Time for another early season sprint! This race is part of the South Carolina Triathlon Series and also has a Half distance race that sets out prior to the sprint. Despite being tempted by jumping into the longer distance race to test my base and see how I would fare, I knew it wasn’t that time yet. Especially with a recently healed achilles, now wasn’t the time to take that plunge. So it came down to another hour long lesson in pain management.
Many familiar faces lined the start list, but many unknowns as well which always makes for an unpredictable race. After a 2 hour drive of belting out tunes in the Civic, I arrived to Charleston with plenty of time to spare and got set up and headed to race start on the shuttle. The water was a frisky 68 degrees which would typically warrant a wetsuit. I met a new friend before the race that convinced me the 500m swim wpuldn’t be worth the hassle of taking the thing off in T1. So, fired up and ready to start I lined up in only my tri shorts ready to take off.
I got a decent start off the gun but failed to grab any feet as many bodies wearing buoyant wetsuits sailed off leaving me doubting my strategy. By the first buoy A I noticed a familiar face in Jeff Brandenburg drafting off of me. Very atypical as I often out swim him in normal circumstances. Fortunately, I was at least able to get through T1 much quicker than anyone else excluding my crazy new friend who convinced a wetsuit wasn’t needed.
As I headed out on the bike I had about half a dozen athletes ahead of me. I quickly got to work and took the lead about a mile before the (about) halfway turnaround. The flat roads of Charleston made for a welcome change from the previous rolling courses in the year. I noticed a hard charging Jeff Brandenburg trying to bridge the gap before the run who was almost successful as we made some sketchy turns to head into T2.
Apparently we surprised the staff who didn’t have the mats on yet to record our run splits. As I headed out on the run I immediately had one concern, I had no idea where I was going. After a short time of conservative running and trying to find arrows and asking people where to go, a bike monitor came up and gave me some confidence for the run. The rest of the run was spent wondering why it was so humid and hoping there weren’t any stud runners behind me, the finish line came into sight and gave me some relief as well as an Overall win. The next athletes came cruising in a couple minutes back looking like they also disliked the humidity.
Overall this was another enjoyable race. I spent the next couple hours helping volunteer where I could and cheering for the athletes competing in the half. After the first few finishers started rolling in I headed out to catch some sleep before working that night which I for some reason signed up for.
Excited for the next race and still a great beginning to the season!