Monday, September 10, 2012

Shoreline Biathlon

Sunday, September 9, 2012
Westerly Town Beach
5 mile run (Clamdigger Course), 16 mile bike (2 loop Misquamicut-Weekapaug:  Atlantic -> Crandall -> Shore -> Noyes Neck)

Results here (overall at top, scroll down for run portion).  1st on run, 2nd overall!
Article in Westerly Sun.

Smaller crowd than usual, likely for several reasons:  1st time held after a 3-year hiatus, dearth of publicity, no online registration, same day as FirmMan Half Ironman.
The gun went off for the start of the run, and I found myself leading right from the start.  Very soon I could not hear any footsteps at all.  What gives?  Did the gun really go off?  Maybe some are just holding back to catch me a little ways in?  I'm following the police cruiser down Atlantic Ave, so everything looks good, just don't think I've ever had a race where I never saw anyone beside me or in front of me for at least part of the race.  A mile in at 6:02 still no one is within ear shot.  Since no one is pushing me to set the pace, what pace should I run to finish strong but still leave enough in the tank for a bike race that I'll need to push hard for almost an hour?
Start of the run (from
Hit mile 2 at 6:04 in Weekapaug.  3rd mile through the turns and small hills is slower at 6:11.  I see Les walking towards me on a long stretch on Knowles Ave and ask him how far back the next runner is; he says he can't see anyone behind me.  Huh.  What to do now?  I decide to keep up the pace, and finish strong but not spent.
Follow the cruiser back onto Atlantic for mile 4 split at 6:01, and mile 5 at 6:01 also.  Finished the run in 30:34, 6:07 pace.  Two mistakes in transition:  went to the wrong bike row (again!) and then was slow untying running shoes, until I took a cue from my kids that I usually admonish them for - don't untie them, just step on the heels and extract.

Finishing up 5-mile run; photo from Greystone Racing
Expected to be overtaken in transition, but I mount the bike, look right to the end of the run course, and still don't see anyone.  Wierd feeling.  I pushed the bike hard, keeping most places 21-23mph, and somehow made it through the entire 1st 8-mile loop still in the lead.  Early on in the 2nd loop I got passed at Misquamicut State Beach by eventual winner Bob Lane and I congratulate him.  Let up for just a moment to take a good drink, but I know the rest of the wolves are just behind me ready to overtake me, so despite the legs hurting now, I push it to see how long I can hold them off.  Crossing the 4-way at Weekapaug Bridge is dicey; with cars in both directions on the bridge at high Noon now, I ride down the middle of the road passing cars at 25mph.  I end up holding the wolves off the entire race and finish 2nd overall!  I know the low attendance is contributing to this, but I also later check my past results from 2006 and 2007 and find my time today is 7-8 minutes faster than those years, so I'm feeling good!
Jumped in the ocean afterwards, then caught up with fellow WTAC'ers Steve, Polly, CarolAnn, John, etc.  The race needs quite a bit of improvement in organization, publicity, and course marking, so I offered some constructive criticism and possible assistance if desired.  Still a fun local race that I'm glad I participated in.

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