What a great race! We have a great club and incredible support (thanks Dawn and those at the tent). Every time I saw a MMTC’er on the course, encouraging words were shared. I even got high fives from one of us when we passed each other (going opposite directions) on the run.
This was my first Columbia and first Olympic tri. It’s a reasonable distance but Columbia is certainly a challenging course. My goal was to come in under 2:30:00, and I just barely made it.
Swim: 26:24 - AG: 23/82, overall 612.
The swim is my weakest leg but it went better than expected. The start was civilized – didn’t have clear water but no serious wrestling matches. The water was calm so sighting was easy and I found some reasonable feet to follow. I found a rhythm early and tried to swim long, easy strokes. I’ve been doing masters swim 3 nights a week for 90 minutes per session since September and it’s helping. The water was a tad cool, but hey, no sharks!!!
T1: 3:26 – AG: 27/82, overall 592. Seemed uneventful, but comparatively slow -- I need practice.
Bike: 1:15:32 – AG: 10/82, overall 282. Average speed 20.2.
This was my first ride on the bike course and, except for the cars slowing us all down, I thought it was a great course. I’d driven it the night before (because someone scared me with tales of downhill S-curves). I didn’t have problems with anyone blocking me – except the cars. This was my first race on the Felt B2 Pro with a Xentis carbon wheel set – that bike climbs by itself, so the hills weren’t too bad. The motor still needs lots of work. (I learned after the race that Jesse beat me in the bike split by 1 second! Next year, I’m coming for you, Jesse. Of course, he’ll probably run 3 marathons the week before the race, so I’ll never really beat him.)
T2: 2:03 – AG 31/82, overall 899.
Ouch! I went from slow in T1 to glacial in T2– the problem here is that I turned into the wrong lane – or thought I did. So, the bike and I climbed under the rack. Then I realized I was NOW in the wrong lane and had to go back. Back under the rack – found my stuff and I was, after a change of shoes, out. I must have looked like a comedy act. Who says transition should be boring?
Run: 42:28 – AG 2/82, overall 103. Average pace: 6:51.
I expected to be closer to forty minutes on the 10K, but that was before I shook hands with the hills. I’d never seen the run course – I know, I know – I should have done the Brick n Pic. My feet were numb when I left transition (probably due to climbing back and forth under the racks with my bike) – but I settled quickly into a reasonable pace (about 7:15) to find my legs – then I hit the first hill. Hills early in runs (like the NYC marathon) give me sideaches and Columbia was no different. The first hill itself wasn’t too bad, I just need to breathe more deeply when I start – I think. In any event, I settled into a decent pace after the hill but couldn’t hold it on the following uphills. At about mile 5 or so I realized I’d have to kick in hard to get in under 2:30, and I had just enough left to pull it off – the last downhill in and then around the dam to the finish is very pleasant – even when you’re dealing with oxygen debt. Came in with 9 seconds to spare!
Because of work and where I live, I haven’t made any club events (except for a race here and there) so it was great meeting a few more of the MMTC legends like Sadj, Jesse and Steve Levickas (what great splits Steve had and second in his AG!).
Looking forward to Eagleman! Thanks again Dawn and all those who provided support at the MMTC tent. See you in Cambridge – I’ll be the guy climbing under the racks with his bike – NOT!