Racing on home turf

This last weekend was the Rockford Olympic Triathlon. My friend and fellow triathlete, Adam Rahn, mentioned he had signed up so I decided to look into it. I am actually from Rockford and saw that it was on a weekend when I was headed up there anyway. So, why not? Kind of funny though. When I first started this sport I would hear people mention that they were going on a beach vacation or somewhere else perfectly enjoyable, but they figured that as long as they were there, they would take in a race. I never could understand what the heck their problem was. Now I kind of get it…it’s fun!

Anyway, home town, have one friend doing the race, plus a few couple of pals from the Tri Shark Club, life couldn’t get any better, right? Wrong. As I am getting set up in the transition area, I see Dan and Laura Wheatley walking up. Dan decided to take on the tri at the last minute. Very cool surprise.

From left: Me, Dan, and Laura

So a good situation is even better. Plus my parent came along to cheer me on and took some great pictures. Anyway, now to the race. Swim was fairly standard. It was wet suit legal, which is good for me. What was new was that it was a beach start. I am used to beginning in the water. Plus, the swim circuit was two laps with racers needing to exit the water after the first lap and cross a timing mat before going back in.

Wave one swim start. I’m the one in the blue swim cap, goggles, and wearing a wetsuit.

You can see me in the background emerging from the water after lap one and running toward the timing mat. Dan is in the background on the right in the sleeveless wetsuit.

Time for swim was 31:28.

Onto the bike portion. It was an out and back course with hills both ways and a nice headwind on the return. Even though we crossed some major intersections, volunteers were great at keeping the racers moving–at least I didn’t have to stop! I guess the only bad thing about the bike was that we went over several sets of rumble strips. Those just bleed speed! (Which IS what they are supposed to do, but you really see the drop while on the bike.)

Welcome back!

Taking off for the bike leg.

I’m starting on the run…huh, who is that still in transition while I’ve already moved on…looks familiar…

Coming in on the bike Dan managed to pull ahead of me. We switch positions a few times during the bike portion. He decided to make it a race until the very end. Damn you!

Total time for bike was 1:21:54. (Note: Due to a computer error, this time also includes T1.)

So finally to the run. The run had some hills, which I don’t really mind. It still wasn’t very hot out, and it was in a forested area, which happens to be my top choice of scenery for running. I was feeling a little tired, but managed to keep it moving. Near the very end of the run, maybe the last 1.5 miles, it started to sprinkle. Once again, I don’t really mind a little bit of weather.

You can see a little rain starting to fall as I am crossing the finish.

Run time was 52:27. Not bad. Not great either.

Overall time was 2:47:35. Overall place was 37th.

Right after I finished, a freaking monsoon started. Props to my fellow racers for running in the downpour. If you don’t like being soaked to the bone it can make an exhausting event even tougher.

I enjoyed this one. The race director and his crew put on a good race. The rain prevented the usual after-race socializing and energy around the finish line, but it can’t be helped. Things were made all the better by having family there, as well as friends who made the race more interesting. Next triathlon is Evergreen Olympic Triathlon, with the Pedaling for Kicks bike event in between. In the meantime I am going to hunt for a new bike saddle. More on that next time.

This entry was posted in Bike, Cycling, Running, Swimming, Triathlon. Bookmark the permalink.

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