Monday, January 23, 2017

Ocean Shores Olympic Triathlon ~ 7-9-16

My family decided to explore the Pacific NW for our summer vacation, so of course, we had to add a race into that trip. We selected the Ocean Shores Olympic Triathlon for me and the Washington Toughman Half distance duathlon for my husband. Both being put on the same day at the some location. The race was held on the peninsula town of Ocean Shores, Washington. 

We arrived two days early. This gave us one day to do a shake out workout as well as time to explore the coast and local area before the race. Packet pickup was held the day before in the local convention hall. 

Race morning arrived and greeted us with rain, wind, and chilly temperatures. It was in the mid 50's, raining and wind was 15-18 mph with gusts to 21 mph. Not the ideal racing conditions but we hadn't driven all that way for nothing. We set up our transitions and got ready to race. I put my wetsuit on early to help keep me warm. The duathlon started before my race so we watched the husband start and then made our way to the water's edge. 


The swim was 1500 meters in Duck Lake, a fresh water canal that runs most of the peninsula. The water temperature was mild but felt warmer than the air temperature. The Toughman Washington State athletes started first and then all the Ocean Shores Olympic athletes started next. It was a mass floating start. We entered and exited at the boat ramp. The route was a long, skinny rectangle. There were not a lot of participants so I never felt crowded during the swim. I completed the 0.9 mile swim in 30:01.

I had left my flip flops at the edge of the boat ramp but decided to run barefoot to the transition area since it was only a short distance and through the grass. Big mistake. The grass was covered with thorny grass also know as burweed. By the time I reached my transition spot, me feet were covered with burs. I had to stop and pick every single one out before I could put my socks and bike shoes on. That took a lot of time. I finished T1 in 4:17.

Once on the bike, it started to rain harder. At times, it felt like tiny stingers hitting my entire body. The bike course was an out and back skirting along the edge of the peninsula. It was a relatively flat course. The wind was really strong while on the bike. Since we were on the water's edge, there was no wind break. It made for a few really fast tailwinds along with some fierce headwinds. One of the things mentioned by the race company was that we might see deer while on the bike course. They did not disappoint. I rode by several deer eating grass next to the road. It made me a little nervous since I didn't want to have a collision with one of them. To my knowledge, no one had any problems with deer during the race. I felt pretty good while completing the 25.34 mile bike section and finished in 1:26:20.

T2 was quick and painless. I made sure to stand on my transition mat to avoid getting anymore burs in my feet. It was still raining but I wasn't cold. I headed out for the run and waved to my boys. I was in and out of T2 in 1:08.


The run was a flat out and back course. The middle half of the run was on the beach. On a normal day, it would have been a beautiful run but the rainy and windy weather made it a bit rough. For about 1.5 miles of the beach run, I had sand and rain beating me in my face. Once I hit the turn around point, the wind helped push me along. I kept a steady pace, ran the entire thing and finished strong. I completed the 6.2 miles in 1:09:25.

My total finish time was 3:11:09. That was good enough for 2nd place in my age group of females 40-49 and 5th place female overall. I was so excited! This was my second triathlon after coming back from ACL reconstruction surgery. I gave a solid performance and my knee held up great. Completing this race reassured me that my rehabilitation and training where on track and that my attempt on Ironman Arizona in November still looked good.

The company that put on this race was going out of business and this was their last race. Because of this, they did not give us race shirts and the medals were nothing great. They promised to mail me the age group award but I have not received anything and do not expect to receive one. Even without the usual race paraphernalia, I'm glad I was able to participate in this race and experience this amazing location.

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