This past Sunday, I competed in my first Philly Tri, but it was also my first time to the city of brotherly love.  I loved the history throughout the city and wish I had more time to tour the sites.  The trip was very short and I did not have too much time for doing anything other than race related activities.  Nonetheless, I enjoyed my time and crossed the line 1st for my 3rd win of the Toyota Cup Series and 4th win of 2012 and the 24 win of my career.

Not having raced in Philly before, I spent some extra time before the race driving the course and studying the race course on google maps.  I feel much more confident and at ease mentally when I have an idea of the course and where I am going.  I like to rehearse the race course in my mind using mental imagery and I truly feel this translates to a more successful race.

The swim was a point to point river swim, swimming with a slight current.  I biked to the race course with Matty Reed race morning.  I arrived around 5:15 AM and set up transition, ran through the transition flow and headed to a bus for a short 10 minute school bus ride to the swim start.  The swim was a deep water start with about 15 women on the line.  The women began just one minute after the men.  I had a strong start and swim with Sara McLarty for as long as I could without going too hard.  I managed to keep close to her feet for 1000meters and then lost about 25 seconds the last 500.

About 10 meters from shore, I ran into a pack of swimmers.  My first thought was that it could be another pack of men that I had caught, but I had a feeling something was not right.  Upon exiting the water, I saw it was a large pack of women.  I was slightly confused, not knowing what happened.  I ended up exiting in 10th position behind the pack of women.  By the time I mounted my bike, I was back in second position and caught up to Sara McLarty about a mile into the bike ride.

 Although I was confused as to what had happened, I told myself to put the questions behind me and focus on what I need to do at the moment.  The bike course was hilly and quite technical compared to many non drafting bike courses.  It was a two loop bike with 4 hills per lap.  I recently changed my bike position and I feel much more comfortable on my Fuji D-6 and I have also been working on riding with a higher cadence.  I rode most of the ride with Alicia Kaye and several other men.  I felt strong on the bike and was excited to get out onto the run.  I really enjoyed the bike course as it went by very fast with the constant changing of terrain. Here is a link to my Quarq Cinqo Power Meter file on Training Peaks.

Starting the run, my legs felt strong.  I feel riding with the higher cadence is helping my legs avoid the muscle ache the first half mile of the run.   I started out with some of the men I was riding with, but after the first couple miles, I slowed a little and ended up keeping in a good rhythm to the finish.

After the race, it was noted that eight of the women turned into the swim exit 125meters early.  The women had awesome performances, and it was an unfortunate mistake.  This is a reminder for me of the importance of being aware of your surroundings and knowing the course.  We all make mistakes, and part of racing is trying to limit the amount of mistakes that are made; whether it be remembering all your gear, keeping in within your cycling limits on descents, etc.

I am looking forward to the next race on the LTF RTTC Series race in Minneapolis, MN.  This will be my fifth time racing in Minneapolis and I love returning to the race and getting the chance to be back in the mid west and seeing so many friends and family.  I am so blessed to have gotten to the start lines healthy this year and I can only hope to continue down this path for the remainder of the season.

Thank you to all my sponsors, friends and family for your on going support. Eric Wynn for the great photos.  Also, it was great to meet the Fuji team this weekend as the headquarters are in Philly.  Best Wishes to everyone for a great summer.

The official website of Sarah Haskins. © 2013 Sarah Haskins, All Rights Reserved. Site by C5