Sunday I raced the SUPERSEAL VI triathlon in Coronado. This was a small race, with no official pro field, but with a small prize purse making it worth my time to make the 40 minute travel down to the event. It turned out to be a very well run event, with lots of volunteers, very well marked, and a completely closed bike course. Glad I made the short trip, regardless of the result!
Even though it was a local event, I decided to stay in a hotel with my parents, who made the three hour road trip down to see me race. We had a delicious dinner at a nice Italian restaurant called Primavera (where I ate way more than a typical pre-race meal… surf & turf!) and had a great night catching up. The hotel was just a few minutes from the course, saving me an hour or two in the morning.
After racing a lot of ITU events last year and a couple bigger non-draft races like Escape from Alcatraz, it was nice being at a smaller race venue, with a few hundred people. I squeezed into a spot on the bike rack, set up transition, and casually made it over to the swim start with my parents.
I found a couple familiar faces as I got down to the water — Nate Dressel and Frank Smith from Flagstaff. I met both of them when I began swimming at NAU a few years ago, and Frank now coaches the Masters swim program there. Nate and Frank recently opened a Computrainer shop in Flagstaff. ??If you are in Flag, check them out. We had a little chat about the swim course before I dove in for a little warm up. The water temperature was really nice, probably just above 60 degrees, which meant I would be wearing just??one swim cap!
2nd in 18:15 (:06 behind the fastest)
I had a good start and a nice dive into the water. Pretty quickly it was just me and one other guy out in front heading toward the first buoy a couple hundred meters out. It’s amazing how nice it is to be out in front, with clean water and not being smacked around. Around the first buoy I pulled behind the leader, who turned out to be Tommy Brown, and tried to draft. He started to get a bit of a gap, when I felt my fingers scrape some sand. Apparently there was a sandbar a few hundred meters off shore. I stood up, took a couple dolphin dives, and got back on his feet. The pace felt pretty comfortable, so I started to go around him and actually got just ahead of him at about halfway through. I had brief thoughts of, “I’M GOING TO LEAD OUT A SWIM!” Right about that time is when I began having problems sighting the next buoy, and Tommy got away from me a bit. I took a good final line into the swim exit and came out just a few seconds behind. My coach Paulo Sousa was there at the swim exit, yelling “RUN FASTER!” I promptly caught Tommy, and went around him before getting to transition.
3rd in 57:49 (1:27 behind the fastest)??
The bike course here is about as flat as it gets, and is simply out and back a couple of times down a highway. Roads were very smooth and fast, making for a comfortable ride. At each 180 degree turn, I checked my progress to the guys behind me. I was opening up time on 2nd place, but apparently there were a couple guys a little further back that were putting some time into me, hence only having the 3rd best split. Being out front on such a flat course it can be tough to keep the effort real high without the aid of a powermeter (as of now, no powermeter on my race setup!). Still, I’m happy with the ride and it was enough to put me into T2 with a comfortable lead.
2nd in 34:25 (:16 behind the fastest)
Out on the run I felt pretty comfortable. I was a little unsure??exactly where the course went, so I was very happy to see an official on a bike as a rabbit. The previous week I had to take a couple easy running days due to a little niggle in my lower left hamstring/back of my knee so I kept the pace fairly conservative. There was only one chance to see where the rest of the guys were, at about 5k, and I saw I had more than a couple minutes lead. I ??continued on until about 5 miles when I saw Paulo and he told me I could relax and cruise in. Those are great words to hear in a race!
1st in 1:52:34
After the race Paulo was nice to inform me that I had the “day off” before jetting off back to Poway for a track workout with the rest of The Triathlon Squad. Very nice of him. 🙂 My parents and I stayed around for the awards, and I’m glad I did, as the prizes were really top notch. The founder of the race, Philip “Moki” Martin, presented me with a sweet trophy in the shape of a paddle, and my first big check (offering $000.00)! Race sponsor Luminox presented me with a sweet watch as well.
I got a chance to chat with the guys that finished 2nd and 3rd, Jose Jeuland and Keith Butsko. Both are local guys. Hopefully we cross paths soon either in training or racing. (read Keith’s Superseal race report with a comedic flair)
Thanks to “Moki” and all the other organizers and volunteers for putting on a great race! If you are looking for a smaller, less intimidating triathlon that’s run professionally, check out Superseal next year. I also want to thank ENVE, Hypster.com, and of course my parents! (In addition to all the great photos my dad took, he took a lot of video as well and
should have a little movie from the race up shortly you can watch it below!)