Orlando Triathlon at Baldwin Park

Time for Team CurbCrusher to get out for the July triathlon. This month I traveled all of 20 minutes north of the CurbCrusher homestead to Baldwin Park in Orlando to swim 750 meters in a lake, bike 5 laps and 13 miles around Lake Baldwin, and then run once around the lake.


A much nicer drive this month. With a 7:30 start time, and a travel time of 20 minutes, it was almost like a regular morning. Since we are so close, I’d picked up my packet on Saturday so the only thing to worry about Sunday morning was getting body marked and set up in transition. Lady and Little CurbCrusher decided that they wanted to sleep in, so I packed myself up and left home around 6:15am. The only real concern I had was parking in Baldwin Park, but there was no reason to worry, lots of spaces were available at the Publix.

Once parked, it was easy to move through the line for body marking, getting a transponder and into transition. The racks were set up three deep on each side of the center aisle, and numbers were assigned to each of the racks. So I was in the middle rack, with eight other bikes. It wasn’t too crowded, but I like being up against the outside of the transition area, so I wasn’t thrilled to be in the middle. I was pretty much ready to go by 6:45, so I walked around an chatted with other folks. The only bad thing was I realized that I forgot my hat. I’ve gotten attached to running with the hat on but didn’t pack it, so it looks like a hatless day.

The Swim – 19:59

For the first time this year, I was not in the first wave. We watched two waves leave in front of us, the waded into the water. The lake bottom is mucky and it seems like the longer you stand there, the further you sink. Everyone was stretched out along the lake front, and the starter was very hard to hear. As a matter of fact, I’m not sure anyone ever blew the horn or said go, I think the mass of the blue swim cap wave just sort of got underway. The swim was touted as 750M, I think I swam a good bit more than that. You left the beach and sort of went around a dock and then turned right. Right into the sun. It was hard to find the first buoy, as you were looking directly into the sun while swimming toward it, so I just followed the folks in front. The waves weren’t too crowded, because as soon as we got around the dock, it seemed to spread out and you had room to swim without getting beat up. After turning the first buoy, it was easier, as you could see the second one without too much problem.

Turning the final buoy, you head toward land. There was plenty of room to swim by now. Although I breathed to my right and saw a pink cap, then to my left and saw another one. That was sort of bad news, as the that means the people in the wave behind me that started three minutes after I did had caught me. Then I almost ran over a guy in a white cap. Well he started six minutes before me, so I guess it all evens out.

T1 – 3:12

Out of the water you run along the lake walking/biking path to the parking lot the transition area is in. It was fairly close and easy to do. Little CurbCrusher had gotten me a bike jersey for Father’s Day, so I needed to wear it for the bike. I’ve never been a big fan of having different clothes for each leg of a sprint triathlon, but since I have a jersey, I figured I needed to give it a shot. So, its fairly easy, jersey on, helmet on, shades on, sit on the bucket and get the shoes on, grab the bike an go.

Bike – 42:50

You mount up and turn onto Jake Street. It is approximately 2.7 miles around Lake Baldwin, and you need to do it five times on the bike. This makes the race interesting because there are a lot of people on the bike course. I don’t think it would have been physically possible to enforce the no-drafting rule at this race. There were times on the bike that you felt like you were riding in the peleton. People were three wide passing each other, and sometimes four or five deep. It was fun, and I averaged a little over 18.5 MPH on the course, but it made for some tense riding. I’m not used to riding that close to other people. The course if flat, and there wasn’t really any wind to speak of, so it was great to just pedal your heart out.

I counted laps, and after the third lap switched my cycle computer to odometer. I figured if I lost count, I would just quit on the first lap I finished after it read 13 miles. I actually counted correctly and finished after five laps.

T2 – 1:26

Having the bike jersey added to this transition some. I racked the bike, swapped shirts and grabbed my race number belt. Then grabbed some water at the water station at the transition exit, and began running.

Run – 31:22

I probably shouldn’t insult the sport of running by calling what I did Sunday running. I sort of plodded my way around the lake at a very slow pace. It was disappointing as I’ve been running sub 10 minute miles training and the last race kept the pace under 11 minutes. Of course if you’ve read my other race reports you know how much I just love running. The first quarter of the course is in the sun, and I’m constantly thinking about how much I miss my hat. Should have listened to Lady CurbCrusher and written out a check list. Ouch, not only is the running hurting, now I’m admitting my wife is right, see this running makes you delusional. The shade comes and I feel better.

The shade doesn’t last long. Once back out in the sun on the other side of the lake, there is a water station. I’m weak and walk for a minute after sucking down some water and pouring another cup over my head. I’m really not having much fun at this point. After I start running again (ok, more like plodding) I hear some footsteps behind me. A man and a woman are running along and sharing life stories. It takes them a minute or so to catch up with me, and I hear the woman say “I really started running after my divorce. It was better than therapy.” As they pass me, I offered up “I started running after I got married, it was cheaper than a divorce.” It might have been mean, but the third guy in the group thought is was funny and had plenty of energy to laugh.

Post Race

Well, I was hoping for something less than 1:35 and ended up at 1:39 and change. I was really hoping for a run that would have been 27 minutes, a ten-minute mile pace. And I thought the swim would be more along the lines of 15 – 18 minutes. I think I biked about where I expected. I was also completely beat after the race. I’ve been less tired after the first two races of the year, this one just seemed like a struggle. But I’ve been doing these for close to 18 years now, so I know there are races that are like that, they just aren’t a lot of fun. I think the location is great, I liked the 20 minute drive, but the bike course was a bit too crowded and that may the thing that keeps from coming back here next year. However, this is a great race for spectators, as you get the chance to see the triathletes multiple times on the bike as they do the laps.

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