Monday, October 5, 2015

Race Review: Katy Triathlon at Firethorne

I've been racing triathlons since 2013.  I signed up for my first sprint tri completely on a whim, borrowed a friend's bicycle, and for the swim, relied entirely on my highschool competitive swim days.  And then I came in first place in my age group.  As I drunkenly climbed up to the top that podium (you got 3 full pints of craft beer at the end -  Thank you No Label) I knew I was hooked.  Check it out, that's a winner's smile:

Since that fateful day, I've raced many other local triathlons and even completed a full Ironman race. Tris are by far my favorite way to race.  I love the physical challenge, I love the numbers and analysis, and I LOVE the gear.  Have I mentioned that I am a very competitive engineer?  This blog may start making more sense...(stick around til the end for my gear list)

Signing up for the Katy Triathlon was a no brainer.  I loved the race last year, and it's like 15 minutes from my house.  Ideal.  Registration and packet pickup were as easy as they come.  As a big fan of reminders - this race uses Facebook to remind everyone of race day and packet pickup.  

Transition opened early.  I don't know how early, but I know it closes at 6:45a, 30 minutes until the first wave starts.  I need approximately 30 minutes to get from parking to transition and completely set up, so I parked around 6:15a.  I was not the first person there, but certainly not the last.  Transition was set up by number groups - so not a total free-for-all.  There is a row designated for each group of 30 or so athletes.  It got a little tight, but not bad.  

Once transition closed, I hit the porta-johns (clean and available) and headed to the swim start.  This swim went in waves.   It was split up by decade age groups (i.e. women 30-39 was one).  It took around 30-35 minutes for everyone to get started but really helped reduce crowding.  

The 500 yd swim was well marked, and big enough for all the athletes.  The water was pretty warm, which was welcome since I was a little chilly waiting for my wave to start.  The swim is usually my strongest leg, however I didn't sight as well as I should have and it took me around 9 minutes to complete due to some off course swimming.

The bike was out and back 12 miles.  Short, sweet, simple.  I cruised along at much faster than anticipated.  I averaged around 19.5mph, which is pretty fast for me.

The 3 mile run was one of my better ones off the bike.  I averaged 7:45 min/mile, again not bad for me.  There was a lot of support from the crowd during the run, and I like that.  Especially the fella.  He hides from the camera...but I can always find that cheese head.

The best part of this whole race was my "photo finish".  I spent the entire race trailing a woman with what I thought was a 34 on her calf (for her age) which would be in my 30-34 age group.  I finally caught her on the home stretch, and PUSHED through to the finish line, we were neck and neck.  We congratulated each other and then figured out we were actually in different age groups, laughed and went on our way.  Super fun to get a good race on like that.  

Overall, it was a fun, fast very competitive race with a LOT of very fast ladies out there.   Seriously, I PR'd by 3-4 minutes and was still totally stomped by a lot of women.  I squeezed out a 2nd place AG finish though!  Here I am, shamelessly flaunting my Oiselle singlet and my cheesiness.  

Tri-kit - Pearl Izumi Elite In-R-Cool Tri Suit (not pictured).  It has a separate bra, I love it.
Aquasphere Kaiman clear goggles
Giro helmet 
Trek Lexa bike
Zoot - I don't know what exactly, but they have a really neat dial in fit for the laces.
Watch: Garmin Forerunner 920XT

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