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!


  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!

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

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

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

  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!

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


I would love to hear from you! Leave a comment below!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...
site design by designer blogs