St. Anthony’s is a big Olympic Distance triathlon that is held in St. Petersburg each April. I didn’t realize quite how big it was until I experienced it myself, but I had been told in advance that if I was in town then I pretty much had to do it. I signed up a few weeks before the race, and I decided as it was approaching to give it a solid effort. I hadn’t planned it as a goal race weeks and weeks prior, but as it got closer it seemed like a good race to have a mini-taper for.
When I knew it was a big race was when I realized we had to check our bikes in the day before. I’ve never had to do that besides at Rev3 Florida, and I thought that was just because of the 70.3 distance. I headed down around noon on Saturday with Beth to check in our bikes, pick up our packets, and do a little swim at the finish line.
|Mirinda Carfrae was at the expo right at the time we were there, so we waited in line for a second and snapped a photo. I got a little starstruck for some reason and couldn’t think of much to say. PS She’s very small.|
|I racked my bike and enjoyed the fact that I had a sticker where I was supposed to put it. I didn’t have to fight for space. I had a mini issue trying to figure out how to let air out of my front tire, because there wasn’t an extender on the tube. Eventually someone at TriBike Transport was able to help me when no one at the race knew how.|
|We saw Genna after we had donw our warm up swim. The swim exit is right behind us in the photo. There are metal stairs leading us out of the water.|
|Transition was MASSIVE! I’ve never seen so many bikes in one place. This photo doesn’t even touch on it.|
|The sunrise was beautiful to watch as I watched all the waves go off. You can see one large group going off in the distance.|
Tim and I sat around waiting and waiting until 8:13. I got in and warmed up a little bit, but I didn’t do too much. The swim was wetsuit legal, which I was super thrilled about. I had heard that it get cancelled quite a bit because it gets choppy in the Bay. It didn’t look bad out there, and I was glad to have the full swim. I had also been told by my coach this the Olympic Distance is good for strong swimmers.
As my wave was walking out I positioned myself front and center at the starting line and waited for the gun. Finally, at 8:13, I was off. On the map above you can see the swim course, and it was odd. The first part wasn’t bad, but when we made the first left turn we were suddenly swimming against swells, and by the second turn to the right, I thought I was going to be sick I was getting so nauseous. There was a girl ahead of me that I was trying to stay on her feet when possible. I thought she was in my age group, but I later looked and found out she’s 17, so she wasn’t in my age group after all. By the end of the swim we had caught several waves, and I was ready to stop dodging people and big waves. Finally I reached the medal stairs and hopped out of the water!