My second triathlon in Arizona was the 15th Annual Anthem Holiday Classic, held on Saturday, December 10, 2016. It consisted of a 400m pool swim, 20k bike, and 5k run (bike and run on a fairly flat course). For the swim, men went before women at 9am, followed by relay, and then women (youngest to oldest) at 9:35am. This was my first experience with serpentine-style, and found it a little frustrating to get past slower swimmers, but fortunately it was only congested in a few places. We did eight lengths and then got out of the pool to return to the start for a second loop. Weather was great, by the time I got out of the pool around 10am it must have been in the low 60s. The bike course was 3 loops in a designated bike lane, which separated us from vehicular traffic around the entire course. Lots of police helping us at the intersections – route was easy to follow! The run utilized the paved Anthem Trail System and sidewalks. Overall, a flat course – first half was slight downhill and then back up to the finish.
There were four other women in my age group – all of them looked quite fit and seemed experienced. I just assumed that I didn’t have a chance to place in the top three. However, I was reasonably certain that I finished the swim before all of them, and then didn’t see them on either the bike or run courses. But it wasn’t until I finished and checked the results that I found that I was first at 01:31:39, a little over six minutes faster than the second woman! My complete race results are on the 4 Peaks Racing results page.
They started taking podium photos before the 2nd and 3rd place females came in, so the first one they took was just me. They took other photos later of all three of us, but those weren’t posted for some reason.
In lieu of medals, they gave the winners printed pint glasses (although they ran out before everyone got one). I took mine to Freak’n Brewery after the race and had a tasty IPA!