My first Columbia Tri was a blast. I was impressed with how well organized the race was and how much spectator support it drew. Tons of people at the MMTC tent. Even though I only knew a few it was still nice to be a part of it.
My roommate and I had decided this past fall that we were going to try some triathlons this year, so come new years the training began. I was a swimmer through high school and a rower in college, but since I graduated 3 years ago I haven't done much of anything... except gain 40 lbs. So this has been a chance for me to light a fire under my butt and start doing something about my physical condition.
Woke up 4:30, out the door by 5:15. Got to the parking lot and started unloading my gear and the first person I see is Chip, all fired up with a huge smile on his face... does he know it's not even 6am?
We setup transition and head over to the MMTC tent where we chill out till the waves start going off. It was really nice to be able to put our stuff under the tent and not have to worry about it getting soaked in the rain or stolen. Thank you all so very much!
Swim - 20:03
Rate - 1:20
Division Place (Clydesdale Under 39) - 1/22
Overall Place (male) - 39/968
This being only my second open water swim to date I was happy with how it went. I used to be a swimmer and surfer so I guess swimming in a lake isn't too much of a stretch from that... though it's still been almost 10 years since I was competitive. The water was very comfortable, much warmer then the 53 degrees at Lake Anna a month ago. This was my first in water start, so I wasn't exactly sure what to expect. Figured I'd get all the way to the front and far to the left and then just go out hard when the gun goes off. Well, the race started and somehow two people appeared right in front of me and closed me in. I was getting kicked from both sides. Throttle back swung out to the left and passed. Zig zagged for a bit running over people before I finally got used to swimming strait and hit my rhythm. I fell in behind another blue cap guy and followed him all the way to shore.
T1 - 3:15
Pretty dizzy coming out of the water, but I run right up to my transition area and got my wetsuit off no problem. I started talking to the guy from my wave who beat me on the swim for a bit before I realized that I had stopped doing anything... enough talking and back to work. Not much for multitasking when I'm tired. I heard my roommate Jeff call my name from a row over (he was the wave ahead of me, so I knew I had a pretty good swim to catch up with him). Waved, said Hi, then back to concentrating on getting my shoes on. Made it out of the transition happy with how things were going.
Bike - 1:20:05
Rate - 19.0
Division Place (Clydesdale Under 39) - 8/22
Overall Place (male) - 351/968
The bike started out pretty well. The rain didn't bother me too much beside the soaked shoes and streaking sunglasses. Somewhere after I started the loop on Tridelphia Road my front derailleur stopped working on me. I was stuck in the small chain ring... I guess better then being stuck in the big chain ring through the hills. Though I still had to coast down some of the descents, and being a 250 lb guy I really look forward to flying by people on those descents. It wasn't until after the loop heading back that I figured out what was wrong. The rubber hood on the shifter was twisted (I guess from being wet and me gripping them too hard.. need to relax) and preventing me from shifting. So I fixed that and pedaled on. There was a crash of some sort on Folly Quarter Road that one of the girls coming towards me warned me about. An SUV was to the left side of the lane on the yellow line and there was a guy getting back onto his bike just to the right taking up the little bit of shoulder there was. So onto the grass and around I go. From there on in I was able to move pretty well... except for getting stuck behind some slow cars. I let up a little the last mile, figured my legs would thank me later on the run. 19 mph avg. Not quite what I was shooting for, but I'll take it.
T2 - 1:14
No problems here... felt like I flew though.
Run - 1:01:01
Rate - 9:50
Division Place (Clydesdale Under 39) - 9/22
Overall Place (male) - 745/968
I'm not much of a runner. My goal on the run was mid 50s. I felt pretty good for the first 2 miles, got up the first hill without much struggling and still felt pretty good. The second hill however put me in check, I ended up walking a stretch of that hill (and every water stop after that). From there on in I didn't quite throw in the towel, but I knew I'd already banked some pretty good work up till that point so I just wanted to finish out the race with a smile. I cheered or clapped for every Mid MD jersey I saw. My roommate Jeff flew by me slapping a low 5 around the 5k mark and proceeded to beat me from there to the finish line by over 10 minutes... crazy fast. I ended up finishing the last 2 miles with a really nice guy in a red/white/blue jersey who's name I forget.
Total - 2:45:36
Division Place (Clydesdale Under 39) - 5/22
Overall Place (male) - 385/968
Over all a great experience. I had a blast and learned a lot along the way.
See you all here again next year.