On March 15th I raced the Superseal Triathlon at Coronado. This was the 9th time this race has been held, but the 1st time it has been a USA Triathlon sanctioned race. Not all races in the US bother to get sanctioned. It is absolutely my preference to do sanctioned races since they are safer and also factor into the National rankings.
I had a very good race as I placed 2nd out of 20 men in the 50-54 age group and 11th out of 285 overall finishers. I did not get chicked, but it was close as the top woman was only 41 seconds behind me.
I always want to win, but it became apparent when I arrived on race morning that I’d probably be racing for 2nd place. I was greeted by Todd Witten, from Arizona, who had beaten me by nearly 3 minutes at the Lifetime Oceanside Triathlon back in October. Todd had the best swim at Superseal so he led wire to wire. I had the 2nd best swim over the 1,500 meter San Diego Bay course with a time of 21:34. I really had a great swim. My swim training is right where I want it to be.
I was only 34 seconds down after the swim, but Todd extended his lead to an insurmountable 4:09 on the 40K (24.8 mile) bike course. The course was pancake flat so I managed to squeeze out a pretty good bike split 1:05:54 (22.1 mph). I had the 3rd best bike time enabling me to have a comfortable lead of 3:43 over the 3rd place guy.
The 10K run is flat, but there are some sandy sections and it was 80+ degrees so it was tough. I ran it pretty hard, but did not totally go to the well. I had the 2nd best run split of 39:50 to finish the race in 2:10:58. I made up some ground on Todd, but he still beat me by 3:12. After the race one of my friends suggested that we “Tanya Harding” Todd if he keeps traveling to San Diego and winning my races. Tempting, but he seems like a good guy so we’ll let it slide.
During the run I witnessed a man (not in the race) pacing a woman (in the race). This is against the rules. The woman was an excellent athlete and really did not need any help. I recall seeing her win her age group in a race last fall and she did win again at Superseal. If she had been a beginner, I might not have said anything. At the finish line I did nicely suggest to them that the man was pacing her and giving her an unfair advantage. As I confronted them, I learned there was a 2nd woman who was in the race who was in their little group. They all 3 denied my allegations. I did not press the issue. But I have no regrets. I’m glad I spoke up. I was nice with my approach. I hope they’ll think twice the next time. While I waited for the awards I noticed the 3 of them hung around together for the next 90 minutes. That simply confirmed what I had seen. At the end of the day, triathlon is an individual sport.
To see my race pictures taken by my good friend Osamu, click on this link:
Living the life!