Square Lake Sprint Triathlon 2019!

9 Sep

Sunday Sept. 8th 2019 was what was most likely my final Triathlon of 2019 unless I sneak a travel trip in some place? I decided 3 days before the race to enter Square Lake Sprint Triathlon as a way to end what has been a great 2019 season for myself and for my daughter Bella who has 4 junior female course records this season and a bunch of podium finishes including some overall wins! Bella did not race since she is now into high school cross country season.

Race morning the calm before the storm! I woke up and looked at the weather said well it’s not raining awesome! But then looked at the temperature and said burr! I’ve raced Duathlon in cold weather, but I’ve never raced Triathlon in cold weather like this, where the water is much warmer than air temp! I will admit I was not sure about this race and kept asking myself why did I sign up for this 3 days ago? But the venue at Square lake park is beautiful! The lake is one of the nicest lakes we swim in around here!
For Square lake Triathlon the athletes self-seed themselves based on how fast they swim, so I was going for the win and put myself up front maybe 4th guy into the water? My friend Jon who is an excellent swimmer went when I did as well and my goal was pace and sight off him, well that worked for a bit but coming back to the beach the buoys were off, there was no on-shore structure we could see and sight our way back in so I was all over the place and ended up coming to shore down beach from the entrance to transition and had some extra running to do.
This allowed the athlete (Michael a young 34 year old) to exit and enter transition about same time as me. Michael turned out to be the overall winner because of chip time.
In transition I stripped out of my wet-suit and my feet started to freeze up! But I mounted my bike and off I went climbing this monster hill out of transition. The hills on the bike course of Square lake Triathlon are relentless! This is a very challenging course and I would say not an extremely fast one. The pavement was also wet from rains the night before and a few puddles and I ride timid in that type of stuff, not the dare devil like others.
So I was rocking the bike passing the few swimmers who came out before me and then about mile 5 of the bike (Michael) caught me and passed me I said what the! And I kept the chase on holding back and pushing hard to hopefully catch and overtake him. We would get to the hills and I would gain ground on him, then we would descend and he would pull away. The dude was riding hard, and I realized the two of us were so far out in front that it was a battle of 1-2 overall right here. So I thought do I back off let him go and just take 2nd place? Or do I fight and push and make him suffer if he wants to win. This was the mind game I played over several miles of the bike course. Finally, we got to the last climb before we turned and went into transition. On this climb I had the power to finally pass him and take the lead going down into T-2. This gave me a lot of confidence and motivation to go get it! I said this is my race to lose now! So, I ran hard up that big hill out of transition, I mean this thing is just cruel! And then out onto the run course. My legs were thrashed from the hilly bike and I was trying to find a rhythm at the first mile split I saw my time and was like yuck! But then my legs got loose and I started pushing the tempo. At the turn around I got a glimpse of how close Michael was to me and it motivated me to push more… finally I was dropping into 5:57 mile pace and rocking my way back to the finish line! I crossed the line first and then Michael came in after me. I held him off on the run and had wondered did I hold him off enough for the win? But because he started behind me in the swim and we are chip timed not gun time Michael got the win by 20 seconds over me! Michael was a great competitor and really fun to race against and push me, I know that having him out there made me go harder than I normally would have and I appreciate that! We both gave respect to each other for a hard-fought battle! I was bummed to be first loser but hey the dude is 11 years younger than me, ha ha.
Square lake Triathlon 2019 the coldest weather and maybe the hardest course I raced this season was a lot of fun! Great BBQ after and always fun to see Randy Fulton out there timing! Just wish Jerry McNeil was the race announcer! I would suggest this race to anyone, first timer or veteran. The course will humble you and keep you honest and the lake is beautiful! It’s also a very low-key community friendly event!
Congrats to all the athletes this weekend that did Square lake 70.3 or the sprint race! Way to fight for the finish line!

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