The Sahurita Triathlon was yesterday. Great little race, swim 500m out, make a U turn swim 500m back, 2 loop 16.8mile bike and a 5k run. Sarah had some race wheel issues that morning and we needed to drive to another house to grab some other race wheels for her. That put me even later then I usually am to the race venue. No worries though. Racked the bike, got numbered, grabbed the wetsuit and went to the bathroom. Got on the wetsuit about 5 min before the first wave went off. This is probably the only time I’ve been glad to be in wave 2. I was able to get in, swim a bit, then readjust the wetsuit. Lined up to the left, next to the start buoy. The crowds seemed to be to the right which was perplexing since the first buoy was right in front of me. There was no need to angle into it, and the lip of the cove we were in would pinch people who lined up right. Oh well, part of racing is using your brains, and this was my shining moment of the day! Later in the race I pull a Homer Simpson moment, DOH. Gun goes off, it’s a drag race to the buoy. There are two people to my left, several to my right. I’m breathing every 3 checking it all out. Slowly three of us emerge leading the charge. Brandon, on my right and Seton owner of TriSports.com on my left. Just like last weekend, I couldn’t hold Brandon’s feet and he slowly drifted away as we raced towards the U turn. Seton and I were swimming stroke for stroke towards the turn. I apologize to those from wave 1 who I swam over, Mr. Breaststroker was the first victim, about 200m into the swim. I never saw you when I looked up two strokes prior. Sorry for using your face to catch the water, it’s provides a much better pulling surface then water does though, it’s weird to feel someone’s nose between your fingers and their goggles in the palm of your hand. Swam over a few more people before we hit the 500m mark. There was a guy in front of us who made a 270 degree turn instead of the required 180 and headed back into Seton as we rounded the buoy. This caused Seton to head into me as he sounded the collision alarm. After the turn, I figured since he isn’t swimming faster then me and I’m not swimming faster then him, I’m sitting on his feet. Near the end of the swim I sensed Seton slowing a bit, looked up and saw Brandon just ahead. Pulled to the side of Seton and headed for Brandon’s feet. I typically outride Brandon and he typically outruns me. I can think of 6 or 7 races where we finished next to each other in the standings, about 50/50 him in front of me. In my mind, coming out of the water on his feet was better then coming out of the water :05 down. The three of us exited as one and charged towards transition. There was about a 100yd run to the lake. You could hear zippers being pulled down and lots of heavy breathing as the three of us were bolting along the path. Saw Billy, one of the guys I coach who was in the first wave right ahead of us leaving on his bike. The three of us grabbed our bikes and headed out. I exited right behind Brandon, ahead of Seton and about :10 up on Thomas.
100m into the bike I hear a disc wheel, Thomas comes flying by me then Brandon, then Brandon re-passes, and now I’m back about :10 total with Billy just ahead of the train. Thomas repasses, then I pass brandon, then Billy about .75mile later. Then Thomas comes charging by, then I charge past him then brandon, then Thomas, then me, then Billy, then me, then thomas then brandon, the lead was changing so fast and so many times that it was hard to keep track of who was where. It was a constant go as hard as you can go, get to the front and try to ride everyone off your wheel bike race. This is how racing was meant to be, your eyes are bulging, your ribs hurt from breathing so hard, sweat dripping from under your helmet, disc wheels are making the sweet, lovely sound only a disc can make and you’re thinking when in hell is this guy going to drop and not come back to the front. There had to have been 10-12 lead changes in the first 8 miles. Near the end of lap one I was thinking there is no way I can keep this up, forget about running after this.
As we started lap 2, I took the lead going around the right hand turn and pushed hard. This was a close to 2 mile section and I never dropped below 30.5mph. I figured if anyone was coming back around me it was going to cost then (and me). Near the end of this section, Thomas comes past me, I drop in legally behind him, see a small rise in the road and go back around him. Make the right hand turn, look under my legs and can’t see anyone. Make the next right hand turn just under a mile later and the sound of a disc wheel comes roaring towards me. Thinking it was Thomas I ask if we gapped Brandon? Brandon just smiled. Ummm, I’ll take that as a NO. I drop in behind him, amazed at how fast we are coming up on lapped riders. After the next right hand turn we are both as far left as we can get, being squeezed by lapped traffic, squirt past them on the outside of the right hand turn, and begin the drag race at 27-28mph towards transition. I pass him, make the downhill right and a quick left into transition, as I’m getting out of my shoes, he rolls beside me and we get off our bikes side by side. Thomas is ~ :10 behind us. And now I turn off my brain. Instead of running straight to my rack which was 20 feet past the dismount line, I turn right, run all the way down the row of empty bikes, past where Brandon is racked, make a U -turn then run all the way back to my rack. My friend Joe who was in charge of transition, told me it cost me almost :20 to make that run. Put on a shoe, hear someone yell “go Thomas” as he exits transition, put on the other shoe, see brandon leaving, I grab my number and visor then run back down the empty rows to get out of transition. Thomas is ~:20 ahead of me, Brandon ~:15. That’s as close as it got. I averaged 5:57 per mile for the 5k, those guys (thomas is an ex-sub 30min 10k runner so no hope there anyway) pulled ahead a bit more when it was all said and done. We passed everyone in the first wave except for 3 people, one of whom I caught on the run. After the waves were complied I missed 4th place overall by :14 seconds. The mistake I made in transition cost me one spot on the overall result sheet.
For those of you interested in the power numbers, AP 244, NP 247, avg speed 25.9mph.