It was a good day – the sun was shining on the Sammamish Plateau, the waters of Beaver Lake were warm and calm, and I destroyed the competition! After a 3rd place and two 2nd places this season, I finally came in 1st – both in my age group 40-44 and overall in the master’s division of 40 and over.
It’s actually the first ever 1st place in my brief triathlon career; it’s especially gratifying to win it at Beaver Lake, which was my very first triathlon experience back in 2005. Plus it’s one of the more competitive races around the Seattle area. My best placement to date had been a 6th in my age group (12th overall) last year. In that race, I was about 2:30 minutes behind the 3rd place finisher in my age group – a pretty significant gap for a sprint race. So I really had no expectations of finishing on the podium, let alone in first place (and 4th overall).
But in reality, this is very much in line with my other results this year; I’ve consistently been able to lower my times by about 5% compared to last year:
- Beat the Bridge 8K: -1:19 (4.5%)
- Federal Escape Olympic: -6:38 (5%)
- Beaver Lake: -4:19 (5.7%)
Fortunately, my competitors did not enjoy these kind of gains – in fact they all posted times very similar to last year’s.
Wendy was not quite as pleased with her race, as she finished 2 minutes below her 2007 time. She had a good swim and an OK bike split, but struggled on the run. Of course, she hadn’t really been focusing on race training. But with the Grand Columbian Olympic triathlon looming ahead (September 13th), she has decided to embark on a serious training program. We’ve planned out her workouts and taper week up until race day, starting with a 24 mile bike ride this morning (day 1 after Beaver Lake). It won’t completely make up for missed training time, but if she can pull it off it will definitely ensure a better race experience in September.
Overall, Beaver Lake 2008 (the 15th anniversary of the event) was again a very enjoyable day of racing, which is why we keep coming back year after year. The location is beautiful, the course challenging, and the whole community is engaged and supportive. Apparently, the word is getting out, since this year there were 521 finishers compared to 459 last year. No doubt, we’ll be back 2009.