I would have loved to be racing at Oceanside 70.3 this weekend (I did that race last year and wanted to go back) but I am trying to minimize my costs a bit and decided to start the season off with a couple more local Olympic distance races before my first 70.3 race in Chattanooga next month!
HITS offers free registration to pros, Ocala was close to home and 3 weeks before St. Anthony's Olympic triathlon so it seemed like a good race to compete at, use some of my new equipment, test out the new racing kit and see where my fitness is.
I raced Ocala Olympic a couple years ago but they changed the course and it was a little different this year.
Race morning I woke up to the weather being 55 degrees. That made me happy! I love racing in cooler weather. The swim is in a lake. This year they started everyone together, which I liked. The water was cool enough for us to wear wetsuits. I wore my sleeveless Xterra wetsuit.
The swim went well, I was getting very warm towards the end of it and couldn't wait for the cool breeze on the bike.
My transition onto my bike was very sloppy and time consuming. It was like I had forgotten how to get on my bike coming out of transition! Ok...I did get some new cycling shoes and I found out what didn't work. I didn't practice with the new shoes and that was my mistake, but that won't happen again.
The olympic bike course was 2 loops of the sprint course. This they changed from the last time I raced here. I would not say it was a flat/fast course. A few rolling hills, 3 u turns and a few other turns. One the second loop I did get stuck behind a line of cars a few times, but the police seemed to be on top of things at the intersections, I felt safe on the course, just a typical cyclist getting annoyed with the vehicles on the road!
Starting out on the run I felt great, my new Epix gear racing kit fits perfect and was very comfortable. Coming off the bike there were 3 guys in front of me. I caught one during the first mile and saw the 1st and 2nd place guys around 2.5 miles. I passed them by the turn around and heard a little whining about the sand...that must have been what was slowing them down! ; )
They changed the run course this year also. It used to be two loops on the more hard packed dirt trail but this year it was a 3.1 out and back. After the first 1.5 miles the road started to get quite sandy but running on trails is fun and makes it a little different from other races.
I held onto the lead for the last few miles and made it to the finish line 1st!
I'm looking forward to racing at St. Anthony's triathlon in 3 weeks, where there is always a competitive pro field! I will also be jumping in a local sprint triathlon the weekend before St. Anthony's.