Monday, September 12, 2016

Rhode Warrior Sprint Tri

Misquamicut, RI
Sunday, August 21, 2016

After two consecutive years of participating in the Rhode Warrior Half Ironman and a disastrous race for me last year, I had no plans to return this year.  I also have not been biking or swimming much at all this summer, but when Kathy added a sprint option coupled with Matthew's enthusiasm for the sprint, I decided to give it a whirl.  I was not disappointed.
Talking it up before the start of the swim.
Relaxed.  Not one iota of nervousness.
What is an iota, anyway?

Swim (1/4 mile):  9:27 (unfortunately finishing places were not given in individual sport events, but no doubt I was toward the back of the 78 finishers)
For reference, the fastest time was 5:53, Matthew's time was 7:54, and other than an outlier at greater than 20 minutes, the slowest time was 15:58.
Heading out to start the swim.  I'm in red cap on far left.

Converging on the 1st buoy.

The usual traffic jam at the buoy.
(Nice close-up by Jana.)

Had initial trouble with this one.  Immediately upon diving through a wave, my goggles came right off my eyes and filled with water.  I stopped twice to fix them, losing valuable time, and finally plodded on best I could.  When I came out of the water, noticed I had also lost my swim cap somewhere during the swim.  Maybe same time as goggles incident?  That was a first for me.
Rejoice!  The swim is done!
Stripping off the wetsuit to get ready for the bike.

T1:  1:31.  Matthew was finishing up in T1 as I was just coming into it.
He's got his helmet and shoes on and near ready to go,
while I'm still barefoot.

Bike (8 miles):  22:35.  Third on bike, just 41 seconds behind leader.  The loop around the pond seemed almost too short.  I caught Matthew just after the Weekapaug Breachway, passed a few cyclists, and after turning onto Shore Road and immediately passing one more, I never saw another cyclist until just before the finish back on Atlantic Ave.  Once on the return on Atlantic Avenue, the race rule is no more aerobars.  Still managed to average just north of 20mph.
Dismounting at end of bike.
Heading into T2.

T2:  1:02.  I thought that was pretty good, until I saw that the overall winner went through T2 in 28 seconds!
Starting the run.  It looks like I'm dodging between vehicles,
but actually these emergency vehicles are stopped in the road to afford protection to
the cyclists and runners.

Run (3.9 miles):  24:26.  Second on run.  Guess who got 1st place?  You only get one guess.
Started out the first mile at a slow 6:52.  It always takes me a little while to get the gumby-esque legs to get rolling after a ride, but it shouldn't be that slow.  Passed a guy about a mile in that looked like the run was painful to him.  Saw the lead runner, a young guy on the UConn Tri Team, on his way back with no one anywhere near him.  Coming into Weekapaug I passed one more runner and could see two more just rounding the turnaround on the far side of the bridge.
Just after the turnaround, mile 2 split was 6:44.  Better, but still too slow.  On the return run, I caught up to and passed both runners right around Breach Drive (just past Seaside).  As I passed the second runner I could now see Matthew on the opposite side of the road heading towards the Weekapaug Breachway turn-around.  I yelled to him to come catch me.  He was moving (which was a good thing to be moving, as this was a race after all).  With Matthew on my heels now, and less than half of the run to go, I finally picked it up.  It's inevitable that he will beat me in tris as well, but I'm not giving in.  Mile 3 split was down to 6:20.  I was expecting Matthew to pass me any second, as I continued to pick it up for the final mile.  Final split 5:57!
Finishing strong!

Final results:  59:01.  2nd overall.  Full results here
Matthew finished a mere 27 seconds behind me, and since his run time trounced mine by over three minutes (you didn't really guess the run winner to be anyone but Matthew, did you?), it looks like I had only about 1/2 mile of runway left before he overtook me.  Congrats to Tom, who also had a podium finish in his Olympic race.  We had just arrived from Florida about Midnight the night before after driving most of the day, so I had zero expectations on both my race performance and fun factor.  Turned out both went quite well!  Like Block Island Tri, the race distance proportions favor runners.
As Tom texted me later that same day,
not too many Dads can say they stood on the winners' podium with their son.

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