A few weeks ago, I raced my first draft-legal triathlon at the Sun Devil Draft-Legal Classic in Tempe, AZ. Since then, I’ve had several friends ask about my experience. Besides the usual “I swam, I biked, I ran” and the “nothing” or “everything went as planned” play by play race report write up that you frequently see online, here is my take on racing a draft-legal triathlon:
DRAFT-LEGAL RACING IS THE MOST FUN!!
If you like to race without all the stress of people freaking out about the water temperature, you should race draft-legal.
If the idea of lining up on the beach and then running into the water at the same time as everyone sounds like fun, you should race draft-legal.
If you like to race alongside athletes who want to go fast and have a good time, you should race draft-legal.
If you enjoy chasing after a pack of athletes cycling faster than you, you should race draft-legal.
If you thrive on pushing in zone 5, 6, 7+ (full anaerobic) over and over and recovering in zone 4 (heart rate/power), you should race draft-legal.
If you’re a minimalist and enjoy keeping your transition area nice and tidy without a towel and backpack, you should race draft-legal.
If you love racing on your road bike (sans aerobars), you should race draft-legal.
If you don’t care about qualifying for Kona but qualifying for the ITU World Championships (2020-Edmonton, Canada; 2021-Bermuda) sounds like fun, you should race draft-legal.
If you’re looking for something different and challenging (because we all know you can finish an IRONMAN, you’ve done plenty), you should race draft-legal.
If you still love training and racing hard but want a life outside of triathlon, you should race draft-legal.
In a nutshell, it was just as fun as it was fast and furious. Even though it was a sport I was very familiar with, it was a different scene that reignited the excitement and enjoyment I have struggled to find after racing 140.6’s for a handful of years. It kicked my butt more than ever, and my calves were screaming for two days after the race. It was definitely unexpected after racing a sprint distance triathlon, but a great reminder that my body still has a bit of pep inside and plenty of butt-kicking left to do. Until the next one…