The Ron Jon Cocoa Beach Triathlon is one of my favorite sprint triathlons in Florida. The swim is smooth and normally fairly calm. It is a flat bike and you run on a golf course. The best part is you have a ton of beautiful views while you race.
Be prepared, it is about a quarter mile walk from the parking lot to transition. So onto my day of racing.
I woke up at 3:30, had my pre-race breakfast and was in the car by 4:15 am. I arrived at the site of the triathlon around 5:45am. I picked up my packet, put my number on my bike, and arrived to transition to set up my bike and run stuff. After I was done, I walked around and said hello to some of the people in the triathlon community I know and sat down to wait. The race started at 7:30 and my wave was early. Around 7:00 am I got in the water and had a warm-up swim. I felt good but was nervous. I had been training hard, and hoped my training would pay off.
I lined up in my wave. Soon enough we were in the water waiting to start. The announcer called thirty seconds until we go. I took a few deep breaths. "Breathe, relax, focus" I said in my head. The buzzer went off and everyone took off. I settled into my pace. I sighted the buoys and saw there were plenty of the same colored caps around me. I kept swimming and soon enough I saw the exit hole through the mangroves. I made it out of the swim and ran to my bike. After a quick transition and a run to the mount line I was off. My coach told me to hammer the bike so I was giving it everything I had. I couldn't believe how fast the turnaround came. I smiled knowing I was having a fantastic race. I would be pleasantly surprised when I checked my garmin after the race I had a great bike time and was actually faster the last five miles of the bike.
I turned onto the road back to transition and pedaled as fast as I could to the dismount line. I assessed how I was feeling. I think I'm ok. My biggest fear was hammering the bike and dying on the run.
After parking my bike and changing into my running shoes, it was onto the run. My legs just seemed to kick into gear. I had fairly consistent miles. After 3.1 miles, I crossed the finish line. I was elated, I had a good race.
I had raced in October, but I felt so out of place and out of shape. It made me question whether I should keep doing the sport. Why was I doing this? I felt like my body wasn't responding to training. This race was the complete opposite. I smiled the whole time.
It was so fun being among the excited athletes. Some were doing their first triathlon while others were very experienced and there was everything in between. This race got me excited to train and continue my triathlon journey.
I received my medal and headed to the finish line for refreshments. They have the normal fruits and some sort of carb at the finish line, but the best thing about their finish line party is Carib Brewery has some of their beer there. Personally, I think every race should have Carib's Pineapple Cider. It is so refreshing after a warm race and delicious. I showered in the showers they had available and headed home after a quick picture at the swim start.
I was a little nervous about this race. I was hoping my training would show my improvements which it did. One of the biggest things it did was bring my love back for the sport. It made me remember why I train, not only to get faster but because it is fun. We get to do this. Yes I hope to get faster and continue to improve, but it's a sprint not a marathon.
Ron Jon Cocoa Beach Triathlon: https://cocoabeachtriathlon.wordpress.com/
Carib Brewery: https://caribbreweryusa.com/
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