Despite numerous team athletes having participated in this annual event this was the first time the Pensacola Beach Triathlon was an official team race and it did not disappoint. Everyone was treated to a fantastic race thanks to the organizers, volunteers, and sponsors. A big shout out goes to all those who make this race possible!
In contrast to a chilly start at Traditions Triathlon just a few weeks ago, athletes at the Pensacola Beach Tri were blessed with mild and calm racing conditions Saturday morning. The swim starts in waist-deep water and follows the shore before making a ninety-degree left hand turn into the home stretch. A fter lots of dolphin diving in a low tide athletes reached the flat run into transition. Many of the Gulf Coast Tri Team athletes chose to race in the elite wave and enjoyed a clear swim.
The wind was eerily, and pleasantly, calm on the bike leading to some speedy bike splits. Even passing the wind funnels of the Portofino towers the bikes were steady in the slight crosswind. Slow swimmers and fast bikers sorted themselves out on the ten mile out and back bike. The course had a lane just for bikes both directions and volunteers and officials did a great job controlling traffic leaving the athletes with only one things to do, race.
After a sharp left hook into transition off the bike athletes were left to fight out the overall finishing order on the three mile run. Temperatures were heating up but overall, for Florida in May, it was a pleasant but painful run through the quiet neighborhoods of Pensacola Beach.
The postrace celebration and awards at Flounders left nothing to be desired with food, beverages, a playground for the kids, and of course, the beautiful beach. Overall, it was a good day for the Gulf Coast Tri Team athletes who took five of the top ten spots, including overall by Allen Stanfield, in the elite category. Caleb Earhart earned himself podium placement for the 20-24 grouping and Spence Cocanour (who also gets the “award” for most prepared with postrace beverages) topped the 40-44 age group while the one-two punch of Doug Jones and Terry Bailey took first and second respectively in the 60-64 age group.
Finally, thanks to our sponsors who make amazing experiences like this one possible!