Yesterday was the final race in the South Carolina Triathlon Series, The Dam Tri. Despite the race having issues with the weather this year and last year, it is actually perfect for me since it is only a couple miles from my house. For those of you who don’t know what the South Carolina Triathlon Series is, it is a collection of triathlons (in South Carolina) ranging from the Sprint to Half Distance that is put on by a company called SetUpEvents. The “Man in Charge” is Jeremey Davis but the team that puts on these races is integral to putting on great quality races without having astronomical prices. These races are how many people get started in doing triathlons and are super beginner friendly. If at any point in time you are reading my blog and decide you might want to do a triathlon yourself (and don’t already), then check out their website here. They will be listing the full schedule for next year on November 1st is what I’m told.
Originally the Dam Tri was scheduled to be October 8th, but due to weather it was postponed a week. This made me slightly nervous since it was now only 8 days before Miami 70.3, which in turn is only 7 days before Austin 70.3! I’m no longer worried about this as I trust in the endurance I have been gaining lately and feel that I am already recovering very well from yesterday’s effort. So without further ado, the Dam Tri Race Report!
I actually got to “sleep in” a little on race morning with a 5:40 am wake up. Cory Tretsky was staying with me for the weekend and after finishing getting things ready and eating a small breakfast of a bagel and a Kattouf Kookie bar, we headed to the race site. I took my time setting up transition and socialized a fair bit since I knew many of the local people racing including a bunch of Team Kattouf athletes. The water was as smooth as it has been all year and the water temperature was measured at 73 degrees. This meant that wetsuits would be allowed as the water was only slightly chilly. In future races as a pro the cutoff to wear a wetsuit will be lower so I will have to ready to swim fast without one!
The Open males lined up and after the National Anthem we had a 1 minute countdown before the cannon (yes, a cannon) went off. I immediately started dolphin diving and swimming moderately hard while maintaining good form. Upon making my turn at the first buoy I saw that I had a gap on the rest of the swimmers. I kept the pace for the long stretch to the second buoy and mainly focused on keeping a straight line as I tend to drift to the right if I’m not careful. By then my lead had grown more and only the stretch to the finish was left. I was getting somewhat tired since my swim volume isn’t quite as high as I would like it, but I was able to keep a good pace to the shore.
After a few dolphin dives I exited the water in what can only be described as the most casual swim exit in triathlon history. Watch the video for further details.
After meandering through the first transition, I got on the bike and made my way up the hill out of the Lake Murray SCE&G park. The bike course was 2 laps that had us riding on Highway 6 and crossing over the Dam 4 times. Unfortunately, it took me most of the 1st lap to finish catching my breath from the swim which has become more common recently. I believe this is because of my recent swim volume being lower while also training for more endurance on the bike. Throughout the rest of the bike my power and speed continued to rise and I was feeling better and better. Other than a few close traffic incidents and nearly hitting a dead coyote, it was a reasonably successful ride for me. I got off my bike feeling okay and headed out with a good lead on the chasers and looking to extend that a bit with my strength, the run.
After messing with my watch a bit, powering up the hill out of the park, and dodging some pedestrian traffic, I finally got to start getting into a rhythm onto the run. I have been training more on the run lately in my racing flats and could tell a difference as I felt I had a bit more “snap” in the legs. I kept the pace moderately hard but made sure to never push it too close to my threshold with my priority races approaching. I made it my goal to smile big throughout as many cyclists were coming the other way while crossing the Dam! I made it to the turn around point at the other side of the Dam in good shape and after a word to the volunteers headed back picking up the pace. There was a slight tailwind on the way back which made it easy to negative split the run. I saw that my lead was by a few minutes at that point so I just focused on holding pace through the finish.
One of my goals for this race was to set Course Record which I succeeded in with a finishing time of 1:26:09 as well as the fastest splits in the swim, bike, and run! My fitness is doing very well right now and I’m excited for my races in Miami and Austin coming up. All I have to do at this point is relax and trust that all my training will pay off against the top in the sport in my debut as a Professional Athlete!
Series results here.