Tag Archives: LifeTime Tri

New York City Triathlon–Race Report

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I got into this race through the lottery system.  I signed up with a case of the F’ it’s for 10 bucks and sure enough I got it.   It was the final travel race of the summer and what better way to end a racing tour with the Big Apple.  I got to see some friends and see NYC from the outside for once and not from inside a bar.   Life Time Tri is the company that put it on and they really do know how to hold organized races.  I have not had a bad experience yet that has been a Life Time Tri.  From the moment I went through the 45 minute course/race overview to leaving the transition area after the race everything was very organized.  So without adieu here is the race report.

Pre-Race: 3AM Wake Up Call – WTF?
Yup this race starts early with the first wave at 5:50!  We had busses from the hotel to the transition area which made getting through the city easy.  We had to drop everything off the day before so transition setup was easy this time around.  Had a chat with an official because the bike next to me racked their bike wrong and it sucks to be them, they got a 4 minute penalty before even starting the race.  We had a nice mile walk up to the swim start on pavement that wasn’t even swept so it was not a fun walk barefoot.   At time time it was about 5AM and it sure didn’t look like much of a current unless you looked at the wakes coming off of the boats.  I was getting really excited for this 15 minute swim time.  I was in the red transition so we had to wait till all the yellow transition people were completely finished before starting.   Finally as the waves lined up in their corrals it was time to start.  I’m used to only like 10 people in Clydesdale here there was 41 of us!  I really have some people to race.

Swim: 15:12 4th out of 41
I was literally the last person in the water.  They had us going every 20 seconds in groups of 10.  We weren’t allowed to dive which really sucked but I can understand why.  Some people are just not bright and dive straight down instead of shallow and out.  Once in the water it had a salty funky taste and yeah I couldn’t see past my hand.  I tried not to focus on it too much and just swam.  I wanted that 15 minute swim.  Not only did I weave my through the other swimmers but I swam over several swimmers just floating there.  I’m not sorry for swimming over anyone doing the breast stroke or floating down stream anymore.  This is a race and if you’re a slower swimmer stay out of the middle!  There was a small exit ramp that made getting out of the water suck because there was a lot of people there so I wasted probably 20-30 seconds waiting for people to get up the ramp.  Next up was to get out of the wetsuit for an almost 1 mile run into transition.

Bike: 1:38 6th out of 41
The bike course was challenging and had some rollers.  But what made it difficult was the rain.  I had never raced in the rain before, in fact I don’t even ride in the rain.  Again with so many other races I spent a lot of time flying by slower people and yelling “On your left”.  There were a few sections of road that were just horrible in terms of creases in the asphalt and pot holes.  In fact I lost my entire water bottle cage 4 miles into my race from all the damn bumps and vibrations.  So long electrolytes and carbs.  There were some technical turns that I really slowed down more than I should have but that’s after the fact because there were a lot of people who crashed their bikes for not slowing down.  I kept a 19.6 MPH average and felt absolutely great through the entire bike.  In fact I probably should have pushed harder but I really didn’t know my legs would be on the run.   Finally getting into transition I’m ready to hop of the bike in the middle of the dismount and this guy makes a complete stop in the middle sideways on his bike.  I crash into him and he proceeds to tell me I’m the one at fault for him completely blocking the bike in.  F that guy and he needs to learn to keep the right or to the left if he’s going to completely stop.  Then he needs to learn to never turn his bike so he’s blocking the bike in from other racers coming in.

Run:  1:04 23rd out of 41
Well this run again had no flats at all.  Not to mention it starts with a steep climb out of the river park that was congested with walkers.  The best part of this run was the spectators.  The entire street of 72nd St was lined on both sides giving us high 5’s and cheering everyone on.  It was really energizing and it really didn’t seem like it was a close mile run into Central Park.  The course winded through the northern part of Central Park along the road.  Again there were people lining both sides of the street and I was having an awesome time. while holding a pretty good pace at 10:06 for me.  It wasn’t until mile 4.5 or 5 that having not having any electrolytes or carbs outside of the gu packets (of which I lost 2 out of my tri kit) started to catch up to me.  I could feel some cramping in the quads and hamstrings and I had to do a little bit of walking but not a whole lot as the sun was starting to heat things up and really bring that humidity out.   Was able to run through the finishing shoot and I eased up right before the line to let the challenged athlete soak up some spotlight time crossing the finish line.   As I was running it in I saw my friend Nick’s wife Lindsey cheering me on.

