Yes, I have a couple of 70.3 races and an Ironman but I had never finished an Olympic distance race. I had a DNF couple months ago due to an awful time at the swim – throwing up a couple of times. So Tugaloo was my first Olympic triathlon.
The race happens at the Tugaloo State Park, located at Lavonia, GA. It is about 1 1/2 hour drive from Atlanta. The race started at 8am, so me and a friends decided to drive on the morning of. Despite the fact that I was up at 4am, I think it was a great decision. Easy but early drive.
Got at race site around 7 am and it was more than enough time to walk to transition (about 1/2 mile from parking), get the chip, set up all my gear and catch up with some friends. Had one gel about 15 minutes prior to the race start.
SWIM: Lake swim, the water was about 82F. Bath water, not wetsuit legal. It was time trial start, two people at a time into the water. I anticipated to do around 32 minutes. Lots of people slower ahead of me, it took some turning here and there. Finished in 36 and not happy. (Felt a bit dehydrated while swimming)
T1: 2:21 – Could have been better. Had water and then off to the next sport.
BIKE: it starts on a uphill out of transition. Couple of rollers for the first miles. But after passing the city, it was fast and flat. After a couple miles, the rollers were back. Coming back to transition downhill. Had about water, 1/2 bottle of Accelerade and 3 pieces of blackberry shot blocks (my fav!). Anticipated 1:30 for the bike and finished in 1:31. (Score!)
T2: 2:03 – Feeling pretty good about the bike, running shoes and bib on. Time for a GU gel. Off to my favorite part.
RUN: Guess what? Yeah, it starts with a hill. I took my coach’s advice and let the run come to me. It worked. It had some hills, but also some flats, The finish was downhill. Anticipated 1:00 and finished in 59:01. (Oh yeah baby!).
Even though, the swim was not as good as I thought it would be. My finish was strong and I felt great about it, tired but not exhausted. Training is paying off and Tugaloo has become a must race on my training calendar. Small local race (up to 500 triathletes), organized by Georgia Multisports. Fun times. Highly recommend it.