The Hemet Tinsel Tri was the first tri for which I’ve had absolutely no pre-race jitters — most likely because I knew I wasn’t going to get the shit pounded out of me in the surf. Hah! there was no surf. The swim was a measly 100m in a heated, outdoor pool. More on that later.

The Tinsel Tri is also a backwards tri in that you run first, then bike, then swim.

I was hoping to hit around 36 minutes for the 5k for several reasons:

  • I’m getting better
  • It was first, so my legs were fresh
  • It was at 9 a.m., so I’d been up and, other than the 1hr45min car ride, about
  • I had time to warm up and stretch

And I did! There was no chip timing but by the time I hit the area where they had the timer for the 5k I was just over 36 minutes.

The course itself was a little dull, just around the residential neighborhood near the high school. No mile markers. One water station (I’m guestimating) a little past the halfway point.

The bike course was a flat 12 mile there-and-back. Again, not particularly scenic, but like with all my previous triathlons, I got to pass people. There was one kid I know I passed on the out direction….and passed again on the direction back. Trust me, I’ve very conscious of who passes me on the bike….and I don’t remember this kid ever passing me after I passed him. Oh well, if he cut the course, bad on him, his loss, he’s only cheating himself, and so on.

The hardest part about the swim was the fact that my bike was racked in the rack farthest from the entry/exit for the transition area (all the others were totally filled by the time I got to the race that morning) and that meant I had to traverse a fairly long distance barefoot.

Regarding the swim: I obviously decided that 100m just simply wasn’t long enough, so, considering how I entered the pool at the near corner, I ended up doing a down (following the black line), half across (going under the divider), back (following another black line), and the rest of the way across the pool width-wise (to exit up the stairs). And I swam like I’d never done the TI workshop — ARGH.

My overall time was about 1:31. I have no idea what the splits were beyond the rough estimate for the run.

Would I do this one again? Probably not, unless I combined it with a trip to Glen Ivy Spa on the way back. It’s just not scenic or interesting enough of a tri to make the 200 mile round trip worth it. But I am happy with my performance, and considering I’m not registered for any events til mid January, it was nice to do something. And the long-sleeved t-shirt’s really cute!