 5:30ish so I had time to get dressed and finish off putting my stuff in the car. Hubby tagged along for support and to take photos but I let him sleep a few minutes longer.

I had prepared/packed most of my stuff the night before. I did not want to eat my breakfast that early so I opted to make a pita stuffed with peanut butter and banana. I divided it up into 3 sections – 1 for breakfast to eat on the way there, 1 for after the swim and the last section for after the bike. I also filled my water bottle for the bike with ice and Powerade. It was a tad chilly so I wore capris and a tshirt over my swim outfit (tri top & swimsuit bottoms). My outfit for the bike/run was already packed in my transition bag. Rumor had it the swim would be warmish so I opted not to wear a wetsuit.

We picked up Nikayla (my granddaughter) who was coming along to keep hubby company and headed south just after 6 and got there just before 7am. The place was already a buzz with lots of athletes setting up their bikes. I found the row for mine and started setting up. I love how they say 7 bikes to a rack but somepeople spread their stuff out so much your lucky to get 5 on there. I set my stuff up so that my spot is only a few inches to the right of my rear tire and barely using any space. They announced we could enter the transition area after the prerace meeting so I didn’t have to worry about ditching everything there right away.

I milled about visiting with friends and checking out the venue site. I waded into the lake to about knee deep to check the water temperature. Chilly by some standards but just fine to me. It was overcast and threatening to rain. I told myself it would be okay to sprinkle but prayed there would be no downpour. At 7:45 they had a brief meeting explaining rules, routes, wave starts etc. It was hard to hear so I missed some key info….oh well.

The first wave at 8am was the women Olympic triathletes. The Olympic racers had to do 2 laps of the lake. This is a short clip of the women as they head around the bouys for their second lap.

They were followed by the men at 9am. There were a couple of slower women still finishing off there second loop as the men headed out.

After the men headed out for the Olympic we got a chance to warm up in the water. I dove in right away and it felt warm to me but others complained it was chilly.

Swim Start – Sprint
Next up was us, the Sprint triathletes. At the last minute they annouced the women would go first at 10am and the men would follow at 10:05….Yikes! There had been cameras in the T1/T2 area. It was X-Weighted filming a family of 3 doing the Sprint Tri as their “goal”. I chatted breifly with the Mother/Daughter as we waited to start the swim. We headed out in a clump of women, most in wetsuits but a few like me just in swimsuit type attire. The announcer had joked “No Shivering Allowed!” I didn’t but saw a few others even in wetsuits with teeth chattering.

It didn’t take long before we were well spreadout with the fast swimmers way way ahead. I know there were swimmers behind me and cool I even passed a few. Ahead of me someone signaled for help and the boat headed towards her leaving a gassy odor in the water…yuck. I swam past it as fast as I could. My goal was to try and stay ahead of the X-Weighted ladies and their film crew although I’m sure I ended up in some of their footage (providing they don’t cut me out). They were actually pretty nice people and cheered me on throughout the event. Heck I had a tweet later from Paul Plakas that their film crew boat even rescued a few swimmers. His comment was “who does a tri without knowing how to swim?” I kind of have to agree, one should be know if they can go the distance.

I loved the swim except for one tiny detail. Remember I said the men were starting 5 minutes behind us….well that meant by the time I rounded the half way buoy they were pretty much on top of me. I swung wide around the buoy to avoid getting a foot in the face or putting my foot in someone’s face. However in doing so I ended up heading a tad bit off course costing me valuable minutes in my swim time. I had hoped for 25 minutes but had to settle for a time of 27:35 but heh at least that was less then my plan B goal of 30 minutes.

Once back on track while the water was still crowded and choppy I kept on track and headed straight for the finish. The start had been on a sandy beach but the swim finish arch was above the boat dock. The ramp under the water was extremely slippery so we had to swim right up to the end where a volunteer was to help out of the water. I looked at the guy and laughed. I figured for sure I would pull him into the water before he pulled me out. I was wrong but nearly lost my bottoms as he pulled me out…ooops. Oh yeah I also scraped my knee up on the slippery ramp.

Swim Time – 27:35 place 211/219 (not last out of the water, yeah! That’s a first…lol)

T1 & Bike
Nikayla was waiting for me as I exited and handed me my glasses. I had given them to her on the beach before heading out. I found my bike quickly. I think I did good on T1 time. What took the longest was putting on my compression socks. Thankfully to save time I had this bright idea of rolling them up then all I had to do was unroll them to put them on.

Off on the bike. The bike was good except for one really nasty hill. Now let me clarify that. It’s not the going back uphill I minded so much it’s the going down. I’m still a bit terrified of long steepish downhills and need to work on that. Oh yeah, lucky me I got to do that route and hill twice. Unlucky Olympic athletes had to do it FIVE times! Remind me never to do the Olympic at this triathlon, lol. Despite breaking an awful lot on the downhill I still made good time on my bike.

T1/T2 & Bike Time – 1:13:39 214/219 – Garmin put actual time on bike as 1:01:42, T1 approx 9 minutes which means T2 was about 2 minutes.

T2 & Run
T2 was almost a disaster but apparantly still reasonably quick. Others on my rack had racked their bikes over my spot and left me no room to manouver my bike into place. I tried but nearly knocked off the other bikes and luckily another athlete came to my rescue to help me squeeze mine into place. Despite that I was off and running fairly quickly. The downside of the run – volunteers seemed to have no real clue as to where we were going, nor did I for that matter. The run route ran back past where we had excited from the water. Hubby told me later that there were many near collisions earlier because of the way the two courses overlapped. The route took us through the park area in a loop that ended up back parallel to the finish area. Yikes people everywhere including all over the path I needed to run on, made for a slow go and well I’m already slow enough…sheesh. Once out of the main area and running in the community there was no signs and only one maybe two volunteers. Being at the back that meant I was pretty much on my own. Oh yeah I can’t remember where but there was one aid station. After looping the community it’s back through the park again. I was frustrated as my garmin showed way over the 5k distance and longer then they had said. That of course through of my finish time. Oh well such is life.

Finally the finish was in site and I picked it up just a little to finish strong. The post race food was excellent – huge salads, buns, pasta salad, lasagna and fruit. Lots of prizes and yes I won something once again. This time it was a “Tri-it” visor. Cool. Hubby was nice enough to fetch the vehicle while Nikayla and I waited. Oh yeah, the weather held out for most of the event. There was a bit of spitting rain during the run which actually felt nice and the temperature was just right for all of it.

Run time – 1:13:39 – 214/219.
Overall time – 2:38:08 – 215/219 – While there were 3 DNFs there was still one athlete that finished behind me by just over 3 minutes. Finally a tri where I wasn’t in last place…lol.

Well that’s it for this year’s tri season. Four triathlons, each slightly different, 4 new tech shirts, 4 prizes and 1 awesome medal. A good start to “Tri Life”.

I’ll keep swimming but I need to get back to running. I also need to look at my training plans and decide what’s next. Be sure to check out all the great photos over at Flickr.

Chaparral Tri – Flilckr Photos
Chaparral Tri – Race Results