Thursday, July 26, 2012

Week in Review: July 26, 2012

by Brenda Chroniak

It was another banner weekend of racing for BTT. I seem to be noticing a trend here!

First and foremost, congrats to our IMLP finishers, Matt Pokress, Andy Hackett, Ross Stern, and Janice Biederman. And a huge WAY TO GO MATT for taking second in his age group and qualifying for Kona, finishing in an incredible 9:48:09. A double high-five is also due to Janice, who took third in her age group. Way to represent, guys!

While those guys were dominating the course at Placid, Noah Manacas was putting some hilly miles on his road bike at the Tour of the Hilltowns race in the Berkshires Saturday, then again at the Wells Ave Crit on Sunday, and Jason and Carolyn Soules both had top-10 age group finishes at the Jim Kane Sugar Bowl 5K.

Back in the triathlon world, Matt Pawa had a great race at the Nantucket Triathlon despite nasty currents during the swim (read his race report here) and we have a few more podiums to celebrate, with Kim Kaltreider winning her age group at the Marsh Madness sprint, and Sue Bruce and I taking second and first in our respective age groups at the Danskin Women's Sprint (Sue was also 9th overall). You can read all about this girl power race in my report.

And I know you've all been dying to know how Shelley Johnston's race went at MIT. I can tell you she rocked it, with support from BTTers Brett Johnston and Jess Douglas, but don't take my word for it--hear about it in her own words.

Good luck this weekend to everyone racing! If you're interested in cheering/supporting, the blue and green will be representing at the 24-Hour Around the Lake, Wild Cat Sprint, Witch City Triathlon, Lowell YMCA Triathlon, and the Yankee Homecoming 10-Miler. 

Race Report: Danskin Women's Sprint

by Brenda Chroniak

I got to the race, picked up my number, set up my transition area, hung out with Sue Bruce for a bit while she set up hers, and was suddenly alarmed to see that NO ONE had a wetsuit. I panicked for a second that the water was too warm, asked a volunteer, and learned that it was absolutely wetsuit legal. It was just that much of a newbie race that the majority of the field didn’t have one. So I happily put on my personal flotation device and thanked my lucky stars that I wouldn’t be drowning that morning.

I was in wave 8 of 9, so pretty much EVERYONE started before me (including Sue), and we were swimming toward the sun glare, which I was nervous about because I’m known to swim crooked in even the best conditions. In the end, my swim time was nothing spectacular, but it was almost a minute faster than last year, which I was happy about. What was the most awesome for me, though, was that even in the glare I sighted perfectly and didn't go off course once. I've been practicing my sighting at Walden and to be spot on course the whole time and to be actually using proper technique felt really good.

My T1 was a hot mess. I was so wonky after the swim that I started to take my watch off for no reason and then said aloud to myself "Oh. Why did I do that?" and put it back on. I also probably could have solved the Sunday NYT crossword in the time it took me to get out of my wetsuit and put on my bike stuff.

But then I got on the bike and just gave it my all. I didn't hold back. I’ve been working really really really really hard on my biking this year and that was the area where I hoped to see the most improvement, so I decided to try going as hard as I could, to see just how much I'd blow up on the run. I always worry about leaving something in my legs because the run is the strongest leg of the race for me, but this time I didn’t care. I wanted to push it and test my limits. And I'm not kidding, only one person passed me the entire 12 miles, and there wasn’t a single person I didn’t pass myself (mainly because I started in the second to last wave).  It was unreal. Now I know what Pokress and Dwyer must feel like during races.

I got off the bike and T2 was just as fumbly as T1. I started to run toward the bike out and the volunteers had to tell me I was going the wrong way. Awesome :) 

I felt like molasses on the run, but I was actually averaging 7:34s (solid for me) and there were plenty of undulations on the course, so I was pretty happy with that pace. And I still had a kick for the finish line. I finished almost 6 minutes faster than last year, 24th overall, and took home my first-ever age group win. Sue finished second in her AG and 9th overall. It was a good day for BTT.

