Tuesday, August 09, 2005

River Cities Triathlon

This past weekend I traveled to Shreveport, LA to compete in the 25th annual River Cities Sprint Triathlon. It is known as one of the best races in the South because of the great race packet they give out. This year was no different. For my $80 entry fee I received a backpack, Camelbak style water pack, running shirt, sunglasses, flip-flops, hat, and some other small items. Not too shabby. The race had 1200 competitors and the online registration filled up in about 4 hours if that gives an idea of its popularity.

The race itself went quite well and I am pleased with my performance. We were a little late arriving at the race site due to traffic (and getting lost). Once I made it I got my bike racked in a great location on the end and near the entry/exit for both the run and bike. It was assigned racks so getting there late had nothing to do with my location. Then I went around and found my friends and training partners from Dallas. I even ran into a guy from high school whom I hadn't seen in 14 years! It's amazing how many people I have run into from my past at these races.

The Swim: 750 meters in a brown-water lake. My race top (usually white) is now a nice shade of tan. I coulnd't find a good rhythm on the swim. My total time was 13:39 which is good but I should have been about 1 minute faster. I had Swimmer's Ear the week before the race and only got in the water one time in the preceeding 10 days. The best part of the swim was the inflatable shark fins they had placed out on the course. Good and humorous.

T1: You had to run up the beach to the transition area. The guy in front of me kicked sand in my face and eyes as he sprinted up the hill. Thanks alot you bully. I got my socks and shoes on relatively fast. I wish I didn't have to wear socks but my feet blister so easily. If I could avoid socks and put my shoes on while I rode I could save about 25 seconds in transition.

Bike: 18 miles on rolling hills. Total time: 48 min 51 sec. My overal bike speed was 22.3 MPH. I still can't quite make it 23 MPH. Maybe next year. Maybe with a new set of wheels! I felt good on the bike and was able to drink an entire bottle of gatorade and eat a Hammer gel. I think this helped on the later parts of the bike and the run. I passed some guys on amazingly expensive bikes ($4-5000). It always feels good to pass those guys on my "off the rack" bike. Hard work on the bike this summer has paid off. I was chasing one my training partners (Jason) but could not quite catch up to him. He averaged over 23 MPH for the course. Some guy behind me crashed on one of the final turns. What a horrible sound he made as he skidded across the pavement. I saw him afterwards and he looked horrible. Mostly just road rash but his arm was in a cast.

T2: I had a good transition from the bike to the run. My shoes went on quickly and was out in just under two minutes. My legs felt great...at first.

Run: 3.1 miles. Total time: 25min 5 sec. Well, the run has gotten me again. I felt strong for the first mile and then my legs felt heavy and my stride slowed considerably. I really don't run well at all. You would think with these Big Bird legs I could just cruise, but no such luck. I finished strong the final 1/2 mile but my overall pace was just over 8 minutes per mile. I would really like to have a Sprint race in which I average 7:25 per mile. Maybe next season.

Overall, I am pleased with my race. I placed 29th out of 130 in my age group and about 160 out of 1200 overall. I have made good strides since last year. More importantly I am having a great time. The next race I do will be the PrairieMan 1/2 Iron distance race. Can't wait!

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