First I have to say what a great event this was. HFP Racing always does a fantastic job with their races.
Snakebite Racing also had a fantastic showing at the race. We had 14 team members in either the sprint duathlon or Olympic triathlon. And we had great results. There were several AG wins and an overall place.
Aimee and I drove out to the race early in the morning since it was only 1.5 hours away. She slept while I drove and I enjoyed the scenery that I haven't seen in a long time driving out this way. Despite arriving by 6:30AM for a 8AM start the parking lot was already getting full.
I registered and got my timing chip. Then we had to make a change for Aimee. She was signed up for the Oly triathlon but was advised to not race. She had injured her leg a week prior and the wound became infected. So the Dr. didn't want Aimee to swim. We also talked with Jen Kurek of HFP and she said we could switch her entry to another race. Aimee was very relieved.
I grabbed my bike and race gear and quickly placed it all in transition. We had a tent and team banner to set up near the finishing chute just in case people didn't notice all of the SnakeBite racers.
Once the tent was up I finished my pre-race prep. I got my transition area ready and went for a small run through transition. Beach to bike, bike to run. Remember where my bike racked and make sure my equipment is placed how I like it.
Adam and I ran a short warm up. We caught up on how we were feeling for the race and what we thought would be good goals. We chatted with our other teammates at the tent before getting ready for the start.
I got in a small swim warm up to make sure the wetsuit was on properly and check out the sighting for the course. The wind was coming from the west so there was a slight chop to the water as we headed back to the start line. I cheered for friends in the waves prior to mine.
Finally it was time for the 40+ wave to toe the line. Adam aged up this year so he was at the front of the pack. Mikey Donuts shoved me to the front next to Adam. I didn't want to be out front but I went for it. The gun went off and we hit the water. I ran through the shallow water until I could take a dive into the water. I only took one dive and I started stroking immediately, there was no need to dolphin dive several times.
I settled into a great race pace very fast and was watching the people around me. I was trying to maybe find someone to draft off but no one seemed to be going straight or fast enough for me. I decided to just swim my own race and not worry about anyone else.
It wasn't long before I started to pass people in the wave ahead of me. I was sighting well and avoiding the crowds. On the way back towards the start the water was a little choppy so I buried my head in the water to swim through the "waves". For the second loop I stayed steady and pushed all the way to the beach. I knew I had a good swim and was at the front of my wave. I completed the swim in 24:38 and was second in my age group.
I ran into transition and pulled off my wetsuit and donned my bike gear. Helmet, socks, shoes, sunglasses. Grab the bike and head out of transition.
The bike course consists of two loops and is very flat. It's just the nature of the area. We were in the heart of Ohio farm country. Fortunately the wind was not very strong and we could fly. I was doing well and had passed several people. I was settled in and approaching another group of people when the unthinkable happened.
About 100 yards in front of me I watched a guy put his wheel into a road crack and hit the pavement. It looked like his bike bucked him off and he flopped to the road like a fish. Three of us passed the rider and one woman said she was going for help. Up the road were two ambulances and a police car. I flipped around to check the guy on the ground.
I stayed with him to warn people to stay wide and avoid him. The police car finally arrived to block traffic and I went on my marry way. As I was waiting I watched several people pass by whom I either knew or had already passed.
I got back up to speed and made sure I didn't expend too much energy trying to get back into position. I still had one more lap to ride (12 miles) and couldn't blow it all trying to re-pass people. The wind also picked up a little on the second lap. I finished the bike in 1:09:44. Not the greatest time for 40k but I did have a small stoppage.
In transition I took off my helmet and slid on my running shoes. I was out of T2 in 36 seconds. As I started the run I put on my hat and tucked my gels into my side pockets. I took the first two miles rather easy to get my legs moving for the run. I probably took it too easy for a 10k run. I passed one of my teammates, Mikey ZigZag (that's how he swims), and continued to hunt down those in front of me. Mile three I picked up the pace and at the turn around I started the push to the finish line.
I was passing a couple of guys with 1.5 miles to go and a bug flew into the back of my throat. I had to stop at the side of the trail to hack the bug out and get back to running. Now I had to re-pass those two guys. I approached them steadily and passed them with authority. I wanted to make s statement that they would not be seeing me again. I clipped off a 6:30 final mile. I had too much in my tank for the final mile considering my first two miles were 7:45's.
My 10k time of 44:43 placed me second in my age group behind teammate Adam who won the age group. My overall finish was 4th in the AG with a time of 2:21:11. I was happy despite missing third place by 18 seconds.
There were so many great aspects of this race that all of the negative things I could think of didn't matter. After the race I was talking with teammate Adam. I mentioned the stop because of the crash and he said it was good karma. Once he said that I was okay with my race. Karma is good. Being a good sport is important also. I'm too old to get hung up on where I place. There are just more important things to worry about.
I just wish the good karma would come around. Since the race on June 20th, Father's Day, I watched Aimee crash on one of our rides then a friend slip off the bike the next day. I'm convinced that I should just ride alone and not jinx anyone else.
So this Saturday is my next race. The Muncie Endurathon which is a half iron race. Hopefully my race report won't take me several weeks to write, but I'm not making any promises.