After last week’s meltdown I wasn’t sure if doing this race was still a great idea. Yet it’s amazing what a few days of hard workout will do to change your mind. By the weekend I could hardly resist doing another sprint that is only a 20-30 minute drive away!
The typical crowd was there in Peter Kotland and Jeff Brandenburg to keep it interesting. Everything went smoothly that morning and was all ready to roll as we got into the bath water we would be swimming in called Lake Carolina. These pictures provided by my dad show pretty much how I felt the race went down.
The gun went off and I decided I would try to lead this swim as there were no studs racing Open to pull away. I noticed Peter on my feet but didn’t mind much as a kept the effort high and threw in a surge towards the end to exit first and put some time in coming into T1 as my goal was to have the fastest transition times for this race.
I quickly got out on the bike and after a few close calls with traffic finally got into a rhythm. I wasn’t sure where the course went and didn’t have anyone to show me the way so I was wary of where turns might be. I was partially relieved when Peter and then Jeff came around and they seemed to know where to go. By the end of the ride they had about 20 seconds on me but I knew that I should be able to reel them in as long as I played it smart.
The course is a hilly one which I played to my advantage by taking the downhills hard and keeping the pace easy on the ups. I passed Jeff then Peter within mile 1 by flying downhill madly and kept the same strategy throughout. I kept looking back to ensure Peter wouldn’t get a second wind but I came into the finish feeling good and probably only looking slightly miserable.
It was great seeing everyone out at the race and talking with the local Columbia athletes after. Racing and being social are one of my favorite parts about doing triathlons and I’m glad that South Carolina has such a great Triathlon Series supporting racing. After the race Rebekah and I went to get some food at Grecian Gardens with my dad and talked about my sister returning home from her long absence spent in Jordan. Overall, a great day was had!