First of all big shout out to all the MMTC peeps out there, Super thanks to Nicole who held my car keys at the tent. The tent was fantastic!!! The food amazing!!! Big shout out to our Sponsors and all the folks from Princeton manning the bike support tent. Thank you everyone.
This was my first Columbia Tri and I am certainly happy I got to train on the course a few times before. I think flatlanders who do not have the luxury of training here must be in shock during and after the race.
I find the run segment to be the toughest on this course.
Race day I slept like a baby until 5:45, grabbed some coffee and breakfast to go and drove to the race site. I live very close but not close enough to walk. Heading west on the 108 everything was going smoothly until I crested the hill just before the traffic light at Columbia Road. TRAFFIC….. oh yes and rain.
Split second decision and I headed down Columbia Road to Old Annapolis Road and the North Parking lot (on the run course). As I stopped the car someone up in the rain department really opened everything up. So I sat there thinking wow this will be nice and wet and perhaps I should just jump into the lake and swim to the start soaking everything in the process and really getting into the spirit of things. Seeing I would have probably drowned with my back pack I decided to grab an umbrella and jogged / walked to the start. Running up that long last hill (is this Gatorade hill?) I briefly spoke to the hill and said, “see you later”… Man was it nice to be under that umbrella, psychologically it made a huge impact to get to the start nice and sort of dry.
Got to transition and set up on the lovely wet ground. Then a marshal or one of the USAT guys came around and started to re rack bikes??? He told me I should have racked with my front wheel facing out where my name tag was???? Just like every other rack we were alternating according to the bike next to you. I have never heard of this or read about this anywhere. Some places don’t even give you name tags. I found transition to be super tight.
Swim – 26:19 (46/288 AG)
Swim start, chatted with some fellow MMTC peeps and then realized that I still had my car key with me in my bike shirt pocket. Nicole at the tent held the key for me, phew. Got in the water with all my dear green cap friends. Then due to the delay we waited about 15 minutes before we got started. I enjoyed the mud between my toes, stuck my head under the water to find out that the visibility was about 6 inches and thought great I don’t have to look at all the weeds growing at the bottom. Nice.... Swim was great, the water tasted lovely, the rain had stopped which of course always seems to happen during the swim as it safes itself for the ride and run portions .
I got to draft behind three different people which really worked great. I had some shirt / wetsuit issues as I seriously chaffed my shoulder but I am sure some proper adjustment next time will take care of that.
T1 - 2:17 (13/188 AG)
more mud between the toes…. Everything worked out great except for some minor helmet issues. I taped all my gels to the tap bar which I had never done before and really worked out great. I decided to run out of T1 with my bike shoes on rather then barefoot as the cleats helped my traction. I really try to keep things to a minimum, no socks just shoes, helmet, no sun glasses due to rain, spare tube, Co2
Bike – 1:14:26 Avr Speed 20.5 mph (29/188 AG)
I really love this course and as we get to train on it so much it’s really great on race day. As it was wet I took special care around the traffic circles, tried to stay off the white lines and out of deep puddles. Also took it very easy on the descents after the barn.
Some guy took me on the right once without a warning, close call. I also noticed a lot of people were not announcing that they were going to pass. It’s not necessary to announce yourself when you pass one person and you stay far left but when you passing people who are passing others and things get tight this is definitely something you should do.
Heard the MMTC crew at the traffic circle – thanks that always gives one a boost.
The only other event worth noting here was that a poor fellow dropped his chain or got it stuck going up a hill and then had huge issues sorting it out. He happened to fall right in front of me as I was giving some guy room to pass. Lucky the guy was ok and I got around him ok too.
T2 – 1:11 (5/188 AG)
On the way back I decided it would be better to try the mudslide without shoes. It worked like magic, tiny, tiny, tiny little steps but very fast got me back to my rack safely. I did overshoot my spot a little however which was highly annoying.
Run – 49:02 7:54 Pace (55/188 AG)
Out of T2 I almost ran down the swim chute LOL. Corrected myself and off I went with the good old rubber legs and my lovely 5-6 lbs Michelin tires. I really need to shed that lot…. I had never done the Tri Course run before but thankfully decided to do it one week before the race, good advice Herman! My goal on the run was to take me and my Michelin friends all the way to the finish at a 8:15 pace and I was very pleasantly surprised when I finished with a 7:54 pace, I also had negative splits which I was stoked about. Just before the last little hill near the finish line I saw a Team Fight guy gaining on me so we did a little sprint finish and I managed to stay ahead of him.
Great race! Great venue! Great Club!