[B][/B]There were a lot of issues with this race, which I detailed in a seperate post. I'll touch on them here but won't elaborate.
Packet pick up was a little odd because the junior elites were racing right on the road it was on so it was a bit of a walk to get there. Not a big deal, and there were plenty of people to tell us where to go. Once I sat through the pre race meeting we were required to attend (this was a good idea considering how many first timers there were) I got my goodie bag and well... easily one of the best I have ever received. A transition bag, a cycling jersey, (matching shorts sold for $35), a running cap or visor (your choice) and a ton of other little trinkets. For the $120 entry fee I thought this was a great deal.
woke up at 3:45 had the usual short distance race breakfast of 2 bagels with peanut butter and some juice. Transition opened at 4:30 so I left my hotel at 4:15 since it was only about 7 miles away. I spent the next hour in traffic waiting to park and barely made it in TA before they closed it. Got to the swim start and was right at the front of the first wave. We were told the day before that we just needed to follow the canoe and all other racers would, of course, follow us. Excellent theory.
Gun goes off and I rush to the front of the pack. I do a few hard pushes and set in a decent pace early. I have a good sight line on the canoe. On my next sight though I can see 4 different canoes all over the place. uh oh. look to my left and see half of us going towards one canoe and the other half are with me. After I round the first penisula I see the bouy and find a line that takes me around it properly. As I round the first bouy I take a massive kick to the chest. It was so hard I had to hold the bouy to regain my breath, thats what I get for trying to stay at the front. The rest of the swim was ok but that kick really slowed me down. I struggled to sight the rest of the swim, but talking post race, so did everyone. I climb out of the water and run to T1, water was 80 degrees so no wet suit to worry about.
T1 was beautifully smooth, I forgot to throw my gels in my pocket, but I still have the one's attached to my bike.
By my estimation I was roughly 30th - 40th out of the water. Not bad considering I had to hold a bouy. I had a rough mount on the bike but now my shoes are on and I'm off. I'm holding a very strong pace and have passed about 12 people and only one person has passed me, so far so good. I'm starting to dream about PR's on an olympic course and how good it will feel to have a sub 2:25 time and how great it will be to be in the top of my age group at an event this size when my stomach starts to hurt.... a lot. I look down and it's mile 10. I continue to push, hoping it will go away, but no luck. I start slowing down, way down. My stomach is just cramping up and just making me feel awful. at the turn around my time was just under 31 minutes, my total bike time was 1:13:26. I lost 12 minutes from my stomach and I can't believe I didn't lose more. Right towards the end of the bike was a massive hill that would have been a blast under different circumstances. Seeing the transition area on that bike was a beautiful thing.
I jump off the bike and walk my bike to the rack. My stomach is too messed up to risk running it. I get my shoes on and walk to the run start, cross the chip line and everything in my stomach decides it wants to come out, luckily there was a garbage can near by. AHHHHH that feels so much better. Of course an EMT sees me and tries telling me to stop. I kinda laughed and in true form said "you don't work these events often do you?" He smiled back and said "guess not".
Now that My stomach is starting to feel a little better I knew I shouldn't risk it by going out strong. I set myself in a nice, slow 9 minute mile pace and just cruised through the run. The loop they had was very confusing but that is detailed in my other post.
Crossed the line and looked up, just thankful that it didn't say 3 hours on it. This race really taught me not to test stomach issues. I now know if I would have backed off right away when I felt it I would have had a much better time considering how strong my swim and first part of the bike was. The volunteers were great and the spectator level was a lot higher than I expected given the heat. Not sure if this is going to be added to my annual list, but it is certainly something to consider. I know I complained a lot in the other post, but they are simple fixes that can be expected on the first year of a race. Kinda wish I would have hooked up with mdd, and I hope I'm not the person that almost sent him to a watery grave! :)