Tuesday, August 10, 2010

5 miles from Canada

By Audrey Perlow

My teammates woke up quite early to head to their triathlon with a 7:30 start. Six of them were competing in a unique triathlon. The point of their race was to lengthen the swim portion of the race to reward stronger swimmers who I guess typically get shafted in regular triathlons. The race had a 3.5 mile swim, a 35 mile bike, and a 13.1 mile run. Yes, a 3.5 miles swim.

I did not compete in that event.

I competed in the associated sprint that started at 9 AM: 500 yard swim, 13 mile bike, 5 mile run.

Pre-race I checked out the female competition. Last year's winner was there. I had seen her previous winning time and I felt like I could best it. That said, she was still the defending champion and that freaked me out a little. Another woman showed up who looked fit-and then she took off her warm-up clothes. She was wearing a kit w/ her name on it. Egads! The GOOD people have those. Consider me intimidated.

The swim started (we ran in from the shore) and the girl in the name kit quickly got away from me. I made it back to shore in about nine minutes which I was excited about and I had no idea where I was placed. Name girl was out of transition (she was racked near me) and more bikes than I had expected were gone as well. This was a guy heavy field though so that likely had something to do with the chunk of people beating me back to shore.

I got on my bike and was eventually passed by I think two guys. Soon after starting the bike I passed one guy and a girl (last year's winner). Other than that I rode alone. I had to follow signs b/c there were no other bikers near me. It was kind of hard to motivate with no people around but I tried to do math in my head as I got towards the end of it and figure out if I had a shot of beating last year's winner's overall time.

I zoomed into transition looking to see if name girl was anywhere near me. She was not. As I headed out into the run I asked some volunteers how many girls were ahead of me. They all yelled, "NONE!" This was exciting information...that I knew, however, was false! There was NO WAY name girl was behind me. (And she did not look AT ALL like a dude so I don't know how people missed her!) But it was kind of cool I could be in second place!

My run was just okay. The course was hilly. Mainly though, my legs were still tired from racing for 24 hours last weekend and I could definitely feel it. As I started the run I saw last year's winner coming into T2 and I figured I was about 2-3 minutes ahead of her. Then I saw the 4th place woman right behind her. I better get a hustle on! I tried to push it and glance back occasionally. I asked another race volunteer if there was a woman ahead of me and she said, "One." I was so excited to be second overall (this has never happened to me in a triathlon) and I didn't want to lose my lead!!! I ran steadily and was passed by one guy and I passed one guy.

I would eventually run 40:09 for 5 miles. That's pretty poor for me. But given the month of training I've (not) had (Achilles tendonitis so bad I couldn’t wear shoes for two weeks) and my long race last weekend and the fact that it was still good enough to bring home SECOND I'll gladly and happily take it!!! WOOOOOOHOOOOOO!!!!!!!! And I did beat last year's winner's time by about 9 minutes. Last year's winner came in third and beat her own old time. She was about 5 minutes behind me.

I won a new bike helmet and a tri top (the latter from the raffle). The swag at this race was amazing and I got an awesome wooden medal for 2nd. I then hung out for a while waiting for my teammates to finish their ridiculous race-and they all did!

It was good times camping and competing in northern northern northern VT.

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