Monday, August 6, 2012

Block Island Triathlon

Block Island Triathlon
Saturday, August 4, 2012, 3:39PM start for my wave.  Hot, sunny, humid, in the 80s.

1:18:13, 15th out of 341.  Results here.
The bad news is that the age group awards only went one deep; the good news is I won my age group!  This was huge for me as my first time winning age group in a tri; I usually don't even place.

Swim:  9:37, 146th place.
Short 1/4 mile triangular swim.  Started way back in wave 7 of 10.  This one starts out weird with a 50-yard dash on the sand, past a flag, then you enter the water.  It's kind of neat as you run past the roped off crowd.  Swim out to the first two buoys went fine.  After that, with the sun in my eyes looking west and a little water in my goggles, I had trouble seeing the exit point on the beach.  When I came out of the water, realized I had overshot the pavilion and lost some time running in the water back to the exit chute.

Bike:  41:44, 56th place.
Average speed 17mph, maximum 33.  This was a tough, hilly, two-loop, 12 mile course.  Long hill up to the airport, then rollers constantly up and down for the rest of the loop, then repeat.  I was hot and exhausted by the end of the 2nd lap and riding back to the beach.

Transition area

Run:  26:52, 5th place.
4 miles barefoot on the beach, baking in the sun, with two turn-arounds.  Exiting transition at Town Beach, headed south for maybe 1/2 mile, getting a view of the competition.  Rounded the flag, then continued picking off runners, lost count after 100.  As I passed Steve (a first in a tri), I asked if I could still get a ride home, and he told me only if I slowed down!  Felt so hot; occasionally ran through the water's edge giving only a little relief.  Where is that dang turnaround at Mansion Beach?!!

Runner on the last part of the course
Polly and another competitor
crossing the finish line

Finally hit the turn-around, gulped down water, passed Mark Burbelo, and headed back into a headwind.  My speed slowed, less runners in front of me now.  Finally, back at the Town Beach Pavilion, we leave the water's edge and run through the softer sand where the finish line is on the opposite side of the building.  I'm exhausted, but as I'm running towards the building in the soft sand I see a runner in front of me with "47" (his age) marked on his leg, and in what turned out to be my smartest move all day, decide to go for it.  A spectator is yelling at him to speed up as someone (me) is right behind him, but it's over quickly as I sprint past him, past the building, sharp turn, and sprint to the finish.
My first ever triathlon trophy!
Will proudly display this one.
I had no idea how I placed, and was shocked to see the results posted that I was 15th overall and won my first ever triathlon age group!  I should really take biking and swimming training seriously, as I have much room for improvement in both.
Gladly waited for the awards, while I jumped back in the water a number of times to try to cool off, then showered and changed.  Picked up my award, then went to Ballards for some drinks with Steve and Polly, and even caught up with Tom on the way back to the ferry.  Exhausted, but FUN! 

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