Ed Ahn III
Race Location: Beltzville State Park
Race Date: May 19, 2013
Black Bear triathlon was to be my first attempt. Awoke at 4am on Sunday morning, and was at the course by 5:30am. Although the weather forecast had predicted fine weather earlier in the week, it became apparent by Friday that that was not going to be the case. Mild case of rain, and air temps in the mid to upper 50s. Water temp in the 60 degree range, but that was all relative to the fact that this would only be my second open water swim, and my first competitive one.
During numerous conversations with anyone who would listen to my questions, I gathered the advice that I thought would be pertinent for that day. Get your face in the water before the race, maintain your body temp prior to the race, stage T1 so that it flows in a logical manner, goggles under the cap…..it was all coming together much quicker than I thought.
7am, time to race. It began with a floating start, and one of my greater fears was getting kicked, or losing my goggles, neither of which occurred. Ours was the first wave out, and the faster swimmers were already ahead. I worked on finding my groove, and after the first hundred meters, I settled into my rhythm and began analyzing why it was that I seemed to be drifting to the right. Having resolved that issue, there was not a need for me to site as often, and I was able to use that extra energy to instead pick up my pace. By this point there were few people up against me, and I set my focus on rounding the buoy and heading for shore.
T2 went smoothly @ 3:04. I made a change to my shirt, and threw on my running shoes. I had made a decision to use a tri belt to pin my bib to, and although it worked well in the beginning of the run, I am not sure that I would use it on the next race. Legs felt good during the beginning strides, but within the first 400 yards, they began to feel fatigued. I fought back the desire to slow down, and within the next ½ mile they came back to life. Having not run the course before, I was not familiar with how it was laid out, and will definitely use that experience as an example of what not to do. Being familiar with the course is paramount to having a good performance. My pace was just over 9 minutes, and although I was disappointed with that pace, it gives me a PR target for my next race scheduled for August.