Bridgeland is probably my favorite local race. On the surface, there's really nothing super special about it. The course is your standard Houston sprint course: murky lake swim and flat, short bike/run courses. Oh, and heat and humidity!
But the folks at ONURMARK really know how to put on a race. Bridgeland stands out to me for a few reasons:
- Size: There are about 1500 participants. That's HUGE for a local race! It also means a lot of the folks I know are usually there and it's fun to socialize and toe the line against some of the same folks.
- Competition: It's generally a fast and competitive field. Even when I've raced well, it's been tough to finish on the podium, and that makes it a fun challenge.
- Atmosphere: Lots of spectators, lots of volunteers and a great atmosphere create a fun racing environment.
- Extras: Generally, the expo and post race "stuff" is much better than normal local races.
This'll be my third time racing Bridgeland and my expectations were pretty high. My first year (2011), I placed 3rd AG and 7th Amateur in a really good race for where I was at the time. The next year, I took 3 minutes off my time, but finished 4th AG and 8th Amateur, which really shows how competitive the field was getting. So from a 1:06 to a 1:03, I would expect an even faster time this year.
Comparing my training to last year is a bit tough. I'm injured, and last year I was leading up to a peak for Timberman 70.3, whereas this year I'm in a bit of a down period. That means I'm better rested, but haven't had the intense training from last year.