A local race and a very civilized 9:00 am start time meant that I didn't have to set my alarm for the middle of the night for a change! Never-the-less, I was (as always) one of the earlier arrivals at Brook's Park in Cary and was soon registered and warming-up with a nice easy run around the park.
After having a little trouble inflating the tire (or "tyre" if you're reading this in the UK!) on my front Zipp 808 race wheel and running over to bike support to get the valve loosened, I got my transition area set-up and was soon chatting to Rabbit and Mr. Rabbit as the sun finally started to get a bit higher and take some of the chill out of the air. A big topic of conversation was "what to wear?". It was certainly a bit chilly and it would almost certainly be cold on the bike if you didn't layer-up a little. Worse than that though (for me at least, would be being too hot as the race went on. In the end I opted for long running tights over my tri shorts and an Under Armour long-sleeve under my tri top. Gloves were ready in transition for the bike leg!
|Rabbit "prepping".... It seems that she opted for the "I'm going to wear everything" approach!|
|The Coachman cometh!|
|Ashley looking cold? angry? surprised? when I snapped this picture in transition.|
OK, so on to more serious stuff.... the race!
|Transition area seemed strangely uncluttered without the need for wetsuits, towels and so on!|
|Coach Bri apparently had different ideas and brought the kitchen sink!|
Run One: 2.5 miles: An out and back course through a neighborhood and around Brooks Park, with a couple of hills.
The run got off to a slow start as the opening section was narrow and crowded. I ran with Flipper Ass to start and knew that things weren't all that special, but found somewhat of a rhythm after about half a mile. By this time Flipper was easing away, but I could still see that hideous pink outfit up in the distance. The rest of the run was basically uneventful, but slower than I would have liked.
20 min 32 seconds. Just over 8 min/mile pace.
Bike: 17.65 miles. Rolling - not too many truly flat sections.
I feel that the bike went reasonably well. I wouldn't call it windy by Outer Banks standards, but it was certainly breezy and there were times whenyou could certainly feel the effects of the head wind. I basically tried to stay in aero position and keep a strong steady cadence. As usual, I was overtaken by a few speedsters, but I enjoyed chasing down and overtaking many more, including Flipper Ass! :-) (she would get her revenge later!).
56 min 50 seconds. ~18.7 mph
Run Two: 2.5 miles.
Things got a little uglier here. Legs were a little "toasty" getting off the bike and I took a while to find a decent rhythm. Even when I started turning over a little better I just felt slow. Slogged it out though, even after Flipper Ass blew by me on her way to her third place age group finish!
22 mins 51 seconds
Overall (inc. transitions): 1:41:34
|Yes, it was painful!|
|Coming into the finishing chute. Almost there!|
The guy who won was almost a full ten minutes faster, but I was encouraged that we had about the same bike split (he absolutely rocked the run!!). The guy in second had similar run splits to me but a great bike. Overall, I am a happy camper!