Monday, August 30, 2010

Alcatraz Tri Race Report

The day before the race we went down to scope out the swim. Alcatraz island is in the background. Those ships that look like this /  /  are angled like that because it was about 35+mph winds. Thankfully on race day the wind died down.

The boat I'm on is on the right of the island.

Photo courtesy and (c) Timothy Carlson.
This is what the start looks like from the athlete's view. There is no other triathlon swim start that compares. Standing on a 6" rail on the edge of ship in the San Francisco bay facing the Goldgen Gate bridge before a race start is nothing short of breath-taking. And if that doesn't take your breath away, jumping into the frigid water will.

I got to test out Zoot's new Prophet wetsuit for this race. I was toasty warm during the swim and the wetsuit was awesome. The bay was full of swells and waves and often when sighting all I saw was the wave in front of me.

So I most likely led this small pack of pro women in zig-zag lines across the bay. But it was still nice to have some company out there. Once I jumped off the boat, except for the girls tapping my feet occasionally, I saw very few other athletes during the swim. This isn't to say I swam exceptionally fast, this is just the nature of the swim and how spread out everyone gets. My swim time for the 1.5 miles was 34:12.

Out onto the bike and my only goal was to work hard. The QR CD0.1 and Zipp 808s were awesome on the technical, hilly course. I pulled my heartrate up and felt horrible. My watts were good, my heartrate was good. I just felt awful. I think that's what happens when you go from massive mileage for Ironman training to a short hard race. Around mile 23 (it was a 25 mile race) I started to feel good. Bike split was 1:20.

I came into T2 excited to get onto the run. I headed out hard and immediately got a side stitch. I spent the next three miles at what felt like a jogging pace trying to get rid of it.

I recovered from my side stitch and was able to push the last few miles enough to run into 7th place less than 200 meters from the finish. My 7 mile run split was 51:38. I went to San Francisco for a great weekend, a hard training race, and some fun. I accomplished all those goals and came home with a paycheck in my pocket, so it exceeded my expectations.

The views of this race, the hard swim, technical bike and tough run make for a great race. A huge thanks to Tri-California for putting on an exceptional race, to Steven for awesome race photos and being the best race supporter I could imagine. To my sponsors who make all this swim-bike-run-race-repeat possible. And to Kathleen and Kiet to came out to cheer me on. Kiet was out in the Presidio on the hardest climbs cheering and video-taping every moment when I was feeling awful. (gotta love that!) He put together an awesome video of my race - check it out!

Charisa @ Alcatraz Triathlon 2010 from KTT on Vimeo.

Next up is Ironman Wisconsin in two weeks, I am very excited for this trip. Thanks for following my adventures!