Jun. 2, 2008

Milton Triathlon Report

2008 Milton Triathlon - Finish LineYesterday I raced in the Milton Triathlon. My time was about the same as last year, but my place was 85/583 instead of 112/612. A slight improvement, I wish I hadn't lost so much time in the first transition trying to get my wet suit off! Couldn't find my zipper pull... No good race photos either, I'm only in a few shots, way off-center.

It was a great day overall, cool with a threat of rain at first but by the time the race started it had warmed up a bit and settled into very comfortable overcast conditions with only some gusting winds to contend with. The water was fine too, cool but not so cold as to require bracing oneself.

I didn't get much of a warm up as I was so busy saying Hi to friends and teammates, but the swim was good. I started at the front of my wave and stayed there, covering the 750m in 11:25, good for 4/58 in my age group and 28th overall, with an average of 1:32/100m. The final leg of the clockwise swim was a bit hairy, with swarms of slower swimmers from the earlier waves to be negotiated. The first transition was a bit of a nightmare; 2:41! Big trouble unzipping my wet suit. I must have looked like a dog chasing his tail trying to find the zipper pull cord... I think I lost nearly a minute there.

The bike felt good, with an easy downhill start. I made good progress toward the notorious Sixth Line Hill and managed to crest it with only a few pumps out of the saddle. On top of the escarpment I did well too, passing more often than I was passed. In previous races I found myself being passed quite a lot as the strong cyclists caught up after having a poor swim. Not so much this time. After the far point of the bike course it became mostly downhill, so I got quite a bit faster. When we returned to Sixth Line Hill the descent was exhilarating. I hit 80 KPH! I had to deploy the aerobrakes big time in order to safely navigate the sharp left turn at the bottom. My rear hub has developed a bit of bearing drag, so my cassette tries to spin forward a bit when I'm coasting and the chain can hang dramatically. I heard some unnerving sounds on that descent... For the ride I was 17/58 in my category, 119th overall with a split of 53:48 and an average speed of 33.5 kph. I still need to work on this part of my race.

My second transition was a much more respectable 1:10. As I left the transition area my left foot felt a bit numb, but that went away very quickly. The run starts with an immediate small hill, but I was too pumped to even notice it, especially with friends there cheering me on. My run felt strong and steady. The 7.5k course was a rolling out-and-back route, like the bike it was also mostly uphill for the first half. I was able to spot a lot of team mates and friends and cheer them on as we passed each other. In the final kilometer I passed a runner who immediately passed me back. I wondered if I'd just caught him at a slow moment so I said "Sorry!" but he replied "You won't get it that easy." That's when I noticed his age group was the same as mine. Game on! I trailed him for a while and then lit the afterburners as we approached the final corner. I passed him and another half dozen runners in the final 200m. My run split was 33:32, good for 10/58 in my age group and 90th overall, with an average pace of 4:29/k. That final sprint was hard work, I was pretty shattered after the finish line. I also managed to slightly twist my right ankle in that last kilometer, but it didn't start hurting until I got home. Now it feels pretty close to normal again.

My final result was 1:42:33, 12/58 in my age group and 85th overall. We had a mini party at the finish line as more and more Club members crossed the line and joined me. My Club got a good number of age group top three finishes at the award ceremony later (my age group is way too competitive, I'll have to wait until I'm older or change gender...). Nice start to the 2008 season.

Listening to: Use It by The New Pornographers from Twin Cinema.

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