Sunday, July 6, 2008

Ahhh, that's a win!

I raced the Give Peace A Tri race yesterday. For its third year, it's a well run local triathlon over near Keene, NH. It's capped at 200 participant, but could most likely pull in more. Clean swim in Surry mountain lake, pretty flat short 8 mile bike and a senic '3 mile' run with one little pop of a hill.
I got in the water a little late for my warm up and barley got back to the swim start when the horn went off. That was a little crazy and poorly timed (since when do these races start on time?) I remember last year's swim being a short 1/4 mile around one maybe two buoys. But I think they got a couple more markers and stretched the swim out this year. This was the first swim where I could really tell how many people were ahead of me and about how far up they were, that was kind of cool. Despite the hectic start I managed to get in a groove as best I could.
I came out of the water 5th and had a smooth T1 'till I jumped on the bike and heading up the steep hill out of transition couldn't get my foot on my right shoe. I like thinking that putting my shoes on while I'm biking is a faster way to go. But the last couple of races it's been a little tricky sliding my feet in or finding the top of my shoe as I jump on the bike. It's definitely the way to go with long transition areas or longer races. But with short races and short transition areas shoes before bike might be the way to go.
I passed the good swimmers quickly on the bike and then focused in on the leader Don Mills. For most of the bike I could see him but could do little to pull him and his road bike in. Turns out he's a roadie that's moving over to Tri's and it shows after he threw down that ride without so much as aero bars.
In and out of T2 with a couple of seconds gained on Mills. For the first half of the run he was right there in front of me, oh so close, but I didn't seem to be gaining any time on him. Then we hit a little dirt road stretch with the pop of a hill and I started closing the gap. I ran behind him for a while waiting to see how he would hold up. I put in a small attack with a little more than a mile to go but with nothing doing. I poured it on 400 yards before the last turn and the downhill stretch into the finish. Mills hung tough for about 300 yards and then finally started to lose some steps. That allowed little relief through the home stretch and I had to keep checking my shoulder.
Battling it out and coming up with a Win was/is a really good feeling . It finally makes triathlon feel like a real race and not just a time trial. Pretty exciting I gotta say.
Results haven't been posted yet. (In fact they didn't even have them to post after the race, which was a little lame. They got to work on that) But I finished in about 41 minutes. Which is about 3 minutes faster than my time for last year, and 2 minutes faster than the winning time from last year. Plus it seemed to me that the swim was def longer this year.
Also the '3 mile' run is a little dubious in length. I put down a surprising 16:48 last year. Which is possible but fast. But this year my watch looked back with a 15:20. Almost a minute and a half faster than last year! I'll take that. But that would mean 5 minute miles, and I'm just not sure that I'm pulling those off yet.
All and all a really fun race (winning is definitely fun!) with lots of good cheering support (Thanks Mom, Dad, Miche, Sarah, Ben, Liz and that over friendly guy you all made friends with). It makes it a lot more fun to have people out there to race for.
Of note is the TEAM WELLS relay team: Michelle's first Aquaman experience started with a smooth swim and a nasty fast bike. Then my Mom pulled out a ripping 5k race (under 30 min!). Great job guys, it was great to watch you race!
Oh, I almost forgot to add that I made the paper! Check it out here: Keene Sentinel Article
Results will be posted here: Give Peace a Tri
Schwag: A gift certificate for two to lunch at a bistro in Keene (that was for first place)
A stainless water bottle (that was for first in my AG)

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