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Finishing up: I’ll do it again.
I had a lot of fun and aside from some of the race mishaps I really enjoyed it.  I will do this race again but probably not till after 2016.  I love New York and I loved having the chance to race here as my summer travelling wraps up.  I highly recommend this race at least once to every triathlete.

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Life Time Tri: Minneapolis–Race Report

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Well I’m halfway through my season of travelling for races and man it got here fast.  Strangely enough this felt like my hometown race.  My family from my mom’s side live in Minneapolis and while only a few of them made it out to the race.   Everyone made it to the BBQ we had later that day, and that’s really what made this trip for me.  I rarely get to race with my family watching so it was extra important that I had a smile on my face and that I got over that finish line not looking like death.

This race was unique for me and I had a lot of small challenges to overcome.  First was the weather.  It was rainy every day I was there except for the day after the race and then it was awesome.  During the race it was muggy and humid, and the course had a lot of mud.  The Twin Cities have been getting rained on so there were lots of flooded area’s around town and the ground was completely soaked.  Second was that I rented a road bike.  I didn’t have time to really get some saddle time before the race thanks to the rain.  So during the race I couldn’t really feel my butt past mile 13 or 14.  I also couldn’t really get into any aero position which means I was catching wind like a sail!   The other stuff wasn’t as important because I was mainly there to just have fun.

The Swim:
No wetsuit this time  While the water was warm I didn’t feel the need for a wetsuit and went about swimming without one.  The water was warm so I took advantage of it.   The start was a time trial start so they had us in pairs going into the water every 3-5 seconds rather than 1 big wave.  The entry was a beach start which was cool because I didn’t have to wait behind everyone else wadding through the water.   I got plenty of good leaps in and off I went.  During the leaps I passed 4 people just inching out.  I didn’t even get a swim buddy that I could draft off of in this race and there was a lot of jostling of elbows and kicks that where way off.  I will say this swimming in fresh water for a change is nice.  I don’t have salt crust on the face during the bike.

The Bike:
It’s been over a year since I had to ride a road bike during a triathlon so I knew it was going to be an experience.  The course was very scenic and it went through parts of Minneapolis I didn’t know even existed.  Seems the road crew didn’t either cause there were potholes, creases, and horrible divots through the entire ride.  I couldn’t seem to pickup much speed either cause after mile 13 or so I could no longer feel but butt.  The only reason it was still there was that every single bump I hit I could feel it.  I couldn’t even get into the aero position for the ride which felt really weird to me.  Of course spectators love to cross the street as bikes are going through and I almost hit a few of them but ended up in the oncoming lane of traffic to avoid them.  I’m lucky I didn’t get in a serious accident with other athletes.

The Run:
Well this was a 2 loop course around the lake I just swam in.  It was filled with water from the rains and mud from the soaked grass.  It was pretty humid and muggy out so it felt like I was running through a lake.  Not to mention it was hot without the sun even being out.  Thankfully I had a lot of fun and looking back it wasn’t all that bad.  There was another guy going across the finish with me and we both looked at each other and said lets smile and sprint it through.  So we did complete with smiles and a hi five afterwards.

The End:
Well I might do this race again next year or the Maple Grove Triathlon.  It was nice to see family and had fun exploring the trails that Minneapolis has to offer.   Till next year.

Where Did the Time Go?–3 weeks into IMAZ Training already!

It really got here before I knew it, and I would by full of it if I didn’t say that I’m a bit terrified.  Let’s be honest though, when you embark on the stuff you truly want to accomplish it is supposed to be terrifying.  That’s what makes the accomplishment that much sweeter.  I’m 2 weeks late in starting this blog post due to things coming up and trying to stick to training as much as possible.

