The Memorial Hermann Bridgeland Tri was held Sunday, August 7, 2011. It was a sprint distance race, but much larger than most Houston area sprints. This race has become extremely popular with the local racing community and as a result the organizers doubled the field this year. The increased field size caused parking issues (they ran out and had no where to send people) which delayed the race start by 25 minutes. On the brighter side, the post-race was awesome and much bigger/better than I’ve experienced at most local sprints! Overall it was a well done race, and I’d recommend it to anyone looking for a more competitive sprint distance race.
As is the case with most open water swims, the start was wave style and for this race, the women drew the short straw. Yes, we started last. My wave didn’t get into the water until 35 minutes after the race started (if you’re keeping score that means 1 hour after the race was supposed to start).
The swim course was fairly simple and easy to sight. I hit some congestion at the beginning (to be expected) and I had to make my way around some people from earlier waves throughout the swim. I tend to take a wider path in the swim to avoid the fight at the buoys. To me, an extra few meters is worth not getting beat up.
500meters/10:12/14 of 74 in AG
T1: 1:51 (includes run from swim to transition)/17 of 74 AG
The bike course was set up a little differently in that racers were on the inside lane and cars were on the outside lane. This means we had the median on our left for passing. It made it a little bit of a challenge since being in a later wave meant I was trying to pass slower riders from earlier waves. The course itself was something like an out and back but you went out for a while, made a u-turn, came back through past the start and then made another u-turn to return to transition. This was good for spectators and traffic enforcement so I can appreciate the set up. I battled it out with 1 lady from my AG almost the entire ride (back and forth), but thankfully I made it to transition first.
13.5 miles/41:03/19.7 mph/17 of 74 in AG
T2: 0:59 (1st in AG- WOAH)
The run course was flat and unfortunately, not very shaded. Given the late start to the race and my wave, that meant my age group was running in some very hot temperatures. The course itself was pretty nice starting along the lake then going down to a nature trail for part and returning to the finish line. There were 2 aid stations along the course and despite the heat, I heard the water was cool and plentiful (I carried my own). They also had my beloved ice sponges at the first aid station and I wish I had taken more than one.
3.65 miles/31:04/8:24 pace/11 of 74 AG
Overall: 1:25:11; 8/74 AG
1. Must swim more than once a week
2. Must learn to celebrate the good rather than focus on what I could have done better
3. Nutrition matters even in short races- especially in short races where it’s 100 degrees
Get bike gears fixed (only had 1 during the race) (done)
1/2 IM training official begins on Monday!! I’ve already made some adjustments to my plan- it’s all about going with the flow…