2012 Seafair Sprint Triathlon Race Report

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NOTE:  This is my fourth time doing the Seafair Sprint.  My first was in 2005 (my very first triathlon), and now I have managed to put it on the schedule for the last three years.  You can find previous reports here (2010, 2011).  This race will always be one of my favorites since it was my very first triathlon.

Saturday, July 21, 2012:

This year, I raced the Fat Salmon 3.2 mile open water swim the day before the Seafair race.  You can see the race report for that HERE.  I mentioned in that report that my friend offered to let me stay at his place in the Bellevue area on Saturday night so I didn’t have to drive back to Bremerton and get up super early to drive all the way back.  It was quite a blessing.  His family was wonderful and the spot was very close and convenient to the race site.

After the fat salmon, I went and picked up my race packet quickly and then went back to his place for a nice relaxing afternoon/evening with his family before hitting the sack at about 8:30pm.  I was wiped out from that swim and the early morning and needed the rest.

Sunday, July 22, 2012:

I got up at 5:15 or so and had my normal Shakeology breakfast…just milk and chocolate Shakeology.    I also took one bottle of Generation UCAN (Vanilla) mixed with some crystal light to have about 45 minutes before race start.  My plan was to have those two shakes and just a swig or two of my EFS liquid shot during the bike portion of the race.  I likely could have even done without the EFS since this race takes just over an hour.

I got to the race about 6am or so and got a pretty good parking place just about 3 or 4 blocks from transition.  Unlike last year at this race where they announced that the transition would be closing at 6:30 to allow a clear transition for the Olympic racers, they left the transition open and just asked people to be mindful of the racers coming in and out.  This was much better since the sprint race doesn’t start until 7:30.

Of course it always takes me way less time to set up my transition area than I usually give myself and then I end up with nothing to do.  Once again I was left with well over an hour until my race start…no big deal though, I just walked around and watched the Olympic racers warm up and get ready and what not.  It was nice and relaxing.

The elite wave of Olympic racers started at 6:30 or so and they had to do 2 loops of the ½ mile swim course.  When the first swimmer came around for his second loop he already had a HUGE lead on the rest of the pack.  He ended up swimming the 1 mile course in about 18 minutes if I remember correctly…quite a swimmer.  Must have been that $1200  TYR Freak of Nature wetsuit, huh?  Sense the sarcasm?

The Swim:

So, shortly after the Olympic race started, I had my UCAN drink and put my wetsuit on and waited for my wave.  My wave was the first of the sprint group just like last year.  I really like being in the first wave because it allows me to see my place in my age group pretty well through the race.  When I get to the bike turnaround, I can usually tell how many are in front of me.

About 10 minutes before my wave started, I headed out into the water and did some warmup swimming out of the way of the course.  I set my tempo trainer at 0.98 sec/stroke (I did the race last year at 1.00) and warmed up with it.

When it was time for my wave to go, I got up at the front of the pack as usual.  I took off at the start and basically sprinted my way through the first 50 yards to so to keep ahead of the slower swimmers that usually start off fast and then fade. I settled in to the tempo of my tempo trainer after the initial surge.  A 0.98 tempo is a pretty strong tempo for me.  I felt really good despite my 3.2 mile swim the day before and pushed hard through the swim.  Last year, I swam a 10:55 PR in this race (for ½ mile) and came out of the water in 3rd place.  This year, I felt like I was swimming faster and felt really good and came out in 11:26.  Looking at the overall and split times from last year to this year, it looks like everyone was slower on the swim.  So, it may have been a bit longer this year…not sure.

Either way, I felt really good about the swim and came out of the water in second place this year.


I went sockless again for this race and had a pretty decent T1.

My T1 time was a 1:54.  This is a little faster than last year but I still haven’t taken the time to make the jump to keeping my shoes clipped in and putting them on during the first part of the ride.  Really need to do that.

The Bike:

The bike was a bit windy this year.  I was feeling pretty good though and I hammered it as fast as I could go.  I stayed in 2nd place throughout the bike portion.

I took a sip or two of my EFS Liquid Shot on the bike and drank about 20 ounces of water.

I ended up with a 32:04 bike split (22.4 mph)…which is exactly 2 seconds faster than last year!  With the wind on the bike (that wasn’t there last year) and the fact that I raced the day before, I am VERY happy with this bike time.

So, I finished the bike in second place in my age group but that was about to change.


I went sockless again in the Newtons and had a time of 1:30.  That is actually 6 seconds slower than last year…darn.

Then, I saw another guy transitioning and about to run out right along side me.  My intention was to stick with him because I knew he was the third place guy and had just caught me.

The Run:

Unfortunately, the third place guy became the second place guy pretty quickly and was running 6 minute miles or better.  I couldn’t match that.

I felt good on the run but not good enough to keep up with him.  I just wanted to maintain 3rd at this point and run a good 5K.

My run split ended up being 22:26 (7:24 pace).  That is a little over a minute slower than last year…which is disappointing.  There are a lot of factors in this I am sure.  The two biggest ones are probably racing the day before and my weight.  I was good with my nutrition over the past few months leading up to this race season and it has not done good things for my weight.

I did just lose 17 pounds on the Ultimate Reset but that was 17 pounds that I had with me during this race that I shouldn’t have had.

My final time was 1:09:21.  So, I was about 2 minutes slower than last year but everyone was about 2 minutes slower so I am not too worried about that.

This is the second year in a row where they have gathered the first three of us to cross the line and taken a picture as “the top 3 overall”.  I guess the photographers don’t understand how age group waves work because I ended up 13th overall even though I crossed the line 3rd.  Fun picture to have though!

The coolest thing about this race was that it was actually won by a woman!  The overall winner was female!  We all got chicked…



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