The last 3 weeks have been a whirlwind of training, traveling, racing, and helping others reach their goals.  I’m writing this as I get ready to head to Minnesota this week for a race out there.  I have family out there so I’ll be able to stay with them and I’ll have a car as well to travel around.  The upside to Minneapolis is that it’s super bike friendly so I plan to do a LOT of cycling.  I’m excited for my family to be able to get out there and watch me race and I’m excited to see them. I grew up on the west coast for the most part and missed a lot of my family growing up and now as we’ve all gotten older we just don’t get time to spend together much.

My training for the most part has been on track however I don’t feel like I’m where I should be.   Part of that is because of my break for the month of June.   I think my run for the most part suffered the biggest set back and I need to get it back.  However when I look at the numbers though it’s my aerobic endurance that is gone.  Training for short course racing is all about speed and power over the short course instead of a steady pace.  So what does that mean for me?  More longer runs and bikes at a steady Z2 pace to get that endurance built up again.   What does it mean for my short course races coming up?   Well it means that I’m going to look at them as training and keep myself at a solid pace.

Also got to see my friend Rhonda complete her 2nd triathlon the weekend of my ITU Race.  She has come a long way and it’s pretty cool to see the effect that I have had on her.  From believing that she could do her first triathlon before October to now looking at training for her 3rd triathlon in September.   I’ve found it’s very rewarding personally to watch people accomplish what they once thought they couldn’t.

Travelling for Triathlons: Another Job by Itself!

So as you’ve seen from my schedule I’ll be travelling over the summer for a few races, ITU Chicago, Minneapolis, and New York City.  The logistics of making sure that your flights, hotels, and travel to and from airports can really go crazy with the schedule.  It’s always one thing to sign up for a race but it’s another to actually get to the starting line when you live on 1 coast and you’re flying around.  Once you get the obvious scheduled (Hotel and Flight) it then falls on getting your gear there!   You spend thousands of dollars on this bike and if you’re like me you certainly don’t want to take it apart.  You need to get the rest of the small stuff together to check so that you aren’t doing a full blown transition clinic for the TSA agent.

I’ve had to extend my Chicago stay flights from Thursday to Monday were the only ones that made sense.  So that mean’s my hotel stay is Thursday – Sunday.  I decided that I’ll just stay centered around my hotel instead of dealing with the hassle of getting a rental car and dealing with staying at a cheap hotel till race night and check in to the hotel a couple blocks from the start only to rush and check out after the race.   Race day transport I just heard back from about getting my bike from San Diego to Chicago so I won’t have to deal with that fiasco of getting it shipped to my hotel and then me having to deal with it onsite.   I think having that Friday/Saturday though to see some friends and then have all afternoon Sunday to hang out will be great instead of trying to rush through it all.  Total Cost so far is $1100 bucks.

My trip to Minnesota will be really simple because my family lives there so I just have to worry about flight and getting my bike there… less than 2 weeks after Chicago.  So far though there is no bike transport for this race so most likely what I will do is take my bike to my local shop and have them back it up for me and then ship it to my Uncle and Aunts place that I’m going to stay at and then bring it to a shop to have them assemble it.  Since it’s at my hometown I might stick around after the race for a couple days to spend some time with everyone.  Total Cost so far will be around $600

The New York City Triathlon which is the race I’m more excited about because I got in via lottery and I did it on a whim is all paid for now.  Flights, hotels, and bike transport is all taken care of so it’s just getting all the small stuff taken care of.   I won’t have spare time to really spend with friends but I will have Friday and Sunday evenings and I’m right in midtown.  Total Cost so far is $1400 bucks.

So for a little summer weekend getaways it’s not that bad I think.  Pay for a vacation to get out of town and still pay that much and not get to race seems like I’d be missing out on things.  I know for 2015 though I won’t be travelling so much.

San Diego Triathlon Challenge–The Best Day in Triathlon

Donate here to help me raise money for the Challenged Athlete’s Foundation San Diego Triathlon Challenge!  The Best Day in Triathlon!

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It was the day of the Mission Bay Triathlon and my relay mate Jeff had told me about this race.   At the time I had no clue what this was about I thought it was but it sounded challenging.  So as he spoke more about it and mentioned the Challenged Athlete Foundation is the one that puts it on and that it goes to support challenged athletes to assist them in accomplishing their dreams.  As this race moved closer to race day I hear more and more people talking about it and I wanted to get involved.   I checked on their website and it was on the same day as my Oceanside Life Time Tri race that I had committed to.  I told myself that in 2014 I will be doing this race.  I wanted to race for a cause and I always found challenged athletes inspirational.

