Hughes Blog
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Tuesday, September 28, 2010
Stonebridge Ranch Triathlon
I like this race, as it has a long (750M) Swim for a sprint tri, and a rolling 5K run, a course which I have done very well on. The last two years I had won first overall masters, so I felt like I needed to come out again and defend the championship.

I think that this will be my last triathlon of the year this year. The last couple races, Prairieman, Rockwall and Two Dogs, were all way too hot. Today it was nice and cool and so I thought I had a good chance to do a good run.

The last two years they started the Sprint before the Olympic. This year it was the opposite. But, they wanted you at the race course by 7am for the sprint, even though the race did not start until 9. That said, there were a couple of advantages to the later start. When the sprint started first, the sun was coming up right over the finish of the swim. That made it impossible to sight the swim on the last leg. The other advantage was that this way it left a better window to warm up in the pond before the swim. This year I knocked out 600M during the warmup. The previous two years I was not able to get in the pond at all before the race.

I left my house early - before 6am - but it was not early enough to get decent parking. I parked on the east side of ridge which was not a bad location. After getting marked up, getting my chip, and setting up my transition, I headed back to the car and got a nice 30 min nap! Then it was back to the swim start where I got my warmup done and then it was a long wait for the start.

I lined up for the swim on the far left unlike in the last two years. Right away on the swim, I was clear of people around. That was a surprise. I felt really good in the swim, and was getting good sight lines too. As I neared the second marker, which is where the first turn, the water was really choppy. I had caught the slow swimmers from the wave in front of me. It was a fight through those guys for the next two thirds of the swim. I pushed hard through this leg of the swim, made it around the next marker and was heading home. I continued to have good sight lines and was working hard. I could not see any white caps (my wave) only the yellow ones from the wave in front of me. I continued to swim hard through the sea of yellow and finally got the end.

Third out of the water in my wave.

Hill of Death
The run from the pond to the transition features this Hill of Death

A couple of masters came out of the water with me and we ran hard to transition. I got through transition without any issues, got on the bike and powered up the first hill. It was pretty windy. Martin Leal and Tad McIntosh both passed me. I did not notice any other masters go by me. Given the hills and the wind, I thought I did pretty good on the bike.

On the bike...yeah...Need to learn to ride...

In transition I could not find the right rack for my bike. Gah!

The run starts, like the bike, up a pretty big hill. I was pushed as hard as possible up the hill. Then I settled in to a nice long, strong stride. It felt great to run without melting. Could I find those two dudes that passed me? They were up there somewhere, so I pushed as hard as possible. I got to the turnaround still feeling good. There was Brad Pearson, right on my butt! Holy crap where did he come from?? Brad beat me at McKinney Tri earlier this year. I put it in gear. And it was not too much longer that I saw Leal in front of me. I put in a surge, caught him and went by him. I kept pressing and then I saw McIntosh. I dug down and put in a second surge, caught him and went by him, and I kept the hammer down. 800 meters to go. Up a small hill then all down hill to the finish.

Hauling Ass - What a great feeling.

Done. Wow.

Third Overall, Second Masters, First in my Age division.

Final Time: 1:10.43. Last year: 1:10.40 2008: 1:09.50

Swim: 12:44, 9th overall and third in the master wave. Last year: 13:11, 26th overall and 5th in the masters wave. 2008: 13:02, 12th overall and 2nd in the Masters Wave. Very clearly I had a fabulous swim today.

Bike: 34:09 (54th overall - ugghh..). Last year: 32:27, 22nd overall. 2008: 31:55 and 35th overall.

Run: 20:32, 4th overall. Last year: 21:44 4th overall. 2008: 21:24, 6th overall.

Much better on the swim and the run. The bike is hard to tell because it was windy. Only three masters passed me on the bike - thats pretty good for me. 54th seems bad though.

Anyway, its in the bag. I'll take it.


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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