Last Saturday, in the midst of all of my crazy end of the year graduation excitement, I decided to sign up for the Salute To The Military Sprint Triathlon Race last minute. Yup that’s how I roll! Well, to be honest that is the complete opposite of how I usually roll.
Salute To The Military Sprint Triathlon
I had learned that I could participate in this Salute to The Military Sprint and then race the same exact course again in mid July. I thought that a perfect way to measure progress in all 3 disciplines. I’ve also recently connected with Triathlon Coach Amber Toro and she has offered to help me train for the July race.
My alarm went off at 4:15 am (ugh) I am so not a morning person. I had to leave by 5 am for the 45 minute drive to the race in Warrenton, Virginia. Rev3 race company does a fantastic job of logistics. Race day check in was a breeze and this small race of about 200 people was easy and problem free. I quickly set up my transition spot and headed over to the pool deck.
The 300 m swim took place in an outdoor pool water temp 71 degrees. It would be a “snake swim” with traffic in both directions. A snake swim means that you swim down one side of a lane and then back up the other side before advancing to the next lane. It got a little choppy in there with traffic coming both ways. I had to do breast stroke for a few seconds when my lane got congested. Other than that, the swim went well. I was in and out in around 7 minutes.
For many triathletes, the swim portion of the race causes a lot of anxiety. Racing in a pool rather than open water tends to offer more security. For me it’s so much more comfortable to swim in a pool. I like to see the black line on the bottom and know that the side of the pool is there if I need it.
The Bike- 12.5 miles
Got a few pebbles stuck in my toes running from the swim exit back to transition to grab my bike. I was happy with my transition time and headed out on the bike. The course was a little more challenging than I expected but I felt pretty strong and happy with my effort. The sun was out in full force and the temps were beginning to rise quickly. I have trouble hydrating on the bike but I did manage to eat a pack of my honey stinger chews for a little energy.
The Run – 5K
The run course was pretty flat however it was completely unshaded from the sun that was now beating down. The temps and humidity quickly rose and I was definitely feeling it. The humidity seems to be my nemesis these days. I had to stop and walk a few times just to catch my breath. The run leg of this Salute to the military triathlon was again the most challenging part for me. Not my worst run but far from my best. I was very happy to see the finish line!
Running through the finish I was handed an icy cold towel (yes!) and a great medal. Overall, a fun and well run race. I am looking forward to going back in July and seeing my improvements. Hoping coach Amber can help me out.
What would be the hardest leg of a tri race for you?