This race was very similar to this years McKinney Race proving once again that in Triathlon you gotta use your coconut!
Temps Sunday morning were in the high sixties. I got the park pretty early. When I set up the bike though I did not have the set of rubber bands/zip ties to set up the bike shoes the way I had done for my last two races. I figured, no problem I would just carry the bike out of transition. Bad idea.
It was pretty dark, and they did not allow us much time to warm up in the water. I did maybe 300 meters. I wish I had been able to do more than that, but Iron Jack pulled everyone out of the water for his famous pre-race talk.
VickyP was racing in my wave, and I knew that she would be strong in the swim. She lined up to my left, which is my primary breathing pattern so I could keep an eye on her. I got off to a good start and got to the first turn with the top group. On the next leg I got passed but I got on the toes of this guy through the second turn when they got away from me. I was third out of the water and who was just head of me - VickyP. Sheesh!
My bike was in the last rack - the one closest to the water. Belt, Helmet, Glasses, grab the bike. Outta there. Per the plan I carried the bike all the way to the other side of the transition zone and when I got the mount line what did I see? Only one bike shoe clipped in the pedal. Shit. I had beat VickyP through transition but off she went while I went back ALL THE WAY through transition to get my shoe. Good lord.
This dude held my bike while I went to find the missing shoe.
That must of cost me 45 seconds on my bike time. Three more competitors got by me by the time I got on the bike. I passed the first guy on the way out of the park. I passed the second guy half way to the first turnaround. I caught the third guy, Archie, before the first turnaround. Archie and I passed each other a few more times over the next 5 miles or so. Then I picked off VickyP. The two leaders were pretty far ahead - I could see the lights on the police motorcycle and that was about it.
This race features a Half Iron event and the sprint. The last turnaround for the Half Iron is a long ways before the second turnaround for the sprint. When I got to the HalfIron turnaround, I saw one bike heading back on the road, a second bike pulled over to the side of the road and the police bike was waiting for me. The leaders screwed up and I was in the lead. Good Grief. The McKinney race did not have a police bike leading the bike race, and I was not 100% sure that I was leading the bike until I got back to transition. Here, I knew EXACTLY what was going on. Hammer time. No one else passed me on the bike from that point on.
I got off the bike and through transition without major incident.
Coming out of transition. Water all over the place!
My run training has been horrible. I went out as hard as I could manage and kept digging deep. I knew those dudes would be hot on my tail. This run is an out and back run and just before halfway a guy passes me with 36 on his leg. He just blew by me. I was not sure what to think, in fact it took me almost the rest of the run before I realized that this guy was the leader of the of other wave, which started three minutes in back of our wave. I pushed as hard as could for the last half mile and was not too far in back of the leader. The next guy did not come in for a long time.
Glad that one is over!
That was good enough for third overall in 1:12:31 (3 and a half minutes faster than last year). The next master finisher was almost four minutes back in 13th overall. I was 7th in the swim in 8:44 (2nd in the top 5); 13th in the bike in 42:10 (if I subtract the 45 seconds to run through transition to get the lost shoe, I would have been 8th); and 8th in the run in 19:38.
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