Posted by: forgingahead | June 29, 2010

Golden Gate Oylmpic Triathlon Race Report

This race was hard. And because of its challenges, I’m feeling pretty darn prepared for Barb’s Race in July. That should be a piece of cake by comparison.

I think my role in this race was to make everyone else (minus one) feel good about not being last. And I did a great job of that!

The Numbers
Olympic distance finishers:127 (I love small races!)
(92 more also did the sprint on the same course)
Females: 35
Males: 92
Average Time: 2:50 (my time 3:49)

My Times
1 mile swim 34:57
T1 21:56 – I know, super slow. I’ll explain.
22 mile bike 1:44 – hills, hills, hills
T2 3:34
6 mile run 1:03 – no reason, I’m a slow runner
Total Time 3:49

I met fellow Barb’s Race participant and first time Olympic distance racer Kim! We got to chatting on the beach while waiting for our wave to start. Kismet!

My friend Clair volunteered on the run course and was in general a wonderfully calming influence during my setup. Thanks Clair!

I also discovered after the fact that Kiet was on the course! I’m pretty sure he’s the nice guy in the PacWest jersey who gave me a big smile and encouragement each time he passed me on that wicked hilly out and back bike course. Hi Kiet! His race report gives a good perspective on the course too.

It was a good karma kind of day. Loved the volunteers who kept us going with big smiles and cheers!

The weather was perfection – for me. Sunshine on the swim (the water feels less scary to me when the sun is shining).

That weirdly still soft fog we (rarely) get with zero wind just sitting on the bike course. Thank goodness there was no wind.

On the run the city-side of the Golden Gate Bridge was encased in the same fog bank and the Marin side was bright, sunny and hot!

The Swim
The race director launched the 45 sprint women first and everyone on shore watched them promptly start to get swept out of the Bay. Ok, not that far, but it was dramatic. One moment they’re in a group, the next they’re swimming sideways. I swear they didn’t get very far for the first 5 minutes. Certainly not to the first buoy.

The 47 sprint men took note and moved a ways down the beach so they could compensate for the current that wasn’t supposed to be there. They launched into the water swimming at a sharp angle and they took couldn’t fight the current either. Oh dear.

The USAT official was having a politely heated discussion with the race director about how to fix the problem as the rescue boats were having trouble tracking all the swimmers getting pushed around.

Thank goodness they decided to switch the direction of the course. So then we waited a while more for the bulk of the sprinters to finish so we didn’t swim headfirst into them on course. This half hour or so of hanging around is when I got to know Kim.

My swim was good. Bert’s adjustments to my wetsuit solved the choking problem. So then all I had to do was get into my rhythm. I entered the water away from most of the 35 women in my wave. I swear the stretch from the shore to the first buoy is always a mental struggle for me. Doubts flood in and I have to talk myself into forging ahead.

About halfway between buoy one and two I got overtaken by two guys who were swimming so fast it made me laugh. That helped settle my restless mind.

The course was fun because we swam half a mile, got out of the water, ran down beach and got back into the water to do it again. The run felt like an out of body experience. I guess I was in some sort of zone.

The water felt positively warm on the second loop. That was nice, but weird. I felt way more confident on the second loop because I knew that each leg of the triangle got easier with chop and current.

Ok, this story is taking way too long to tell so I’m going to break it up. Stay tuned for the exciting conclusion tomorrow. And the answer to “what the heck did Kathleen do for 20+ minutes on T1?”

Fascinating stuff!



  1. It does sound like you had a good karma day. I can see you smiling right through your words!

  2. Congrats! I still want to hear what you did on T1 though….

    I once heard that someone plopped down under a tree and ate a peanut butter sandwich and a soda before launching into the bike portion of a TRI, totally unnerved by the ticking clock. Now, would that be you by any chance?

    LOL. Just kiddin’. Will wait for the next post.

  3. I thought it was 2:xx at first and I thought there’s nothing wrong with that. But 21:xx. I want to hear the details.

    Congrats on the race. Olympic distance races are hard.

  4. Congrats on the race – sounds like you did awesome in the swim – especially after that crazy current!

  5. last years pac-grove was my olympic distance debut…i’m very familiar with sideways swimming…great post so far, anxious to hear more!

  6. I was a little concerned when I hadn’t seen you by 10:30, but I think I’ll understand when I learn why you spent 21 minutes in T1. Congrats in finishing in under four hours!

  7. If I was there, I would have made you feel like an Olympian! Congrats on the great race and the interesting report.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: