This weekend I kicked off my triathlon season by competing in the Route 66 Triathlon Festivus which is made up of a Sprint Triathlon on Saturday and an Olympic distance event on Sunday. I kept quiet about my plans because I was extremely nervous about doing a triathlon double-header especially since it was also my first time doing an Olympic distance race. I did hint in my Friday blog post that I was headed to the "races!"
The Route 66 series is hosted by the Triathlon Club of Oklahoma City in El Reno, OK just west of Oklahoma City. The race is low-key but super well run and supported. The race director Buzz is quite the character and one of my favorite parts about the race!
Buzz eventually announced the water temp and it was a balmy 76 degrees meaning it would be wetsuit legal. I had just gotten my wetsuit and decided to skip it since I hadn't had a chance to practice in it yet. We had a pre-race meeting which included course information and a reminder of the rules that the officials would be looking at. The waves were men, women, and then special. The timing company DG Productions is known for their shotgun starts at races. I kid you not...they blast off a shotgun to start races. Buzz got things started just a few minutes early and soon I was in the water getting ready for the start.
The Swim: The swim course was new this year and was a huge improvement over last year. The course was great except for the low-rising sun which blinded me a few times. I had several moments of panic again this year. I think it is just the first open water swim of the season panic but I kept myself going and just did some breast stroke when I felt panicky. Once I found open water and could swim without getting attacked or running over people I was much calmer and could actually enjoy the process. The beach was a new addition this year at the lake so we actually had a sandy run out of the water and the race organizers were thoughtful to have two kiddie pools near the swim in entrance to transition to clean our feet off.
The Bike: The bike course is an out and back with a few inclines that are gradual inclines. The roads are in horrible condition though which makes this bike course challenging. There are some cracks in the road that could literally swallow your tire. We passed by a federal prison and I think it was taco day because it smelled like they were cooking up something spicy. Also just down from the prison it smelled like they were making some sweet bread like cranberry bread or something. The inital start of the course doesn't seem like a downhill but it is definitely an uphill on the return which thanks to Oklahoma seemed to be into the wind too. Overall, the bike was pretty uneventful for me which is the way I like it!
The Run: The run course winds its way around the lake access road and is a basic out and back course. Buzz says that there is water every mile on the course but the water stop is actually at the turn-around. The run course has absolutely no shade on it anywhere which means it is a hot, hot, hot run. I took walk breaks as I needed them which was more than I would have liked due to the heat.
Overall, my time was 1:35:08 compared to 1:34:54 at last year's race. I was surprised to see how close my total time was to last year!
More to come with the recap of Day 2 and the Olympic distance. I've also got a bunch of pictures to share from my sister who turned into cheerleader/picture taker extraordinaire! She took a gajillion pictures that I'll share with you in a picture post!