DITRT was my second ID race, and my first was Columbia this year. Needless to say, I’ve learned some great lessons about setting up a transition area and racing in the rain. As tough as the conditions at Columbia were, it really paid off to have that experience for this race, in which the conditions were so much tougher. For the DITRT, I was disappointed when they turned it into a du because I had been focusing on improving my swim and was looking forward to seeing where I stood with it, but it wasn’t a big deal. The hard part was getting warm and staying warm before the race began. I’m not going to complain about this since our really great tent volunteers (Bruno, The Heathers, Hazel, Kimberly – it was really great having you guys around) had it much tougher than I did when it came to staying warm.
One thing I’d be interested to hear from other racers: What was your sense of the strength of the field that raced? Was it stronger, about the same, or weaker than most races? I’ll explain why I ask below.
Swim (Run 2.7 Mile) 0:18:16 157
This run went well and I felt strong. I didn’t pass anyone, nor did anyone pass me once the pack stretched out a bit. Here’s partially why this felt like a pretty strong field of racers: Unless my math is wrong, my pace was about a 6:40 or so mile, which I recognize isn’t super-fast, but it is pretty darn fast for me. Still, I placed 157th.
Still working on getting better at transitions.
It took a while to warm up on the bike and I struggled a bit through the first 9 miles. Once I got those first few climbs out of the way, I took a gel and felt a lot better. I was really lucky on this ride – I didn’t see one crash, though after the race, it was clear that a lot of racers crashed, some seriously. The highlight of the bike was Chip riding up to me and asking me to see if his rear brakes were rubbing on his rim (they were – he was still faster than me!), seeing him stop maybe a half-mile down the road to fix it, passing him, then watching him pass me again about 10 minutes later. Another lesson learned: Do not mess with The Mighty Chip.
I rode that course about as fast as I could in those conditions. My computer tells me that I averaged 18.5 mph, which I recognize is slower than a lot of racers in my age group but still not a pace I would ever complain about. I was happy about that, got passed a lot, but still wound up finishing 157th on the bike, the same position I finished the first run in.
Still working at those darn transitions. Also had a gel on the way out.
Run 5 Miles 0:41:48
Here’s where my race got tough. My T2 set me back somewhat, and I wound up getting a stitch in my side for miles 2 and 3, which prevented me from drawing a full breath and slowed my pace. I got passed a lot and dropped like a stone in the standings, from 157 to 205 on this run, and my overall finish was 171. My run pace was a little under an 8:30 mile, which I recognize isn’t going to get me any hardware any time soon, but still feels respectable and was about the pace I ran at Columbia, without dropping in the standings the way I did.
So here’s the thing. I’m curious if you other racers found the field at this race to be about average, a little more competitive, or a little less competitive than normal. I’m happy with my times and feel like I ran the best race I could in the conditions, but dropping from 157 to 205 on the run just makes me curious about the field at this year’s DITRT. Or was everyone else just on ‘roids?!?! :)
Despite the conditions, I really did have a blast at the race and am happy with my times. I’m really looking forward to the next race, whenever that is. I just hope Chip isn’t there. :)