Thursday, October 30, 2014

Lifetime SOMA Race Report (Relay - Swim portion only)

Eternal Water at the finish line!
One of the best, if not the best, finishers medals which doubles as a bottle opener. 

Race Report 

Lifetime SOMA Olympic Distance Triathlon - Team Relay 

Early this month I was asked to be part of a relay team that was doing the Lifetime SOMA Olympic distance triathlon in Tempe.  I would be doing the 1600 meter swim portion of the relay.  The team met the day before during the race packet pickup in Tempe Beach Park. I am pretty familiar with the swim course in Tempe Town Lake.  
Woke up on race day an hour before my alarm was to go off.  I have never been a good sleeper on the night before any race, however I did sleep better than other race mornings. It was kind of strange only bringing my wetsuit, googles and swim cap, but then again I was only doing the swim portion. We arrived at the transition area an hour and a half before my wave was to go off.  I had time to relax and stretch. The call was made that morning the water temperature was cool enough to make wearing the wetsuit legal. I pulled on my wetsuit and did my CarbBoom gel 45 minutes to go.  I felt very good and was excited to get in the water and start the race. I had my Suunto Ambit2 Openwater app set to capture data. I told my cycling leg member to watch for me around the 46 minute mark exiting the water. The horn went off and I started my route in Tempe Town Lake going east, right into the sun.  My Barracuda darkened corrective lens goggles worked great, sighting into the sun. With all open water swim starts, there was the fair share of bumps and kicks from fellow swimmers until the pack spread out a little.  I had a little bit of a problem a few times breathing, as my wetsuit is pretty tight.  I slowed down a bit and relaxed.  My plan on exiting was to not worry about getting my wetsuit off, yet sprint as fast as I could to pass the timing chip to the cycling member on my team. To exit the water, a volunteer told me to place my foot on the bottom step and he would help hoist me up.  I found the step with my foot, grabbed his arm and I was out of the water.  The first step up the stairs sent my right calf muscle into a tight cramp. I reached down and massaged it out for a quick second and off I ran to pass off the timing chip. I stopped my Suunto Ambit2 and was happy to see I made it out in 42 minutes, 4 minutes under my goal.  I took my wetsuit off and put back on my shoes to help cheer on the other members of my team out on the course. 
My team did great.  We had a technical issue on the bike, but all in all had a great race.  I was really impressed with the finisher's medals.  The strap is secured with velcro, but the medallion can also be used as a bottle opener and even has magnetic back so it can be placed on the refrigerator.  This is possibly the best finishers medal I have received to date. 

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