Before starting out with my report, I would like to thank all the volunteers for coming out and supporting this race. For a small sprint with close to 125 athletes, there were probably well over 100 volunteers for this race. Great support from the residents of HSV.
Now to the race! This was the first year that this event was being held at Hot Springs Village. Hot Springs Village is a very large gated community located just NE of Hot Springs. The area has a few golf courses and lakes inside the community.
The race was setup as a 500 yd swim, 13.5 mile bike, and 3.5 mile run. The swim was located in Lake Balboa. We then biked around Lake Balboa before finally ending the race with a 3.5 mile run on the Magellan golf course.
The Village is located about 70 minutes from my house. I got up around 3:45 am ate a small breakfast of PB sandwich, banana, and some OJ. I then packed my truck and was out on the road by 4:45. I arrived at the race site plenty early and racked my bike and waited around for the start of the race at 7:00 am. The weather was nice for an Arkansas summer day. The humidity was low and the temps were in the 70s to low 80s. With the heat and humidity down this could make for a fast race.
I got a small warm up swim about 10 minutes before the start and lined up to the right side and up from of all the swimmers. My wave was 39 and under male/female and relays. The gun goes off and away everyone swims. The swim is by far the weakest part of my events. Usually, I just hoping not to have any anxiety and just get through the swim. I start off swimming well and swimming to the right of most the group. I was able to get a pretty open water for myself and swam very nicely. The only time I'm just counting strokes and sighting. I have quit wearing a watch during the swim so that I don't get down on a bad swim. My swim time end up being just under 11 minutes
Swim Time - 10 min 56 seconds - 63/123.
Transition 1 - 1:02
I jump onto the bike and head out for the hilly ride. The ride starts off with a quick downhill followed by a short uphill. This how the course ended up being for the entire 13.5 miles. I could feel my legs were a little tight when I first started to ride, but after a couple of minutes they loosened up and I was riding really well. I know that the key to a course with rollers like this is that you can't take a break on the downhills. You need to push the downhills to allow yourself to fly over the uphill sections. Around mile 7, there is a larger hill that required you to get out the saddle if you wanted, but overall the course hills you could stay aero and get overhill. I was feeling really strong on the bike by the end and felt that I had pushed it just enough to all for a good run. I ended up averaging 20.0mph on the bike with a good time.
Strava course profile - http://app.strava.com/rides/10491512
Bike Time - 40 min 36 seconds - 21/123
Transition 2 -1:02
Feeling good off the bike I throw my shoes on and head out to the run. The run was not talked about much before the race. I'd assume that it would be a little hilly, but nothing to diffcult. The run starts with a short up hill before heading downhill and towards the entrance to the golf course. Upon entering the golf course, you could see the hills upcoming. The run starts uphill in the golf course, before heading back downhill. The run ended up being more of rolling course with uphill sections followed by downhill sections. The hard part about some sections of the course where the small quick downhills followed by an uphill that was short and steep. Following this, you then headed towards a very short uphill that was steep and "long". The course then finishes with some rollers in the golf course before heading back to the finish. I was pushing the run most of the way, but towards then end I was starting to feel the legs start to get tired. I pushed through and finished however with a decent run. I wouldn't call it my best run, but I was happy with my combined with my bike. Another hard part about the run was, that I was passed by one person and after that didn't have any really behind me or ahead to really challenge myself. You can always get a little extra energy when you are chasing someone or feel someone is chasing you.
Run - 28 min 30 sec - 20/123
Strava File - http://app.strava.com/activities/10491651
Finish - 1 hr 22 min 07 sec - 21/123 OA - 3rd AG 30-34
I was really happy with my first sprint of the year. I felt that my bike and run have come along pretty well since Memphis in May. My swim is still slow but I'm feeling really comfortable in the water. Next year, I will know what to expect on the run, so hopefully I will get a little more speed. I ended up 3rd in my AG finish 1 min behind second place and 3.5 minutes behind 1st. If I can cut, my swim to around 9 minutes, I would have been challenging for 1st in my AG. I also could have moved about 8 places up overall.
The other great thing about this race was the post race food. The food was provided by Newk's out of Hot Springs. They had the grill fired up where you could hot dogs, chili, and chicken. They also had sandwiches, pasta salad, chips, salad, and desserts. I would call this one of the best post race meals for a sprint triathlon.
I will be doing this race again next year and recomeneed it to anyone looking a sprint next year. The volunteers, the course, and the post race made this for a great race.
One last item that was posted from Arkansasoutside.com is this video below from HSV. Nice video.
Thanks to EVERYONE!