I competed in my second sprint distance triathlon this past weekend, and surprisingly i really enjoyed myself. Still not sure why, but i had a smile on my face for much of the race.
The most challenging part was the swim, of course. But it was challenging for more reasons than just the fact that I'm a horrible swimmer. The swim was in a bay on the Potomac River, but was relocated within the area due to excessive Hydrilla in the area. The swim was supposed to take place by running down a boat ramp into the water, but from the boat ramps, all you could see was the yellow/green of plant life clogging up the water. So instead we swam a bit down the shore and had to jump off a dock to start the race in the water. Unfortunatly, upon jumping in, it was immediately clear that this area was also thick with hydrilla, but a foot or two down from the surface. As we tread water awaiting the start, the plants were constantly entangling arms and legs below the surface. This entanglement continued throughout the swim as tendrils of leaves would wrap your arms, legs, and occasionally face in the thickest areas. All this led to my swim time actually being a minute worse than my previous race.
The bike was pretty straightforward. I enjoyed passing people on mountain bikes on nearly every uphill of the course. Some of the climbs were rather extreme, but the following descents more than made up for these struggles. I did well on the bike and set a faster pace than my past races. The run was interesting. The race site said that it was a simple out and back run, but this was not the case. The out part was there, but just after the turn-around the course took a turn into the woods. The entire second half was a shady run down gravel drives, dirt paths, and park access roads. This was a fun end to the race and kept the midday sun from being too much of a nuisance.
That is it for the triathlon season, but I can't wait for next year. I'm going to set my goal of being able to handle an olympic distance by the NYC tri, so got to keep training!