Sandling Beach Formula 1 Sprint


I raced Setup Events’ Sandling Beach Formula 1 sprint last weekend and had a blast!  I enjoyed the Old School Aquathon races put on by One Step Beyond and FS Series years ago, so I thought it would be fun to mix it up at the end of the season with something different again this year.  This race consisted of a 5 mile two-loop bike course inside the Sandling Beach Park, followed by an out and back 2k run, 500 meter open water swim, another 5 mile bike and 2k run, and then repeat the swim bike and run one more time (15 mile bike, 6k run and 1000 swim total).

The first bike was a self seeded time trial start, so I got near the front with Bri Gaal and several of my TMS-IOS teammates and headed out on the course a little after 9:00 am (the later start was really nice).  The course was only 2.5 miles long so there were lots of turns, a few hills and three speed bumps in each direction.    Despite these obstacles it was still possible to build some decent speed on the course.

The run was in the opposite direction from the bike course and started uphill, which made it even harder to adjust to running. However, it did have some flatter sections in the middle and a downhill finish!

The swim was nice but very shallow due to low water levels.  It was wetsuit legal (77 degrees I think), but since the swim was not first I don’t think anyone bothered to put on a wetsuit in transition.  The water actually felt perfect without a wetsuit.  It definitely felt different swimming after biking and running.  My arms felt like lead, and I felt like I was barely moving.  The shallow water certainly didn’t help.

Mentally, it was nice breaking up the bike,  run and swim into smaller chunks.  It was easier to focus on each section since they were short, even though there were 7 transitions!  It was also nice not having to worry about cars on the bike course.

I ended up 5th overall female, behind teammates Kelsey and Stephanie who were 1st and 3rd overall. Not bad considering the fact that it has been a very tough summer for me training wise.  Since turning 50 last year, I haven’t felt the same physically, and really struggled with my training in the humidity this summer, especially on the run.  However, now that the weather is finally starting to turn I am starting to feel more like myself and look forward to winter training, and hopefully a better racing season next summer!  This race also reminded me that racing in triathlons is fun, even when you’re not in the best shape.  I hope Setup Events will keep this race on the schedule for next year!
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Cari Soleo

About Cari Soleo

I am originally from Greenville, NC but have been living in the Triangle area for more than twenty years since graduating from UNC-Chapel Hill (Go Heels!) For most of my middle and high school years I played tennis, but in college I took up running to stay in shape, and continued to run on and off after school. Like many other moms, I started running again to get back into shape after having kids. In the summer of 2006 I decided to take on my first half marathon that October. While training for my half, I started swimming for cross training, which I really enjoyed. At the time, it seemed like everyone I met was talking about the sport of triathlon, so the following year I added biking to the mix and trained for my first sprint triathlon at Riverwood in April of 2007. One race and I was hooked! Over the past seven years, I have done many races, from sprint to half ironman distance, and have run several half and full marathons. My husband trains and competes in triathlons with me, and we have two kids, aged 11 and 13, who are competitive swimmers (and way faster than me). I am very excited to join such a talented team this year and look forward to another great season!