The twenty-third annual Tiburon Triathlon will be on the 28th of July 2013 - as always, the last Sunday in July. The course is a half mile swim (not measured, so it varies from year to year), a nine mile bike, and a two mile run. Proceeds benefit the Tiburon Volunteer Firefighters Association.
PREPARATION AND MATTERS OF FASHION:It helps to train a little, but it is certainly not essential. It is a little beyond our scope to discuss training techniques, but a basic program should include all three disciplines under somewhat similar conditions. Pool swimmers should find some open water to wean themselves from the black line and learn to navigate. The two keys to open water swimming are to open up your stroke to recover your arms over, not through, waves and to look up from time to time to navigate. Preferences vary, but folks go anywhere from two to twelve strokes between looks, with eight being about right. Waves and tides are usually not factors in the Tiburon Triathlon, which takes place in sheltered waters.
Any type of bike can be used in our Triathlon. If you ride a mountain bike, it would make sense to spend some time on pavement, especially our course, to work on cornering technique and to become more comfortable with cars. We do not inspect bikes, so you must ensure yours is safe working condition. Our favorite local bike shops are Pacific Bicycle in Novato and San Francisco, Bicycle Odyssey in Sausalito, Sunshine in Fairfax, and City Cycle in San Francisco.
The run is flat pavement so the only issue would be for a trail runner who is not attuned to asphalt. We did have one guy stumble and fall on the run. All things are possible.
The one place where you can make a difference, without much effort or training, is the transition. A good transition is carefully choreographed in advance to change clothes and equipment as efficiently as possible. Many people forego gloves for the bike. Do not forego your helmet.
If you are new to multi-sports, you will probably take a while to find the right combination of nutrition and energy without feeling logy. Basically, for breakfast you can safely count on light carbohydrates, such as bagel, toast, or cereal. An energy bar or gel might be perfect 15 to 30 minutes before starting. Coffee should be used only in moderation. In the hour to two that the Tiburon Triathlon takes, you should not require additional fueling if you have had a decent breakfast. (Gels work well for inflight refueling.)
Clothes are a tough call. As you may have seen from the Olympics or Ironman coverage, the individualists of triathlon have become strikingly conformist in sartorial matters. Women wear two piece workout swimsuits. (We are partial to Zoot.) Men wear triathlon-cut, Speedo-type suits, adding a running singlet after the swim, or a bib-type tri-suit.
In our short event, the simplest combination is a Speedo-type suit for the swim, with running shorts and a singlet or T-shirt added for the bike and run. If you do not have cleated cycling shoes, you may want to wear your running shoes down to the swim area to wear running back to the bike transition area. You can leave shoes on the lawn where the swim ends.
Do you need a wetsuit? Not necessarily. We have not surveyed with any precision, but about 90% of our participants wear wetsuits. Given the very short swim, only a person with an extreme aversion to cold water or a very thin person needs to be concerned about a wetsuit. Beside their warmth, wetsuits provide added buoyancy to make swimmers swim faster. However, any such advantage may be negated by the extra time required to extricate yourself from the wetsuit. We do not check either the water temperature or the tide. We have been told that the water has been as cool as 58 degrees. There is negligible tidal flow in Belvedere Cove.
A word of caution about cold water swimming: If you intend to swim without a wetsuit, you will have an unpleasant shock if you have not prepared suitably. That would be equally true for other non-wetsuit events such as the Olympic Club’s Trans-Tahoe Relay race or the open division in the RCPTiburonMile race from Angel Island to Tiburon. To swim comfortably in cold water, you need to train in cold water. Good local open water practice venues are Paradise Park in Tiburon, China Camp in San Rafael, Stinson Beach, Crown Beach in Alameda, and Aquatic Park in San Francisco.
1679 Tiburon Blvd.Tiburon, CA 94920(415) 435-7200Fax (415) 435-7205
Monday - Friday8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.
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