Saturday, May 3, 2008

Fort Leavenworth Triathlon Race Report

Today's CGSC MWR Fort Leavenworth Triathlon was well attended. You get a good mix of newbies and veterans at this event. A lot of Military personnel participate in this event as well since it is in their backyard.

The event went very well for me. I felt good in all three disciplines. I was especially happy with my bike leg and felt very powerful during the entire ride. Swim was good considering it has been about 3 weeks since my last swim workout. My run time was not great, but my legs felt good and if my shoelace would not have broken (over tightened during my transition) I could have pushed in on the run.

Morning temps were in the 40's and very windy making for a very chilly triathlon season opener. Temp's did rise some, but it was still cold for May. Some racers, including myself, were having a hard time deciding what to wear. I wanted to wear my new team tri kit, but it was way to cold for that. I did wear it during the swim and decided on just putting on a long sleeve jersey and vest for the bike.

I was seeded 8th in the swim. I may have been a little generous with my estimated 2:30 swim time, but I would rather be caught on the swim than slowed down by slower swimmers. Swim was short at 200 yards, which is one of the reasons I always like this event. I decided to just use the swim as a warm-up and just focus on my swimming stroke and gliding. I actually caught one swimmer which kind of shocked me. I finished somewhere just under 3 min.

Getting out of that water and running outside into 40's temps was an eye opener. I was glad Carolynn was there to give me a towel and my jersey/vest. I had a very slow transition to the bike as I wrestled with putting on a long sleeve jersey on a wet body. Better a slow transition that be freezing on the bike. I was also happy that I decided to wear my aero helmet as it helps keeps the chill off the old noggin.

Once out on the bike I quickly got up to pace and felt very good. The 22.5 km course out on the Fort Leavenworth military base is very hilly. I settled into a good rhythm and was climbing well. On the top of the first climb I started to see some other riders. This gave me some motivation and I was soon past them. Once on the back part of the course you descend down a mile section of twisty road. I knew from my previous events here that while the road has several tight curves in it, you can still take them a full speed if you have the nerves. I was soon spun out in my 53x12 and quickly making up ground on the guy who started just ahead of me. At 6' 6" this guy swam like a fish, but that arm span of his didn't help him on the bike. Once past him I began my second lap. This time I had to be very careful because now the course was full of riders completing their first lap. Another strong lap kept me in 3rd overall.

The 3.1 km run is not my strongest discipline (or any distance for that matter), but my legs felt good so I was motivated to run hard. A somewhat quicker transition turned out for the worse has I pulled too tight on my right shoe lace causing it to break. I did the best I could running with a shoe that was about to fall off at any moment. I stopped a couple of times to see if I could try to re-lace it, but that was not working. I shorted my stride which helped me keep my shoe on. I almost took both my shoes off and run in my socks, but wisely decided against that. The roads out on the base are not in the best condition and I would have torn up the soles of my feet if I had. Still had a good run with only 3 runners passing me.

Results finally got posted. I ended doing better than I expected. I got 3rd place in the Male 40-44 division and 11th place overall. Not bad considering I lost about 3 minutes on the run.
For some pictures visit Roger's House of Photos.

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