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  • Writer's pictureAutumn Plourd

Short & Sweet: Mission Bay Sprint Triathlon Recap

For my 35th birthday, I gifted myself a triathlon entry. The Mission Bay Sprint Triathlon (500m swim, 17k bike, 5k run). And it just so happened to be their 35th anniversary, too! See, it was meant to be. By all accounts, I "winged" this one, and it went a little like this:

I rode my bike to the event from Blake's parent's house in PB, with about 30 minutes to spare for setting up my transition area. Then met up with Marcos Cornejo, he did the duathlon (1mi run, 17k bike, 5k run). His group was the first wave and mine was a full hour later, so I got to see him finish his 1 mile run. Then Blake got there with all the girls, and that was really cool! He pulled the red wagon behind a beach cruiser while Crosley rode her scooter. I have no clue how he did that. I married the real MVP.

The weather was absolutely perfect! Never cold, never hot, and the water was a warm 70°. It didn’t even shock you when you entered the water. But it didn’t take long for me to remember how much I really don’t enjoy open water swims and why I said after IMAZ that I was a one-and-done Ironman. I couldn’t see the buoys with my scuffed goggles, so I blindly followed the person in front of me. Lucky for me they swam a pretty straight line. I finished 7th of 29 in the F35-39 division, surprising.

Transition 1 wasn’t fast, because I didn’t think I’d be competitive considering my training consisted of two pool swims and one bike ride plus a bunch of running. The poor girl next to me was having a great transition, but when she got to the bike mount, they sent her back because she was still wearing her wetsuit. 19th of 29, ouch.

The bike felt really good. I was riding faster than I thought I would considering there was a lot of grade changes and shifting isn’t my specialty. No surprise I dropped my chain. Had I actually trained, I could have easily avoided that. Had to come to a full stop to fix it. My bike speed was 9th of 29, not bad.

T2 was pretty awful. I saw Jessica and Davin (Irsula Burnworth’s mom and stepdad) and I almost lost control of my bike. Then I couldn’t get my hair tight enough for a run, snapped a hair tie, and ultimately had to redo it THREE times. Tick tock, tick tock. 24th of 29, pathetic!

I started the run going about an 8:20 min/mi pace, which was actually quite a bit slower than I expected, but again, I didn’t think I could be competitive, so I let it be and aimed to negative split. I missed the first water station because I was busy throwing kisses to my family. By the time I got to the halfway-point-water station I was very thirsty. There was only one water bottle waiting, I had just passed a group of people and felt guilty taking it. I made a bad connection and dropped it and had to stop and turn around to grab it so I didn’t look like a jerk trying to sabotage the next guy. I wish I’d just ran with my own bottle like I always do.

I was reaching the bottom of my lungs from start to finish and my legs were tired, but I got my time down into the 7s. I was passing everyone. Less than 10 people passed me the entire run, and they were all men doing the second lap of their international distance (the Sprint runs 1 lap, International runs 2). With less than a quarter mile to go I was passing a guy in USA colors that said good job, and I responded “let’s race to the finish!" I picked up my speed but I guess he wasn’t up to it. 2 of 29, WHAT?!

Ultimately I placed 5th of 29 in the F35-39 division, and only 3 minutes from the podium. Had I known it would go so well, I would have made up that time fairly easily in the transitions and bike. Oh well. Next time!

After the finish line I felt like vomiting and couldn’t eat anything. Brox gave me the sweetest hug and we went home and then to Marcos and Rachel's, who so graciously invited us over for lunch. It was the most perfect ending to a great birthday weekend.

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