Thursday, July 11, 2013

Wild Wolf Triathlon, Madrid Spain - Race Report

Well I am finally home from that marathon trip. It has taken a while to get back into the swing of things training wise as well as get caught up with everything else. I'm finally taking a minute to write a quick report of the Wild Wolf Olympic Triathlon that I jumped into on a whim while I was in Spain. It was a great experience and I am glad that I did it, but I definitely did not set myself up to try to perform well. I had no idea the race was being held until the night before. I did a long hill run the morning before the race being I didn't know I was going to race.

We left Cordoba and traveled to Madrid in the afternoon on Saturday where I had a bike waiting for me. I rented an aluminum Specialized roadie from Bike Spain. (It was the first time I ever rode a roadie!) When I was picking up the bike I saw a flyer for the race and asked about it. The guy at the Bike Shop told me to just go over and see if they would let me in being the race registration was closed. I rode over to the Village and tried to find someone who spoke English well enough to help me. The lady I found was actually the race director. She was absolutely awesome! She bent over backwards to make sure I got registered and got my packet. Great service! By the time I got registered and back to the hotel, it was 9:00 and I hadn't had any dinner yet!

The next problem was gear. I didn't have anything with me besides my TriSports bike jersey, a pair of bike shorts, a water bottle, and some junkie road shoes that I traveled with. I rented a helmet with the bike and tried to buy some nutrition for the race. I couldn't find the Gu Roctane that I wanted to use on the bike course, but with no luck. I couldn't even pronounce the stuff I went with. I know they say nothing new on race day, but pretty much everything was new! I had never rode the bike that I was racing on before, never raced in a bike jersey or had to put on a jersey after the swim, and of course the new nutrition. I also had to put socks on being I didn't have my racing shoes, just my trainers. To top it off the race was a dive in start, something I had never done or practiced! Needless to say, I was racing this for a fun experience!

Pre Race Advice from Steve, one of the Faculty members I was traveling with!
Race morning I showed up WAY too early. I was nervous about all of the logistics of making everything work out, especially with the language barrier. It was a good thing too because it turned out that someone else had my same race number assigned to them. Trying to get that switched race morning was a bit of a hassle, but thankfully the lady I spoke with the night before was there to help. I also got some help for a guy who was working at the American Embassy. Everything worked out well. I even found a bench in the shade and took a nap before the race start.

Dive In Swim Start
I was in the third swim wave which was a bit unfortunate. They arranged the waves by age, so I was in the swim wave with the oldest third of the men's field. Since I registered late, that was the best they could do. I was fine with it. When it was my turn to start, I stood on the dock feeling a bit out of place (the older AGers staring at me didn't help either). I wasn't able to understand the announcer so I didn't really know when to get ready to dive in. The starting buzzer went off and I was a bit surprised. My dive into the water was half dive, half belly flop. I got off to a pretty good start despite not having access to a pool very often for the last few weeks. I was able to catch all of the wave two swimmers and many of the wave one swimmers. It was a little frustrating to have to swim around so many people, but like I said before it was all about the experience.

Dismount Line...Or at least I think that is what they guy was saying!
I had a slow T1 being I had to put socks and a bike jersey on. I grabbed my rental bike and was on the course. It was a little hilly but no huge climbs. I didn't know what to expect on the course being I hadn't seen any of it. It was a two loop course so I was able to ride a little harder the second half. I was definitely not comfortable on the roadie. My seat was too low and I really struggled to put anything on the pedals while climbing. I spent most of the up hills out of the saddle. I finished the bike pretty slow, at least 10 minutes slower than I would have on my bike on that course. Again, didn't bother me. I jumped off of the bike with a big smile on my face.

The run was pretty much as expected. I ran a 34 flat 10k, which was the fastest run of the field. It was different not being able to chit chat a bit as I was running with people, but I heard "muy rapido" a lot. I'll take it as a compliment. The run was completely flat and pretty well shaded from the sun. The bike and run took place in a beautiful park that is closed for traffic (it is where I did all of my training for the week after the race). I finished the race in 2:07, was 7th overall. All-in-all, it was a great experience. I am glad I was able to talk my way into my first International race and hope there are more in the near future!

Finished! Big thanks to Bethany (another Faculty member) for taking all of these pics!

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