Race Coverage

Numb Feet, Garbage Trucks & Renewed Confidence...


By Shyanne McGregor

Hits Sarasota 2021 Race Report.
After the way IMFL ended I knew I needed to race again, to gain experience (this was my second 70.3), hopefully have a good race experience, and gain confidence. So I decided to enter Hits Sarasota. A couple of my athletes were already signed up to do the 70.3 and Olympic distances, so I thought this would be a great race to do too!

Race morning:
It was 42 degrees at the 8am start. The wind was relatively calm compared to the couple days before the race. The sun was out! It was going to be a beautiful day to race! I was a little concerned about being too cold on the bike so I brought a long sleeve shirt to wear over my kit and put my toe warmers on my bike shoes.

I quickly got my gear situated in transition, got on my wetsuit and then kept warm in the car until race time.

Swim: The swim was two laps counterclockwise in a rowing basin. Last year’s swim was a bit long at 2300 yds but they shortened it this year. I’m not sure why. Garmin devices showed different distances but averaged at about 1500 yds. We lined up on a small beach about 5 minutes before the start and went off two at a time off a doc. I was shaking and shivering as we waited for the start and couldn’t feel my feet already! ...

Once I was in the water I wasn’t cold. Since it wasn’t a huge race, the swim wasn’t crowded. I started about a minute after the first guys left and finished first woman out of the water 22 minutes later.

T1 took a frustratingly long time as I had difficulty getting my arms out of my wetsuit and over my watch!! (Should’ve used more lube) Then I had to wrestle my Tri kit top, long sleeve, socks, shoes and helmet on. Finally!!! Off on the bike!!

Bike: The bike was 4 loops around for a total of 52 miles. I was by myself for the first 5 miles and then came up on a guy that I gained on and finally passed during the second loop. By the third loop there were a lot more bikers on the course doshyrunning.pnging their first and second loops. The road surfaces were super nice with only a few pot holes and rough spots to watch out for.

On my second loop going through a residential area a lawn service truck was backing out of a driveway and didn’t see me. Luckily, I saw him and was able to stay out of his way. Crisis averted!

By the third lap I could start to feel my feet. There was a bit of wind but we went in a square so some head wind, some crosswind, and the nice tailwind!
I had a pace goal for the bike that I didn’t hit. The many sharp corners slowed my average pace a bit. I felt good otherwise! I believe I came off the bike in 4th place OA. There were two pro athletes ahead.

Run: The run is two out and back “U’s” around the rowing basin. It’s flat with only two hills. I started off feeling very comfortable running 6:50’s-7:00min/mile pace for the first half. I knew that I’d eventually not feel so comfortable and that happened on the second out and back. Still averaging 7:15’s though.
There were also people running a 10k for the Olympic distance and 5K for the sprint on the same course. So there were the occasional guys sprinting by. It was so fun to see my athletes out there on the course! I finished with a time of 1:32:40 and a race time of 4:21:02.

Overall, this race was a great experience and a lot of fun! I learn something at every race that will make me better next time.
What’s next?
A little recovery then back to work!!!