It was kind of weird not doing anything to facilitate the operation of Tri the Rez 2012. Kind of nice too. Since I left, Jennifer has taken over with the help of some great volunteers. I really could not have picked a better successor for race director. Jennifer has everything running so smoothly. Last year I went to Capital City Runners for packet pickup and had one of the smoothest triathlon packet pickup experiences of my career. I decided not to get my packet on Friday because I would have had to leave school earlier than I wanted and I'm comfortable throwing things together on race morning.
This race has grown a lot. There were about 365 racers if you count relay teams as one racer. I heard some people who were concerned that the higher numbers of people would cause a bit of chaos, but the behind the scenes team really thinks things through. Jacob (RaceSmith.com) is probably the best timer in the area. Jennifer does a great job. Everything ran as smoothly as in the past. I imagine the race can take even more growth and still run like clockwork.
I ended up hosting 10 members of the UCF tri team at my house on Friday night although I was only supposed to have 3-5. Another host was out of visitor parking at his apartment complex and they didn't want to get towed. In fact, some other people at another place did get towed and had to get their car out of the impound before the race!!!
I parked inside the Rez since I wasn't planning on leaving before the end of the race. It's nice to be so close for trips to/from car. I got in line to get my packet and everything went super smoothly. Apparently, not many people picked up packets on Friday and I would never have known. They had it down. There were plenty of body markers and I only had to wait about 30 seconds to get my timing chip.
I racked my bike along the other collegiate athletes using a new technique (the seat hook on the ISM saddle...it works even though I have an under-seat bag). I got my transition space set up then went to use the bathroom. Not a long line because there were so many portapotties and a couple indoor toilets. There's never long lines for bathroom use at Tri the Rez!
The water level in Lake Bradford was higher than last year but not as high as the 2 years before that. I had a nice comfortable swim to the outside of the pack. I sighted pretty well and the only mistake I made was a slightly too wide turn at the first buoy. I lost my goggles at Bailey's wedding last weekend and this was the first time I wore my new goggles and I was happy with their performance...they didn't leak.
Removing my wetsuit took a couple seconds longer than I wanted but I made it through T1 in 48 seconds. I feel like I had a weak bike. The course was longer than in years past because Lost Lake Road is being paved. The bike course was super well marked. All the imperfections in the road (including one piece of roadkill) had been circled/outlined with orange paint. There were definitely a few guys ahead of me doing some illegal drafting and I don't think they got busted. I kept feeling like I wish I could get more power out of my legs. I also had my bike shift on me without me asking it to shift on more than one occasion. I need to figure out why that's happening. T2 was pretty clean.
I was tearing it up on the run. I passed plenty of people. I made it to the 1-mile wooded section without being passed by anyone. I was gaining on the guy in front of me and I heard someone coming up really fast from behind me. Peter Wood went flying past and I decided that I'll never be upset if Peter passes me on a run. I went on to pass a few more people, gaining a bunch of ground. I tried to pass a couple guys on the Flastacowo homestretch but the one closest to me started to kick pretty loudly which warned the guy in front of him. I wasn't able to catch the guy in front once he took off.
Post-race, I went straight to the massage table. Got a nice massage then hit up food tent before taking a cool down backwards on the race course and cheering in the rest of my team plus other random people. When it was time for door prizes, some were given to randomly chosen race numbers but others had contests. I did a pushup contest and got worked by the winner. Knew that would happen. I came close to the other guys. There was also a planking contest. The winners went for about 9 minutes. I knew that would happen and that I probably wouldn't be able to last through 4 minutes.
I helped Jacob the timer clean up a bit although he had just about everything under control. Traffic had cleared out by that point. I don't think that traffic was ever an issue. I got inside the Rez pretty easily in the morning and I didn't hear anyone complain about parking or waiting in traffic.