Lake Mills Sprint Triathlon

Cool and raining at start of race. Spotty rain on the bike and dry and warm for the run.
400m Swim / 16 Mile Bike / 5K Run

11:27 - 2:37/100 yards
1:11:56 - 13.3 mph
27:55 - 8:59 Minutes/Mile


Lake Mills Start
Lake Mills Transition Before Race

Wow! My first triathlon! I was beyond excited and beyond nervous. Fortunately I had a good friend with me also doing his first to keep the nerves in check just a bit. This race was 2 hours from home so decided to visit the race venue the day before and get a hotel. The 400 meter swim course looked like it stretched for an eternity, and that is when the fear and anxiety really set in, never having swam in a group before for a distance that, at the time, was at the top end of my ability.

Went back to the hotel for a great dinner and almost 0 hours sleep. Probably the worst night sleep I have had in a very long time.

Race morning brought spotty showers with cool temperatures and some wind. After transition closed, it was a chilly hour wait in the rain until my wave start.


Lake Mills Swim Exit
Lake Mills Swim Exit

The time came for the male novice wave to start and upon entering the water it was everything that I had read about. My heart rate spiked as I began to hyperventilate and just start swimming. I was oddly comforted by the fact that most of us were BAD swimmers. Not just slow, but, swimming in every direction but straight and bodies floating on their backs after just a 100 meters trying to catch their breath. At least I was not alone. After 11:27 of a panicked combination of breast stroke and freestyle I made it ashore after what seemed like an eternity. I was exauhsted, but, I conquerd one of my biggest fears of 43 years, swimming. Now I could really enjoy the rest of the day!


I took my time through transition and happily headed out on the bike course riding my 20+ year old mountain bike and borrowed helmet from my son. Coming from a running background, I just assumed there would be water on the course where I could fill up my water bottles, WRONG! This was the biggest mistake of the day and wound up on a 16 mile ride with no water at all.

The ride felt very long and it did not help to have a constant stream of carbon bikes with various aero wheel setups whizz past me the whole time. Being in one of the first waves, I had the pleasure of watching about the entire field pass me by.


Lake Mills Finish
Lake Mills Finish

I was elated to make it back to transition and rack my bike. Having a running background I knew this would be my strong leg and since I didn't have any fancy bike shoes to change out of I could just jump off the bike and go running. The run course was a great out and back trail run alongside the lake. The weather had cleared up and it was a beautiful sunny, mild Summer day. Now I was having fun as I started passing some of the people that passed me on the bike. I finally felt like I was part of the race and couldn't beleive it was already over when I crossed the finish line just before the 2 hour mark. There are few moments better in life than the hours following the completion of a good race. Now I was hooked and it didn't take long before I started plotting my next race.

What Went Wrong

What Went Right

Final Thoughts

Great venue and race for beginners and experienced racers. One of the few races with a novice division. Short swim makes it ideal for first time triathletes.