After missing what I thought would be triathlon #150 (July's Clermont Sprint Tri) due to stomach distress, I was anxious to get back in the game ASAP. So two weeks later, I headed out to Port Orange for the Sprint Tri there. I finished second here last year and it's a fun, low-pressure race. The swim is in the Halifax River which is salty, the bike goes over the Dunlawton (high) bridge twice with cycling on A1A in the middle. The run heads down the causeway onto Halifax Ave. along the river with the finish back at Panhead Pizza.
After my arrival, a lucky omen appeared in the shape of a dolphin swimming by the swim start on the causeway. I arrived at transition right at 6:00 AM and was delighted to find that Don the race director had gotten me #150. I got my bike racked and discovered friends Ryan and Emily were also competing along with a small group from Seminole County Triathletes. The race started right at 7:00 as the dawn lit the skies just to the east. The swim was a water start so it was nice to begin swimming immediately. I was surprised to discover, with the low tide, that the water depth was only 2' deep at the turnaround buoy.
The bike leg started with the big climb up the flyover bridge followed by 6 miles south toward the lighthouse and then a return. I had my average bicycle speed up to 18.3 mph but the final bridge climb pushed it down to 18 at the end.
Taking off on the run, we crossed under the causeway and began heading back to the mainland for the 4 mile run. Almost immediately, I caught another runner who looked to be in my age group though no age was showing on his leg. I passed him and settled down to the task of putting distance between us. A few glances back showed he was still behind me. When we reached the turnaround for the finish, I counted a 28 second gap. However, I didn't relax until about a block from the finish line and then poured it on for a big finish. My time of 1:25:52 was good enough for first place and a minute later the guy I was worried about crossed the line and confirmed he WAS in my age group.
Allison Gross from SCT won her age group also. There was a great breakfast and a nice awards ceremony so that left everyone happy.
So, I've done 150 triathlons since my first in August 1993 in Chicago. No DNFs, No DQs, and no penalties. Looking forward to continuing to compete as long as I enjoy it. Thanks to everyone who made this possible especially my wife Sandy, who always kept me well fueled for the events.
|Moulton SST ready to go!|
|Dawn over transition|
|Nice drone shot; I'm at the bottom of the photo!|
|Heading out on the bike|
|Quick right turn|
|Catching first place|
|Taking the lead|
|First place finish!|
|Man and his machine|
|Ryan and Emily|
|Off on the bike|
|Run in the sun|
|Big finish together!|