This was a first for me. I have never done the Mass State Triathlon even though it is one of the more popular races in the area. Having done the race I can see why it is popular, it has a lot to offer. The swim is in Lake Dennison and the water temps are usually low to mid 70s for the race. The bike is a pretty fast and flat course, a few rollers in it, but nothing that you can really call a climb. The run course is pretty flat as well, it does rise as you go out so on the way back you have that slight downhill and much of it is shaded. Finally there is the fact that my employer Neighborhood Health Plan is sponsoring the Max Performance triathlon series this year. Oh and lets not forget all the really cool swag!
For the swim I had decided I was going to push a just a little more than usual because my friend Kristin Murray was also racing as part of a team. We had been talking some trash before the race. I knew she was probably going to beat me, but I just didn’t want her to beat me too badly. I started in the third wave of the day and moved up to the front of the group. The annoying thing with the swim is all of the triathletes that think they can swim and try to get up front. As usual the swim starts and all these guys start sprinting around me, within the first 400 yards they are pretty much all behind me. I end up coming out of the water 6th in the group and managed to pass quite a few of the people in the first two groups. Kristin, did beat me, but only by a minute.
I had a plan for the bike of holding 90% of FTP for the hour. I figured that would get me done in over 22 mph. Since I was never on the course and I heard it was flat I thought it would be a reasonable goal. I wasn’t able to hold the watts, at least not for average. The problem for me was the downhills. I think that I need to put different tires on my rims, the 21mm tires make me feel unstable. In the end I was able to finish at 22.2 mph. The bike remains a work in progress.
I didn’t have a plan for the run. Just go out and do the best I could given the conditions. Even though the run is mostly in the shade, it kind of felt like an oven with no breeze. I felt pretty good on the run, heading out it is slightly up hill so my pace was a little slower than I wanted. On the way back I managed to get down to a 7:15 pace and ended with an average of 7:33.
Felt pretty good with the overall result. The race is convenient so I would definitely consider doing it again. The race starts at 8 am and by 10:30 you are done. Unless you are staying around for awards you could get out of there pretty quickly. Even if you hang around it is still not an all day event. The race is well organized with lots of volunteers and lots of support on the course. Thank you Neighborhood Health Plan for sponsoring the race series!