Sylvan Beach Triathlon (5/21/23)

(Photo courtesy of Digital Knight)

Knowing the challenges from 2021 at Sylvan Beach, I booked flights so I could get in as early as possible Friday. But airline inefficiencies and Mother Nature had other plans… I’ll leave it at being stuck on a plane for almost 4 hours in OKC was NOT fun… I think I made it to the hotel at 1:30 AM Saturday.

After a really quick turnaround, I was at Sylvan Beach Saturday morning for the pre-race clinic. Before getting into the water, Erik found a great way to improve the tether and simplify the swim. We’ll see if I can make further improvements to it (mostly through new T1 belts) before Nationals.

Things went well during the clinic, including some very fast 100yd times. Erik also did an amazing job keeping us safe on the tandem in/around the parking lot when drivers didn’t act as expected…

Race morning started by being absolutely, positively devoured by mosquitos. Before the race even started, I had small golf-sized bumps all over my body — even under the Tri kit. I have no idea how they managed to get to some of those places. This was an in-water start as a group, with all the others behind us in self-seeded starts. The updated tether worked really well, and we were out of the water quickly.

The bike has two sets of overpasses that you have to do. Going out, the second one seemed to be a pause (meaning a turn or something similar) into then trying to climb. So I was concerned about that coming back. Fortunately, there was a nice downhill climb for the climb. It doesn’t mean that it was easy, it just meant it was bearable…

On the run, things were fairly strong up through the 2 – 2 1/4 mile mark. After that point, I started getting the normal foot / flem issues and the last part was a struggle. Also, while I know it will be different for 2024, the last roughly 1/2 mile on the shared bike/run course was a challenge with a guide. But Erik helped to make it work.

All in all, a solid return to Sylvan Beach. Thanks to Erik for guiding me, Nelson for the use of his tandem, and to everyone who helped put on the clinic!

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