Monday, September 11, 2006

18th Annual Tarpon springs Triathlon 2006

1/4 mile swim, 10.5 mile ride, 3 mile run

Well, I now have another triathlon under my belt and felt more confident with this one.
Anyone who is familiar with Fred Howard Park in Tarpon Springs FL, knows how pretty and "one with nature" you can be there. The waters offer lots of grassy areas that are home to all kinds of sea creatures. On more then one occasion I have seen dolphin mere feet from me. Quite amazing.
But, on a morning with low tide, it can be kind of gross to swim in all that. The sand in the grassy area is very mushy and unstable. And there basically was no water over the grass. So, we all swam through the grass. Each stroke brushed along the sea garden and bumped into various critters and wild life. It motivated me to try to swim faster and get the heck out of there. Lots of people were getting the willies in the water. The swim was crowded too. I am glad I had a couple swims in me before this one. I was knocked around a lot.
When we exited the water, we were covered with little slug-like sea bugs. I later named them Sea Boogers, b/c that's exactly what they looked like. I guess they were in the grass.

I transitioned pretty quick, for me, and headed onto the bike course. The course itself was quite nice. Through the park and into some of the more wealthy neighborhoods. We also went through the downtown area that is really cute and known for it's Greek food and sponge docks. I even could call the course rolling for Florida. It had a couple decent little inclines. My concerns with the bike course are that there are a lot of hard turns. I heard about three wrecks after the race. There was quite a bit of gravel on these turns that, had it been swept away, would have been safer. I ended up on a sidewalk trying to take one hard left. It was also very narrow and I seemed to always be fighting for a space among other competitors.

T2 went well and I set off for the run. I was determined to hold my own on the run, since I am a runner! I was not going to let anyone in my age group pass me. I hooked up with a younger girl and we started to pick off people. Then a group of ladies came up to pass us and one was 38. So, I had to go with her. I did and eventually she couldn't hang anymore. So, as far as I know, no one in my age group passed me on the run. I felt good until about the last half mile, which is on the way back to the beach and in the direct sun. It was very hot and it took a toll. No one threaten me, I let up some, which disappoints me now.

All in all this was a fun and learning experience. They had a ton of good give aways afterwards and excellent Greek food samplings for a donation.
Here are my results (I placed 5th in age group):

FEMALE AGE GROUP: 35 - 39 Place O'All No. First Last Age City St Finish Rank Swim Tran 1 Rank Bike Tran 2 Rank Run ===== ===== ===== ============ ============== === =================== ======= ====

5 142 135 Christine Hinton 35 Dunedin FL 1:07:18 12 8:46 1:36 6 31:38 1:02 7 24:18

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