About the San Diego Triathlon Challenge
What began 20 years ago as a fundraiser to help one athlete, Jim MacLaren, to regain his independence after a tragic second accident has grown to become one of the most highly-regarded and motivational events in the triathlon world. Since that first event 20 years ago, the Aspen Medical Products San Diego Triathlon Challenge has been instrumental in raising the funds that have allowed more than 8,200 challenged athletes around the world to make it to the starting line and inspired a new generation to realize they have no limits.

“The San Diego Triathlon Challenge is the greatest day in our sport. To be a part of what this amazing Foundation does and how they change lives for people was so motivating, it gave me a purpose. I was inspired, and wanted to do more.” — Chris “Macca” McCormack

So as 2014 progresses and I become more and more active in my racing and triathlon I’ve found it important to race to support a cause and the Challenged Athlete’s Foundation falls right in line with what I believe.  So help me support CAF and making other athlete’s dreams possible.   You can click on the picture to donate for a good cause or the line under the title.  I’m starting small with just a $600.00 goal but the more the merrier!

What a Week! Lot’s of Changes.–Long Blog

2013 Races Below.  Next year will have an Ironman Medal.

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As I put my first week of Half Ironman training in the books (15 more to go) I have finally begun to notice a lot of changes with the way my body actually looks.  I can see my quads attaching up to my hips and I can even see where my oblique’s lay.  The downside is the extra skin.  I knew at some point it would rear its evil head, but thankfully I don’t let that slow me down.  People around me have noticed I’ve slimmed down more, and I was able to fit into a pair of 36” pants.  I have not been able to fit into a 36” waist since high school.  Oddly enough though my numbers on the scale and my body fat % has stayed roughly the same.  The biggest hurdle though is coming up and that’s holidays with the family and saying no to the food that won’t mix with my diet!   Sigh… no toffee chocolates, no cookies, and no eggnog (okay maybe a little bit of all those).

I was also selected to be a brand ambassador for a sports apparel company that is trying to broaden it’s US base.  So I get free workout clothes to wear and promote the brand, I can’t wait.  I’ve finalized my out of state races for 2014 and booked my hotels and my bike transport to most events.  I plan to do as many local races as possible so I’ll be close to racing every weekend.   But my Tour De Holley starts with Oceanside 70.3 (not really travel but it’s not San Diego)  March 29th, then ITU Chicago June 29th, Life Time Tri Minneapolis July 12th, New York City Triathlon August 3rd, Life Time Tri Oceanside October 26th, then Ironman Arizona November 16th.  Let’s just say after all the travel is done 2014 travel will have been over $4000 including race entry fee’s..  I do have the Rock N Roll Arizona Half Marathon January 19th and I’m hoping to have a 2 hour time.  I must say that the number one question I get is… Why?  Well I’ve thought about why on several occasions and each time I come up with a different answer but it’s along the same lines as this.  I’ve been an athlete since I can remember.  I wasn’t the best at any sport and some sports I was good, but 1 thing was for sure I was always there either supporting my teammates or giving it what I got.  Now as I’m older and that I’ve lost the weight that I set out to lose I needed more goals and I have found the triathlete community to be nothing short than amazing.  People travel to see the sights of the town, experience local food and local culture.   Why not travel and race at the same time?   That is why.

The Triathlete Community
Whether you’re in the pool, on a bike going up a 5.9% grade, or on the last 3 miles of a 13 mile training run there is 1 thing that every triathlete has in common.  We don’t care what your career is, we don’t care that you’re older or younger than we are, and we don’t care if you’re a democrat or a republican.  We are all the same out there on race day.  We are out doing what we enjoy doing.  We are out there accomplishing what other people have said is not possible.  We are achieving our goals, and making our dreams happen.  Everyone that I have met through the Triathlon Club of San Diego (TCSD) has been absolutely amazing.  Old, young, fat, skinny, big, small, new to triathlon, or the veteran Ironmen of the club, we all look at each other as equals. 

