Katie and I spent the weekend in Louisville KY at the magnificent Gault House Hotel which was the host of Ironman Louisville. Friday was athlete check in, Saturday bike, gear check in and athlete briefing. The build up to Sundays race was nerve-racking, the weather was predicted to be hot and humid (Kentucky in August, who knew). We did get sometime to go out and see Louisville, which is a very nice town and maybe even nicer people.
On race day we all headed to the swim start, 2000 triathletes like lemmings about to jump off a cliff or a dock in this case. The swim is in the Ohio River starting up river then turning down river swimming under two bridges and exiting at Joe’s Crab Shack.
The bike course was in beautiful rolling horse country. They had water stations every 10-12 miles which helped deal with the heat. My bike leg was uneventful, I tried to keep cool and not use up too much of my legs.
The run is though Louisville past University of Louisville and Church Hill Downs. The heat became very apparent on the run, most of us were pouring ice water on ourselves at the water stations trying to keep cool. The run seemed to take forever, but the great folks of Louisville were out on the course cheering us on. The last two blocks of the run are incredible, both sides were lined with screaming people, cheering like they personally knew me.
This event had tons of volunteers that made it easy to navigate transition and get what ever was needed on the course, it was largely due to them that I was able to finish in 12 hours and 38 mins. under my goal of beating Hines Wards time at Kona of 13 hours and 8 mins.
A Girl’s Best Friend Triathlon, Michigan. It was a cool morning, but sunny. I have participated in this event four of the last five years, first as a duathlon, then sprint triathlon. The past two years I have chosen the Olympic distance. There’s a lot to love about this race and I keep coming back to it. It was my first-ever race, the atmosphere is celebratory and the weather is always perfect. With crystal-clear water (okay, granted, being able to see all of the weeds creeps some people out, but I’m not one of those people anymore), a flat and fast bike course and a trail run, this race is built for me.
The goal: To improve upon last year’s times and place first in my age group instead of last year’s second. SUCCESS on the first part; FAIL on the second. I had an absolutely miserable bike and run after a pretty mellow swim. I felt so slow and after awhile, somewhat queasy. The running and riding I have been doing has had lots of hills, which made me wonder why this was so difficult! It should have been easy-peasy. With about two miles to go I remember thinking, I may need to throw up, but I’m waiting until after the finish line. That thought got me through and once I’d finished, I felt fine.
The data: I already mentioned, 2nd. I’m happy and I’ll take that. I have dropped about 7 seconds per 100 from my best swim time, 2.0 mph from my bike pace and below 9-minute miles on the run. My transitions were also my best this year and I shaved 14:45 from last year’s overall time. It feels great to have improved on all three disciplines, where in the past if one went well, generally another one suffered. Triathlon is a sport where finding the perfect balance when training each skill is difficult, I can definitely say it has been difficult for me. It’s funny how things like swimming, biking and running, all things I could do as a kid, toss me for a loop as an adult. I think its part of the challenge and draw to the sport. Now that my season is done, I’m wondering… if I did one more tri, and got the nutrition right this time….
The cause: This race is also the event I chose for my Pedaling With a Purpose campaign. The organization I am pedaling for is Girl’s on the Run of Calhoun County. GOTR is so much fun, and makes such an impact on the lives and futures of girls. Could you please follow my link and donate today?
Josh here; coming off a great win at Shermanator, my confidence was back and I was ready to smoke it at Cereal City. This is a great new race sponsored by our great Team Active Cycling & Fitness shop and also brings out a ton of WSI Racers.
It was another beautiful morning and I was set for another Du. Last year I placed second overall. With longer runs, if swift runners are at this race it’s hard to gain enough time on the bike split, even averaging over 23mph, to keep enough space for a win. That is exactly what happened last year.
While runners started out faster than me, I just tried to keep them in sight. Unfortunately, one was fast enough that even with my decent bike split, I would only have enough in me if he ran a slow second run and he did not! This guy ran 20min 5Ks and compared to my 23min 5Ks the four plus minutes I gained on him on the bike just wasn’t enough.
Overall, I placed 2nd and improved my times from last year so I am very pleased. Another great race is in the books and it was great seeing all the WSI participation and some of our sweet sponsors out there supporting (Team Active Cycling & Fitness and McCullough Chiropractic).
Who can pass up an opportunity to swim in the Hudson River? Not I! It’s fast and dirty. An epic swim that can’t be replicated because each sighting breath brings the famous New York skyline into focus.
A few years back my daughter Christi Thomas passed away from a rare cancer. She was made famous in oncology circles in part through the work of webmaster Eric Cook and Christithomas.com. As we progressed through treatment we made close friends from around the world who had children with the same cancer. One by one all of the children that we knew died. As an offshoot of that experience several of the dads formed a group of commiserating guys that became known as Sad Dads. Two of them founded a charity dedicated to eradicating this disease Solvingkidscancer.org The executive director and co-founder Scott Kennedy is pictured.
So all that is to say that in New York I raced on team Sad Dads promoting Solving Kids Cancer!!
It was raining in New York so everything that the city belched out came into the Hudson. The current was swift and the water was dirty. As portrayed in the New York Times.
Remarkably I did the Olympic distance swim in 16.11. It took me over 5 minutes though to get to the transition. NYC is the longest run I have ever endured after a swim.
Team Sad Dads finished in style in the middle of chaotic Central Park followed by a relaxing brunch at Tavern on the Green.
but I’m not complaining. I was off to a good start on the bike as I headed near the half way turnaround. And decided to see how fast I could make the 180-degree turn. So I toke the turn as hard as I could and before I knew it I was on my butt. With a goal of averaging over 20 mph on the bike leg I was not going to let this minor setback slow me down. The run was good, with nice and helpful volunteers I finished in 1:16. I overachieved my bike goal with averaging 21.1 mph. and a 20:30 5k. With a nice course and simple layout I would recommend this race to a friend.
Rose: I participated in the sprint duathlon, the weather was nice in the morning which made warming up really easy. The first run was simple, the layout was nice and everyone who helped did a great job, I never had to wait for cars or directions because everyone was paying attention and knew exactly what to do. Transitions weren’t crowded so that sped everything up, and then I was quickly on the bike. The bike course was really nice, there wasn’t much debris and with the police officers the cars were minding the cyclists. The second run was hard to start but as soon as I got my land legs back it was easy to tune out everything and tell myself I was almost done. Before I knew it I actually was done and I went and had a hot dog. I think that next year I’ll sign up again and see if some friends will come with me too.
Marie: I did the sprint tri and it was one of the best ones I’ve done in a while. The swim was good, people spread out quickly and there was minimal crowding (where I was, near the back). I was happy to get out of the water and start the bike. The bike was an out-and-back course that was nice. There was a good police force to direct traffic so we had no problems. It was a beautiful day and I felt good. I was able to go really fast on the bike. The bike and run courses were pretty flat for the most part. I finished the bike and started for the run. The run took me out to Riverside Elementary and back. Once I got used to running I was able to go faster than usual. I finished with a 1:33. My 5k run was a 22:47. I crossed the finish line and was glad to be done. I live in Battle Creek so I had many friends around from my cross country team. Our coach was there and was happy about our times. I had 2 other teammates do the tri and a few others do a relay together. We hung out and got food and waited for awards. I was first in my age group. It was a great day and a great race. I plan to do it next year as well.