Nautica South Beach Triathlon- Race To The Toyota Cup



nautica-south-beach-triathlon

 

Yesterday morning I completed in my first Olympic distance race for the ’11 season in South Beach Miami, Florida.  This was my first time competed in South Beach (although I have raced in other areas in Miami before) and this was the inaugural race in the 2011 Race to the Toyota Cup Lifetime Race Series.  The race began at 6:55AM, with a point to point swim paralleling the beach.  The bike crossed over two causeways around the Miami area and the run was a flat out and back on the beach boardwalk.

On Saturday morning the day before the race, I noticed how quiet the streets were at 8:00AM.  However,  heading to the race course at 5:20AM on Sunday morning, I was shocked to see how many cars (mostly cabs) were out and about on the streets of Miami Beach.  Yes, people were still returning from a night of clubbing while we were waking up for the start of our day!

The morning was warm and humid; not really a surprise for Miami.  I made sure to hydrate and consciously drink more electrolytes, with First Endurance Grape EFS!.  I had half a bagel with half a banana and peanut butter before race start.   With the race being so early, couldn’t quite eat a whole bagel, but had more liquid calories to pre-hydrate with the high humidity.

A first for me was starting the race with the men.  We only had about a 100 meters to the first buoy before we made a right hand turn (which consisted of mostly running/dolphin diving), I was sure that most of the guys would get in front of me.  The guys were not quite as rough as I was expecting and I made it around the buoy without too much craziness! Swimming with the men made sighting easier, with so many guys to look at in front of me and bodies to chase. Over the course of the 1500 meter swim, I moved up through the swimmers and ended up exiting the water in my TYR Carbon with the second pack of men and 40 seconds behind Sara McLarty.   Ocean swims are a strength for me, and I felt good on the swim, although I was already a little warm in the water.

The T1 transition was 500 meters long from beach exit to bike mount.  I got on my Fuji D6 and quickly got into my rhythm.  With very little wind, I chose to ride my Zipp Zedtech 808 front and Zedtech Sub9 Disc.  Once out on the bike I felt great and did not feel fatigue set in until the last five miles.  On the bike I made sure to drink and had 36 ounces of Grape EFS.  I have been able to get in solid time trial cycling miles being in Florida the past month, so my training was paying off during the bike section.  I road a 59:29 40k which was one of my fastest splits to date.

Once out on the run, I could feel the bike effort on my legs!  The run was hot and tough, but that is the way a race is supposed to be!  The kicker was a beach finish and running those last few steps in the sand were tough.  I do not have quite as much run fitness as bike fitness yet (between recent illness and a joint sprain in my foot!), so all and all I was pleased with my performance.  I finished the race breaking the tape and that is always a great feeling!  The crowd was really energizing as well as all the other competitors out on the race course.

One of the BEST parts of race day was not having to get on an airplane to get home….just a 4 hour drive back to Clermont!  I have another three weeks of training until my next race in St. Petersburg, Florida (St. Anthony’s).  I am excited to build my fitness and break more tape in the races to come.

I can’t thank my sponsors and fans enough for all the support and help they have given me this past winter. This makes crossing that finish line all the more rewarding!!!

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