When I arrived at 5:30 AM, the temperature was 77' f, a good indicator of how hot this race would be. The race director had a small problem; no one had showed up to unlock the bathrooms. Lucky for me, I had brought my own! I got the Moulton racked as the sky began lightening over the Atlantic Ocean and began warming up before the race. A few friends from Seminole County Triathletes were also doing the race so it was nice to see familar faces. All the competitors then headed down the beach to the swim start at 7:00 AM. I was in the first group and we hit the waves right on time. Ocean swims are always interesting as the swimming starts after you get through the surf to the first buoy. The strong tidal current running to the north speeded me along but then became a factor when staying on course after the turn toward the beach. I changed direction several times to stay online with the finish. Exiting the water, I jumped on my bike and headed west toward the Halifax River. Riding along the river for miles was a pleasure as the heavy foliage and trees sheltered me from the wind. My average speed was up to 19.5 mph when I made the turn back south on Route A1A. The pleasurable view of the ocean was spoiled by the stiff headwind I encountered all the way back; my final average was 18.6. Racking the bike, I ran down to the beach and turned south. There was a strong headwind I faced but it did keep me cooled down as I caught and passed one of my competitors at the 1.5 mile turnaround. The run back was hot and got hotter as the wind was at my back the whole way. I glanced back occasionally but never saw anyone catching me. I hit the finish line with a 1:10:48 time for first place. First win of the season!
I did meet a nice couple on a tandem where the stoker was vision-impaired. The captain, Ryan Cobb, told me it was their first triathlon together. They finished looking strong.
|Transition on the beach ramp|
|Sunrise under the Finish arch.|
|Exiting the water!|
|Out on the bike!|
|Heading out on the run|
|Close to the finish|
|At the finish line!|
|First place in 60-64!|
|Ryan and his wife at the finish|
|Pleasure at the finish!|