Jun 9, 2009

Deer Creek 2008

This race was pretty important to me because it was the first triathlon of the season. The Deer Creek triathlon in 2007 was also the first triathlon I had ever done. So, I really wanted to do well.I cruised down to Columbus the night before the race with Frank (from the Fleet Feet team) and my swimming buddy Dave. We ended up getting a room at a Motel 6 about 30 min north of Deer Creek. After getting settled in we headed to Red Robin for a pre race meal and a couple of beers. That night I slept like a baby (much different than I did one year ago).The next morning we packed up the car and headed south. We arrived at the race with plenty of time to wait in line to pick up our race packets. Right away I realized that this race had way more people than last year. That was a good sign. Warm-ups went really well, but I realized I was sweating way more than usual and it was only 7 in the morning. It was quickly getting very hot. As I got in the water for my swim warm-up, I felt very loose and very relaxed. The swim leg doesn't freak me out anymore. In fact, I have grown to really enjoy it.My wave went off right after the sprint waves. As soon as we hit the first buoy, Dave was gone. The first 400 meters of the swim were labored and I had to fight for position. But, soon I settled in and caught a really solid draft. I followed two guys for about 1000 meters, and then broke away to exit the water a few seconds before them. Because I had caught a solid draft, I hadn't expended that much energy in the swim. I exited the water in about 21:30, a personal best by 3 min (Dave taught me well over the winter).My swim was great but my transition was slow as hell. I could not get my wetsuit of to save my life. When I finally got on the bike, I just hammered. I pushed hard the entire ride. I really felt like I had a decent bike split. But, I did not realize how hot it was getting outside. I took down two bottles of fluid and a few gels, but it was not enough for the 93-degree heat. I got of the bike in about 1:03:00 (almost avg. 24 mph). My T2 was fast. It was faster than everyone else by 2 seconds. I hit the run course on a mission to finish in the top. At mile 1.5, I passed Dave and he told me I had just moved into 3rd position. Then, the heat started to wear me down. At mile 2.5, I was passed by the kid who ended up finishing third overall. I was also passed at mile 3 by Ashley Kent (guys a great runner), and I was passed at mile 5 by Mario Desardio. I'm not used to getting passed on the run, but I was also not used to racing in such extreme conditions. With two miles to go, Frank ran by me (he was on mile 2). He slapped my hand in encouragement, but he nearly knocked me over. I was starting to get very dizzy at this point. By the time I had one mile to go, I ran by my buddy Charlie and he later told me I had stars in my eyes. I wasn't running in straight line at that point. I believe I was very near passing out from the heat and the race. I finally hit the finishing chute in 2:09:00. This was the toughest condition I had ever raced in and I was happy to have survived. I finished 6th overall. Last year I finished in 2:22:00. My improvement made me very happy. Plus, my race would have been much faster if it wasn't so hot. Overall, I was very happy with my race and I can't wait to race again.

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