The first triathlon I ever did was the Papillion Mayor’s Triathlon last year. Combining my first triathlon with my first open water swim made for a hell of an experience. One year later, I hoped to win my age group and be competitive overall
This race sold out, so make sure to register early. Only 250 spots available. I showed up early race morning and was able to get a primo transition spot. It was first come first serve.
Swim (500 Meters)
It was an awesome morning for a swim. Overcast with temperatures around 70. My goal for the swim was to get out front fast and come in near the front of the pack. The Papillion Triathlon is not a USTA race, so they make their own rules, one of which is that wetsuits are legal no matter the temperature. I’m willing to sacrifice some time in transition in order to post a fast swim time so I took advantage of that rule, despite the fact that it was a short 500 meter swim. This swim start seemed especially rough, I was bumping into people for the first 200m.
I was pleased with my swim, coming out of the water with only three people ahead of me.
Swim: 8:20 (1:40 / 100m)
I took off the top part of my wetsuit as I ran out of the lake. Entering the transition area, I heard a volunteer yell, ‘No running in transition’. I kept running. Wetsuit off, socks on, bike shoes on, helmet on and I was off. Two things I should learn how to do in order to save time in T1: Flying mount on the bike and biking/running without socks. I departed transition and took off after the leaders.
Bike – 15.8 Miles
By the time I exited transition, the leaders were already out of sight. I chose to pace myself on the bike and hoped that I would catch them near the end of the 15.8 miles. The plan was to keep the power around 300 W and see where I ended up. This was a very technical course with lots of tight turns where I had to get out of the aerobars for stability. The course consisted of an out and back section with three loops in between. That’s not a good description, here’s a picture.
You see that little loop to the right? Well I thought we were supposed to skip the loop on the last of the three big loops. I was wrong. Thankfully the leaders, who were now behind me, caught up and informed me of my mistake. Only one person passed me as I circled back but I passed him coming into transition. I averaged 297 Watts for the entire course.
Bike: 45:38 (20.8 MPH)
Third thing I need to learn how to do: flying dismount. I got yelled at again to walk in transition and ignored the warning again. I finally purchased those quick bungee laces which worked out well. When I started running to exit T2 I got a really stern yelling so I kind of sped walk for two strides and then thought “fuck it, this is a race” and took off running. The guy I had passed coming into transition passed me leaving transition.
Run – 3.1 Miles
The run was one clock-wise loop around the lake, a route I had run numerous times for high school cross country. The course started with an uphill ascent for the first 1/2 mile. I tried to stay on the feet of the guy in front of me and it became quickly apparent that I wasn’t going to be able to run much faster. I stayed on his feet for the first mile and then dropped back on the second mile. With 1/2 a mile to go I decided to kick it in and try and catch him. I figured if I waited til the end of the race I could blow by him without giving him a chance to respond. That’s exactly what I did.
Run: 21:04 (6:48 min/mile)
I ended up finishing 5th overall and won my age group. Not bad compared to my results from last year.