Thursday, August 2, 2012

Race the River 2012

Before a triathlon race, it is always nice to do the swim course or a portion of it before race day.  In this case the day before was packet pickup so I was able to swim ~150 yards and the finish.  The swim finish is up a ramp onto a dock for this race so it was a good reminder of what I had to do when exiting the water.
I did this race two years ago and it was the first time I got on the podium for a triathlon.  I placed 3rd and a guy named Brian Read placed 2nd.  Brian was also doing the race again so I was able to chat with him while setting up our transition.    During the swim I had my eye on him because I knew he would probably be in the top five since I noticed he also raced this last year and did well.  As we started the swim I decided to draft behind Brian to conserve energy.   About 300 yards into the swim he started to slow down so I started to go around him then he picked up his speed again, I got behind him again.   Then at the half way point he slowed again so I went around him and took off.  I knew I needed to get out of the water near him or before him.  I ran up transition and heard cheers from my family, cool!!  I took my wetsuit off on the black mesh material pathway near the bikes since transition was on dirt.   I noticed at least one other bike was gone from someone who is in my age group!  Yikes!

2010 Swim: 14:48
2012 Swim:

2010 T1: 1:50
2012 T1: 1:12
Got on the bike and I was off!  I red-lined the whole time.  I passed many other bikers since some get on the course before us and some after due to the wave starts.  The only person that passed me was Tim who is in a younger age group than me.  He said something as he passed but I couldn’t hear what he said.  I tried to stay as aero as possible and pedaled hard!  The course is three loops and it was GREAT to see and hear Rosi and the girls cheering for me each time I passed transition area.  I felt good on the bike and was happy to transition to the run.  There was one bike already racked (from my age group) so I knew there was someone in front of me. 

2010 Bike: 00:29:19
2012 Bike: 00:29:29

2010 T2: :50
2012 T2: :44

The hunter and the hunted
I saw two guys in front of me and within a mile I caught them both but unfortunately neither of them were in my age group.  I was pretty tired and started to warm up as the sun started do get warmer.   I felt good the first mile but then I started to feel fatigued.  I have always considered my run the strongest leg of a triathlon, but I wasn’t feeling it today.  I felt I should be running at 7:00 pace but at times I was running slower.  At about 1.5 miles in a guy from my age grouped passed me, darn!!  I couldn’t respond… I was in survival mode.  I was breathing hard, uncomfortable but I KEPT GOING!!   There are many turns (too many!) near the finish and I couldn’t wait.  I looked back and didn’t see anyone, but as I neared the last 150 yards I pushed as much as I can.  I didn’t notice but Brian (who beat me two years ago) was right on my tail.  I only beat him by 4 seconds!

2010 Run:  22:12
2012 Run:  22:27

2010 Finish Time: 1:09:00
2012 Finish Time: 1:07:01

3rd in my Age Group
I am so happy to be healthy enough to race triathlons and it was great to see so many friends and acquaintances out there on the course Tri-ing.  It is also great to have them competitors who give you motivation to push harder and go faster.  A big thanks to Rosi for taking pics and the kids for the huge cheers!
Best cheer team and photographer!!  Thank you!!