Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Sarah Haskins' WINNING St A's Race Report

Race Report: St. Anthony’s Triathlon
This past Sunday, I competed in the prestigious St. Anthony’s Triathlon. The race is beginning to have a hometown feel to me, as it was my fourth time competing at the race. I missed last year after undergoing surgery in Feb. or 09’ at DISC Medical facility in CA for a nerve entrapment release in my leg. This was the first time we stayed in downtown St. Pete’s and experienced the atmosphere and flavor of city.
The race is EARLY, especially traveling from Colorado with a 6:55AM start (which is more like a 4:55AM start; however, once race morning arrives any feeling of tiredness is replaced with a rush of adrenaline!) I woke up at 4:40AM; had my normal breakfast and walked the .8 mile to the transition area to get setup. It is still very dark at 5:30AM, so fortunately Nate had his flashlight to help me get all my gear set up in transition. Around 6 AM, I started my warm up and ran down to the swim start, followed by some activation, drills and strides. I wanted to make sure to get in the water and test out a couple of runs into the water since it was a beach start. The water felt very refreshing at 74 degrees vs. the muggy, humid 76 degree morning.
The men started promptly at 6:52 and we began just three minutes behind. I had a decent start, next to Laura Bennett who is one of the best in the world at beach starts. She had a body length on me after the run into the water, but I remained calm and got right on her feet for the first 400meters of the swim. After the first couple of buoys, I took over the swim lead and swam at a comfortable, but strong pace. The swim started off fairly calm, but the waves definitely picked up the second half of the swim. As I approached the steps to climb out of the water, I was grateful a couple of volunteers were there to help me onto that first step, as I was feeling a little dizzy from the waves at that point.
Once out on land, I focused on getting my TYR Sayonara off as quickly as possible and strapping on my Rudy Project Wingspan TT Helmet. I felt comfortable on my Fuji D-6 with my 921 Oval Aerobars, ISM Adamo saddle, Zed Tech 404 and Sub9 disc. I also loved my new pedals from Sampson Sports; Stratics S6, which are lightweight, yet have a great platform for power. The bike was a bit windy (wind from the south), so the first 15 miles of the bike were challenging. I focused on making sure all my corners were smooth and keeping up a high and steady tempo. At two points on the course (around mile 3 and mile 17), I could see where the other girls were located. I noticed I had about at least a minute lead over the next girl, so I continued to ride at my pace and made sure to hydrate in preparation for the run. Several times on the bike; I caught myself grinding my teeth; so I was very glad to have on my UnderArmour Bite Tech Mouth Piece! The mouth piece really helps me to stay relaxed while pushing the bike, focused during transitions and staying smooth during technical corners on the bike. I drank 36oz of EFS fluid while on the bike course, much more than most races beginning at 6:55AM due to the high humidity in Florida!
Heading into T2, I focused on starting the run off at a high tempo pace, especially thinking about my form. The run is an out and back, so I only could see the other competitors at the half-way mark. I noticed I had a lead by a couple minutes, so I knew if I could keep everything together at that point, I should break the tape in first. I was very glad to get to that last stretch of the run, knowing that I accomplished my goal for the day! My time was the second fastest for me on that course (although it is tough to compare overall times because conditions change so much from year to year!).
After the awards ceremony, we headed home back to Colorado. This made for almost two days in one, but it was nice be able to spend my recovery day on Monday at home. The travel home was much easier than the travel to Florida….we had to drive in a snowstorm up to Denver last Friday! Yes, Colorado can still get pounded with snow at the end of April!!! Hopefully, that snow was the last!!! I am now gearing up for my second WCS race in Seoul, Korea on May 8th. Recently I have been doing lots of traveling and racing, but this is my last race for quite some time (five weeks). I will spend most of May and part of June training for the races upcoming in this summer.
Best Wishes

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