I really appreciated the Saturday vs Sunday race date and the WPB proximity to home. On Friday night I dropped my bike off and with Sal & Suzanne’s help, wrapped it up nicely to ward off the rain. We also did Char and Rick Luise’s bike. I parked at Datura lot for the $5 all day ticket, knowing I’d be back for the post race dinner and awards. I set up pretty quickly, there was plenty of room left for other bikes in the rack. I swam a bit first off the dock, warm and calm Intracoastal waters were the order for today. I saw the buoys setup for the half iron distance race, I didn’t want to go that far! My swim felt ok, no incidents with people or problems keeping my head down and moving forward. It seemed very long to get the swim north in the boat channel portion of the race done. When I came out of the water with Larry Aft, I figured I was doing ok. That was ’til I reached the transition area, finding both Suzannes and Adrienne were already out and gone. Time to transition quickly and catch up on the bike.
The bike course was nice, I saw Austin taking pics on Australian Avenue. It was a breeze in the face for the ride to Southern Blvd, then an indirect headwind heading west on Southern Blvd to the turnaround. Suzanne said to me that the turnaround was west of SR7, I wasn’t familiar with the route as I’m not often in Wellington. I thought I’d have to hustle to catch the girls knowing how well they’ve been riding. I was right! I saw Suzanne S. witha 2-3 min lead on me coming back from the turn as I went up the SR7 hill. I never saw Adrienne, but I spotted Suzanne M at the turnaround, a mere 200m ahead. With the way back being wind aided, I should be able to catch and ride with her. It looked like my avg speed going out was high 20-low 21mph. Now heading home, I was in the 22-23 range and comfortably churning a spin without taxing my run legs. I kept seeing white cycling shorts in front of me, but I never caught Suzanne or any of the other people I knew. I think they may have sped up in the back half, taking full advantage of a clear traffic pattern and favorable winds. I came in to transition and made a quick change, knowing now I’d have to catch everyone on foot.
Running felt good, I used my Garmin with velcro for the first time which was easy to put on while trotting out of transition. First I spotted Suzanne M in her colorful new K-Swiss outfit. It was getting warmer out, so I didn’t want to blaze the first half f the course and have nothing good left for the second half. She was running well, knowing she had yoga class afterwards I jokingly offered to help carry her to the studio – she was more interested in having someone carry her home instead of running in the heat. Under the Okee bridge I had a 7 min pace, Austin was taking some pictures, and I knew shade was ahead at the Washington Ave turnaround. I saw Adrienne next, spoke with her briefly and headed south. I wasn’t passing many people, I was running by myself for much of the south Flagler stretch. But no one passed me, more importantly. At the turn I found Suzanne S and told her she was in good shape, running a great race. She disagreed, but kept going at her solid pace. Now running North, I slowed some in the sun but kept concentrating on my breathing. I came by the Okee bridge again, made it past the start/finish area – which was neat having so many people I knew cheering on. Heading north still I was surprised at how far up the turnaround was. I thought it was by St Anne’s or maybe by the overpass to Palm Beach. Nope. How about Good Samaritan Hospital? I was very surprised to see the string of athletes making their way that far up Flagler Blvd. I hit the sparely manned turnaround water stop and happily headed home. I ran with a long haired blonde guy most of the way, til he fell off the pace. I passed him in the finish line chute and crossed to finish in 2:38. I stayed around watching friends finish and had some of the post race snacks. I returned later that night for the post race food and awards. They will have to get a bigger place for next year, this was way too small for the people that showed up. Good to see friends winning awards and the race management folks were satisfied with the outcome of the first big triathlon held in WPB. It was good and I’ll do the next one.