The Nations Triathlon in Washington DC September 14, 2008
I registered for this event because I thought swimming in the Potomac River would be a challenge and I love DC. I met lots of club members at this event, except for the one person I was actually looking for…Terri. I thought it was a great race but a HOT day for a run.
Wanting a stress free morning I left my house extra early. Had a PR on the drive down to DC! That makes up for the incredible amount of traffic after packet pickup. I parked across from the host hotel where there was plenty of easy parking and immediately boarded the first shuttle bus to the transition area next to the Potomac River. It was still dark so the full moon reflecting on the Potomac looked beautiful. Everything went smoothly as this was a well organized race (from my standpoint, at least.). Walked around and met other club members (and yes, I need to get a club jersey), checked out the elite triathletes and their “nice” bikes, and met all of the participants near my “home” rack. My swim wave was one of the last ones… so the benefit was that I got to watch the elite run through T1, including Mayor Adrian Fenty, who ran right in front of those of us watching from the swim waiting area. The down side of having to wait was that it just kept getting hotter!
Swim 1.5K: 37 minutes
It was already really hot by 8:20 in the morning, so jumping into the Potomac was refreshing! Sighting was easy as we only had to aim for the Arches of the Memorial Bridge and then swim back to the floating dock. The view was picturesque…with lots of weeping willow trees along the shore. I had worked on my OW swimming with the club so I am happy to report that I wasn’t anxious and I finished without being winded so I considered it a good swim. I think having a current did have some effect but it wasn’t bad at all.
Bike 40K: 1:30
I have run marathons and other distance races in DC and have always thought it was cool to run on the empty streets and see all of the sights, but biking them turned out to be even greater! The bike portion started off glorious – Grand Prix style through the streets then out onto Canal Road and Clara Barton Parkway and back. Then up and back through Rock Creek Parkway. All smooth roads with plenty of shade! It was quite pleasant and wonderful with no cars to deal with. Toward the end a fellow rider saw my Columbia Triathlon water bottle and commented that if I could do Columbia that this one must be a piece of cake! I was thinking along those same lines… until I got out of the shade and started the run.
Run 10K: 1:17
Running out of T2 I wished I was jumping back into the Potomac River. Instead you had to run into the baking oven of the asphalt roads. There was almost no shade on a really hot day. I was tired but not exhausted so I thought I would just take it easy in the beginning…. But I never got my second wind and the heat zapped away any extra energy - so I never really felt like pushing it hard. Actually I was just trying to avoid passing out. It was that hot. The only two good things about the run was the ice cold water getting poured down my back and meeting up with club member Jeanine Murphy- Morris. We ran the last half pretty much together. The finish was on Pennsylvania Avenue which I would have though was so grand but I was too hot at that point to really care.
I thought the race was very well organized! It was a bit of a hassle to drive back to the transition area to pick up my bike but they wanted to have a spectacular photo finish with the Capital Building in the back ground. Met a lot of really nice triathletes and it was perfect timing meeting Mark Yost just before his name got called for winning first place in his age group. I would recommend this race to all club members for the bike portion alone! If the weather had been 10 degrees cooler it would have been perfect!