St. Anthony’s Triathlon – 5150

Yesterday, May 1st, I competed in my fifth St. Anthony’s Triathlon.  St. Anthony’s is a flat, fast course and always attracts a strong field of competitors , not to mention one of the largest age group fields in the country.  This year was no different, with the pro field being one of the largest in the past 28 years.  This race was also part of the 5150 Series and I had a goal of earning points for the US Championships in Des Moines, Iowa later this summer.

The wind was gusting out of the east early Sunday morning and since the wind was blowing in the easterly direction, it made for large chop in the bay.  The race directors did not want to have to cancel the age group swim (this happened two years ago), so the alternative option was to move the swim location so that the wind would not affect the water.  This made for a shorter swim (1000meters) and included a longer beach run-in/run-out scenario.  Although I was disappointed that we were not able to swim on the normal 1500meter course, I was glad that everyone was going to get a chance to get in the water.  Either way once you get going on the race course, it’s a race…no matter what happens!

The race begin with a sprint into the shallow beach water (and reminded me of the sprint race I did in Clermont earlier in the year!).  We swam just under a 1/2 mile down the beach and exited on the beach (as opposed to the steps).  I always find that beach starts are tough, because once you begin swimming your heart rate is elevated!  I felt pretty comfortable on the swim and just tried to maintain contact with the lead swimmers (Sara McLarty and Anna Cleaver).  Once exiting the swim, we had a long run into the transition area (over a 1/2 mile).  Most of the run was on concrete….and my feet are feeling the effects today!!  I had a great T1 and got on the bike ready to go.

I had a feeling that there would be a larger group than normal exiting the water because of the shorter swim and also because of the number of strong swimmers racing.  My goal was to ride the first ten minutes of the bike very strong to try and establish a gap from the other competitors.  I was able to open up the early lead of 400meters into the bike and slowly built a lead throughout the ride. The toughest part of my ride was from mile 15-20, where I was really feeling some fatigue in my legs, but started to feel a bit more spunk towards the end of the ride.  I exited the bike 40-45 seconds ahead of a pack of six other women (including McLarty, Cleaver, Alicia Kaye, Annabel Luxford, Liz Blachford, and Sarah Groff).

My T2 was a bit disappointing with a poor performance!  My lack of being able to rack my bike properly forced me to re-rack my bike 2x too many!  Once out on the run, I felt good, but with an out and back course, not too sure where the other racers were.  I focused on my form, cadence and although my legs felt good, I could tell certain muscles were fatigued from the bike as my legs gave out at the 1.5 mile mark (just for a couple steps).  At the half way mark, I could see the Liz Blachford leading the string of women and she looked very strong.  I pushed mile 3-4 before Nate gave me a split letting me know I had a 55 second lead going into the last mile.  Nate wanted me to tempo in the last mile and I was very excited to get to break the tape for the second time this year!!

The run felt much more comfortable than my run in Miami three weeks ago, due to the cooler temperatures and also an increase in fitness.  The cooler temperatures (70s in St. A’s verses 80’s in Miami), changed my nutrition on the bike.  I drank 28 ounces of First Endurance EFS  Lemon Lime verses 40 onces in Miami.

I am always grateful to have tremendous support not only from my sponsors, but my friends and family.  My dad, Brian and brother, Ben, were at their first St. A’s and inspired to race there next year!!!

Thank you to TYR, Fuji, Oval, ISM Adamo, Zipp, Rudy Project, Quarq, Rotor, Sampson, Training Peaks,Mission Skincare, DISC, First Endurance, Pure Bar, USA Triathlon, Alex Keith, and Toyota for helping me pre/during/post race….every step of the way!

Next up….six days to go for my first ITU  World Cup of the year in Monterrey, Mexico.  (May 8th).


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