The Bostwick Lake Triathlon was a late addition to my schedule this year. It was a race I had never done before but had heard good things about. And with a logo like this, how could I pass it up?
This race was a sprint distance (.4 mile swim, 14 mile bike, and 3 mile run) and my first really short sprint distance in well over a year. The short course made for a great way to go all out the entire race.
I arrived a bit early for the race because I had to get my bike ready. While I love our new Thule T2 bike rack, it doesn’t allow me to travel with my wheel cover installed so I had to allow time to put that on. While putting that on, I realized that my front brake was dragging (a problem that has been plaguing me for months) and had to mess with that. I couldn’t figure out the issue and had the bike support take a look at it and they were stumped too. I ended up disassembling the whole thing and removing one of the spaces. Once I did that, it tightened right up where it was supposed to be. Crisis averted – hopefully permanently.
After my bike was ready, I cruised over to transition and found a nice end spot on a rack. Racks weren’t assigned or anything but because it was a small race, pretty much everyone had a good spot. I set up my gear and headed to the registration/check-in table. Check-in simply involved giving the volunteer your name and she gave you a number and t-shirt (with the turtle logo on it FTW!).
They had fenced off the trampoline pit (upper left). I think that they should incorporate it into next year’s race.
I had plenty of time before the race to chat with some of the fellow racers. One of the things I like about small, local races like this is the number of familiar faces.
The swim was a .4 mile loop in Bostwick Lake – a great venue for a swim. Nice clean water with a sandy bottom and no seaweed. The water was pretty warm but I made a last minute decision to wear a wetsuit for the added advantage. I wish I had brought a swim cap though as they did not provide them to racers. I’m actually glad they didn’t give them out as I have such a stockpile of them and the last thing I need is another one.
I lined up right in the front and waited for the countdown. As soon as the horn went off, I charged off. I had a bit of mild contact at the beginning but it was mostly on my feet so I swam strong to establish my position.
They even had aerial coverage!
With such a short swim, I just hammered it as hard as I could. After the first 50 yards I had nice, open water and settled in. In no time I was rounding the turn buoys and headed back to shore. The return was straight into the sun which made it hard to sight off of the buoys. Thankfully the lead group was just in front of me and I was able to sight off of them instead of the buoys. The water is shallow a good distance from the shore (you can see how far out we were standing for the start) and I never know the best way to handle this. I swam until my fingers started to hit sand and then stood up. Realizing I was still a good distance from the shore, I did a few dolphin dives before running up to the beach.
I ended up coming out of the water 7th with a time of 9:30-ish. Note: All discipline placing and times are estimates as you only get a total time at this race – no chip timing.
I had a fairly uneventful T1. I decided to start with my shoes off the bike so I had to slip those on, pop on my helmet, sunglasses, and race belt before heading off.
I headed off on the bike in 7th and got off the bike in 3rd, so I would call that a success. The course was a 14 mile out and back course. We had a bit of a tailwind on the way out so the return trip was a bit more of a challenge. I felt like I was pushing it as hard as I could but after looking at my post-ride power numbers, I probably could have gone a bit harder.
I ended up finishing in about 36 minutes averaging 23.9mph and 256W for 14.3 miles. I had hoped to be closer to 275W for the ride so a little off. Of course, the lack of power could be due to the lack of sleep I have had lately. That, and I didn’t exactly taper for this race with a 100 miler on Thursday. I’m not a good taperer
I did make a rookie mistake and missed the final turn back into transition. I wasn’t paining attention and had to pull a quick U-turn after I blew passed the turn. I still managed to roll into transition in 3rd with 4th right on my heels. Totally my fault for not paying attention and not knowing the course.
Again, uneventful transition. I had slipped out of my bike shoes on the bike so I just had to pull on my Kinvaras and grab my visor before heading off.
My legs were very tight at the beginning of the run but loosened up quickly. This is something I have struggled with over the past two seasons so I was happy actually have my legs transition over. I got passed within the first 1/4 mile by the guy who followed me into transition. I hung onto his heels for a bit but he managed to put about a 50 yard gap on me.
The run course was actually a bit more challenging than I thought it would be with some good rollers. I did my best to hammer up the hills and recover on the descents. Not only that, but because the roads didn’t go all the way around the lake, part of the course cut through a couple yards and some trails so we had a little bit of off roading.
For a 3 mile course, it was very well supported with at least 2 official aid stations and 3rd aid station that I think was just someone set up in their front yard. The course itself reminded me a lot of the non-defunct Johan run course in that it wound through a neighborhood and had a fair amount of spectators out in their driveway. Quite a few residents had put out sprinklers and hoses as well to run through.
I got passed by one more runner in the last 1/2 mile. I was so hoping to hold him off as it was a guy I know who I’ve never managed to beat. He is a super strong runner but I thought I might have had a big enough lead off the bike to hold him off.
In the end, I managed to finish the run in 18:36. I’m not 100% sure on the distance but it was somewhere between 2.9 and 3 miles which puts me between a 6:12 and 6:25 pace which is pretty darn close to my 5k PR pace.
I cruised across the finish in 1:06:10, good enough for 5th place OA. They only had overall awards (no age groups), but I would have been 1st in my age group after the overall winners were pulled out.
I can’t stress how awesome of a race this was. This is how the sport should be – about the sport, the athletes, and the experience – not about making a buck off of it. Sure, you don’t get the red carpet treatment you get at some of the bigger races, but you also don’t find mind tris for only $50 these days. The race director and volunteers did a fantastic job. I had an absolute blast from start to finish at this race and I would recommend it to anyone from the elite to the newbie.
Thanks for reading! Hopefully you’ll join me next year at the Bostwick Lake Triathlon!