Overall, I just love this race. It’s a lighthearted environment with low-key transition and finish areas, women were all cheering for and encouraging each other on the course, there was a motivational speaker/athlete in the water with a megaphone telling us we were all “excellent” and “beautiful” and “vibrant,” and there was a high-five tunnel at the finish line, which you really can’t beat.

And yes, I was that girl who showed up to this low-key, girl power, “come as you are” race with a carbon fiber tri bike sporting Michelle Quigley’s race wheel on the front and Noah’s disc cover on the back, and the guy doing bike check out after the race TOTALLY called me out on it—“Waaaait… did you ride a DISC today???”

Yes, sir, yes I did. And an AG win is an AG win. Right?

Race Report: New England Kids Triathlon

by Shelley Johnston

The day before my triathlon I felt nervous because it was my 1st one! (Ed. note: It was actually her 2nd).  On the day of my tri, I had to wake up at 5:15am! For breakfast, I had a bagel. The bagel made me quite energetic.

I felt really proud that all my friends were there for me, and when we got there, I felt really scared and excited. Daddy took me to transition area where I learned how to set up my stuff. I felt super super terrified when I saw the pool—it was like an Olympic pool! Jess took me out of the pool. I was super happy that she took me out. The bike was really fun because I didn’t fall and I just got to enjoy the ride. On the bike course I saw my friend Sophia and my sister Nicole and her friend Molly. I also saw my mommy and daddy. At the beginning of the run my legs felt fine but then at the end they felt like they were going to blow up! The weather was really humid.

My favorite part was probably the run because it was really fun for me and I’m good at it. If I could do anything different for my next tri it would be to work harder on my swimming.

I saw a friend from school who also did the tri. At the end, I won a medal. My medal is really cool because it is my 2nd medal that is actually real from a triathlon. I found out that I came in 26th place and there were 46 kids in all doing the tri (Ed note: In her Age Group)!  I came in 1st place for the run because I ran 1 mile in 8 minutes and 37 seconds. It was the fastest in all of the kids there!  

Race Report: Nantucket Triathlon

by Matt Pawa 

I had a great race on Nantucket but narrowly missed the podium this year. But it wouldn't have mattered because the results were TOTALLY scrambled by the mayhem in the water. 

The ocean current swept so many people away they had to stop the race for an hour (after my wave had already left). They then re-started the rest of the waves with a shortened swim. Because of the different swim lengths for different waves, they ultimately decided to throw out the swim and calculate results based on the bike and run only, thus resulting in people getting evicted from the podium who had gotten there fair and square within their own wave. Total disaster. Lots of very unhappy people. Thank God I didn't podium because if I had, then for sure they would have evicted me given my pathetic running skills. 

I came in fourth in my age group before they scrambled the results. But it was a beautiful day, a beautiful course, and Scott Brown invited me to ride the PMC with him and his buddies, thus putting me in a serious conflict between my political views and personal desire to have a further brush with fame. 

And oh yeah - I never really noticed the currents, so I must be doing something right in my training. Peace out.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Week in Review: July 18, 2012

by: Brenda Chroniak

Wow, BTT has certainly been killing it this season! So many great races, podiums, and awesome results across the board.

This past weekend's tent series race, Mass State, was certainly no exception. Pat Dwyer, Braden Larmon, Meg MacSwan, Paul Newman, Laura Miyakawa, and Elaine Metcalf ALL made the podium with top-3 age group places. Meg, Paul, and Elaine all won their respective AGs, as did Pat who took third overall. Also that day, Matt Coarr and Jess Douglas both had top-10 AG placements, and Lucy Herzog had a strong finish too. Congrats, guys!

