After a 2 month recovery period from COVID, I was not sure how my racing would go.   COVID really knocked me down and I lost most of June as well as a ton of fitness.   I even skipped the Milwaukee age group nationals to avoid hurting myself more.   But this race was just a sprint and I could always tag out.

The course itself was mostly perfect this time.   The roads were dry, the ocean was shark free (enough).   That being said, the race director said she extended the swim a bit so it came in around 0.82 miles instead of the goal of 0.75.    The tide was also high so that meant the beach had little hard sand to trod on.   Pounding it through piles of rocks, soft sand, and the occasional fisherman made it quite a trek.

Despite the minor challenges, it turned into a wonderful race though.   I paced the swim easy and gradually picked up speed as we swam along the shore.   Then on the bike I let it rip passing everyone in front of me in my age group (4 people!)   The key there was using a road bike instead of a tri bike like last year.   The course is 800 ft of climbing with the decents being really rough, so the use of a super aero position really doesn’t gain you much.   Then on the beach, I passed only one sole teenager with only two other people in front of me.  

In the end, I took 6th place overall and first in my age group winning another coveted sand coated trophies.   COVID took the wind out of my sails, but I fought back and the race was worth it.   Now to cure some blisters in my foot to come back to race Santa Cruz in a month!