Lets just say if you have never raced a triathlon in Washington DC before... you need to do so... and that is a MUST. Racing through the Nation's Capital is like getting a self guided tour of Washington DC via swimming, cycling, and running.
Pre Race Saturday June 19
Mom and I headed down to DC via the Escape around 9:30 am. Packet pickup was at noon... swim practice in the Potomac was at 1... I wanted to be on time to the dot. Well our troubles started when we got down to the near end of 16th Street and weren't sure where exactly to go so we used the map to make our way to Hains Point to park the car... so we could walk a zillion blocks to the Four Points Sheraton where packet pickup was taking place. It was a very warm late morning and an even warmer early afternoon. As soon as we found a spot near Hains Point I grabbed my transistion bag and wetsuit (since we'd be heading straight to the swim after picking up my packet) and started making our way towards the hotel. We walked and walked and walked some more. We thought we could go one way and get there quicker but anytime we saw a monument or memorial and made our way around it... we just ended up where we started. Finally... yes finally... we made it to the National Mall and the Washington Monument. Only another 10ish blocks or so till the hotel. It was so brutally hot we stopped for lunch at Cosi not to far from the hotel. Ate lunch then finally made it to the Four Points Sheraton for packet pickup. I was shocked to see a line just to get into the room where you signed the race waiver... it wasn't to long... but I had to wait about 10 minutes to get through it. Signed the waiver... picked up my race numbers and cap... walked through the mini tri expo... and got my very cool but plain Washington DC Triathlon tech tee. Since there was a shuttle taking athletes down to transistion from the hotel we did just that. There was no way in heck we were going to walk back... it would have taken us all afternoon.
After getting the shuttle down to transistion... it was time to pull on the wetsuit... goggles... and cap and head into the Potomac for a little practice swim. As soon as I jumped in the water I realized there was no way the race was going to be wetsuit legal... since the water felt so nice. Swam a little... bobbed up and down in the water... and fought the current on the way back to the pontoon. As I was heading out of the water other athletes were asking how the water was... I replied with "nice and no need for a wetsuit" cause that's how it was. After tearing my wetsuit off I ran back to the car at Hains Point to ride a loop and then take my bike to transistion to rack it. There weren't many bikes out on Hains Point so it was nice having a less crowded ride around the loop. As I made my way to transistion I saw my mom just standing around and told her to stay put... esp since she wasn't allowed in transistion. Found my rack in Row 15... found number 995... racked my bike and got body marked. After all this mom and I slugged our way through the heat to the car. By the time we got home it was time to get the race day gear ready... eat dinner... and head to bed... cause Sunday would be an early wake up call.
Race Day June 20, 2010
It was about 2:15 Sunday morning when my alarm went off... wth... are you kidding me? I put on my Negative Split Racing Tri Short and Tank on and did my hair in pigtail braids. I was ready to go... but had to wait for mom and dad to slack their way to getting ready to drive back to DC for the race. It was about 3:30 when we finally left the house. The drive down was quick... basically becuase dad knew where he was going unlike mom and I the other day. Dad dropped mom and I off by the Lincoln Memorial so we could take the short walk to transistion and he could park the car by the finish line by the Capital.
As soon as I got inside transistion I put my gear out... towel... bike shoes... running shoes... race number... and running hat. I had the wetsuit with me but as soon as I heard the water temperature was 81 degrees I shoved the thing back in my TYR Transistion Bag. Before I went on my warm up run... I got my chip and went over to body marking to get a happy face on my other calf along with "catch me" right below it. Warmed up for 15 minutes on Ohio Drive... made final preps for the race... and headed out of transistion to Wave 8 corral.
Swim 800 Meters This was my most favorite part of the whole race. I waited and waited for my wave to go but after waiting what seemed like ages we were in the waters of the Potomac. Three minutes between the pink cap (18-24 yo Female) wave and mine the royal blue cap (25-29 yo Female) wave. The pink caps went off and then it was our turn. I hopped in water and made my way over to far left to be closest to the buoys... hoping that would help me have a great swim. Well it did. The horn blew and we were off. Not so much panic being a 166 girl wave but once at the 1st buoy to mark 100 meters things started getting out of control. Thats when I started swimming around and over others. I took nothing from no one in the water. As the first set of turnaroud buoys approached I managed to make it past the first one without having to bob up and down... but the second one was different. It was chaotic and crowded. But yet again I made my way around it only having to stop once right before the buoy. As we headed back to the pontoon the current had picked up a little but it did't stop me. I swam smooth and straight into the finish of the swim. Up the pontoon... across Ohio Drive... and over the mat. Swim COMPLETE!
Bike 12.4 Miles The hike from transistion to the bike mount line was absolutely crazy and long. It must have been at least 1/4 of a mile long between the two points. I swear I ran and ran and ran and seemed to not see the mount line. But finally I mounted my bike and off I flew. The first few miles I stayed off the areo bars cause the course winded a bit and turned alot. But once on the Whitehurst Freeway and Rock Creek Parkway I tucked into my aero bars and passed my peeps like there was no tomorrow. I passed to the left and unfortunately in between... cause some triathletes don't know the meaning of stay to the right to get passed on the left... UGH! I passed a handful of fellow age groupers knowing that podiuming had a chance that day. The course started to get faster and faster but when I hit the UTurns that stopped my day from becoming a fast day on the bike. As I approached the dismount line there were signs on the road saying how many meters until dismount... very nice I tell you. I hopped off my bike with another girl from my age group... and the one who was our age group winner... and got my run gear on.
Run 4.1 Miles The most miserable part of the course... longer distance... no shade... hot sun! As soon I left transistion I was was passed by #1 age grouper for the day girl... pissed off. No chance of catching her... she flew. Flat course... random spectators... many aid stations... but still miserable. My legs didn't want to push it like I planned... so I settled in for a comfortable running day. I couldn't tell you where the run course went... but we started at West Potomac Park and made our way to Pennsylvania Ave near the Capital. The guys on the course... I caught... the girls.... I got passed by... big UGH! The best part of the run was the huge sprinkler waiting to be run through and the cold wet towels at each aid station... so refreshing! I was doing fine throughout the run... but I know I suffered when this girl... one who was in my age group passed me about a quater of a mile from the finish... drats... 4th place... missed the podium. The finish line and chute was fun. Music... cheering... spectators... plain old fun. As I hit the finish I stopped my watch! Happy to be done... like always!