Leading up this race on June 1st the weather was HOT. I had been concerned about not getting any open water swim done prior to the race, if only to be prepared for the cooler water temps at the beginning of the year. I drove up on Friday with plans to get into the water prior to checking my bike into transition. I would kill two birds, dealing both with the water temps and of course, the pollen issue from last year. On my way to check-in and get my timing chip, I saw a friendly face in Kelly Williamson chatting with another athlete. Kelly is a pro I connected with online about 18 months ago. She has been a terrific source of advice and support. She blogs about her races in a honest manner, pulling no punches when it comes to being constructively critical on her own performance. We had a quick chat and Kelly introduced me to her fellow pro triathlete, Heather Wurtele. Heather immediately said, "I know about you from facebook.". Heather is a fellow Canadian and we hit it off right away. She was waiting to do an interview with the Rev 3 folks, so I didn't want to take too much of her time. Her and her husband Trevor are both pro triathletes and travel around a lot of North America in a motor home to races.
The water was absolutely fine on both accounts. I had been diligently taking my allergy meds and had my inhaler with me as well. I took a swim in my ORCA speed suit and the low 70's water temp was totally fine.
|Right at BIKE IN and BIKE OUT.|
|Bike checked in at end of a row!!!!!|
After getting all checked in I decided to head to see Leticia and her family in Monroe, CT. They graciously hosted me again this year. I was eager to get their earlier this year and spend some time with her, Pedro and their two beautiful boys. We spent a relaxing evening together, Pedro helped my get my tri-tats on and I went to bed around 10pm or so. I would set the alarm for about 4AM in order to eat, pack the car and get the race site around 5:15AM or so. Breakfast consisted of a banana, sportsdrink, apple sauce and a bagel with Nutella.
|Race morning, ready to go! It was already HOT.|
I dressed for the swim using my sleeveless ORCA vest along with the wetsuit pants I have. The two piece system seems to work well for me. Hoping it will be warm enough when I race the Cohasset triathlon at the end of June. I was set to go off with the 3rd wave at 7:10AM. I was able to get a little practice swim in prior to the anthem. And felt ready to go.
Prior to the start I set up in the back of the pack, hoping the water wasn't going to be churning up too much. Off we went at the horn and my day was starting. The course is a simply rectangular path making two right hand turns at the buoys for a total distance of 1500m.
I was passed by at least two large packs of swimmers during the swim but managed to stay on course pretty well. The back leg was hard to sight as we swam right into the rising sun. I did my best to follow the swimmers passing me as I made pretty good time, completing the swim in 45:12. I was hoping or 42 or 43 minutes, but being the first tri of the season, I was pretty happy. The next most amazing part for me was my T1 time, as I was able to get out onto the bike in a little over a minute, at 1:06.
|After ANOTHER big hill. (Photo: David Laskey)|
I could see him laughing and I refused to let him beat me. I kept going and did not get off of my bike. When I crested the top of the hill, I simply looked to my right where I PICTURED HIM standing, and I said, "Fuck you!" Sorry to anyone who that might offend, but I don't want you to lose the effect of what I had been feeling at this point.
The rest of the bike course remained a challenge, but I managed to complete it in a total time of 2:14:06. That is well more than 35 minutes slower than my best 25 mile bike ride. The heat and hills were really taking a toll on me. I managed to keep drinking and had two gels on the bike, so my nutrition was going well. My time in T2 was remarkably slower than T1, at 2:57.
|A SLOW run. (Photo: Wynn Photography)|
|Coolest finisher medals ever!|
|Where's the food!!!!|
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