Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Race Recap: HITS Series Triathlon - Palm Desert

On Saturday, 3 December, I ran the first HITS Series Triathlon in Palm Desert.  Normally I don't travel to far to race, but I wanted to squeeze in one more tri before I deploy, and this one was close enough (La Quinta is only 2.5 hours away from Carlsbad).  In order to ensure I didn't forget anything, I made sure to print out a checklist of what I'd need and I packed with it by my side!  This was the first race I did without my good buddy Leonie there to make sure I didn't forget anything.

      Friday afternoon Sean and I packed up the car and hit the road.  After a beautiful drive through the mountains, we made it to packet pick-up 30 minutes before the pre-race brief.  After a quick drive by of all the booths at the expo (hunting for free stuff of course!), I grabbed my packet.  They actually had a biking jersey instead of the normal T-Shirt, which was awesome!  Sean and I grabbed some dinner and headed straight for the hotel because we had to be up at 0400 to get to the race for the transition opening.

     Saturday morning went very smoothly.  The transition set up was great - pre-marked spots were placed for every athlete.  The only downside was that my spot was about as far away from the swim in/bike out that you could get!  Each spot also had a little stool, which made it easier to get in and out of each pair of shoes.

      The swim was pretty cold, water was probably somewhere between 55 and 57 degrees, so I went in with a full wetsuit.  Aside from the mass start of 250+ athletes off of the beach, this was the standard tri start of total chaos in the water!  The cold water was a bit of a shock, but after about 100m, I was warmed up and going strong.  Once I hit the beach, my feet were pretty numb and I was able to run to my bike without feeling anything!

       The bike course had a lot of turns, but the police were out in force ensuring traffic didn't interfere with the riders and directing the athletes.  We had an awesome tailwind on the way out, so I was able to average about 20mph...unfortunately, this meant that when we turned around, we had to deal with the headwind...which slowed me down to 15mph.  After struggling back to the transition area, I was ready to hit the run.

      The run is traditionally my nemesis.  Post bike, my legs feel like jello and it takes me about a mile just to start running normally.  Not this time!  I made sure to spin out before getting to transition and I felt great!  This was by far the strongest run I've ever had in a triathlon.

    Overall this was a great race!  The weekend was really neat because it included a sprint, olympic, half, and full IM distance, but it also added a beginners race, called the Open.  This event had a 100m swim, 3 mile bike, and 1 mile run!  Since triathlons can be intimidating to a newbie, this was a great way to get people started without overwhelming them!  Great job to the team at HITS for a fantastic event!

Final results:
Swim: 14:35
T1: 3:47
Bike: 42:12
T2: 1:42
Run: 23:58
Overall: 1:26:17
3/28 Females 30-39


Suz and Allan said...

Great job Jessica! 3rd in your age group is amazing! I like the idea of the less intimidating event for the newbies that you referenced. Swimming is not my strong point but I might try to do a tri if it were a shorter distance like that one. Congrats on a great run to finish strong!

Betsy said...

Amazing job! I am in awe of you! :)

Anonymous said...

Woohoo! Way to go!! Glad you were able to get one last race in =)

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Love the feedback and the motivation. Thanks!