Cedar Beach Triathlon Race Recap

The Cedar Beach triathlon is one of the last triathlons of the season here in the northeast - at least in my neck of the woods.  I wanted / needed to get a race in after my ankle break this past spring, just to mentally get a boost and to tell myself that I can still race.  My running has been good as of late, and I've had a couple good tempo runs, so I was confident that I could race this event and not just coast through it.  I've been swimming and cycling regularly, but nothing significant in regards to speed workouts.  So I figured I'd give this race a shot and see how I could do.

The Cedar Beach triathlon is held out in Miller Place, NY.  This is pretty far east out on Long Island - I had a very early morning as I needed to drive about 90 minutes from my home to get to the event site.  In retrospect, this is a long way to drive for a sprint distance triathlon.

Really nice venue for the race.  We all watched the sun come up over Long Island Sound as transition area setup was underway.  Shortly after, I went for a warm up run with my new buddy Dan.  He and I met while working at the Toughman Half Iron triathlon.  He's a tough competitor and it was great to hang out with him pre and post race.  We ran a mile and half or so easy and then suited up for the swim.  The Sound was a bit chilly, so it was a full sleeve wetsuit kind of day. 

Being in wave two, I had five minutes to wait after wave one went into the water.  There was a bit of "sweep" or current coming in and as we headed out (anti-clockwise swim around a somewhat rectangular course) I could feel the tide working against me.  Making the first left turn, I still felt the current, so I figured it was going to be a longer swim for everyone.  That said, I was surprised to cross the chip mat into T1 in 10:30.  Not too shabby.

In and out of T1 and it was off for two loops of the bike course.  15 miles total (again, this was a sprint distance race).  As I hadn't ridden this course before, I checked some maps and elevation charts at home to get as information on the course as possible.  I was pretty well prepared for the mile-plus climb early in the loop.  Not killer, but it certainly slows things down.  The rest of the course is fast.  A few smaller climbs, but most of the course is rolling downhill.  After one loop there's a great turnaround area: right in front of a huge mass of spectators.  22 minutes and change for lap one.   Lap two was good, and I negative split my laps.

I was only passed by two individuals on the bike (yes, I checked their age on their calfs as they went past and, as they weren't in my age group, I didn't worry about it).  I was surprised, however, to not see anyone in the mens 40-44 age group as I made my way through the bike course.  My swim wave was comprised of everyone 40 years old and older and thought maybe I'd see a few people from my division.  I didn't think too much about it, but I did hope that maybe I was having a good day.  Off the bike in 43:30-ish and onto the run.  (I say 43:30-ish as I don't have the official results available to me yet to confirm my time.  And I was an idiot and left my bike computer on the back of my car while packing up.  It's now most likely laying in the parking lot never to be seen by me again.)

The run course was a flat, two loop course.  All along the ocean and through, for the first half of each loop, a nice nature trail.  Paved, but very nice.  As I made my way around for my second loop, I saw someone in my age group ahead - but realized that he was on his first lap as he didn't make a move to counter when I passed him.  Again, great turnaround area......you loop through a huge spectator area and then run along the side of the transition area.  I passed a few people and struggled to keep my form and cadence / stride in check.  My lungs were burning from my lack of training and race fitness.  I'm pretty sure I sounded like a Sherpa climbing Mt. Everest.  I came into the finish shoot and felt good about the effort at the end.  20:30 for the 5K run.  I was pleased with the pace and I didn't even think about my ankle once.

When final results were posted, I came in 8th overall and 1st in the mens 40-44 age group.  A great way to get my first (and last) triathlon of the season in.  Granted, it was a sprint distance race, but I was pleased to have finished as well as I did considering I'm not in peak race fitness.  Very encouraging for next season.

This winter is all about base building, and getting ready for next season.  I'm still deciding what races to target, but am pretty sure I'll throw in a couple Olympic distance races, maybe a sprint or two, and see how I feel about a late season 70.3 race.