I decided to make the Tribute Triathlon my last triathlon of the season. A very nice triathlon, especially being a first year event. Saundra Overton and her wonderful volunteers did a great job today. This event was held in memory of Fredrick James Overton who passed away last year from a heart attack while training for a marathon. He was only 43 at the time. Fredrick was my age which makes you stop and think how precious life is. Fredrick's gear and bike where out today which was cool.
On tap today was a 500 yard lake swim, 18 mile bike and 5K run. Conditions were good except for it was on the hot side and a little windy on the bike leg.
Farrington Park was the location which had a nice little lake for the swim. A very well marked swim I might add. It is nice having buoys every 75 yards or so. Make it much easier to sight for us who need to wear glasses. We started in waves of about 25 or so today. I kind of like the smaller wave starts opposed to a large mass start. Much less struggle heading to the first buoy. My swim was good for me. I got out in around 9 min and felt comfortable in the water. I caught up to the tail end of the first two waves. It was very comical watching not one, but two swimmers swimming back stroke with both hands at the same time (like the butterfly stroke). I had never seen that before. Then I remember how I felt at the Xterra Red River earlier this year and how I must of looked when I got in trouble.
After a much improved T1, I headed out on the 18 mile bike. An out-back course with rolling hills and a kick ass head wind on the way back in. Did I mention it was getting ever hot. With a 0800 event start time the summer temps were starting to rise quickly. I settled into a good rhythm heading out and was going so fast at the 2nd turn of the day that I blew past it. I was looking at the police officer and he was motioning to go straight, but it turns out he was directing the car which was in front of me at the time. I turned around without much lost time, but it took me awhile to get going strong again. I was passing a lot of racers from the earlier waves (I was in the last wave of the day) and felt strong. That was until this guy with a disc wheel TT bike come whizzing by and took my fastest bike slip hopes away. I kept him within 10 seconds until the turnout. At which time we make the turn around and headed back into what felt like a hot furnace. The entire return trip felt like we were riding uphill and into the wind. No wonder I was in the 53 x 12 on the way out - downhill and had a tailwind. I even had to venture into the 39 for awhile. I stayed there because I was still passing riders who were trying to mash along. As I made the final turn for the last 1/2 mile I came up on a car which was on the course. This older lady proceeded to stop right in front of the narrow barried off road, which blocked me. I ended up getting off my bike and running around the car. As I remounted my bike I could hear some of the riders behind yelling at her to move. I was not as mad like they were, but was disappointed that it cost me some time on my bike split. Still ended up the day with the 4th fasted bike split and a 22 mph average. With missing the turn and having to stop for the senile old lady I will take the time.
T2 was a good one. I was quickly out for the 5K. I had been working a little on my run lately and hoped the time spent would pay off. The first mile work our way out of the park was very senic and had a nice little gravel section of trail that we used. I was running with 4 others at this point and was having a hard time keeping their pace. The heat was really effecting me and my legs felt very heavy. At the first water station I grabbed 2 cups of cold water - one for the head/body and the other for my thirst. If had had known there would not be another aid station for nearly two miles I would have gotten more. There was another aid station shortly after the first but it only had warm Heed. I like Heed, but not luke warm heed :-). The run course went by a grave yard. No shade at all just siring heat from the sun. At this point I felt like I belonged in one of the graves. I was a running dead man and was having to force my self to concentrate and push on. The 4 runners I was with had checked out. They were running for the overall win. Me, I was running to try and protect my lead in my age-group. I could hear some runners behind me and once we reached the aid station with a mile to go I picked it up some. Luckily this section of the course had some shade. I did good good the final mile and clipped off a 6:15 mile. I was dead at the end, but it was enough to win the Male 40-44 age group.
The Sedalia Democrat was on site taking some photos of today's event.
Here are some pictures that Carolynn took during our visit to Windsor, MO