I jumped in the water and my googles started leaking, AGAIN. This time, I just ignored it and pushed on. They seem to seal after leaking briefly. After 100 yards or so, I had habituated to the water slosh on my eye and it didn't bother me anymore. The Garmin 910XT says I swam 492 yards instead of 400. I did take the long stretch too wide, but I wouldn't have expected that much additional distance.
Transition 1 (T1)
I came out of the swim feeling strong and immediately passed several people on the way to my bike. This was the first race where I intentionally didn't put socks on for the ride. This may have been my fastest ever T1 too. Feet in shoes, glasses on, helmut on, snap the clasp, and grab bike and run. John Hanna, my coach, had suggested that I run the bike right on past the mount line up the little hill at the start and mount at the intersection where the slope was downhill. He was right. I passed 5 people right there that I never saw again.
I love riding the route from the picnic area at Oak Mountain State Park to the "Fishing Lake" (see the Garmin results link for map, above). Good long rolling hills with long climbs and long descents. I played my usual cat and mouse with several riders where I pass them going downhill and they pass me going up hill. But, in general, I think I passed more riders than riders that passed me. The ride felt good from beginning to end.
I put on socks that I heard another participant call "wicking" socks. They are very thin and extremely easy to put on. Shoes on and tied (next improvement needs to be an easy to secure string system), visor, downed a big gulp of water, and grabbed the gatorade energy gels John, my son, had given me the day before. Off to the run.
John had also coached me to take it easy for the first part and kick it in for the later bits. Well, I did. Split paces (Garmin measured the distance as 2.89 miles):