This is the inaugural race for Big Lake and is a new addition to a series of races that include another triathlon that took place in July and a half marathon in September. The name Graniteman comes from the area in which all the races take place, central Minnesota. The largest town in this area is St. Cloud, MN (about 30 miles from Big Lake) and is home to large deposits of granite. Quarries have operated in this area since the 1880's and thusly the city of St. Cloud is nicknamed the "Granite City".
Well its the first of 2 triathlons this year, but the next one is the Square Lake Long Course in September and that'll be a bit more challenging. So this race is one part training for Septembers race and one part fun...mostly fun I hope.
The location of the race seems like it should be favorable for a fast race, but of course a lot of other variables come into play...weather mostly. It could be windy, rainy, hotter than the surface of the sun, or all of the above. In any case, it should be a fun course. Here's my course description for each leg;
Swim: The swim course takes place at the local beach (Lakeside park beach) which is on the southwest corner of Big Lake...not terribly original when it comes to naming lakes, beaches, and roads (I'll get to this later) in this area I'd have to say. I guess Wet Lake and Sandy Beach were taken. Anyway, It's a triangular course which will have us starting on the right side of the beach and angling out to the left and making one turn and coming back towards the left side of the beach.
The swim distance is .33 mile, 531 meters, or 580 yards, depends on which one you prefer. In any case, I'm just hoping to kick and flail my way through without incident.
Bike: After I entered the bike course route into Map My Ride, it appears that its very flat and should be fast. Other than that, I have nothing to go on until tonight when I drive the course. I'm actually feeling pretty good about the bike this year as I've already spent more time in the saddle than I did last year in prep for my Olympic tri. If conditions are decent, I think I can surpass my overall bike pace PR.
Run: The run course is a 5K and is also flat and fast and takes place on Lakeshore Ave (Again...not a very original name, but at least I won't forget where I'm at). I've done a few brick workouts and all have gone very well and the last two I've done have been sans socks. I haven't done a tri since last September, but I feel my fitness level is in a good place and I plan on pushing as hard as I can at this point.
So there you have it, my Graniteman Big Lake Triathlon preview. Next post will be my race report.