Wednesday, May 20, 2015

North Shore Triathlon

Sunday was the inaugural North Shore Triathlon. This race took place, as the name suggests, up on the North Shore of Oahu at Mokuleia Beach Park. I'm going to quote a friend, Sergio, because I think he put it best, "This weekend people had two races to choose from. One is a relatively flat course with thousands of people racing different events and running around cones. The other was a much more challenging and beautiful course with all your closest friends. #NoBrainer #NorthShoreTriathlon." #FTW. 
I couldn't be happier with my decision to race this race, it was a great prep for what's to come in a few short days. A chance to get the kinks out, race hard on a beautiful, difficult course that's never been done before, but do it in a SAFE environment where you don't have to worry about other things (getting lost running around cones, people riding bike in the wrong direction, passing on the wrong side, while worrying about getting hurt, run over or crashing)
On to the actual race....What a morning it was! 5;45am comes fast when it's about an hour drive to the start. The swim, although it was a short (I guess Olympic distance race swims should be longer, but who cares?! everyone has to do the same thing, the length of the swim is the length of the swim! as is the length of the bike and the length of the run!), it was NOT an easy swim by any means. It was 2 loops of about 400-500meters, the water was shallow and navigating was difficult, adventure swimming at it's finest! I swam with Jason Hagi, a local swimmer extraordinaire (his goggles snapped right before the start and he swam the whole race without goggles, kudos to him!) and a few times we both stopped, looked at each other and said, "where do we go?" The course was difficult to navigate, swimming back in towards shore (a bigger flag or something instead of a small cone on the beach would be helpful! :-) ), but it super fun. It would be cool to have it be a longer swim in the future, but not necessary. I ended up F(woman)OTW and we had a kind of long, deep sand beach run up to transition. Not what I was expecting, but knew it wasn't going to be easy given the walk down to the beach before the start.
On to the bike! I LOVE MY NEW BIKE! I'm finally comfortable on my bike in my TT bars and it climbs like a beast. This bike course was epic. There's this road here called Snake Road, (well that's not its real name, if you want to look it up, it's actually called Kaukonahua Road) , that we can't/don't normally ride up because it's super unsafe, there's no shoulder and people drive like maniacs up and down that road. Chris, the race director was able to get full road closure so we could ride up this amazing road allthewhile being safe! I loved this ride, the roads were clear of cars and I got a police escort!! Love that! Only 1 complaint, was the shameless relay boys drafting while climbing up hills, but I suppose people don't like to get passed (I get it, but come on! Race your own race!). Anyways, the bike was tough, it's only a 3.5 mile climb and then some rollers, but those 3.5 miles were no joke! After that it was a fast descent back down to the 4 mile flat back to transition. I was pushing the pace a bit, but in retrospect I probably could have and should have gone a little harder (can I pedal any faster? yes, can I push a bigger gear? yes. Not great answers once again). I'm learning, but it seems to be a slow process. My mind needs to catch up to my body!
The run was a short out and back on a relatively flat course, with a few small bumps, right along the ocean. Couldn't ask for more beautiful scenery! You got to see everyone the whole time and the encouragement and cheers from everyone is always welcome and motivating! The run ended up being a little shy of 10k, but that's AOK with me. Again, everyone running the same course! And guess what?! Police motorcycle escort on the run as well (poor guy having to ride that motorcycle sooooo slow, you could totally tell he was uncomfortable standing up, squirming around and having to ride his bike at a regular pace for a little and then come right back to me. He even apologized for not having his fancy bike with a radio for music, now that would have been a bonus)!
I wanted to push the pace from the beginning, but didn't have the spunk I would have liked. I was able to run comfortably uncomfortable, but not as fast as I planned/anticipated. I wasn't running with a Garmin or anything, but could tell it wasn't super speedy. In the end it was enough and I was happy with how the day unfolded. Got to get the kinks out and be ready for Honu in a few short days!

Thanks Chris Gardner and BOCA Hawaii for putting on such a great event, I can't wait for next year as I can only see this event growing and becoming more successful in the future. 

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