Tuesday, May 6, 2008

NAPA Valley Sprint Tri

Sunday morning I was up at 4:45am and in the shower at the hotel for a quick wake up rinse off. I had packed up everything the night before so at about 5:10 we were heading out the door and driving up to Lake Berryessa.

We (me, Jen, Mom, and Step-Dad) arrived up at the lake around 6:20 and I was able to get a pretty good transition spot near the bike mount line. It would leave me with a long run from the lake to my transition but then when I came in off the bike I wouldn't have to run my bike very far. After setting up I walked over to the check in to get my swim cap, timing chip, and have my hands marked; my number was 38. We had about an hour to kill before the start so we walked down to the water and I hit up the port-o-potty while the lines were still short. At about 7:35 I decided to get in my wetsuit and head down to the water to do a quick swim and get used to the water.

I was in the water for about ten minutes before the race director came down to the dock and shouted for everyone to get out of the water and quite down so he could make some announcements. He talked about the course, directed everyone behind the timing mat, selected someone to lead the crowd in "America the Beautiful", then told those that wanted to be in the first wave to get out in the water. I decided to start in this wave figuring I would be MOP on the swim.

We swam out to the imaginary start line and 20 seconds later we were on our way. It was a water start so the initial crowd wasn't too bad; I swam with my head out of the water for about 20 or 30 feet before I was able to get into a stroke. About 150m into the swim I could feel that I was going a bit hard so I relaxed a bit and settled into a groove which I maintained for the next 650m. Sighting wasn't too much of a problem as there were swimmers all around me heading in the general direction we needed to go but I did sight on the buoys from time to time. After what seemed like a fairly short amount of time I rounded the last buoy and headed toward the shore - Swim 00:13:50.4

I ran up the boat ramp, up the road, turned right, and ran to my transition area. I was breathing hard and felt a bit discombobulated but I managed to remember everything I needed for the bike leg. The hardest part was putting on my gloves, this took me an extra 30 seconds or so but I knew the road was really choppy and I wanted to be sure I had a good grip on the bike - T1 00:03:01.2

After crossing the mount line and clipping in I headed out on what turned out to be a pretty hilly course. The hills were rolling and consistent, I was up to 34mph on the downhill and 11mph on the climbs; my average ended up being 18.2mph. I was able to drink about half of my water on the ride and found out that the best time to take a drink is right at the top of a hill before the momentum starts to pick up on the downhill side. I hit the turn around at 25:02 and headed back for the next 7.5 miles; I could see the leaders passing back by me right before I turned around and I estimated I was in the top 40 at that point. The ride back to transition was pretty much the same, rolling hills at the same pace. On the flats I was able to maintain 21/22mph which gave me encouragement for the next race where the course is supposed to be a bit flatter. I ended up passing three people on the ride back and was passed by one person - Bike 00:48:43.1

T2 was a bit faster than T1 due to the shorter run from the dismount line vs. the run from the water and I wasn't as discombobulated as I was when I came out of the water - helmet off, hat on, gloves off, shoes off, shoes on, grabbed my water bottle (had to run a quick down and back in transition to equal out the distance), threw the water bottle back to my transition area on the way back by, and headed out on the run - T2 00:01:55.9

I knew I wanted to take the first two miles easy and not go out too hard; after seeing the hills of the first two miles (pretty much uphill the whole way) I really knew that was a good idea. I passed a few people on the way to the turn around while keeping a comfortable pace; my split for miles one and two was 17:00. After turning around I had a really short uphill then it was pretty much downhill for the rest of the race. I really started picking up the pace at this point and was able to pass a couple more people; as I hit the flat stretch toward the end I kept pushing hard but knew that any harder and I would be puking so I maintained the pace I had - miles three and four: 13:22. I hit the finish area and saw my Step Dad, heard my Mom and Jen, and crossed the line - Run 00:30:22.9

Jen was there to give me a big hug right away; it was pretty cool having her there as a spectator as she is a great cheerer. This picture was taken about a minute after I finished; I'm still breathing hard:

Finish 01:37:53.6 - Sixth place in AG, 29th OA (out of 457 in Individual division)

488 Trevor Niblock San Francisco, CA ---28 M 01:27:34.1 --1 --5
378 Anthony Leonardini St. Helena, CA --28 M 01:28:03.5 --2 --7
537 Stephen Pons San Francisco, CA -----26 M 01:35:13.0 --3 --18
232 Brian Geraghty San Francisco, CA ---29 M 01:35:30.8 --4 --19
544 Lucas Priebe Napa, CA --------------26 M 01:37:42.4 --5 --27
38 -Zach Barnes Dublin, CA -------------29 M 01:37:53.6 --6 --29


jen said...

Whoo hoo!! Way to go. Congratulations on meeting your goals and having a perfect first race of the season. You looked so strong and comfortable out there in all three, it was fun to watch. Great work. :)

Tristram Wood said...

Great job, Zach! Sounds like you rocked! Nice bike average too...Way to bang out a super first race of the season!

Marathon Maritza said...

Yeah! Great job!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

You did awesome!

Ewen said...

A very promising IM triathlete told me to come over and take a look.

Well done. 29th! Not too discombobulated at all.

Michele said...

congrats, way to start the seaon off strong.

Anonymous said...

Wow, you were great! It was so much fun watching you & cheering you on. Way to go, you were strong in all events.
Dragonfly on the Water.

Donald said...

Congratulations - very strong showing. Weren't you just recovering from surgery a while ago? Great comeback, dude.