I very nearly didn’t do this race. When the swim was cancelled I thought there wasn’t much point even though I had had a great time racing it last year. But then, on further reflection, almost at the last minute I decided to do it. It’s my family’s last year in the US before we head back to the UK next summer so I won’t get another easy chance to ride like a hooligan around closed streets of DC. And it is the 10th anniversary of 9/11 of course : so in some ways I came round to feeling that being in DC, doing the race, experiencing the event with an additional dimension, was somehow showing my own respect as America remembered.
And so I lined up near the swim corrals this morning with 4000 others and heard the best rendition of the US national anthem, as the Stars and Stripes was hung from a large gantry by a firefighter and the sun rose over the Washington Monument. It was an electrifying, goosebump, moment and one that I won’t forget.
Bike – 59’19 (25.1mph)
We could start with bike helmets on, so I imagine that an alien arriving from Mars this morning and landing in West Potomac park would have been highly confused by a large group of men and women with helmets on crammed into cattle-like pens. Anyhow the time passed as I watched other waves shuffle forward. I looked at my HR in the corral just as we started. 62BPM – hmm maybe I wasn’t treating this race with much respect. But as soon as I started the bike I kicked into a good rhythm. It’s a fast course and impossible not to draft at times especially down Clara Barton. But I didn’t get too held up and this was fast for me. I enjoyed it hugely and I felt the hooligan factor crank up as we headed back into town. It was all over very quickly – only took a couple of sips of Gatorade and water.
Run – 40’41 (6:34/pace)
This run was short by about 0.2 mile. Really annoying – I imagine that the RD just hadn’t re-measured the course following the move of the transition area. So while I had a good run it wasn’t really that good. Took a few sips of water at aid stations but that was it.
I’m glad I did the race.