I was looking thru some race photos from last year and came upon a number of start photos. As you step up to the line to start a race so many things are rushing thru your head: start fast, stay relaxed, find the right feet, good T1, the list goes on. Then there seems to be a lull in those thoughts and all of your senses become heightened. The adrenaline is kicking in! The moments between "athletes take your mark" and the horn either happen so fast, or so slow, but when the horn goes everything goes out the window for about 20s. It is fight or flight mode until some clean water where you can then begin to think again and settle into the race.
The start is different to ever race. Each venue has a different beach run in, different chop, and different field size. The long run-ins offer a 4th discipline to the triathlon. A lot of time can be lost or gained here. I personally like the short entries, get it over with and swim. If it is a shallow entry then its gonna be a long exit for lap1 and lap2. Running in knee deep water is so painfully slow.
The start, so important yet so minute in terms of the race as a whole.