Monday, November 25, 2013

2013 Clays Park Triathlon

Today I am continuing to take a look back at this year's multi-sport races.  This past May I competed in the Clays Park Triathlon.  This race continued the tradition of poor racing weather this year as the temperature this morning was a balmy 37 degrees.  Yep, a triathlon with an air temp below 40.  Luckily this race took place on a shallow inland lake and the water was fairly warm.  I had a lot of nerves going into this race as I wanted to do well for several reasons.  I wasn't off to a good start to this point with a DNF in Knoxville and a 2nd place in Sagamore.  Plus, my relatives live in this area and this would be the first Triathlon they've watched.

I got to the race early to get set up so I could point everything out to my parents and sister.  Due to the air temp being as cold as it was.  There was a thick layer of fog over the leg and to make matters worse.  I tree had fallen onto the race route.  As a result, the race ended up being delayed 90 minutes.

The water itself was pretty pleasant compared to the air temp.  My wave was the first to go and each following wave was separated by about 5 minutes.  I really enjoy being in the first wave as its always fun being up towards the front during the bike leg.

The horn blew and the race got off to a furious start, which is typical for sprint races.  It quickly became hard to navigate traffic as a lot of people went out too fast and were stopping to take breaks.  This lake is very shallow and when you tired you could just stand.  It was easy to see this was the first outdoor swim for many.  I made it do the turn around point, which was across the lake.  I to went out too fast as my shoulders began to burn on the way back.  Sucking it up, I made my way to the beach and exited the water.

Time:  400 yards in 4:22

Transition 1
It was a bit of a run up a hill to the transition area.  I made the quick decision to not put any additional clothing on to ride the bike.  Not sure what I was thinking, but I decided to gut it out in a TRI kit.  I ran into a bit of delay getting my shoes on as my feet were wet and numb.

Time:  2:05

This was a point to point course with no major climbs, but full of rollers.  Due to all the rollers it was hard to settle into a rhythm.  About halfway through, I began to regret my decision not to put on additional clothing.  My feet were completely numb and my skin was pink from the cold air.  I was so cold that it became hard to breathe.  Luckily it was only a 12 miles course and I was happy for it to be over with when I got back.

Times:  12 miles in 36:06

Transition 2
I was able to get in and out fairly easily as I had a spot on the edge of the bike rack.  We were separated by our divisions, so it was good to see nobody else in my group was back yet.  I quickly put on my running shoes and took off.

Time:  51 seconds

This run was a 5K on a 2 loop course.  It isn't the easiest course to run as it was rolling too and consisted of gravel and road.  It also takes place in a camp ground that is full of people celebrating a festival.  Most of the people were still drunk from the night before and/or busy getting drunk that morning.  It was pretty funny getting cheered on by them.  The only annoying thing was they built camp fires on the side of the road for us.  I was already on the verge of hyperventilating due to what felt like the onset of hyperthermia.  The smoke made things really tough and I had to pull up and walk a few times to regulate my breathing.  With a mile to go, I finally regained feeling in my feet and ran hard to finish strong.

Time:  5K in 29:32

Smart wardrobe choice for 37 degrees. 

This was hard, but fun race.  The frigid temps really compounded things.  Luckily, all my hard work paid off as I finished first place in my group.  My total time was 1 hour 12 minutes and 58 seconds.  Good enough for a 4 minute lead over 2nd place.  I was so happy to win this with my parents and sister present.  I think they were in awe of the sport.  Triathlons can be pretty crazy and it was cool to share this experience with them.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

The other day on my 10 miler I was thinking about doing an ironman. Like in my head I was imagining race day and doing the swim, bike and run. As soon as I stopped running I laughed at how silly I am and ate a donut :)