Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Las Vegas Triathlon ~ 9-19-15

On September 19th, I raced in the 18th annual Las Vegas Triathlon at Lake Mead National Recreation Area. It was put on by BBSC Endurance Sports (, who took it over this year. This was not my first time racing at Lake Mead but it was my first time racing this race.

I competed in the sprint distance and my wave was scheduled to start at 7:40 am. We arrived at about 6:45 am. That gave me enough time to set up transition, go to the bathroom, talk with some friends, and get to the swim start on time.

The swim is a water start. I crossed the timing mat as I walked into the water. We were standing about thigh/waist deep for the start. The race director gave some last minute swim instructions, made a short countdown and then we were off.

I do all of my open water swims in Lake Mead so this swim was very familiar. We went straight out for the first section of the swim and then turned left at the 1st green buoy. We then swam to the next green buoy and turned left again (always keeping the buoy on our left shoulder). At the large orange buoy we turned left again and swam to the final orange buoy. At that final buoy, we kept it on our right shoulder as we made our final turn towards the beach. The swim was easy and quick. I completed the 750 meter swim in 15:42.

I exited the water and ran up the shore to the transition area. My bike was about 3/4th of the way up. The racks are semi-assigned so I didn't really have a choice in where my bike was placed. Fortunately, I prefer to have my bike near the bike out area so there is less running in my bike shoes. Transition went smoothly and I completed T1 in 2:19.

The bike course is an out and back along Lakeshore Road. The beginning of the course is the worst. You immediately leave the transition area and have to climb up a steep 0.5 mile hill. Remembering to have your bike set in the easy gear is a must! Once on Lakeshore Road, the ride has several small ups and downs. There are some good areas to get into the areo position and other areas that are challenging climbs. The final push up a long hill towards the turnaround is another spot that tests the quads. Once you turn around, you are greeted with a lovely, fast downhill to rest the legs for the next climb. As you can see by the elevation map above, the return ride is a lot easier and faster. I had a good ride and finished the 12.4 miles in 44:17.

I entered the transition area and quickly ran to my spot and did what I needed to do. My transitions are pretty simple. I don't keep a lot of stuff there which makes the transitions go really smooth. I made it through T2 in 1:47.

The run ended up being a little different than the map they provided (above). Once I left transition, I turned right onto the rock/dirt Boulder Beach. The run was along a road that allows access all along the water so it was fairly flat but pretty difficult to run on. It makes keeping or hitting a good race pace very hard. The new course had us run parallel to the water until the right hand turn up the hill. This was a less confusing course so I was okay with it. Once you turn right and start climbing, the run really becomes hard. I was still on the rock/dirt road but now had a steep climb to battle too. At the top of the hill, I made another right hand turn onto a nice, flat paved road. I was on this road until the turnaround. The return run was an exact retrace of the first half except for the final 1/4th mile. At that point, there was a fork in the road and finisher's were directed to the left towards the finish line. I was really tired but was able to muster up a slight sprint to the finish. I completed the 3.1 mile run in 32:05.

After I finished, I was handed my finisher's medal, gave my timing chip back and grabbed a water. I then made it over to the results table to check out my times. I was pleased to see that I placed 1st in the Athena division 40+ and overall Athena as well. I spent the time waiting for the awards ceremony with friends. Several of them had also placed in the race so it was really fun to watch them get their medals too. 

It was a beautiful day for a race and I can now say that I have completed the Las Vegas Triathlon!

Receiving my 1st place medal. The 3rd place girl had just finished and didn't make it to the podium in time for the ceremony.
My friend and me with our podium medals. She finished 3rd place female overall in the sprint distance.
With my friends and our podium medals. 

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