Race Report: Capitol of Texas Tri (2003/05/26)

Discussion in 'Triathlon' started by Dan Becker, May 29, 2003.

  1. Dan Becker

    Dan Becker Guest

    Another fine year for the Capitol of Texas triathlon in Austin! This year the number of participants
    in the olympic distance went from 300 to over 800. There also were over 600 in the sprint distance
    and over 300 in the first-time triathlon. This is certainly a good sign for triathlons in the
    Central Texas area as the number of people in this race keeps growing. My congratulations go to the
    race director who fired off waves every three minutes. Because I competed in the 40-45 year age
    group, I was sent off in the second wave, following the pros. As I finished the race, there were
    still waves being sent off.

    The race day opened with an ominous start. At 5:15, the alarm went off. It's nice to wake up LATE
    for a hometown tri. The predawn sky was lit with bright spidery veins of lightning, followed by
    close thunder claps. Rain came down in loud torrents on the roof. I turned on the TV to watch the
    local radar. There was rain all over central Texas, but it looked as thought there were gaps forming
    to the west, the source of the rain.

    We loaded the car with the bike, my gear, and the dogs in the rain. By the time we made it to
    downtown Austin, the rain was letting up, but it was tough to make it to Town Lake located in the
    center of town. Most of the streets were closed to accomodate the race. We parked the car at
    Republic Square, and I rode the 4 wet rainy blocks to the race start. I quickly picked up my timing
    chip, got marked, and racked my bike.

    It turns out that because of the heavy rain, the race start was delayed one hour and my wave would
    leave at 8:03 instead of 7:03. This gave me a little time to chat with other triathletes and assess
    the course. As we stood by Town Lake, we all noticed the immense amount of garbage in the lake:
    styrofoam cups, plastic and paper bags, tree limbs, leaves, mud, and a big log with four birds on
    it. Since it hadn't rained appreciably for the last month, Shoal Creek accumulated lots of human
    refuse. Now that a big rain came, the contents of the creek vomited itself into Town Lake. Ugh.

    Nevertheless, the race started and I began the swim. Although I was one of the few who opted for no
    wet suit, the water temp of 68 felt good to
    me. The course was great, passing by the downtown landmarks such as the new Lamar Street pedestrian
    bridge, under the train trestle, and back to near the First Street bridge. Along both bridges
    there were many spectators and lots of flash bulbs popping off. Although I didn't train for the
    swim (other than occasionally with my dogs), I concentrated on form and beat my last year's time
    by about 1 minute.

    The bike course was great again. It was a 4 lap criterium winding up and down Ceasar Chavez,
    Congress Avenue, and near the Capitol building. The road was rough in some points due to
    construction, but I kept a nice even pace and carefully avoided the puddles. The first two laps were
    sparse, but the third and fourth laps became a bit more crowded as over 1000 triathletes joined the
    course. I finished in about the same time as the previous year.

    The run was a nice winding course around the lake. The prerace showers kept the course cooler than
    last year. Again, I kept an even pace, but it seemed like forever before I could stretch my legs out
    a bit and get a nice pace. Ultimately, I ran the 10k about 3 minutes slower than last year (despite
    it being cooler this year) and thus my ultimate time for the entire race was 1 minute slower.
    Nevertheless, despite my slower time, I place higher in the overall rankings (345/834) and higher in
    my new 40-44 year age group (36/82).

    It was a fine race. No injuries, no walking, and a completely even pace for the entire event. And
    now a day later, no soreness, just the satisfaction of attempting and completing another event.

    Thanks, Dan web http://www.io.com/~beckerdo