Training
With my first weeks in the book and looking back it was a good challenge and it’s nice to be training again.  I had to send my Garmin 910XT back because it showed I was training at 30K feet (San Diego won’t ever be 30K feet).  But I’ve been hitting the mileage on the run and I’ve been swimming extra because of USAT’s National Club Challenge and we’re on our swim session right now.  Currently I’m 18th out of 2731 athletes in overall mileage for Swim/Bike/Run, and I’m 8th out of 2731 athletes in swim mileage.  I’ve joined our club swim masters program to improve my swim which I probably won’t see much improvement for Oceanside but come IMAZ my swim should be pretty darn solid.  I am hoping that by November I can have my full marathon to around 4 hours.

LifeTime Tri: Oceanside. Race Report

imageI originally signed up for this event because it was in Oceanside.  I figured since I signed up for the Oceanside 70.3 this would be a good intro course to get a feel for the course.  This was also my first split transition so I figured that if I was going to screw up and forget something this would be the perfect race to do it.  I wasn’t putting any pressure on me to get a podium finish.  I wanted to focus mainly on the run and some of the things I learned from the clinic the weekend before.  I also wanted to focus on the transitions and the area.  Little did I know I was going to take first place in Clydesdale again and I beat the 2nd place guy by a full 10 minutes.  I thought about dropping down to my age group of 35-39 and weeks leading up to the event I completely forgot I entered in Clydesdale.  My finishing time would put me 9th of 14 which isn’t bad.  It really just shows that I really have to improve my run.  I was 74/125 people with my run and 55/79 males with my run.  With my main goal of moving into the Age Group ranks and out of Clyde’s I need to get my runs down to 7 minute miles for more than 1 mile.  I don’t care if I’m over 220lbs and able to run 7-8 min miles I’ll drop down to the more competitive 35-39 Age Group.  Sigh the only downfall is that it was my last triathlon of a spectacular triathlon season where I exceeded my expectation.

The Race Report! – Finishing Time – 01:17:40 – 31/125 Overall. 

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This was just a sprint so I didn’t really do much preparation and it really showed come race day.  Saturday I got my packet and we got a cool little backpack and some usual swag.  I’m a swag whore, I won’t lie.  Then I saw the 2 transition bags and started putting my gear (minus wetsuit) into each bag as I needed.  I figured I’d just put my wetsuit in the T1 bag in the morning before leaving (fatal mistake).  I felt good about it all I had everything in their proper bag and confident in my game plan for race day.  I wanted to have fun and enjoy the last race of my triathlon season.  Got to sleep at a decent hour and got a pretty good nights sleep.  Alarm goes off, I had a few scoops of PB&Co Maple Peanut Butter and got the 2 transition bags in the car along with my bike on the rack.  I had the final thought of just bringing my usual transition bag just incase.  It was cold and foggy coming into Oceanside and didn’t think anything of it really since I’m a big guy and produce a lot of heat once I get moving.  Checked my T2 that I left overnight and everything looked great.  Rode down to T1 and got all checked in and racked the bike and as I’m pulling everything out I realize I forgot my wetsuit!  I accepted the fact that I had to swim this in my shorts and tri-top and then it donned on me that I had my Lava Pants from Xterra in my regular bag that I use for the pool, but it was back in my car which was only a mile from the start.  But when you might not make it back in time to T1 before it closes it puts a certain dash in your step.   So on the return run I did this in my shorts and tri-top with bare feet since I left everything in my car since I couldn’t put them in my dry clothes bag.  Thankfully I made it back to T1 right as they were closing and they let me grab my cap and goggles.  I should note that I asked a USAT Official if they were legal to use and they said yes.  I was saved, to not have to kick through the race.  As the waves started the fog started to come in really heavy and they delayed the start because of visibility was maybe 10-15 feet in front of you.  We couldn’t see past the first buoy, and during this wait the cold really started to get to all of us.

