The best part about this race is the great camaraderie and knowing so many people in the event. Had Saturday dinner with a bunch of folks from CMS to get us in the spirit. Talked a little good-natured trash with JF. Didn’t really think too much about my times for Sunday, just hoped I’d do better than last year. I’m kind of looking through all my races towards the main event - Ironman Lake Placid on July 22. Thanks to all the volunteers at the tent, it was great again!
Before my wave start I jogged down to the dam (oh wait that’s not a dam – it’s a natural lake) to watch the pros. The leader by about 30 feet took a left early at the last yellow buoy and it was 30 or 40 seconds before the kayaks got him back on course. George Jacobson pointed out the curve of the buoys and we determined it was better to follow the shore until the point where you could see the first orange buoy.
Swim - 27:16
Age Place (40-44 male) - 78/188
Overall Place (male) - 436/968
This was my best swim time by six and a half minutes! This is the first time I’ve gotten through the swim at Columbia without walking for a bit in the muck on the right – well actually I did walk 2 or 3 steps, but that was because my whole swim wave was so far to the right, and I was on the edge where it was too shallow to swim. I was really happy to come out of the water and check my watch to see just over 27 minutes. It was also good to see Bob B’s familiar face – he’s a regular fixture on the boat ramp. My transition area was the best I’ve had in any race being the first rack past the pros in the center section.
T1 – 2:31
Bike - 1:12:16
Rate - 21.1
Age Place (40-44 male) - 9/188
Overall Place (male) - 96/968
The bike was great. I think the time spent in Lake Placid helped get me back on track a bit as I had my best Columbia bike time. It rained a lot while I was out there but it didn’t seem to bother me – in fact I think I kind of enjoyed it. I passed a ton of people and was passed by few. Finish time was 16 seconds faster than my best time from two years ago. Drank about half a bottle of water and half a bottle of Gu20 and ate two Clif gel blocks. This was essentially all I consumed for the entire race. I think I had two sips of water on the run.
T2 - 1:12
Run - 49:07
Pace - 7:55
Age Place (40-44 male) - 52/188
Overall Place (male) - 295/968
As I was changing my shoes in T2 I said hey to Jesse L. who was heading out on the run. As I started out of transition I thought to myself that it’d be nice to try and keep up with him. As I got to the bottom of the first hill Jesse was already halfway up the steep part. I called to him “Jesse – I’m right on your heels.” Well I must have motivated him to go faster as I never saw him again the rest of the run. You’re welcome Jesse.
For the first mile or so my feet were still numb from the bike. The run was sheer drudgery as a bunch of those guys I passed on the bike were now passing me. As I was coming out of the neighborhood at the top of the hill, some guy (in my age group) passed me and as he went by he said good-naturedly "You went flying by me on the bike – I recognize you from the smiley face on your leg." I replied "Well I guess we’re even now – well not really cause you’re ahead of me." He said "Yeah but its not over yet." I stored this comment in the back of my mind. He never got out of my sight, so as I hit the 6-mile mark at the base of the last small hill he wasn’t that far in front of me. I thought I had enough in the bank to get him so I turned it on. I passed him about 50 yards before the chute and then I started high-fiving the kids sticking their hands out. I heard footsteps next to me and there he was again. I turned it on and got him by a second on the line. He was piiiiiiiissssed, but you know what? That’s why they call it a race.
So I PR’ed taking about 6 minutes off my best time of 2 years ago (my inaugural Columbia tri). It was all in the swim, as my swim time was 7 and a half minutes faster, but I lost a couple of minutes on the run. Post race massage and festivities at the tent were awesome. I think JF and I are developing a little friendly competition here, soooo Billy boy – it’s game on at Eagleman!