Wednesday, July 18, 2007

2007 Early Races

I did a couple of events this year leading up to Lake Placid. Naturally, I have no pictures from the NJ Devilman Half, the only distance race I've done more than once. So, you'll just have to take my word for it that I showed up again.

Devilman was a windy one this year. In '06 I PRed at the distance. This year... I did not. Although I had my fastest run ever. So that's something (a faster run, in fact).

I also joined in a half ironman relay with Phil (Hannah's dad) and Dan, a guy I know from work. I swam (quelle surprise).

Apparently late May in Harriman State Park in NY is really freaking miserable. I wore my full wetsuit (as opposed to the sleeveless) for the first time ever. I believe I had the warmest leg of the race.

Relays were in the second wave, along with most of the women and older men. I was one of the few people charging from the start horn, along with one other guy who I overheard telling someone else that he was in a relay. So, my plan was to hang with this guy.

That lasted about 200m. I'm a fairly fast swimmer (in the age group triathlon world), but this guy was unreal. It was taking everything I had to hang on his feet, so I downshifted to a more reasonable effort and swam solo the rest of the way. No drafting for Nick.

At some point during the swim, it started to rain, but I didn't notice until I came out of the water (2nd in the wave, 6th overall, there's something!). I ran to transition and handed off the timing chip to Dan (our cyclist), who was wearing every piece of clothing he owned. I then went to the bathroom to change and lose my breakfast and then had a long sit in the car, broken up by short trips to the bike course to cheer Dan on (it was a four loop course). I think about half the field dropped out on the bike, many of whom assumed that they would be okay in a tri singlet in sub-50 degree temperatures with rain and wind. Ahhh triathletes, we're a vain, stupid bunch.

Dan didn't drop out, what with some intelligence and clothes and all.

After the bike, Dan and Phil exchanged the chip and Phil was off. Hannah and I sat in the car again. Dan changed and tried to get warm in his own car.

It actually stopped raining for the run portion and Phil came back shirtless. At first I thought it was a result of the madness you hear climbers getting when they get lost on Everest. You know, when they go hypothermic and actually think they're overheating, so they take off all their clothes and end up freezing to death. I'm serious, I didn't make that up.

In any event, Phil was actually just hot.

We had a good race overall and finished fourth. First place had the fastest time of the day (uber swimmer was on that team) and beat us by over an hour.

It was nice to only have to bring a speedo, wetsuit and goggles to a race, instead of all the gear you need for a full event. However, the key lesson I learned is that while small long distance triathlons are fun to do, they are boooooring to watch. I think I'll throw Hannah a bone and only do short distance races next year (see I do care).

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