Following two early races, brushing off all the dust and fine tuning of some transition skills, I was able to bring together two very solid races for the middle of April. Both races were vary enjoyable as many more of my friends and training partners were racing.
Granite Falls Triathlon is always fun as this in my training base and now were we reside. This was a pool swim and I continued to struggle in the water. I wasn’t able to stretch it out and get into a comfortable pace in which I am used to, or maybe it was that Dwayne Dixon was hanging in there and taking me out in the pool. Following the swim I had a very fast T1 and off on the nice hilly ride through western Wake Forest. This ride has a few nice climbs, however the toughest is on Highway 98, about a 1/2 mile climb at a 8-9% grade. Off on the run which is just as hilly and challenging with one mile on a gravel road. Once again I wasn’t able to hold off Dwayne as he took over with about two miles remaining on the run. Finishing the race in second was very rewarding. This race marked a two year mark from my first ever triathlon (same location) and I had improved in all elements of the race with a total of about six minute. Can’t complain. Also, thank you to my wife Tricia for getting me into triathlons, she was the driving force two years ago to begin racing. And congratulations to her on her fast race at Granite Falls!
Triangle Orthopedic Sprint at Beaver Dam, this was a new venue and it was combined with the International distance race. This was my first FSSeries race and it was very relaxing and enjoyable. This was a local race for me, so there were many friends participating, working and spectating; races are so enjoyable when you have friends near by. The team was well represented with great finishes in both distances.
International – Doug Van Wie 1st, Mark Carey 3rd, Josh West 7th and Dan Sullivan 13th; Shannon Lowery 2nd
Sprint – Robert VanGraafeiland 1st and Zack Capets 2nd.
Racing was scheduled to begin at 9:30 with the International and Sprint at 10:00; all swims ended up starting about 20 minutes late. Heading into this race I was hoping to do well, swim with Marty Gaal, ride strong and hold off Zack as long as I could in the bike and run. This was my first comfortable swim of the season. It was about a 150 swim to the first turn and this is where Marty and I met up, he starting in the left of the pack and I in the right. The next 500 was a straight shot to the next turn with one sight buoy in the middle, then with about 200 to the finish, yes that doesn’t add up, the swim was long. Following the first turn I could not see the sight buoy, so I didn’t waste time looking for it; I count on Marty’s experience and hung close to him, bouncing from his left side, right side and at his feet, I learned he kicks the entire time. After the final turn I pulled up and stayed next to Marty until we hit the beach when I took off to the bike.
With a relaxing swim behind me, a excellent T1, I was heading out on the bike for the many hills ahead. The bike had plenty of opportunities to get your seed up, on the down hills and flats, it also had it’s share of decent climbs, not too difficult. Fun parts of the bike were meeting up with all the International competitors for the first five miles. This was encouraging as it is always inspiring to have the feeling of passing people. There was a portion, miles one to three, where we had a gradual climb (maintaining a good speed) and had cars backing up in the same direction, creating interval type riding as there wasn’t always room between the vehicles and riders to pass. And then there was the the more than ten fire trucks on the road and down at the lake pumping water. The bike finish ended with a fast mile inside the park and even passing a couple vehicles.
Entering T2 extremely fast, it was a down hill run with my bike to the rack. I honestly think this may have been the fastest running part of my race, it was quite scary as I was trying to slow down to rack the bike. Out on the run quick and specifically telling Kory Gray (pacer) to slow down, I was ready to start my favorite part of the race, just kidding. Running out to the turn around there is a false flat most of the way, lending to a decent decline for the the run back. After the turn around, I saw Zack and realized I may be able to take this race. This run also allowed me time to think some on my stride, thinking how I run and should it be different. Often when I run I am just thinking I want this over with. Crossing the finish line with a good performances in all disciplines.
FSSeries put on two great events and I look forward to their next race. A very special Thank You for the race support with Danny Langton and crew of ITS (Intelligent Training Systems), http://intrinsic-motion.com/