First sprint triathlon for Nicolas in Solana Beach California

Solana Beach Triathlon, July 24th, 2022 (S) 

Race Reporter: Nicolas

Why this race ? I was having vacations near San Diego (California)… I didn’t expect to race at any time this summer, but I was at the right place at the right moment ; the annual sprint triathlon of Solana Beach was taking place at that time so I signed up !

Any preparation ? Prior to the race I was fit for biking and running, but still a big question mark for my swim, I’m not a good swimmer and it was my first time ever in open water ! Moreover the Pacific Ocean also means waves…

Organization before D-day ? The race village was unusual for me, I only raced with Expatriés for Super Sprint, people were very nice and friendly especially when they understand I’m a foreigner, so cool ! I packed very early, around 6 am you couldn’t find any room to put your bike transition area (more than 700 racers). Anyway it’s time to reach the crowed beach start.

My expectancy ? Having fun for sure, discovering the distance, making memories, but regarding to the age groups, I have a chance to make a good ranking : I’m in the 16-20 years old AG and because I’m 19 I have an advantage…

The start ? Let’s rock and roll ! I’m in the wave 1, meaning I’m with the male under 29 but also with militaries and… elites ! Unlucky me, you add a scary swim with big waves I was really disappointed and worried (around one hundred gave up) ! Anyway I expect to swim slow, save energy, when the gun goes off you can’t avoid running crazy ! Two left hand buoys, reaching the first one was my main challenge, sometimes I couldn’t see it because of the waves, so I follow people… Not too many kicks from others, then after the second buoy it’s mainly body surfing, easy. Going back to T1 also very hard, a steep and long path to run then grab your bike and other stuff… Surprise, I made the fifth transition overall ! Because of the race course recognition I knew that I will grab my bike shoes with my hand alongside my bike in T1 (and put them on after) in order to run and save time in this long transition…

Bike part ? Straight, only slow and sharp U-turns back to back. No drafting. Two laps with one big hill (shoot out to Manon, I was thinking about our little talk to ride hills!). Not much tired, I pushed, I’ve been overtook several times but I also passed some… 30 km/h average speed.

Run part ? After the bike I felt great, very excited, people sheering on the side were so nice ! So the party is over, time for fire ! Looking for a nice pace knowing it’s my favorite part, I almost broke 20 on the 5K. I passed plenty of runners, around 40, and only 3 passed me… I’m glad !

Finally, proud, I crossed the finish line of my first sprint… The speaker asked on the mic “are you from France Nicolas ?, oui oui oui !“, definitely a very nice ambience !

At this point I didn’t know my result, but I know it could be good… And I am on the podium ! P2 ! Unbelievable, honored, arrogant, I’m so glad and thankfull to my club Expatriés Triathlon, all my coaches, Valentino, Aytug, Marius, and of course my training mates !

Then, the prize ceremony, the speaker called me and I showed up on the second step of the podium, in front of the cheering crowd it was a memorable moment ! Now I have my silver medal !