This race is very laid back with a late morning start at 10am. It was nice getting to sleep in even while staying 45 minutes away. This race is oriented around UC San Diego’s collegiate team kick off so you can expect all the participants to be young 20 somethings and some family/friends. I’ve never felt “old” at a race before but at 26 I definitely felt old, but that’s ok!
At morning check in we gave our name and USAT card in exchange for a timing chip. There are no bells and whistles at this race to keep the cost low (just $28 for non students). Then we set up our transition in a seaweed roped area. This is by far my favorite transition set up! Since the run was all in hard packed sand I went sans shoes and literally didn’t have anything to put in transition before the race.
The swim course is 2 rectangle shaped counterclockwise loops with one edge running on the beach. The start was a beach run, like most ocean races I’ve done. I positioned myself on the right edge knowing I would be on the slower end. The current was pushing us to the left which almost made me miss the first buoy. After scooting around the buoy cord it was difficult to stay straight to the next one since we weren’t very far off the beach. After clearing the second turn it was nearly impossible to sight the correct place to hit the shore so I just followed the other bodies. After reaching the shore there was a cone to go around on the sand. Here was an important decision…get back in the water and swim a triangle or run along the beach and swim a shorter rectangle shape.
A split decision was to swim a triangle. I instantly regretted this decision since, oh yeah, I was going STRAIGHT into the current. It felt like I was going no where but finally made the turn again. This time I went very wide to the second turn buoy but at least it was smooth sailing getting to the shore.
I always take my wetsuit off in the water. I stripped it in 30-40 seconds before running to transition. We had to be careful to go over the blue timing mats and not “jump” the fence. I went straight to a corner and threw my wetsuit, swim cap, and goggles down before making my way to the run course.
The run is anywhere you want to run in the beach, so of course, I ran barefoot on the smooth packed sand, the course was 2 out and back loops which breaks down to about 3/4 of a mile per length.
Water is provided at the turn around. I walked through the last turn to drink water and a girl in a red shirt passed me. I hustled to catch up with her after the turn around and we ran the rest of the run together. As we neared the finish line she said “I don’t mind if you finish before me.” I replied “No, I think we should finish together.” Hopefully this was the first of many races for her!
Even though this was a small, low key race I had a ton of fun and was a perfect reminder of WHY I race.
Swim: 22:16 (800 yards- 2 loops; actual 1,225)
Run: 33:45 (3.1 miles)
Special thanks to Coola for keeping my skin protected with top quality sunscreen, Betty Designs for keeping me decked out in the best apparel, and Tri Tats for helping me look like a pro for this race! Last but not least thank you to my amazing teammate, Rhandi, for opening her home to us. Find your tribe and love them hard!