.Local Knowledge :I've never raced this race and everyone that I talked to before I went said the same thing "the water will be like swimming in a bathtub of warm water". It rained hard all day Saturday and some people were beginning to wander if the race might be called off. However, because all the recent rain, the water was very cool and refreshing, the run has a short portion through the unpaved park that was a little muddy,and the streets were plenty dry. The run and bike course are mostly shaded so I have to say that this was one of the most pleasant races I have entered.
Pre-race strategy: I arrived early to the race site ina terrible mood due to my visit to The Horseshoe Casino the previous night. Even though I went to bed early on Saturday anticipating an early alarm,that casino stole $$$, and I was bound and determined to take it out on the sprint.I swam for 10 minutes before the race and walked the transition area several times to familiarize and invision bike and run exits. I was in the smallest wave #5(90 people) after the elites went out first. This was by far the largest participation of athletes in a sprint that I have been in with a beach start. I heard there were 1200+ athletes total.
Psychology: swim comfortable and dont get passed by anyone in the waves behind me in the water and then go hard on the bike and see if I had any anger at that casino left on the run. My swim was not my best but I didn't see any different colored swim caps pass me17:37-800 meter swim. I had a race PR of 21.7 bike average for the 18 miles and I averaged a PR 8:06 mile run pace. Not great #'s to you studs but I was thrilled.Lessons learned: my recent weight loss has helped my endurance along with mentally being able to push myself harder in a sprint after completing my first olympic distance 2 weeks ago.
Future goals: I definitely will compete in this race again next year, it was very well managed.
Something Funny: driving home after the race on Sunday on I-20, I saw something I had not seen before. Three Hispanic males in an old beatup pickup as I came flying thru the Longview area were toting a goat in the bed of their pickup and as I passed them at first glimpse I thought it was a dog,but instead it was dinner(you could see it written all over the poor goats face).