I just completed my first ever Tri, and figured I would post my first ever race report.
First off, the 14 days leading up to the event were not the most conducive to training. Two weeks before the race, I spent 9 days overseas in Italy (not the most well timed trip, relative to my race, but I wasn't about to pass up the chance to spend a week in Italy!). Then, as soon as I got home, I immediately got sick, probably from the stress of being stuck in the Rome airport for 2 days (the trip was supposed to be 7 days long), and then being on an 11 hour flight home. So I was laid up in bed with a fever, sore throat, the works, for 3 days the week leading up to my race. But I decided that I would just go out, and do my best, and have fun, which is exactly what happened.
Race day dawned with typical Georgia August weather, hot and humid. I got to the race site bright and early a little before 5 am. Parking was supposed to be really tight, and I wanted to make sure I got a spot. Parked no problem, and set up my transition. I'd been told by numerous people that this was a great race for first timers, and I can now say that this was very true. In transition, there were lots of other newbies like myself, but there were just as many experienced racers, all of whom were super friendly, and willing to share advice and encouragment.
The swim went really well. The water temperature was a soupy 90 degrees. I was able to catch up to some of the stragglers in the wave ahead of me, so I felt pretty good about that. I definitely need to do some more open water swim training though. I pretty much stayed to the back and side of the pack as much as possible. Swim split: 10:42
T1 time: 2:11
The bike course was mostly flat, with a few minor climbs, mostly rolling hills. Nice course, shaded most of the way, so it was nice and cool (for Georgia in August I mean). I'd barely even looked at my bike for two weeks leading into the race, so I just took it easy. I wanted to make sure I would have something left for the run. I'm still saving my pennies for a road bike, but my trusty (heavy, old, clunky) mountain bike did the job. Bike split: 1:03:19
The run course was similar to the bike course, rolling hills, but through residential areas so nice and shaded. I went with a slow and steady approach to the run. Ended up walking some of the hills due to massive shin splints that started bugging me. I had enough left to sprint to the finish line, and pass a couple people that I had been behind for most of the run. Run split: 38:10 and a total race of 1:55:34 for a nice solid back of the pack finish. My goal before getting sick had been to finish the race in under two hours. After getting sick, my goal was pretty much just to finish the race. So it felt really great to get my final time and see that I had accomplished my original goal.
The whole experience was a total blast, and I have a full blown addiction now. I've already signed up for a couple more races this year, and have decided to start aiming for some Olympic distance races next year.
Thanks for all the encouragment and advice!