UCSD Triton Man: Race Recap
At just 12, Sage is by far the youngster of our group. This last weekend she had a solid outing at the Triton Man, a local race here in San Diego, taking first in her age group.
The day before the event we had to pick up our packets at a bike/Tri shop near UCSD campus. There was a long line that we had to wait in. It didn’t take too long to get our things. We told them our names, they wrote our wave numbers on our hands, got our bags and went and looked around inside the store. That day the professionals went out and did the race, I could have watched the race but I was training for the next day.
The actual Triton Man 2016 race course was flat, but it was hard. It took place at Fiesta Island, Mission Bay, San Diego. There was a head wind and cross wind, and because it was flat I felt the need to push harder. I was also racing against collegiate athletes, and I was placed as a high schooler (which I’m not). I showed up with my dad, there was already a lot of people there when we got there. So, we had to park some what far away, get everything ready, and ride to the transition. It was really hard to find a spot to put my things and my bike because all the college kids were hogging all the spaces. When I found a spot to put my things I had a little amount of time to get everything ready and where it should be, get body marked, and put on my wet suite, swim cap, and goggles on.
It was in the 50’s when we got there and to wait for my wave with only my swim cap, wet suite, and 2 piece tri suite on. We also had to stand on wet, freezing grass for 10- 15 minutes. When we could, I went to see how “warm” the water was going to be. When I put my feet in it was a little warmer than I expected. I heard some one say, “I see a jelly fish.” I started to freak out. I didn’t want to swim in that water and just go home, but I didn’t. I just made the thought go away and just focus on, hopefully, winning the race in my age group. I said goodbye to my dad who was supposed to be 2 waves ahead of me. I stepped into the water to get used to it, and boy was it freezing. But that didn’t stop me!! I ended up getting pushed out 1 or 2 wave before i was supposed to go, which I didn’t complain about. I was supposed to with the female high schoolers but I went with the over all women’s. We had to swim out about half way into the bay and stay there for about 5 minutes at most. I got my watch situated, cleared my goggles, and got focused. We had a little time to meet the other people in our age group. I told some of the ladies that i heard some one say they saw a jelly fish. The ladies said that, that was true and the jelly fish there at the time can’t sting you. I felt a couple while i was waiting for the race to start. Just imagine treading water and focusing on the race, just look ahead of where you are going to swim. Then all of the sudden you feel a jelly thing, that is what happened to me.
The race ended up being a 750 meter swim, 13 mile bike, and 5k (3.1 miles) run. When the horn blasted out for the swim, I started my watch and took off. I passed my dad and said, “Keep going!” to him. I felt a couple more jelly fish. I felt like I was really “going for the gold!” I was close to the turning point and then I would be close of land. That was when I felt my last jelly fish, for that day. From then on I kept my head above water. I pulled myself up and out of the water. I took of the top of my wet suite and ran to transition 1. I pulled off my suite, goggles and cap, attempted to dry off, and put on my bike things. I grabbed my bike off the rack and ran toward the mounting line. I clipped in and went! I crossed a smelly bridge and bike past some people that were directing traffic and tri traffic and they yelled out some directions at the racers. I had done the bike course at a Tri Club San Diego Tri before. It was just the bike and the run course in one. It was nice for half of a lap and then started the wind. That was when it made the rest of the course hard. For the last lap and a half I was next to this kid who was in the male high school group. We were playing tag until i finally passed him and I just went right into transition 2. I changed into my run things and took off!
The run was also hard. We had to run 3 flat laps. It was mixed terrain of grass and concrete. Nobody had been cheering for me except for my 1 person cheer team, AKA my stepmom. I had a gel for the first lap and i just kept running. The run was really hard because for the past couple of weeks my nose was draining from a mild “cold.” Volunteers were yelling at us about where to got for what lap that we were on. I finally finished, all I needed to do was run down some grass and cross the finish line. I ran faster and faster, I passed some people, and I was there!!! I looked for my 1 person cheer team and she wasn’t even there. She had been there from the swim exit all the way to me getting out of the run transition, and she wasn’t there. But that wasn’t my biggest concern, I needed to know if i won or not. I got water and I saw Bob Babbitt, one of the founding fathers of the sport! I had a nice conversation with him and got a couple pics too. I found my stepmom and dad, and got some food!
We loaded up the car and waited for about 45 minutes and then the awards came! I was in the high school age group and they were last. But before the awards we played some Tri trivia and I studied, then the awards happened. My age group was last, I had built up a lot of excitement inside. 3rd place went first, my name didn’t get called. I thought, “Ok didn’t get third.” Next was 2nd place, “Ok didn’t get that.” (At that point i thought I was against high schoolers I wouldn’t, most likely, get 1st.) All of the sudden 1st place was called, “Sage Lechusza Aquallo?” was called!! “OMG I won!!!”, I thought to myself. I got a Zoot Jacket that is too big for me, stickers, socks, and water bottle!! I was so proud of myself! I just relaxed the rest of that day! All thanks to the 2016 UCSD Triton Man Tri!!