I selected the Oktoberfest Triathlon a while back to be a fun, late-season race; which is exactly what it turned out to be. This was the first year for this race.
I planned to do this race pretty much all out and see where my training has gotten me this season. Fortunately a sprint triathlon (400 meter swim, 14 mile bike, 3 mile run) affords an athlete the opportunity to go full speed for the whole way.
The swim was a 400 meter point to point swim. I started out on a tight inside line with the marker buoys until I got to the first (and only) turn about 150 meters into the swim. After that I drifted off to the right a bit before correcting my course. My swim time was a bit slower than expected at 9:10 for the 400 meters. However, I was 6th in my age group for the swim, so I can't complain about it (perhaps their measurement of the distance was off). This is the best I've ever placed in a triathlon swim in my age group.
The bike was a 14 mile scheduled ride along local roads. It was actually somewhere between 14.7 and 14.9 miles based on the records of others I know doing the race. This was my first race on the new tri-bike and it did no disappoint me. I completed the bike in 41:09 (avg 21.65 mph over 14.85 miles as I recorded it). There were some issues with rocks and glass and narrow points on the course, however I think this is a good course that will be better next year as the races matures. I can see where I will continue to improve as I become more experienced with my new bike. My short-term assessment of the bike at this point can be summed up in one word---AWESOME!!!
The run was a 3 mile run (which I found to be accurate) through the local residential trails. My goal here was to run as hard as I could maintain and attempt to max out my effort at the end. I ran each mile progressively faster by a small bit, including running the last 2 miles at and under the 8 minute per mile pace. The time for the 3 mile run was 24:10, which completely surprised me--I was hoping to be under an 8:30 pace for this run and ended up much better than that.
The final result of my race was a finishing time of 1:16:39, good enough for 9th of 22 in my age group and 22nd of 269 overall. This became just the 3rd triathlon of the 15 that I have completed in which I finished in the top half of my age group (yes, the last 3 races in a row!). In addition, I have never come close to finishing in the top 10 percent overall.
Finally, as we know, one of the most important aspects of a triathlon is the post-race party. The Oktoberfest Triathlon had a very good post-race party for a first year event. My Fit Foods and the No Label Brewing Company provided food and drink following the race. My teammates and I had as much fun post-race as we did racing. I competed in this race with my OutRival Racing teammates Kelly, Tammie and Egin, all of whom won awards on this date!
My triathlon season ends in almost two weeks with the Oilman Triathlon (formerly know as Iron Star) in Conroe, Texas. I did this race last year and look forward to seeing how much I have improved for this year's race.