Finally - after over a year of waiting got a race done - the Newport Triathlon Sprint Distance. In summary it was a very mixed bag for me.
Let’s start with the weather. Morning was great temperature - 68F and clear skies, but lurking out in the Atlantic was Hurricane Larry really far away but created quite the gnarly seas. Race organizers decided to shorten the swim due to safety…they made the right call. Winds were from the south at about 17mph sustained - so quite the windy day.
Swim: The swim is definitely my strongest discipline, or so I thought until yesterday, but then also realized it is. The start was a 10 sec stagered start. I was towards the front. Once we hit the water I soon found myself at the front. But, the organizers decided to use the white marker for the wake area of the beach instead of the nice bright yellow buoys. I ran into troubled as I couldn’t see the buoy as the waves were cresting at maybe 5-6 feet and veered off course being at the front - it was to my left by quite a bit. Quickly moved over and started to chase…and then things went wrong. I took two big gulps of water and had to stop to regain composure. Once around the buoy started coming back noticed a lady in trouble. So I stopped to hold her afloat until safety paddle board showed up. This really tired me out but finally made it to the beach and walked for the most part to transition to recover. Later found out many people didn’t make it to the buoy and many were surfed back in. Final result 9:24, but who know the distance. 69th of 136, but rescued a swimmer.
Bike: The bike course iwas 10.6 miles. The start of the bike was all about recovering from the swim and drinking. The first half is long up slope to the halfway mark. I am heavier know these roads inside out and just kept it at threshold or just under knowing I could bomb on the way back down. So naturally lots of people passing me on the way up - I just knew I would see them later. Kept to plan, finally body felt ready to go on the halfway mark and jsut start to push on the way back. Riding these roads 2-3 times a week is great. Felt good overall and passed many of the same people that went past me on the way up. Overall: 35:20, averaged only 17.9mph. 35th fastest time…not too bad.
Oh yeah I need to run…well the run and I just don’t get along. It was pure misery plus all the fatigue from the swim was catching up. maintained a mostly steady pace of 9:40/mile. Everyone, and I mean everyone just kept running past. Towards the end this 68 yo lady came by as well - kudos to her. Crossed the finish line and collapsed. Run time 30:34. 92nd fastest - in other words one of the slowest
Overall Time: 1:17:39.
Overall Place: 61/136
BUT most importantly accomplished my goal: 2nd in my age group!!