Orange County Triathlon

Troy Cundari (5th place) and Craig (7th place) after Orange County Triathlon

Troy Cundari (5th place) and Craig (7th place) after Orange County Triathlon

On June 1st I raced the Orange County Triathlon in Mission Viejo. I had a good race in a field with a bunch of fast guys.

In recent years I had raced the Orange County Duathlon on this course, but the last time I raced this triathlon was 1996 when it was the National Championships. 1996 was the first time I ever raced Nationals and was humbled as I placed 51st out of 109 in the 30-34 age group. Thankfully I’ve improved a lot over the past 18 years.

The 1.5K (0.93 mile) swim was held in Lake Mission Viejo. The small fresh water lake was very warm (mid 70’s), but we were allowed to wear wetsuits. It was extremely foggy so thankfully the course was very straight forward – an out and back rectangle. I was part of the 1st wave so we had the most fog to deal with. By the time I finished the swim the fog had burned off. My swim time was 21:47 which was really good, but it put me in 9th against these studs.

The 40K (24.8 mile) bike course had a lot of challenging hills. The road surface was immaculate in most places and very smooth. I felt like I biked well. My bike split was 1:12:14 (20.5 mph) and it was 15th best in the age group and dropped me down to 12th place.

The 10K (6.2 mile) run course was very challenging, but that plays to my strengths. It had some trail running and 1 stretch in the middle with a 1 mile really tough climb. I had the best run in the age group, but it was too little too late. My run split was 39:15, but that was only good enough to move me up to finish 7th out of 45 men in the 50-54 age group and 35th out of 465 overall finishers. My finish time was 2:16:18. My Triathlon Club of San Diego friend and fellow 50-54 age grouper Troy Cundari also did the race. Troy finished 5th with a time of 2:14:32.

Living the life…

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3 Responses to Orange County Triathlon

  1. Karen Labenz Tom Hunt says:

    AWESOME, Craig!  You continue to do SO well.  You should be proud of yourself!  Have a great weekend!  xoxo KEL

  2. Craig Zelent says:

    Thanks Karen! My success was probably due to racing in your great state of Michigan. 🙂

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