New England Season Opener Sprint Tri Race Report

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The day had finally come. All of my hard work in the pool and on the bike would hopefully pay off. My goal was actually quite simple: don’t drown. You see, when I signed up to do this triathlon, I couldn’t really swim. I could swim for fun and if I had to save my life, but not competitively or in a straight direction for an extended period of time. So I spent a lot of time in the pool teaching myself how to swim mainly from YouTube videos and websites. I’m still terrible at swimming, but at least I can swim now (sort of).

My morning started off at 5AM with a short ride to get my rental car. I used a peer-to-peer car sharing service called RelayRides because it was the cheapest option for an all day rental. This car sharing program is unique in that you rent cars from actual people as opposed to a company. The only issue was that it’s not as popular as some of the bigger names out there so I had to bike a few miles to get the car.

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After I got my bike racked and my gear loaded, it was off to Hopkinton State Park for the race. Unfortunately, Selma was home for her moms graduation so it was just me and my steed this weekend.

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The event was run extremely efficiently. Once I arrived, it was off to the packet pick-up station to get my race numbers and timing chip. This took all of 2 minutes. After that, I got my body marked and then went into the transition area to set up my station. They had lots of volunteers everywhere directing people around so that was really helpful considering I came alone and had no idea what I was doing.

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This was also my first time in a transition area and it is just as confusing as it looks.

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Lots and lots of bikes and stuff everywhere.

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The easiest thing to do is to walk from the transition areas to your rack multiple times before you have to do it for real. That way you don’t lose precious time wandering around like an idiot trying to find your rack.

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I didn’t practice any transitions before hand (my bad) but I did watch a lot of YouTube videos on how to properly set up my transition area. Everyone has their own way of doing things but this seemed like the best way to do it. Basically, you just set everything up in the order in which you need them. This way, you don’t forget anything and lose valuable time during the transitions.

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Once I got everything set up, I suited up and went for a practice swim. The water was freezing but it was a good thing that I went for a practice swim the day before at Walden Pond to get the feel for swimming in cold water.

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Here is a picture of the finish line which I would be (hopefully) crossing under shortly.

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The swim portion was, as expected, my weakest leg out of the three. I’m pretty sure I was the last male out of the water in my age group. But like I said, my goal was simply not to drown. My total swim time was 13:46 – really really slow.

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However, once I got on my bike, I started picking people off one by one. I felt really good during the bike portion and seemed to make up a lot of lost time during the ride. Plus, the race course went right through the start line of the Boston Marathon so that was a really cool experience.

And finally, the run was terrible but I kept to my pace which was an 8 min mile.This last part of the run course was the worst. The wind coming off the water was brutal but the finish line was in sight so you just had to power through at this point.

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My transitions were also pretty slow given that I never practiced them. I will definitely need to practice them for my next race because I could have saved a bunch of time.

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The worst part about the race was actually not the swim portion as you might have guessed. It was this stupid line for food afterwards. 2014-05-11 11.23.05

Because this is a food blog, I couldn’t leave out the best part of this entire race. With the entry fee, they included a BBQ meal for all the athletes. I opted for the sausage with peppers and onion and a Caesar salad. Nothing like a good wiener after a long and hard race.

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Overall, I’m really happy with my time for this event. I certainly learned a lot and would definitely recommend it to anyone who is looking to do their first triathlon.

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My next sprint tri is with the Johnson & Johnson team and i’m fundraising to support the efforts of the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. Every dollar will be matched 100% by my company so every dollar really does count! You can find the link to my fundraising page below.

And with that, thanks for reading!

If you hate debilitating diseases such as multiple sclerosis and ALS, or if you would like to help out an amazing hospital, please consider donating to some worthy causes!  You can find my fundraising pages by clicking on the buttons below. As always, each donation counts as a separate entry to win a home cooked meal by yours truly or a $25 Amazon gift card!

Bike MS Tri-State Trek J&J Triathlon - CHOP

 

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