Well I tried to get the triathlon season started lastSaturday, but I only succeeded to start about 60% of it. I was signed up to race in a smaller OLY triathlon on Saturday out on the southeast side of Orlando. I planned to get there quite early to ride a loop of the bike coure, run a loop of the run course, and get a good swim in before the start.
Somehow absolutely none of the above happened and I found myself in the transition area setting up my bike with just a couple minutes before the start. I didn't even have my wetsuit on yet. So much for warming up. I got over to the start and heard the race director say "we didn't mark the bike course very well." Awesome. I didn't get a look at the bike course map either.
The race started and I felt pretty crappy until the first loop of the swim was done. Missing a warm up hurt me, but that's what first races are for: getting used to feeling uncomfortable again.
I got out in a decent position to the leaders and hit the bike hard. I was making good progresss, but eventually I realized I had cut the bike course. Instead of backtracking I decided to ride hard to the finish to get some power data, turn my timing chip in, and run 90 minutes on my own. I felt really good on the bike so this was rather unfortunate.
After running one loop of the bike course on my own I came back to the post-race tent to get a snack and it appeared that everyone in the Elite wave had cut the course and continued racing. The problem was that everyone cut it in a different way (not intentionally). A lot of them were angry with the race director and I don't blame them, but, at the same time, I also don't blame the race director. At least, I don't place the blame solely on either party.
It is an athlete's responsibility to know the course, but I think its also the race director's responsibility to mark a course well. Thing is, he had the course marked very well on every turn (with flaggers, cops, etc), except the one everybody missed. A simple cone with an arrow would have solved everything
It happens. I didn't let it get me down. I got some good training in regardless of what happened. I'll be racing on the first weekend of April so at least I got a little taste of what's to come.
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