Oakland Triathlon Festival – Sprint Race Report

To say that this year has been a whirlwind is an understatement! Continuing to feel more comfortable in the water has been a major progression of mine. Something I worked very hard on during the offseason.

Early in the season, I was selected by USA Productions as one of their 2015 Ambassadors. This was a major accomplishment and an honor. With all of the hard work, the dedication to social media (that sounds weird, doesn’t it?) and just through the love of the sport, the local community was talking back.

With the Ambassador Program came such responsibilities as promoting the races via social media, showing up to the races, as many as possible, sporting the gear, talking to the participants and being an overall great athlete / human being. Well, throw in a marriage back in Michigan into this equation and something had to slip…with all of the races that USAP held this year, I was only able to make it to two of them.

Morgan Hill Sprint – Race Report here

Then, USAP’s final race of the season. Sponsored by the City of Oakland and put on by USA Productions. The Oakland Triathlon Festival. I opted for the Sprint due to the close proximity to Ironman 70.3 Santa Cruz quickly approaching on 9/13.

Sara and I drove up on Friday night after a quick swim at her office’s rooftop pool in downtown San Jose. There was a little German restaurant next to the hotel so we grabbed dinner there with Jeff Tse, a fellow Santa Cruz Triathlon Association member and good friend.

Since the sprint race was starting so early, my wave was 6:34 a.m., I woke early and headed to Starbucks for my much needed Grande Blonde roast with 1 inch of stemmed half & half. Yum!!

I also created a YouTube video of race day. Check it out HERE!!!!!!!


Swim – .6 miles (into the current) – 18:28 –

With my swim taking major strides (or strokes, haha), I positioned myself in the middle of the front line for the deep water start. As the gun went off, I made a major effort to get out in front and stay with the leaders for the first 150-200 meters before backing down, letting my heart rate settle and get into my rhythm. I was amazed at how my heart rate didn’t jump too high and I just used long and smooth strokes to stay out in front. Nearly half way through I jumped on the toes of a swimmer that I was trying to pass for a minute or so. I kept (legally) drafting him for the remainder of the swim and thanked him kindly when we got out of the water.

My swim on strava:


T1 – 4:26 –

T1 had you exit the water, run a few hundred meters to the train-tracks overpass which you had to climb 6 flights of stairs to get up to…and then yes, you had to descend the same stairs on the other side and then burst into transition.

Bike – 12 miles – 32:54 –

I have been working on my flying mount and since it was raining, I opted for my road bike (The Breeze) which allowed me to fly a bit easier coming out of transition. It was raining quite heavily so I didn’t take the turns too quickly or get out of my saddle for major efforts as I didn’t want my slick tires to skirt out on me. Overall good effort and I was never once passed.

My bike on strava:


T2 – :57 –

Pretty standard. Flying dismount and a sprint to my bike and quickly put on my zoot slippers, which is what I like to call them. Off to the run…

Run – 5k (3.1 miles) – 22:47 –

As I departed transitioned Sara ran with me for 20-30 meters and was very excited! She kept telling me that I was the 8th person out of transition. Great news!

The run was out to the Lakeside Park, through a good amount of homeless camps, and then back. On the way back it is always good to assess where you are in the field and how much comfort room you have. Running parallel to the train tracks I knew that the stairwell was coming again as the finish line was on the water side. Running up the steps as quick as I could was painful but I knew that the finish line was quickly approaching and I kept a solid pace all the way to the finish.

My run on strava:



Overall a solid race put on by a great company. Finishing time of 1:19:35.3rd in my Age Group and 9th overall. I was within 1:26 of 2nd place so just a little quicker on the swim, more hammering on the bike or a little quicker on the run and I would have moved up a few spots. That’s alright….NEXT YEAR!

Thank you, USA Productions, for everything you have done this year! Next year is going to be a blast with so many other races to participate in (Half Moon Bay, South Bay Dualathon, Catfish, etc…).

GoPro 3

Thank you to Santa Cruz Triathlon Association for being my best friends and the best training partners a triathlete could ask for!

Thank you, BioSkin, for your support in my recovery.

Thank you, GU Energy Labs, for your nutrition (and caffeine) out on course!