Sunday, September 28th was the 10th annual Lake Lanier Islands Triathlon. It’s been eight years since I last ran this race. I dug out my Emerald Point Triathlon Race Recap after the fact to see how I did and how much I have evolved (or devolved!). In short, I’m eight years older and roughly 10 minutes faster.
Not much has changed at this venue since my last visit:
- Participants are now required to check their bike in the day before. Kind of a pain, but with 1000 folks at a small venue, it’s really a necessity.
- Body marking is gone. I guess this has been phased out over the past couple of years, but this was my first in a couple of years, so I was a bit surprised to see those temporary tattoos. They are a real pain to remove too – baby oil is definitely required.
- The resort has created a marina in the area that was once the swim exit. The huge climb up to transition is still there, but now you have to run across a long pier begin that climb.
I felt really good on the swim. It’s been awhile since I raced in open water. I felt like I sighted really well the whole way and kept an even stroke. Once I turned right at the first buoy, the field opened up a bit and I was able to swim my swim. My split was a bit disappointing because the chip time stopped at the mat in the transition area. It included the run across the pier and up the hill. Of course I took it easy here to avoid getting my heart rate up. I would’ve gone harder had I realized that was still part of my swim time. There was a mat at the swim exit, but I think that was just checking us in to the race.
Regardless of what the literature says about flatness with only 1 real climb, the course is hilly. You’re in North Georgia. It’s going to be hilly. I executed the bike course really well, with an IF of 1.05. Any more than that would’ve screwed my run, and even that may have negatively impacted my run a tiny bit. My Garmin 705 had issues with the distance, registering a total of only 9.6 miles instead of the 12.5 – 13 that the course really is. Not sure what went wrong there. At least I have my power numbers – that is the most important part.
I had a pretty easy time finding my pace and getting out on the run course. Like the bike, there were a bunch of hills to deal with on this course, but only 1 of them was really of any significance that began in the second mile and was about 1/2 mile long. I walked the hills which I think may be a result of cooking the legs a little too much on the bike. Or may just have been mental. Who really knows? Once I hit mile 2 I was moving the whole way and passed a couple of folks in my a/g. The finisher chute had started to deflate, but some kind folks were holding it up as I crossed the mat. 1 hour, 27 minutes. Not too shabby for being older and not training nearly as much as I used to!
My transitions went really well. I had staged things well, and have Yankz on my running shoes. I could probably shave a minute off of each. It has been awhile since my last sprint tri, so I will just be content with it as is.
In summary, it was a great day. I had a lot of fun not only racing, but also in training the 8-10 weeks leading up to this event.