Greenville Triathlon Recap

Finally, the Greenville Triathlon.  This is one of the larger and more popular races in the area – though I can’t figure out why since the course is really boring. It’s also what I consider to be the first “real” triathlon that Jen and I did 2 years ago.

Even though it’s not the most interesting course, I was still excited to repeat the race and see how much I’ve improved.  I had three goals going into this race:

1)Do better than 2011
2) Have a good run
3) Fastest swim split!!

I really wanted to have the fastest female swim split.  For the last few races, I’ve been really close and I’m tired of being outmatched in the pool, especially when it’s because I was stuck behind someone slower than me. Plus, this was one of the races that gives out prizes for the fastest individual splits and I kind of just want some bragging rights since my biking is average and my running is slow – at least compared to the fast folks. Dumb? Maybe. But whatever.

If nothing else, this would be a fun race since I knew there were going to be a ton of people from my tri club there – some of whom were going to be first time triathletes, which is always exciting.

So, the parking situation at this race is a little funky, so for any local people doing this race, make sure to come early enough to get a spot in the lot. Unless you get there really early, you’ll end up parked along the run course – which basically means you can’t leave until everyone’s done. There’s always a few jerks who decide to leave early and get in people’s way; don’t be one of them! That’s rude.

Anyways, I set up my stuff in transition:

IMG_20130811_062237Since I wanted to focus on the swim, I decided not to fool with the tri top since it drags so much water and just swim in my 2 piece suit, then throw on my tank and shorts after the swim. To make up time, I decided to not wear my bike gloves – I don’t really need them with my new handlebar tape anyways.

Swim (400 m):

This swim was in the pool that I train in most of the time.

IMG_20130811_090334They leave it set up in the long course all summer long and I love it. I’m always bummed when they switch it back for the winter. Since this is where I train, I feel like this gives me a little bit of an advantage.

The last time I did this race, they sent us off 10 s apart, but 2 people wide. This created issues with running into people, so I was pretty worried about this before the race and was making sure that the people in front of me were actually going to swim faster than me, or at least close to it. I was so relieved when they sent us off one at a time since it left everyone with so much more room to pass if necessary. I didn’t have any problems during the whole swim with getting stuck behind a slower person or keeping someone stuck behind me and it was great. My legs started to burn about halfway through, but I really wanted that split, so I pushed on through, then sprinted to the transition area.

Time: 6:38 (1/113 Overall, 1/9 Div)

Thank goodness I got it! There was actually one girl that beat me, but she was on a relay. She really would have kicked my butt with the 5:30-ish that she did! She obviously swam for Clemson fairly recently – super fast! I think the fastest I ever swam a 400 m free was a 5:15-ish. It wasn’t my event, haha.

T1: 1:50 Better than Lake Logan for sure, but still pretty slow. I had some trouble getting my shorts on which is usually not a problem, but skipping the gloves saved me some time.

Bike (15 miles):

This is a fairly difficult bike course – lots of rolling hills. Nothing too steep, but there were definitely a few that caused me to lose my pace.  Someone described it to me afterwards as, “I could never get into a good rhythm”.  A fair description. There was one killer hill towards the end that I really struggled with, then I hit the downhill and could not get any speed! It looked like I was not the only one getting destroyed by it, though, which made me feel a little better.

Overall, I felt pretty good about the bike leg. Time: 48:47 (28/113 Overall, 2/9 Div). Pretty good! Also, about 3 mins faster than 2011.

T2: (1:32) Again, nothing too special. I took a few seconds to grab some Gatorade. I also put some elastic laces on my running shoes last week, which definitely makes it easier to get running shoes on.

Run (5K):

FINALLY, a good run.  I was determined not to falter since I felt like I was doing well in the race.  I managed to run the entire way, except for a few steps through the water stop to get a drink, which is a vast improvement from my last few races.

This run is a 2-lap run up a packed dirt trail and around a neighborhood. Pretty boring, except for the dirt trail. It’s on a hill with lots of rocks an roots in the trail, which is normal for a trail race…but this is not a trail race. It’s kind of dangerous, and with all the rain we’ve had in Greenville, it was downright treacherous this morning. It was muddy and slippery, which made it really hard to find footing without landing wrong on a rock or something.

The trail.

The trail.

I took it really easy on the trail so I wouldn’t hurt myself, then tried to keep a steady pace around the paved loop. I felt so much stronger overall than I had in my last few races. I started to feel a little nauseous towards the end, but went away after a cup of water, so no problem. Time: 27:18 (52/113 Overall, 6/9 Div)

MUCH BETTER! Since my best 5K is 25:36, I’m very happy with this run. It’s about what I would expect myself to be able to do.

My overall time was 1:26:12, which was 6 minutes faster than my race in 2011! Not bad at all.  I was 30th overall, and 2nd in my age group.

The prize?

IMG_20130811_101129Oh, yea, more wine. I think Setup Events must believe we are all alcoholics since I’ve gotten 3 bottles of wine and 2 beer glasses from their events. I got a second bottle of wine for having the fastest swim split, but I gave it to one of my teammates since I really don’t need more wine.  I also got a free entry into next year’s race. Woo hoo? Hah, no I’d be happy to participate in this race again.

This was my last race before the Carolina Half, so I’m glad it went well. Less than 7 weeks to go!

Anyone else race this past weekend?





About Steph

Hey there, I'm Steph
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11 Responses to Greenville Triathlon Recap

  1. Victoria says:

    NICE work on fastest woman in the water!

  2. Wow. I really know nothing about biking or swimming, but I cannot believe you ran a 5K that fast after all of that! My goal is to break 29 in a 5K on it’s own. You re amazing! That is all.

  3. Great work! I’d love a nice bottle of wine as a race prize.

  4. mdrukarsh says:

    Congrats on not only hitting, but surpassing all three of your goals! Still can’t believe the swim is in a pool! 🙂

  5. kilax says:

    Awesome awesome awesome! Congrats on first female swimmer and 2nd in AG! Gah! A muddy trail course sounds like fun… if it’s not the last event of a tri!

    How do they time each swimmer? Is it by a chip? You knew you were first when you came out, right?

    I have been using my new road bike and thinking about how I can’t get in a rhythm with stopping for lights/cars/kids and riding the hills. I want to find a flat deserted course and see how fast I can go. LOL!

    • Steph says:


      They place a timing mat at the end of the lane where we jump into the pool, then send us off 5-10 seconds apart. They line you up beforehand based on an estimated swim time to hopefully prevent a disaster in the pool, but this race let all the open category athletes go first. So you can’t really tell where you are in the rankings until the end since there are people ahead of you and behind you that started at different times. It’s weird, but the lakes in this area are few and far between, unfortunately.

      There are hills in Illinois?? haha. It sounds like you need to head out into the country a bit for a long ride =)

      • kilax says:

        I am happy they got you in the right swim order this time! 🙂

        LOL! IKR? IL is mostly flat but the area around me has a few small rollers – like, between 50′-150′, max. It’s not much, but I can feel it on my bike. I always think “I’d rather run this!”

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