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Hagg Lake Sprint Triathlon:Shawn Bostad finished 5th overall, and 1st in the Masters Men. Congratulations, Shawn!

"I almost drown."

"Well, not really. Let me clarify. I've been racing for over 20 years and this was my first actual triathlon with very limited swim training in the last 2 years. Open water swim training is very necessary, and so important to provide comfort in choppy waters with others. You need to be in the water regularly, and if you can, train in open water weekly."

"So, with that said, I'm sure you can gather that my swim was less than spectacular. I went out like a champ for the first 200. I think I was actually in the lead in my wave, but the steam purged itself from my body after the first buoy. It was like everything went into slow motion. I managed to get out of the water and run up the long steep hill to transition in about 14:38. It did require some doggy paddling in the middle to get my bearings. The sun was so bright that I couldn't see the second buoy, but I did make it and I think I threw up a bit of water once on the bike."

"During the run up to transition, I always imagine what challenges I'll have getting off the wetsuit. There were no major issues. The wetsuit finally came off and I put on my bike shoes."

"This particular course has a steep hill out of transition, so I opted to put on my bike shoes before the flying mount. That was definitely the right choice. I was able to get going on the bike course right away. Most of the course is rolling terrain with sweeping downhills. It does have one little spicy surprise right at the park entrance. It's a hill big enough to take the wind out of your sails, and the only hill on the course that forced me out of aero."

"Since biking is my thing, I always look forward to it. I didn't get passed on the bike, and managed to pass many people in my wave and the previous wave. I saw a couple friends out there and just enjoyed the scenery. I ended the bike in about 32:39. It was good enough for the 3rd fastest bike split of the day. I wasn't feeling particularly spunky today or race ready, so I think this could have been much faster, but it's also a hilly course, which doesn't favor my strengths. Give it to me flat and fast."

"Once I was about .5 miles out of transition, I undid my bike shoes and slipped my feet out. I was prepped for my flying dismount. Since I was lacking energy and the run course was super hilly, I had no idea how the run would unfold."

"I dismounted with no issue and could hear the announcers chatting about the leaders. I was aware at that point that I was the 4th sprint distance racer on the run course. I had two options. Run my brains out to try and catch the others or simply enjoy the run at moderate effort. I chose the second option. I wasn't feeling particularly aggressive. That doesn't mean I wanted to give up places, but I wasn't going to chase down the other leaders. I ran moderately hard, and closing in on the turnaround, saw the other runners coming toward me. There was no way I'd catch them. My goal was to finish. On my turnaround, I did see another runner gaining on me. It was a younger athlete, so I wasn't worried. I'd passed him on the bike and he started ahead of me. He did eventually pass me on the run, but once he did, I maintained pace with him about 20 steps back and finished just behind him, but just ahead. My run time was 20:58, which is a very slow run for me, but I was fine with it based on the day."

"I ended up finishing 5th overall, 1st Masters Male. I got edged out for 4th by the amazingly talented Juliet Hochman. Lesson of the day: Make sure to swim more than 4 times over the course of the year before racing, even if your race is only a sprint. Also, bring your "A" game if you want to be a contender for the overall victory. Tiptoeing doesn't get you anywhere near a "W". Regardless, it was a fun and amazing race and Why Racing is doing a fantastic job."

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