Monday, August 10, 2009

Whisky Dick Triathlon

I participated in my first ever triathlon this weekend. Well sort of... it was a relay team and I sprinted the 10k running leg.

It was a new and exciting experience for me. It's so different from the laid back ultras I'm used to running. The athletes are so serious about the race. There were a lot of bikes there that are worth more than my car.

The craziest and most amazing part is the transition areas. If you've never seen it in person, you should go watch one. They come running out of the water after a 20-40 minute swim while striping off their wetsuits. They change into biking clothes or already have them on under the wetsuit, add shoes, drink, and they are off to ride for over an hour. All of this done in about a minute. The bike to run was the same way except now they didn't know exactly where it go and after about 1/2 second of looking around some of them got this crazed look in their eyes like you just hid all their stuff so they would end up last.

Some of the people were amazing to watch. They came in calm and quickly changed and were gone in a flash. Some were in a frenzy trying to get it all done too fast and thrashing about which probably cost them more time in the next leg than they saved.

My race started by watching the cyclists come in from inside a little blue relay waiting area. After what seemed like forever (really only a few minutes), I spotted my biker coming down the road. He came running up with his bike and almost went right by me. He looked pretty spent so got down and took the ankle timing chip off him and put it on. I told him he did a good job and started jogging through the transition zone. Once I hit the timing mat I hit the gas and about 6 seconds later Jeff Hashimoto (a super fast ultra running, and also on a relay) goes flying past me doing 5 minute miles (he had the fastest run leg of the day, 33:18.7).

I'm not really very good at these short distances so I just put the hammer down and started passing people that had been out there competing in the hot sun for 2+ hours. I felt bad for some of them who were struggling and gave encouragement to nearly all that I passed. I wanted to start out with an easy 7 minute mile to warm up and then crank it up from there but with the tail wind I warmed up in about a minute and the first mile was 6:20. The John Wayne Trail made it harder to pass because of the soft loose gravel in the middle passing lane but that 14 mph head wind after the turn around felt pretty good.

I'm not sure how many people I passed maybe about 20-25. I was able to hold a good pace and effort the entire 10k. My slowest mile was 6:50. Part of that mile was the only hill on the course. My maximum speed was 15 mph, that was coming down the same hill. The 10k seemed even shorter than I thought it would be. I finished in 40:26.7 for an average of 6:31/m and the 8Th fastest run leg. I'm pretty happy with that.

The rest of the team did great.
Dave swam the 13th fastest swim leg in 24:09 and Colin finish the bike right in the middle of the 111 biker field in 50Th place with a time of 1:52:25 over a really tough bike leg that's into the wind and uphill.

Overall we finished 2nd in the Men's team division.

I'll post some pictures when I get them.

1 comment:

Backofpack said...

That's the way to do a triathlon! I don't want to swim or bike, so a relay is perfect. Good job Arthur!