Joel and I woke up bright and early at 2:30 a.m. We were on the road at 3:45 a.m. for the 1 hour 40 minute drive to Jekyll Island. Made it to the race site, picked up the race packets, set up transition, and headed down to the beach. Frantic Atlantic! The waves were huge, the water looked rough. I put on my wetsuit, Joel doesn't have a wetsuit, but said the water wasn't bad. We waded in the water for a few minutes, getting knocked over by the waves. This swim was going to be a challenge.
1500 meter ocean swim. Joel was in the first wave, which was men under 40, so I kissed him good-bye and told him good luck, and they were off. Standing in my wave I caught up with some friends I have made from previous races. 6 minutes after Joel's wave it was our turn to fight this ocean. Going out to sea was a challenge, I was swimming under the waves but was still being pushed back. When I started swimming parallel to the shore I was able to float and get some kind of swim rhythm. Floating over the waves, I felt like I was on a boat. For the first time since buying it, I felt like the wetsuit was helping me float, being in salt water helped with that as well. Finally, the last 2 buoys were in sight, I made it to the last one and turned to swim back to shore. I was happy to see the other girls in my swim wave still reaching shore, that meant I wasn't too far behind, I am usually among the last in my wave out of the water. Swim time included the 400 or so meter run up the beach into transition. Swim time was 27:12
T1 did the wetsuit dance to get that thing off. Put on cycle shoes, helmet, grabbed bike, and went to the mount line. T1 time was 1:23
28.5 mile bike.Onto the bike, I actually don't warm up in races, I just come out hammering. I passed Joel at mile 2 and I was relieved he made it out of the swim. I knew he had never swam in water like that before and I was worried about him. I felt good on the bike and passed many people. My saddle is starting to structurally break down, so I got a cramp in my left hamstring around mile 24. I plan on finally getting a new saddle on payday so this won't be an issue much longer. The course around the island was gorgeous, there were some sections of headwinds, but the sections of tailwinds made up for it. Bike time was 1:23:46
T2 racked bike, took off the helmet and flicked off the cycling shoes. I put my running hat on, and actually took the time to put socks on for the 10k run. After New Orleans I think twice about going sockless for races longer than a sprint tri, having blisters and raw spots on your feet can wreck the next week's training. I am not sure about my T2 time, on the official result they combined the bike and T2, the bike time above it what my garmin says, which I started and stopped at the mount/dismount line, but I think it was around 2 minutes because I had to take off one of my socks and put it back on before heading out.
6.2 mile run. It was an out and back run. It was getting hot out and not much shade on the run. I do well in the heat and it doesn't affect me much. They only had 2 aid stations for the whole run, one at mile 2 and another at mile 4, water only. I was parched from the heat, and from swallowing so much sea water in the swim. Coming back from the turn-a-round, I saw Joel heading out to the turn-a-round and gave him a high five, gave high fives to friends I saw going to the turn-a-round, and was relieved it was almost over. I was getting really thirsty. Finally made it to the finish chute and crossed the finish line. Run time was 52:13
Total race time was 2:47:06
Waited for Joel at the finish line after chugging several fluids. He came through a few minutes later. He was exhausted. Said that was much harder than he anticipated. He also said he contemplated quitting the race in the swim because of the frantic Atlantic, but held on and got through it. I am so proud of him for finishing. My time was decent so we waited around for the awards to see if I placed. They had wacky age groups at the race, and I placed 1st in the 26-30 age group. They had a actual podium so it felt cool to stand at the top of one of those things.
Loraine had brought the girls after the actual race was over so the girls could play on the beach. I had already finished the race, but a minute after they found me around the finish line the girls got to see daddy cross the finish line. Loraine had dressed them up in Red, White, and Blue to match us, it was adorable.
I had a great time at this race, I want to do it again next year, but I plan on bringing my handheld fluid bottle on the run this time. I found out after the race a 44 year-old man died during the swim portion of the sprint triathlon going on at the same time as the olympic. The cause was cardiac arrest. Shows us just how precious life is. My condolences to his family in this tragic time.
Some pics from the event: