July 13, 2007

A Tri in the Buff race report

So I told you that I would get to this race report when I had the chance and since things have been super hectic here (leaving for IMLP in less than a week) and here it is. This race was 3 weeks out from IMLP and I couldn't have asked for a better result.

Overall, I was 4th place (first in the 25-29 male age group) and was less than :30 seconds away from the podium. I was closing in on J. Niezgoda in the final miles and if I was given an extra 5k to run, I might have caught him...Ironman training has sapped my speed. But first, before I get into all of that, let's start from the beginning.

The swim. The waters in Lake Erie were MIGHTY choppy the morning of the race and once into the mix, it was reminicent of being on the inside of a washing mashine. I, of course, was talking a lot of crap before the race even started to Mr. Johnson and he was starting in a wave 5 minutes behind me and absolutely loves swimming in that type of water. Gun goes off and it's a mess. We are getting rocked all over creation, after 2 quick loops, I hit the beach in 24:06 and wasn't ready for the uphill on the paved part of the beach to the transition area. The pictures in the sidebar don't do it justice....it was steep after getting the breath knocked out of you via the washing machine called Lake Erie...

I made a quick T1, (as most of you know, the 2nd transition, or my namesake, T2, is my favorite and is much faster) but I embarked on the bike with a purpose...to pound it. I went out with a purpose on the deceivingly hilly 2 loop course. The first lap was nice to get into a rhythm and after haring my sponsor Jim from Handlebars on the beach, I knew I had some ground to make up. I got pedalling good, hit the 2nd lap and started smoking it. On this lap though, I got a surprise around a turn, J. Niezgoda passed me on the bike and immediately began climbing while tucked in his aerobars.

Just to set the scene, Niezgoda is a top level Rochester triathlete who was the winner of the Score-This!!! series last year. He consistently places on the podium and I thought he was in front of me. We begin about a 1.5 mile climb and I'm behind him and notice that he is going like 17mph while cranking a LARGE gear in his aerobars. Me, being the dumbass that I am, enflamed the beast as I blew by him on the uphill and said, "who taught you how to ride a bike? Don't you know that you aren't supposed to climb in your aerobars?" as I past him. He must have been pissed off and about 90 seconds later, absolutely TORE by me and just pulled away for the rest of the bike leg.

I hit T2 with a purpose and I didn't know how I would do as I had just split a 23.6mph average for a 40k and was 3 weeks out from my 2nd IM in 8 months...I began the run which was a double looped run as well. Not a single mile into the race, I hit a turn around and see Mr. Carl Johnson behind me and yelled out, "you have GOT to be kidding me..." and he just shrugged and ran towards the turn around. I held him off for another 2-3 miles, but the catch was inevitable. He started 5 minutes behind me and caught me by the run. Ridiculous. Looking back, he only ran 60 faster than me over the whole 10k. He's good folks, a straight up LEGEND in the Rochester area... (he actually forced me to say that)

But, after he passed, I began to see Niezgoda fading back to me. I was gaining and gaining and then the finish line just came up. I ran a 38 minute 10k at approximately 6:09 pace and was 4th overall when the final results rolled in. I was pleased and happy to be done. This was the last hard fast race before IMLP...

So all in all, good race at the end of a massive 16 hour training week and I was pleased given that result. I went home and then went out for a 15 mile run to top out the week. Good times. Anyway, I have to run, but I'll get up the Boilermaker report soon enough. Rest hard everyone.

1 comment:

ironpower said...


It will be awesome someday to see you racing as a pro and then to tell everyone that you started in the Score This!!! Multisport Series.

Richard Clark