That same day, Tom Christofili rocked the Evergreen Sprint in Hudson, IL, placing first in his AG and second overall, and in Amesbury, MA, at the Dam Triathlon, the O'Toole Sisters and Laurie Damianos all graced the podium with their presence: Regina's relay team placed third in their division, and Maggie and Laurie made up 2/3 of the Athena podium (Maggie taking first and Laurie third). Terry Reagan, Krista Schepanovsky, and Doug Fuller also had great races.

With all that podium time, the weekend was off to a seriously awesome start for BTT, and it concluded just as nicely on Sunday. Ira Sills reported back from Appleman that there was a BTT trifecta! In Ira's own words:

"Sean Sullivan was first overall! (Awesome). Jen Scalise Marinofsky was first in AG and #7 overall; and I was first in AG! (163out of 500 racers) I knew Sean was fast. I was in the last wave and Sean in the first, but he was done as I was just starting out for the run and I turned around in shock to hear him cheering me on the run out. Knew it was time to pick up the pace. Sean was cheered on by both his parents who raced IMLP with him last year, and the fastest woman was his cousin. Some pretty good genes in the Sullivan family."

Also that day, Stephen Wall had a great race at Ironman 70.3 Racine, Tim Daley had a top-10 AG finish at the Ellington Sprint Triathlon, and I squeaked my way into a top-10 AG finish at the Stowe 8-Miler, one of my all time favorite running races. This was my fifth consecutive year racing it, and though it usually conflicts with popular local triathlons and it's a 3.5 hour drive away, I wouldn't ever miss Stowe for the world. The air is fresh, the course is beautiful and challenging, the race is never crowded, and there is beer and ice cream at the finish. I gave up racing for a goal time a few years ago, and I use this race each year to remind myself why I love to run, catch a little runner's high on one of the big descents, count the cows along the course (6 this year), and challenge myself to pace properly by actually going out slowly (the toughest hills come in the last 3 miles) and finishing feeling strong.

Last but not least, future BTT-er Shelley Johnston did GREAT in her first triathlon and is looking forward to racing again this weekend at MIT. If you go to cheer her on, keep an eye out for her super sweet disc wheel and note how she sets up her transition area like a pro (see attached). Also this weekend,we have teammates participating in the Tour of the Hilltowns, the Nantucket Triathlon, the Danskin Women's Sprint, the Marsh Madness Sprint, and of course IRONMAN LAKE PLACID! Good luck to everyone who is racing, and hopefully one of our Ironmen or (Ironlady) will be kind enough to contribute a race report for next week's WIR. Please?

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Week in Review: July 12, 2012

by Brenda Chroniak

The WIR is back after a patriotic hiatus. I hope everyone had a great 4th of July! Audrey Perlow raced that day, with a solid finish in the Age (and Gender!) Handicapped 4-Miler.

This past weekend was yet another busy one, with team members racing the Mill City Triathlon, the Old Colony YMCA Olympic, the NYC triathlon, the Providence 70.3, the 70.3 Muncie, and the Saratoga 12/24 bike race.  Congrats are due to Matt Pokress who was first overall at Mill City, and Lauren Bonaca who placed second in her age group (and 8th overall) at Old Colony!  Virtual High Fives are also in order for Jeff Daily, Bryan Canterbury, Ed Galante, Tom Christofili, and Krista Schepanovsky, who all had strong finishes in their respective races.

Coming up this weekend is our next Tent Series race, the Mass State Triathlon. Nine team members listed it as a race goal, and hopefully many more signed up to volunteer, so we should have a great showing at this local race. Also this weekend, the blue and green will represent at the Dam Triathlon, Appleman, the Ellington Sprint, and Ironman 70.3 Racine. And future BTT member (Rookie Class of 2026?) Shelley Johnston will be competing in the Mass State Sixth Annual Kids Triathlon--her very first!

Good luck to everyone! Please be sure to submit your results, and let me know if you'd like to contribute a race report. I'm always looking for them. They don't have to be long, detailed, or clever. Just share your experience with everyone. And if you want to volunteer at Mass State, please get in touch with Noah.

Happy Thursday!