My first test of the season was Yokohama triathlon.
Given the tough conditions, I was relatively happy with the result.
Meg, Ty, friend Reiko, and my parents all came down for the entire race, and so it was a big lift to see them cheering on the sidelines. Here are the results in a nutshell:
Swim: 29:33, 164th place
Bike: 1:14:16, 97th place.
Run: 41:49, 153th place
Total 2:25:38, 106th place out of 938 finishers, 89 percentile
16th in age group out of 165, 90 percentile
The conditions weren’t super tough, but it was choppy out on the swim. Than you have to run 800 meters barefoot to the bike transition (the hazards of big city races). The bike course is very technical with 2 hairpin turns. That is actually an improvement from 4 years ago. It was windy and there are hills as well. The run was fairly runner-friendly except that it was getting hot by 11 AM. And they subtract 500 meters from the 10k run as a consolation for running 800 meters out of the water.
Swim: I arrived late and barely got into my group before we were paraded into the Yokohama Bay for our 3 minute warmup. I made sure to do 20-30 quick strokes to get the shoulder warmed up as much as I could. And the all-important pee-pee 1 minute before the start gun. The gun sounded and it was a rather smooth deep water start. I tried to swim hard to get away from the main swimmers but careful not to overexert my tender left shoulder. It worked rather well and after 200 meters I had decent space. But my sightings weren’t that good and I was getting knocked around by the chopping waters. It seemed like forever to get to the first buoy, than the 2nd and 3rdbuoys before swimming back to base for the 2nd lap. I didn’t have a watch on so no idea what my 1H split was. But it felt very slow. For the first buoy you were swimming with the waves at your left side, which was tough. Than at the first turn you had a back wake which made it easier. I tried to swim harder the second lap and felt pretty good, feeling slightly faster than the first lap. Turns out I was out of the water in 29:33, pretty damn slow. I usually do 25 minutes.
Bike: It is a technical yet interesting course, 6.5k loop times 6 laps. You have to decide how aggressive you are going to take the turns. I went conservative on the first loop, feeling out the course, coming out of aero position on the sharp turns, and braking hard on the hairpin turns. After the 2nd or 3rd laps I took the turns more aggressively, staying in aero except for the hairpin turns.I was passing 100s of bikers and only got passed once. I felt my effort level was fairly high but I had something left in the tank for the run. I finished the bike in 1:07, not bad for that kind of course and wind. My total bike time was 1:14:16 including the 2 transitions.
Run: My T2 transition went smoother than T1 and I headed out of the zigzag gate at 4:20 pace. First split was 4:28 which felt just fine. I aimed for a 43-44 minute run. I started to feel fatigue at 2k or so, but kept seeing my family, NAS, nanbanners, which helped a great deal. They were telling me to go go go Motozo! And I was telling them to shout louder and louder! The run is 2 loops up and down the bay line with nice views and one difficult ramp. After the final lap I could tell from my garmin that the course was going to be around 9.5k and sprinted to the finish under 42 minutes. Run officially was 41:49.
So my total of 2:25:38 was good enough for 106th place out of 938 finishers, or top 11% of the finishers. In my age group, I finished 16th out of 165, or top 10%.
As usual, my bike was most competitive, followed by the run and swim. I just got back in the NAS pool last month after taking the whole winteroff, so that mediocre swim was somewhat expected. Still have some work to do for the next races including Oshima Triathlon on June 4, but feel somewhat ready.
I wanna thank my Mother, my Father, my wife, and my son for getting out of bed early and coming down to the race! And all the supporters out there were fantastic.
As far as the race course goes, I have mixed feelings. It was a great day with awesome weather and so many supporters from Tokyo and Yokohama. The swim is choppy and dirty, bike course tough, technical, hilly. The run is the only part without any major obstacles.
Motozo has been covering Japan stocks and tech since 1997. Former shops include from most recent: Advanced Research, Religare, MF Global, Jefferies, Japaninvest, Credit Agricole, Panasonic, Okaya Electronics, Mitsubishi Chemical.