Race Report – Elma Triathlon – First of 2010

I have been training on my cycle, swimming in the pool and running for a while. It was finally time to get myself a real course and challenge. Although I have generally been training Ironman 70.3 distance. A sprint is always a good way to start triathlons.

I picked up Elma because of the location, timing and reviews. I had heard that it is a no pressure, fairly straight forward course. The distances were also very reasonable to begin with so I was not expecting any troubles on the course map.

My first and foremost objective – Finish the first tri and not end up in medic camp anywhere.

First One at the Race 

Getting there – I actually getting up there really early. I was in-fact the first one on the course. A friend of mine was visiting from out of town and I also wanted him to participate in the event. It turned out that Elma had foot races in the morning at 10 am so we decided to show up there by 9.30. That meant that I was really early and ready to go for the tri at 10.30 AM which does not really start until 2 PM.

Weather – It was a really nice day. I was expecting it to be a little colder. However, the weather really did improve and we were seeing 60’s by the time we started the race. Could not have asked for better weather. A day before; I went to Lake Sammamish for a swim and was freezing cold in the water. The water here was still cold but definitely much better than what it could have been at this time of the year (April)

All Happy and comfy in the wetsuit Ready to Go WithMyNutritionBag

Swim – I actually did okay on the swim. I was not relaxed in water and really worried about going in the wrong direction. I kept taking my head of the water (more then necessary). I ended up more like a 10 minutes on a 1/4 mile swim. Not my best time by any means. I should actually be finishing it in less then 7 minutes. But oh well! i did not drown or anything 🙂 More practice in open water for next time. Lap swim practices is much different.

Getting out of the lake 

Bike – I felt good at the bike ride. I passed at least 10 people. Only couple of people passed me. I finished this split in around 37 minutes (13.1 miles). I loved the bike part. I can finally get down in the aero position and stay there for the complete ride. That was pretty cool. The people ahead of me were owners of nicer Cervelo’s and cool aero wheels\helmets. I think that I should give some of those gadgets a try next time. They will definitely help shave down few minutes of time.

Run – I actually did better then my run expected time here. I used to think that I can not run faster then 8 minutes a mile. However, I finished little over 3.1 miles in less then 23 minutes.

Transitions – My transitions suck and I need to work on those a lot more. I did not use any tricks and tips about keeping nutrition taped to the bike and/or rubber banding the shoes. This meant that I was actually spending like 5 minutes in transitions in a 1 hr race. Too much time wasted.

AtTheFinishLine with the medal AleemAndMeFinishLine (Aleem with the 10k Run under his belt)


Lessons Learned

– Try an aero helmet and reduce drag where possible

– Work on transitions so it is a painless experience instead of a time waste

– Worry less and relax. The next guy is probably as tired or more tired then me 🙂

– I probably have more nutrition then I need and I can push harder…


Overall Good start. I will definitely be doing more triathlons this season. I will post my full plan soon. A finish at 1:14 for a 1/4 mile swim; 13.1 mile Bike and 3.1 mile Run definitely feels good in my book.