My first tri of the year. Arrived about an hour early to set up and get body marked. Ran into a lot of familiar faces, including Jeff Duda, Steve Schonning, Josh and Kate, Bob Lohmann (NSEF RD), Melanie (Pawcatuck Lions RD). That helped my nerves a little bit, as did going out for a short run out to the bridge at Mystic Point and back.
Results: 1:24:07, 37th out of 188. Age group 5th out of 20. Full results here.
By comparison, in 2008 (only other time I've run this), I was 77 of 214, and age group 11 out of 20, so I'd say that's progress.
Swim: 20:49, 135 out of 188. [can't compare to 2008, as swim course differed] After brief instructions and the national anthem, the first wave (Men under 40) was off swimming their 0.5 mile triangular course (Jeff D later told me he measured it at 0.7). Three minutes later we (Men 40 & over) were off, followed three minutes after that by the final wave (Women). The water was colder than Watchaug Pond yesterday, but not nearly as cold as the ocean. I got kicked and my legs grabbed a few times, but all minor. Got into my slow but sure rhythm and made my way across the Mystic River to the first buoy, where we turned to the right. I was thrilled when the second buoy seemed to come up quickly as I thought that the last one, until I next saw us swimming towards a third buoy - damn, I must have read the map wrong. Around the 3rd buoy, and finally I can see the beach!! Made my way swimming through huge wooden upright poles, made the beach, and ran awkwardly up the shore while stripping out of my cap, goggles, and wetsuit. Polly knows my Achilles heal, as she yelled to me, "Your worst part is over, Jeff".
Bike: 42:15, 46th place [2008 comparison: 47:18, 129th place]. After a long T1 of 2:12 (was I taking a nap?), the bike race was on. In the first few miles, I passed dozens of cyclists (mostly women - not a knock on the fairer sex, but rather a knock on me as I had a 3 minute head start on all women in the swim and many were ahead of me now). Heard a cyclist coming up on me fast. I got chicked. Maybe she's a stronger cyclist than me, maybe she's not, but only one way to find out: pour it on. Passed her about 1/2 mile later, and never looked back, as I pushed hard the rest of the course continuing to pass cyclists on flats, up hills, down hills, over beautiful countryside. Later found out I averaged 19.7 mph - my fastest bike portion of a tri ever! I someone managed not to get passed by anyone on the bike; let's see how I can do on the run.
|Runner leaving transition area to start run portion|
|Finish line: End of the race|
- Strong bike portion, fastest ever.
- Smooth T2.
- Pushed it hard on end of run on tired legs.
- What a blast! I had just an awesome time out there, and can't wait to do it again. I'd swap out a straight running race for a tri in a heartbeat (well, except for maybe the price difference), even though I'm much better at running than tris.
- Really slow swim. Have to continue to work on that, and maybe consider a swim clinic.
- My T1 was just too disorganized. Where did I put my sunglasses, etc.? Need to get it together.
- My run paces were too inconsistent, even after factoring in that it's hard to get off the bike and immediately run.
- Biggest disappointment: looking at my race calendar, and seeing my next tri isn't for 7 weeks. :(
Best quotes (approximate), unsolicited, giving me a lot of inspiration at the event:
- From a runner I passed with less than a mile to go: "Dude, did you bike any part of the bike course at all? Seriously, you shouldn't have that kind of energy."
- From Jeff Duda (race winner): "I was watching you running, and you just looked a man in a sea of boys running."
Now I'm sure they said the opposite of me on my swim, but it did make my day.