Today was my fourth McKinney Triathlon. Every year that I have done this race there has been horrific weather. This year the storms held off until the exact moment that my butt hit the saddle on my bike!
Then all hell broke loose!
They say that you should not race with a bunch of new equipment. So with that in mind, I went out yesterday to get some new bike shoes. I figured those would go well with my new run shoes and the new race wheel that VickyP donated to the cause.
Another new thing that I tried this year, was doing my warmup swim in my Speedo rather than in the TriSuit. That way I would not have to stand around the start in my wet suit. I did a nice 750 set with some hard 25s in the middle. I was out of the pool almost an hour before the race, so that was probably not the best timing. I went back into the pool area 45 minutes later and did another 250. Then I got out of the pool and hung around in my wet tri suit! :-)
I was wearing number 11, but I musta been the fifth or sixth guy in the pool. After the first 25, I was pretty sure that I was going to catch the guy in front of me. Sure enough 50 yards later, I hit my turn right with this guy. There is nothing more exciting than swimming three wide with dudes coming straight at you. It took me at least a half a lap to get by this guy, and then I had clear water in front of me. I gave it all I had, found the ladder and headed to transition. 4:17 was my fastest swim in this event in the last three years.
I grabbed the bike and headed out of transition. I was able to get the left foot in the new shoe, but the right one was not cooperating. It took me longer than expected but I finally got it sorted out. I guess the two practice runs, yesterday were not enought. It started to rain. Hard. It was dark. The wind was blowing me around so badly I had to keep my hands on the bullhorns. It think it was hailing. Maybe that was the rain coming down REALLY hard. Who knows. William Ritter blew by me. I pushed harder, trying to get aero when the wind would allow so. Then Chris Moody came by me. My goal was to keep them in sight. Which I did. The bike course goes through a technical section of really bad country roads with several hard nineties. I passed one leader who went down. Then the course circles back with a LONG stretch due north (into the huge wind). It was wild at the turnaround as the noise of the wind went totally silent with it to my back. I dropped it into my highest gear and dropped the hammer. I could still see the leaders ahead of me. The course turns right and heads back to the high school. The leaders went straight. I stayed on course and it turns out I was the first guy into transition.
Trying to stay aero
While I was out on my leisurely ride, the wind destroyed the transition area. There was one guy going, "where is my helmet??" I had stuffed the brand new Wellington T7s into a blue bag anticipating the rain. They had only blown about six feet away from where they should have been. I pulled on my socks, and shoes and I was the first guy out of Transition.
There was a young guy in back of me. Could he run? Hell, could I run? My legs were dead. I could not feel my feet. But I was pulling away from the kid. They had a Gator as the race lead vehicle. It was me and the Gator all the way in. I saw no one else. Would it be enough for an overall win?
First finisher. No one in sight behind me.
When the rains came they paused the race. Two guys who did not have to deal with the rain, hail and tornadoes, ended up posting a better time than mine. Third overall and first overall masters, for my first race in the over 50 category aint bad though!
All views expressed in this post and on this blog are my own. None of my comments should be construed to represent the views of others including and not limited to: BMC Software Inc., Corel Corporation, Dun and Bradstreet and AC Nielsen. Copyright Chris Hughes 2004-2012