The Roy McConnell Triathlon Festival is a weekend of multi-sport events including olympic and sprint distance triathlons, aquathon and duathalon. The event in held in memory of Roy McConnell, an avid Ironman triathlete who was killed in a drunk driving accident in St. Pete a few years ago. You can read more about the story here.
Patrick and I hadn’t originally planned to do this race. I really wanted to do an olympic distance event before Augusta but was having a hard time finding one that fit in our schedules. When I heard about this event and realized it was a weekend we were both home, I was really excited to race it together. I’ll take any chance I get to race with this goofball
The race takes place at Moss Park in Orlando which is a two hour drive from our house. We debated whether or not to stay in Orlando the night before but decided it would just be easier to get up early and head over there race morning.
Going race morning meant waking up at 3am and being out the door by 4am. It was early, but we did it.
Packet pick up morning of was super easy. It was a pretty small race (500 athletes over the entire weekend) so there wasn’t a big line or hassle.
Transition was open and we were instructed to rack wherever we would like, so we were able to rack next to each other.
After getting set up we made our way over to the lake for the pre-race course talk.
During the course talk, Roy’s brother spoke about what the sport meant to him and his family as a way to honor his Brother. It was a pretty touching speech.
While waiting for the start I met two other girls in my division who are also racing Augusta in September. It seems we all had the same idea to get an olympic distance in before the big race.
The course was two loops of each leg.
The swim was two loops totaling 1500 meters in Lake Mary Jane. This is the first time I’ve done a lake swim and I had no idea what to expect. I was much more scared of the lake than I have ever been in the ocean. I got in ahead of the start to warm up. The lake was black and you couldn’t see anything when you put your face under the water. I did however like the fact that it didn’t taste like salt water. The temperature was perfect as well.
There were only two waves, the boys and the girls. With a field of athletes of less than 100 I guess thats the logical way to do it.
I immediately fell into a good stroke and felt surprisingly calm. Siting was a bit of an issue for me as the sun was rising directly over the first buoy. I couldn’t see it until I was just about on top of it. I decided to site the sun instead for the second loop.
I can’t believe that I’m about to type this but, the swim was actually my favorite part of the day. This was a big deal for me considering the only other olympic distance I’ve done was St. Anthony’s two years ago. Because of the rough conditions that year the St. Anthony’s swim course was shortened to 900 meters. Even though it was shorter I honestly never though I was going to get out of that water. I was grabbing kayaks for support like it was my job and was so exhausted when I got out of the water I really wasn’t sure I’d ever be able to do another triathlon.
Yesterday’s swim really proved that I should never doubt myself and my commitment.
The bike course was 24 miles on a mostly two lane road through a neighborhood. Although it was open to traffic it really wasn’t too much of an issue.
Cycling has definitely become my weakest leg of the triathlon. I felt as though I was having a really hard time keeping my speed up the whole ride.
Looking back at my bike time it was an average of 16-17 miles an hour. This is a pretty average pace for me for my longer rides.
I think the fact that it was such a small field of athletes also played mind games with me. I’m used to being on the course with other people, there were times when I was the only cyclist I could see.
I really liked the run course. It was two 3-ish mile loops at Moss Park. It was almost entirely shaded.
My legs have gotten used to the bike to run transition and I find my pace is almost always a bit faster after I spend some time on the bike. I had a really good run and actually saw my pace pick back up from where it’s been lately.
- 1500m Swim: 35m15s
- Run 1 (from swim to transition): 2m38s
- T1: 1m13s
- 40k Bike: 1h28m52s
- T2: 0:59s
- 5.6 mile Run: 59m09s
- Finish: 3:08:10
Patrick did really well. So well in fact that he won his age group.
I’m so proud of him. He really inspires me.
We hung around post race just long enough for the sky to open up and get absolutely poured on getting our bikes out of transition.
Overall, it was a great race. The course is pretty much totally shaded and very peaceful. The two loops on each leg made it all go by a lot faster. I would absolutely do this race again and look forward to racing more in the future at Moss Park.