The Swim! Swim Time 6:51 :52 /100M 11/125 Overall

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The initial shock of getting in the water was rough so I started to swim and instantly got used to the water temp.  I was happy and warm, and kept thinking just keep moving to stay warm.   Then the gun goes off and we are outta there.  I stupidly started towards the back of the pack fully knowing that I’m going to swim over some of them.  I really focused on long powerful strokes with the high elbow catch position and felt really calm through most of the swim.  I found a solid pair of feet to draft off of which was nice for a change.  Every time I tapped his feet he kept speeding up which was good till the first turn around.  Since everyone was still somewhat in a pack I didn’t want to go too fast out of the gates.  After we turned the first buoy I turned up the jets a bit and moved through the ranks.  I paid attention to not wanting to use too much energy (at this point I realized I forgot my APX in the fridge) since I didn’t have anything in the system and nothing to drink on the bike (Fat stores don’t fail me now).  Out of the water in 6:51.. Looking back I probably spent a good 5-10 seconds making my way through the start and pack.  Since all the swim times started at the same time I need to start these things at the front of the pack.  I’m wasting too much time getting through everyone when I’m much faster than they are. 

The Bike! Bike Time – 39:23 18.94 mi/hr (20Mi/Hr Goal). 22/125

I had a solid transition to the bike.  The only different thing was that I had to put my lava pants in the T1 bag.  As I was running out with my bike I realized I forgot rubber bands for my shoes!  This wouldn’t usually be a problem except I couldn’t feel my feet it was so cold.  I spent another 5-10 seconds getting that first foot on top of the shoe and on my way.  Getting out was a bit rough with some speed bumps here and some sharp turns here and there but once we hit the 76 things really started to go well.  The course got straight and I could deal with the fog, but hit a false flat (I should say downhill) because what seemed like I should have been coasting it got a bit harder to pedal and I was slowing down.  Since downshifting a couple gears to pickup my cadence hit a solid pace of about 17-18 MPH which for me was slow but I couldn’t feel my feet and it felt like I was pedaling with stubs like a pirate.  As the sun started to appear as we went east I could start feeling my legs and feet again and I was able to pickup the pace to 22-24MPH which felt solid throughout the whole bike portion.  I slowed down a bit more than usual coming down the last bike straight way cause the road sucked and didn’t want to get a flat in the last straight way (I know my back tire needs to be replaced, but I didn’t want to do it on race day).  Nailed my dismount with my shoes still clipped in and I heard a crowd support say I was like a flying gorilla (I laughed inside).  Foggy again and feet where cold I finally hit a GU and some water, and hit the run!  Overall

The Run! Run Time – 28:37 9:13 min/mile. 74/125 Overall.

Here it is, my weakest part of triathlon.  Coming off the bike my feet were frozen and my calves started to cramp a bit right off the bike (realized I forgot my salt sticks) but the legs still felt good and I really focused on keeping my head up and not over striding.  I was cruising at a 9:15 min/mil pace and I felt really good about it, my head was up my ankle on my left side wasn’t going beyond my knee (at least when I checked).  As I was running I noticed that Marc was coming down the hill behind me (I thought he would have beat me out of the swim and the bike, he’s a small guy and fast), my 8 minute dinged and I walked about 30 seconds instead of the 1 minute.  I felt good about things why should I stop it’s only a 5K.  Then we started to hit some up hills at the pier and going up another hill down the street which slowed my pace a bit but over all I felt really good.  I was still cruising a 9:35 pace thanks to that 30 second walk bit which I shouldn’t have done.  Down the final stretch Marc finally passed me and I picked up the pace to a 9:12 min/mil and got across the finish line.  Little did I know that Andy Potts was the one giving me my medal which was really cool!

The Wrap up! – Great Race!

WP_20131020_003Once across the finish line I felt great. Ian Kelly happened to see me coming across telling me that it was a strong finish (I didn’t know my time yet) which was really cool. I still had plenty of gas in the tank and wondered that I should have done the International Distance but who cares I felt great I had fun and I made costly mistakes that probably contributed to a combined 5 minutes tacked to my time.  It was great to see some friends racing and meet Marc who I know through a mutual friend at work (we spoke on Facebook and both belong to the Tri Club) so it was cool to meet him and his son.  Also met a few other guys like Randy who ripped his shorts on the bike the poor guy.  I have to say that everyone I have met through the triathlon community has been awesome!  Finally I got my time print out and sure enough I had gotten 1st Place in Clydesdale but the best part was I felt great.   The LifeTime Tri Oceanside race was fun, it was fast, and it really was well put on.  I can’t wait to do it next year.