This is the third year for the Race the River Triathlon and the organizers really put on a first class event. It is held in a relatively compact area and accouterments including energetic announcers, a long list of swag and a pretty fair post race lunch.
This race also provides many first time triathletes with the opportunity to take that initial step into our great world. This year brought 750 racers to the start.
One of the racers was Michelle Sidles , a blogger friend who I had hoped to meet for the first time. I did have the terrific opportunity to meet this great lady and her husband. She comes across as honest, open and everything she portrays in her always enjoyable blog. This was her very first triathlon and she was pretty excited to finish.
The race begins with a 10 wave start in five minute intervals. The swim takes place is a very slow moving river (I felt no current) and heads down river for a half of a mile before racers finish at a dock.
From this point there is a relatively long run up some stairs and back to T1. Fortunately or unfortunately the swim time encompasses most of the run portion in that we do not run over a timing mat until we enter the T1 area.
I am a pokey swimmer anyway so this is my excuse for a slow time, but this year I made some ch-ch-changes which improved my time. Last year I left some running shoes on the dock to slip into before the run to T1. That sounded like a good idea but if you have ever experienced trying to get wet feet into running shoes, you know how difficult this can be.
So I read about a modification and followed the instructions. Here are the results This really made it easy to get into these shoes, and although they were a bit difficult to run in, I will definitely use them again.
I also removed my wet suit on the dock, prior to the T1 run. Last year the long run seemed to dry out my wet suit which made getting it off difficult. This was another good move that I will replicate in the future.
Here are my swim and T1 times for this year compared to last year.
Swim – 16:40 T1 – 1:47
Swim – 15:56 T1 – 3:38
The 11 mile bike ride encompasses a three loop course, which means that before one is finished he/she will encounter a large number of other bikes. I spent much of the ride announcing “on your left” and had no major problems.
I finally got to meet Sue Hutter . She is a terrific lady, and although she seems to be built at only ¾ scale when compared to other humans, her heart and spirit are huge. It was a real pleasure to talk with her. This picture comes from her great eye and camera and although I was still fighting to clip in, I did my best to look my best.
2010 Bike – 31:16
2009 Bike – 31:43
The 3.1 mile run is fairly flat with a bit of an incline followed by a steep, short hill mixed into the route. It is worth noting that racers make the turn around a bit past the hill and then have the opportunity to run back down that same hill.
By the time I got to the run I was concerned as to where I stood in my age group. I had yet to see any other 55 – 59 year old males and knew that meant I was either towards the front or bringing up the rear. At about the two mile point I came across my first 55 – 59 age group competitor. I had been pushing and now had to determine the best move. In knowing my final kick is less than light speed I decided to pick up the pace as I went by him in the hopes that a) he would not notice the age marked on my calf or b) he was worn down and would be unable to catch me.
Shortly after passing him I made a right turn and was able to look back. He was fading in the distance so I decided to continue at this faster pace.
2010 Run – 25:05 - Mile 1 pace – 7:49 - Mile 2 pace – 8:10 - Mile 3 pace – 7:36 - Total average pace – 7:49
2009 Run – 25:14
I really enjoy this little race and was very happy to finish first in my age group. This is a first for me and one that I do hope to replicate again in the future.
Afterwards all the members of Team Blaze showed off their finisher smiles and hardware.