Race Recap: Gator Bait Triathlon

June 23, 2014

After I finished my first triathlon a few weeks ago I couldn't wait to sign up for another one. I found this triathlon (since it is the same race producers) and signed up. Apparently a "real" triathlon is done in open water but I didn't know what open water was like. My family came to cheer me on which meant so much to me! We left early in the morning (5:30am early) to get body marked, set up transition on time, and listen to the pre- race instructions.

The Swim:

I was most nervous for the swim. Heart pounding, I made my way down to the water front. 
Number 210 .. ready, go!


The swim course was 500 meters in a triangle shape marked with two buoys. I walked into the water a few feet until it felt deep enough to start swimming. I focused on taking three strokes, looking forward to the buoy, breathing, and continuing. I could see my hand each stroke but everything underneath me was murky and green. I quickly lost rhythm after I choked on water and couldn't catch my breath. I passed buoy one. I couldn't keep my head under water without getting nervous. My form was far from good: one stroke left, look in front, one stroke right, look in front, repeat. I passed buoy two. All I had to do was swim straight back to the water front. 


Finally, I felt my hand brush the ground three times and ran as quickly as I could out of that water. YES! I did it. I was breathing hard as I made my way back to transition. My dad was waiting by the swim exit and reminded me to slow down and catch my breath. 

500m | 8:42 | 1:44 per 100m 

Now I just had to bike a half marathon that included something called "Heartbreak Hill." Let's do this!

The Bike:

I don't cycle outside or practice hills and riding lots of miles.. I watch Pretty Little Liars while on my trainer. But don't tell Coach Jenny.


It was a little over 6 miles out and back. As people passed me (it isn't my strongest sport) I looked at their age located on the back of their leg to make sure none of them were 20 to 24 year olds. As I caught up to one of the packs I saw a girl with "23" on the back of her leg. I picked up speed and didn't worry about how much it burned. So maybe I'm a little bit competitive. 

I made sure to keep up fueling while on the bike. I brought my water bottle filled with gatorade and drank often. I took three gu chomps and ate them every few miles. I rode along passing the mile markers trying to maintain a good speed. Then we rounded a corner and I actually saw Heartbreak Hill.. 



There were a few people walking their bikes up the hill but I didn't want to have to do that so I pushed through. The turn around was at the top of the hill and I trekked my way back another six miles.

13 mile bike | 52:12 | 15.6 mph

The Run:

My legs were shaking when I got off the bike.

My dad: "Is this a sprint?"
Me (laughing): "It's supposed to be!"


The course was about a mile out and back around the dam then around the park for another mile making it 3.4 miles. My legs felt weak but after a mile they finally felt normal. I picked up the pace and focused on getting to the next person in front of me. Other triathletes were so encouraging saying "keep it up, girl! and "have a good run." I kept up the hard pace until I reached the finish line.

3.4 mile run | 24:38 | 7:14 pace



Finish time 1:27:45 
8th out of 159 finishers, 1st in age group 


Thank you to my family for coming to the race! I loved having you all there- especially since I was so nervous. Thank you to Coach Jenny for being the best coach! Thank you to the volunteers and race directors for plenty of support and a smooth race. And thank you to everyone who wished me luck! You guys are the best!

See you next year, Gator Bait!

10 comments:

  1. Congratulations, Sara! Your tri recaps remind me of Page from Twenty Six and Then Some when she first got into triathlons. If I remember correctly, she would have the same emotions (i.e. what the heck am I doing) but finish similarly to you (#1). Keep up the good work!

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    1. Thank you, Madelynne! That's funny.. and it makes me realize I need to stop doubting myself

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  2. Congratulations! Way to keep up a great pace!!

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  3. what an amazing job Sara! Looks like a great, strong race!

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  4. Love it! I want to do a tri so bad! I really don't like swimming in lakes. It's so dirty! And I hate when my hand touches to bottom! But congrats :) :) the other day I tried running after biking 10 miles and holy man did it feel weird!

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    1. Thanks! You should "tri" it ;) I couldn't even see the bottom of the lake. And yes, it feels so weird!

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