The week approaching Columbia I was a little nervous about the race since it was my first race of the season, trying to shake the first race gitters away, and I had been under the waether for about 2 weeks prior.
The day of the race we lucked out and had incredible weather for the triathlon. It was clear skys and in the 70s with low humidity. We arrived at the race site around 5:30am to set up and parked at the host hotel about 10 minutes away. I thought the lot at the race site would have filled up by now so we parked at the host hotel and took the shuttle down to the race site. When we arrived at the race site there was still plenty of parking. Rookie mistake….
The race went well despite the unexpected challenging course. I did not PR in this race nor was I really expecting to due to the challenging terrain on the run in particular.
I felt a little sluggish and tight in the swim although my time was better than I had thought. The swim takes place in Centennial Lake starting at a boat ramp about a 3 minute walk from transition. From the boat ramp the swim course leads out toward a dam where and makes a u turn back in the direction of transition. Coming out of the water into T-1 I felt great. It was actually probably the best feeling T-1 I have ever had. I did not have that heart throbbing, blood rushing feeling I usually get coming intlo T-1. I felt fresh.
The bike course was beautiful and challenging. The bike out is a straight uphill to the start of the course which at first glance looked real intimidating but it was not as intense as it actually appeared. My legs started cramp a bit on the beginning of the bike which concerned me. I popped some salt pills earlier which seemed to have helped a few minutes later. Out on the course there were many challenging hills. I had a blast bombing some of the hills. There were two water stations on the bike course which was nice to have in an international distance race. The roads were also open to traffic which became a little annoying at times as cars stopped on the road causing me to almost come to a full stop on the course. Coming into T-2 I made an attempt to try to slip out off my shoes to run my bike into transition prior dismounting. I waited too long to do it and almost crashed into the fence a few feet away from T-2. Near death experience of the day, check! Maybe not today. Maybe I should practice this more, I said to myself. Coming into T-2 my legs were feeling good for the run.
I started off with a quick pace, much faster than I usually start. The run course was probably the most challenging part of the race. About 200 meters into the course you go into an uphill and then wind around centennial lake across a pedestrian bridge. The course then heads north of the lake into a lollipop off shoot up into an adjacent neighborhood. After crossing the bridge into the lollipop loop the course becomes much hillier with a gradual hill up to the top of the loop. My pace had slowed significantly at this point. I almost had to walk up one of the hills. I kept pushing through though. Many locals were out cheering us on and set up sprinklers in their lawn on to cool us down. It was great and much appreciated. After coming off the lollipop loop it was a downhill run to the lake again with one large uphill then it was flat to the finish as we ran across the dam. The last .2 miles was all downhill after peaking on a small uphill. The finish line and last .2 miles was right on the waters edge which was beautiful.
In all I was very pleased with the race. The course was very challenging and beautiful and I thought Tricolumbia did a great job putting the event on. Not to mention the schwag I got was quite good. Besides the usual t-shirt I got a large overnight/transition bag, water bottle and visor. I would definitely do this one again.
My race results:
|Overall Place||398 of 1683 Top 24%|
|Division Place||42 or 127 Top 33%|