The 2010 Tri season has officially begun here on the left coast. Oceanside 70.3 typically draws a stellar pro and amateur field with hopes of grabbing an early season Kona slot, this year was no exception. Unfortunately my ambitions were set a little lower, ultimately this race served as the early season test of fitness and to remind the body what sort of an effort is required to be competitive. Personal results aside, this event is always a major highlight of the race season (most likely a tie with Wildflower), the course, friends and colleagues, and more spectathletes than you can shake a Saltstick at all equate to one of the most anticipated weekends of the year.
By early Monday morning (5 days prior to the race) our office was buzzing was activity, final preparations being made for the race expo and demo, athlete gear and race kits being pulled together, industry personnel were given the tour of our most recent dwellings. Outside of Kona, Oceanside always seems to generate the most hype in our office (beside the Spring sales meeting) but that's more like apples to oranges anyway. We also hosted a celebrity guest for a week long home stay while the traveling circus was in town. Of special note were 2 amazing athletes that would both be making their debut in the Pro ranks - Charisa and Ian, kind of a big deal in our world, words can't really measure how excited I was for these 2 speedsters!!!
Saturday morning rolled around in the blink of an eye as the previous day was an absolute blur in my memory. Here are a few of the highlights and lowlights of my race :
- first time ever that a racer in my AG suggested I should rack my bike further down the line where more space was available (trust me, there's plenty of space available when you do the math and realize that X number of bikes need to fit onto Y number of racks). "Inconveivable"
- Dead last wave start, I need to consider purchasing a hand held number counter click device. Never passed on the bike but I suspect that's simply an indication of my swimming ability (or current lack thereof).
- Bike felt solid for being the first race of the year, in hindsight I should have pushed harder but lesson learned for next time.
- Very happy not to see any blatant drafting, still a bit irked by the folks who refuse to make a pass and then fail to move right. Riding two abreast and conversing is also not highly regarded. Maybe I'm being picky, just calling 'em like I see it.
- Nutrition plan worked well, no excuses not to have it dialed by this point.
- Sockless racing will require new cycling shoes - ankle has been shredded for the last time.
- A tad windy on the backside of the bike, felt like a tumbleweed while descending the hill shown above. Nice tailwind for the return back into T2.
- Legs felt about average on the run, tons of support from all the local superfans (hats off to all who made it out that morning).
- Grabbed an entry for IMUSA, will be my first visit back to the motherland in about 16 years!
- Post race bash at the Wernick Resort with all of the usual suspects, perfect way to cap off the season opener.
Time splits for the day were 32:18 / 2:31:05 / 1:26:23 => 4:34:51
Next up - Wildflower Long Course