October 9, 2012

F1 Super Sprint San Diego



After WTS Stockholm, getting sick, and having to take two full weeks off of training, my end of the season race schedule completely changed. Last minute I added the San Diego F1 Super Sprint race to my calendar to help me prepare for my final race of the season – ITU World Cup Cancun. The F1 race is a Draft Legal, 300 meter swim (1 lap in the ocean with chest high set waves), 4 mile bike (10 x 700 meter laps), and 1.5 mile run (5 x 500 meter laps), which you go through TWICE! This race was perfect preparation for me to get my anaerobic system ready to rock and roll because it’s literally 45 min full gas. There was a great field lined up and plenty of spectators to make this a must see and must race event.

The Race:
Only 20 men were invited to race and even though I was wearing #1 it was first come first serve for transition space and swim start line up. We all chose our spaces and places and before we knew it we were off and racing.

The swim was really short because everyone could run about half way out to the first buoy, then just inside the second buoy the waves were breaking so everyone was able to body surf in. I had a great start and was the first one around both buoys, and then a set wave came in right as I was starting to head back to shore. I had to sprint for about 10 seconds but I was able to get into the wave and ride it all the way to shore which gave me a solid 12 second gap over the second place athlete Dylan McNeice. I was literally in the water for about 2.5 minutes before getting on the bike, and after I saw I had a gap I decided to just go for it solo on the bike.

I rode by myself for four laps until Dylan caught me and then the two of us worked together alternating entire lap pulls. There was a problem with the lap counter so each time I came through I would yell to the spectators “what lap am I on?” and listen for a response from someone. I had my Garmin on so I was pretty sure how many laps I had left, but the confirmation from the crowd made it more fun and more reliable. The course was very technical with four very narrow 90 degree turns on each lap. Since I was racing Cancun the next weekend I was being overly cautious so that I was 100% sure I was going to keep the rubber side down. There was no benefit for me to be taking risks through the corners so I just babied through them and accelerated hard coming out. Not a very energy efficient approach, but I was fine with that for a training race. Because of my conservative approach, the chase pack was able to come within about eight seconds of me and Dylan heading into T2.

T2 got a little messed up and everyone had to be very alert because we were running out the same way that the bikes were coming in, but despite the chaos I was able to be out on the run course first with a small gap. This is where my race “ended”. I was literally dead tired from head to toe because I only had 2.5 weeks of training (which barely had any anaerobic efforts) and so I was running as hard as I could but ended up getting passed by almost the entire field. 

I started the 2nd swim well down and never came back from that. The next time on the bike I joined the lead group (Lapped athletes aren’t DQed, but they aren’t allowed to pull through) and just sat in the group without taking a pull. Sitting in was awesome, the 2nd bike ride was 100% easier than the first. After the lead group came into transition I finished my final lap on the bike and started the last run in who knows what position. I did my best to run hard and keep my form up, but once again I was just getting passed like crazy, and ended up almost getting last.

I had no sign of breathing issues; I was just straight DEAD tired from racing with my heart rate that high for that long without a solid base of training and no speed work. This style of racing is awesome for the spectators and can really showcase the sport of triathlon. There’s no faking it in these races either, just full on for 45 min! Ideally this will become a series in the future that I hope to be a part of to help the growth of Olympic style, spectator friendly, triathlon.

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