Friday, October 21, 2005

Fun at Tinleys

Tinley's Toughest Triathlon
October 1, 2005

This is one of the races that I look forward to each year. Why, you ask? Because it is a low key race with camping, s'mores and friends. Jay, Sprocket and I drove down on friday afternoon and we were able to get a great camping spot in our usual Camp Obello spot. After pitching the tent and having some lunch I did a short ride and run. After the pro meeting, dinner and conversations I went to bed.

I was up at 6am getting the coffee ready as this race is an early one! It's great because all athletes, pro and amatuer, men and women start at 8am. The tranisition area is first come, first serve as far as getting a spot on the rack. I found one just in front of the bike out. It was pretty chilly to start and I'm always glad for a wetsuit swim!

The swim is two loops where after the first loop you get out of the water run around one piece of the omni structure while trying not to slip on the concrete and moss boat ramp and then jump/dive/belly flop back into the water for the final loop. I was able to draft two of the men and exited the water in a time of 21:49 only 1:38 minutes down from the lead! I had a smooth transition as I decided to put my shoes on first and then get on the bike as there was a hill to climb straight out of T1. I was able to pass a few people on the hill as a result of this tactic. It took me a few miles to get in the groove of this "short" race. This was going to be my last hard effort before Ironman Hawaii. The bike course has rolling hills through farm land with the course being mostly closed to vehicular traffic. I was able to pass a few of the slower cyclists who had exited the water before me. I kept pushing and felt very strong throughout the bike portion. I had the third fastest bike split at 1:08:19. I still need to work a bit on my transitions, but I was able to get out of T2 quickly and start the hilly 10k run. The run course is also two loops that include a particularly tough climb. My pace for the run was okay considering I've been training for much longer distances, but it wasn't fast enough as Belinder Granger from Australia comes flying by me on the uphill like I was standing still! Although she did confess that the second time up the hill she was practically walking and that I would have laughed if I saw her! No worries, as I think we all felt like that the second time around. My run split was 40:22. Ouch! That's alright though as I felt good and pushed as hard as I could for the day. My final time was 2:11:50 and 5th place.

I leave in three days to go to Kona, Hawaii and get ready to race my first Ironman Hawaii! Stay tuned.

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