I did my second tri yesterday, the Tinsel Triathlon
in Hemet California. It was a short reverse tri: 5k run, 11 mile bike, 100 meter pool swim. The run was flat, and we had an entire 2-lane highway to ourselves for the bike. But let me tell you- jumping into an outdoor heated pool after an hour of hard running and biking was the Greatest...Feeling...Evar. I didn't even want to swim; I just wanted to lounge around in the pool. It vas vunderbar.
I went down with 2 other friends and we had a great time, but there was plenty to nitpick. There were far too few racks in the transition area; many people like myself just had to prop our bikes up against flimsy plastic fences. When I came back after the run, my bike had been knocked to the ground. (I guess that will teach me to run faster next time.) There was only one entrance/exit to the transition area, and I was at the far side so I had to run the length of the parking lot 4 times. That easily added at least an extra minute to my time over someone parked near the entrance. Not that it matters but, well, it DOES matter.
There were no mile markers. I like them for pacing, even if it's just a short run.
There was no Big Finish. You just sort of climbed out of the pool and handed someone your race number. I wanted a balloon archway or at least a sign that said "FINISH" to run under.
My event shirt, a very nice long-sleeve design, was stolen/misplaced/reaquired in the transition area. Sucks.
It was probably a 200-300 yard run from the transition area to the pool. Barefoot on pavement. Shirtless. It wasn't so bad getting to the pool since we were all still hyped up for the race. But coming back, soaking wet without a towel... that was a bit chilly.
Here's my biggest complaint: It's called the "Tinsel Triathlon", yet there was NO TINSEL ANYWHERE! If they want to have a themed event, then go with it: put up a Christmas Tree someplace. Bring $20 to Costco and get 800 yards of garland to create a running chute. I don't care, just do SOMETHING. Otherwise just call it the "Hemet Triathlon".
I placed 183rd out of 576 individuals (I ignore relay teams) which was pretty good. I placed 23rd out of 50 in my age group: with my finishing time, I would have won my division if I were a 67-year-old woman or a 10-year-old boy.