Mill City Sprint Triathlon – June 26, 2016
Cheers to two podium finishes at the Mill City Sprint Triathlon! Way to go, Candice and Sara!
Candice’s Race Report:
This past Sunday, I completed my very first triathlon, the Mill City Triathlon in Lowell, Massachusetts. The race had both sprint and olympic distance options. I completed the sprint distance of .25 mile swim, 11 mile bike, and 3.1 mile run. The race started at 7 AM, with a 4:30 AM wake up for me (brutal). Everything was pretty well organized from registration, race time and awards ceremony. The only issue was the bars to hold the bikes in transition were too low which made for longer transition times in both T1 and T2.
The race started off with the swim in the Merrimack River. Given the minimal rain we’ve had and the hot temperatures the past few days, the water was beautiful and clear. The water was warm, making it an easy swim from the first marked buoy back to shore. I then had to jog across the street to the transition area. The transition areas were the same for both the bike and running, which made for easy transition out for running (after I struggled with placing my bike on the low bar). Everyone in the race was supportive and encouraging. The bike and running routes were different this year and all of the roads featured were freshly paved. This led to a smooth bike ride for the whole 11 miles for me. The bike course was relatively flat, with some small hills. All of the routes were clearly labeled with enough volunteers at each spot to show where you were going next. The olympic distance was simply another loop of the same route used for the sprint for both bike and run. The swimming for the olympic had buoys set off at a greater distance before swimming back to shore.
The weather was beautiful and I couldn’t have asked for a better day for my first triathlon. I came in at 1 hour 24 mins, which I was happy about for my first time. Then the awards: third in my age group, woot woot! Overall, I thought this was a good triathlon and I would definitely recommend it to anyone who is new to triathlons or wants to ease their way back in. I feel lucky that I picked this one as my first!
I’ll see you all in the Whaling City!
Sara’s Race Report:
I was originally slated to be sitting in a conference room all day learning more about cat diseases…but somebody had a better plan for me that day. As luck would have it, the conference was cancelled so I jumped in to register for Mill City Sprint. I couldn’t ask for better weather for a summer race. The water was warm (likely mid 70’s), the air was mid 60’s at 7 AM, and the sky was beautiful and clear.
I was pretty excited for this race as I have been working so hard on my swim technique and endurance since the last event. Master’s swim and Walden have been my hangouts lately… I couldn’t wait to see if I could redeem myself.
Arriving around 5:20 AM, it was early enough to go for a warm-up bike, run and swim…and stand in line for the bathrooms (TWO porta potties and two stalls in the building). I’ve finally learned that I need longer warm-ups for shorter races, and an early arrival keeps my stress at bay. The race was small and the transition area was located across the main road from the swim start.
The swim start was in waves to separate out sprint and Olympic racers. It was a quick out and back around the buoy. After some confusion from the director about which side to stay on, it was settled that we would go out on the right and back on the left. Phew…could have been a disaster. A friendly lady in my wave told me there is less current going out if you say nearer the shore, and then on the return stay towards the center to use the current’s help – I followed her advice and managed a 9 minute swim – 4 minutes faster than my last race, and not an ounce of panic occurred… just fast, relaxed swimming the entire way. Redemption!!!!
The bike was fast and flat for the first 5 miles, second 5 miles was moderately hilly but manageable. Averaged about 17 mph which was a record for me again! All that hill training is starting to pay off.
The run was a fairly flat loop, but by this time the air had really started heating up. I huffed and puffed my way to a 9:35 min/mile pace, setting another PR for me!
The race started so early that I was able to get back home for a second breakfast….
My new goal is to work on my running pace over the next year and try to get it down to a consistent 8 minute mile. In the mean time, I’m going to bask in my personal PR glow.