Mitch Miller

19 Jul, 2018
2018 DRC Jacksonville Olympic Triathlon Race #1

There were lots of firsts in today’s race and all in all it was a great experience. First Olympic distance, first point to point swim, first time without having a bunch of my teammates around me.

Swim: First time in a point to point race and the river current was quick. To start, each age group lined up on a dock and jumped in at the siren, diving was allowed but not advised so we all went in feet first without too much chaos. Having no standing body of water, there was no way to properly warm up with a swim, which is the one thing I NEED for a long distance swim. By 200 or so meters I was struggling with some traffic, trying to get into a rhythm, and sighting the buoys which were WAY OUT because the first one drifted off course. The panic breaths and mouthfuls of water were hitting hard but I made myself slow down, concentrated on cadence, and before I knew it I was at cruising speed. No issues from there on except I missed on buoy because the current was stronger than I had calculated and couldn’t swim across in time. I figured “screw it I’ll take a penalty because I’m not fighting this current”. The guy next to me that smacked the buoy dead on wasn’t so lucky. The race officials didn’t notice so no penalty. Once we crossed under the first bridge the current picked up tremendously and I was at the exit docks before I knew it.

Bike: This course was flat and fast, and by fast I mean wicked fast. What I lack in swimming I make up for in biking thanks to some big ham hocks from my past in powerlifting. I got seated and clipped in, started playing the Top Gun soundtrack in my head, then started pumping. My sprint times at Crystal River were consistently 20/21 mph. Today my average was 25 and I topped out at 29. The course was 90% on a closed lane of highway and the only hills were when we had to go up and down an overpass. Very fun ride.

Run: There isn’t much to say about the run aside from how hot it was. It was nice and flat but mostly in the direct sun. It was hot. Stifling hot. If you sat in a sauna then placed a heat lamp in one of your most private nether regions, then found a way to run a 10k in there, that’s how hot and humid it was. I’m not looking forward to the July and August run.

End: THERE WAS A COLD SPLASH PAD. Every race should end somewhere that has a splash pad.

This was DRC’s first race at the new venue in Jacksonville. I’d never been to the previous but my understanding is that they just outgrew it. The Landing is a big area, transition was spacious, the pre and post race gathering area is in an outside mall, and the course is perfect.
My only tips for the swim course is to know the current, know where it picks up, and make your adjustments early. The river is very wide in the first half then funnels abruptly. Start making your way to the exit side early and the current will carry you to the ladders quickly… quickly past them too if you’re not careful. The road course is easy, just some gradual rolling ups and downs over a few overpasses then flat as can be. You will spend a lot of time in your top gear if you’re feeling good. For the run, just know it’s going to be hot and accept it. It’s all flat but mostly in the Florida summer sun. Hydrate hydrate hydrate, and look forward to that refreshingly cold splash pad at the finish line.

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