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Race Result

Racer: Mike Tine
Race: Bank of Bermuda Triathlon
Date: Sunday, October 8, 2006
Location: Hamilton, Bermuda, --
Race Type: Triathlon - Sprint
Age Group: Male 35 - 39
Time: 1:06:36
Overall Place: 7 / 65
Age Group Place: 1 / 10
Comment: Good swim, great bike, medium run, passed at finish

Race Report:

Swim + T1: 13:11
Bike + T2: 32:29
Run: 20:56

Why travel all the way to Bermuda to do a Sprint triathlon? As many of you already know, I work on the Bermuda team of a company that provides natural- and manmade-disaster software and services to the insurance industry. As such, I have many clients in Bermuda, several of whom are accomplished triathletes. It was time to stop “talking the talk” and actually step up to “walk the walk” in the same event as my clients

This is the premier triathlon event in Bermuda. So, while it is “only” a Sprint-distance race, many (all?) of the nation’s top triathletes participate. This year, Tyler Butterfield, a newly signed professional cyclist on the TIAA-CREF team, returned to Bermuda to show them he still had what it took to be the top triathlete on the island. His girlfriend, an Australian pro cyclist, also took top honors for the women (beating me in the process). This is to say that, although there were 65 competitors in this race, they were 65 superb competitors!

The weather was looking dangerously like rain leading up to the event. I’d been in Bermuda all week working with clients, and the forecast continued to call for a rainy weekend. Then Friday night, it POURED so hard that I thought the rain was going to come through the windows of my hotel! Even the cashier at the grocery store was amazed by it, and she’s local Bermudian. Saturday saw a somewhat wet day, but Sunday’s new forecast came true, and we had absolutely beautiful weather for the race – mid 70’s and barely a cloud in the sky! Another benefit to this race was that my hotel was a 2 minute bike ride to the start, and the race began at 9:30am! So I got a lot of sleep before the race.

The hurricane graphics on my rear disk wheel drew rave reviews from all of my clients as well as the spectators and other competitors. But how would it do in the race? We’d have to wait and see. First there was a kids race with many amazing local du/triathletes competing in a duathlon. That was fun to watch. As I was preparing for my race, I saw a beautiful stingray do a double jump out of the water on the other side of the dock from the race! I took this as a good omen. Then I saw all of the locals hovering near the dock at the start of the race staring down at one of the biggest jellyfish any of us had ever seen! It was the size of a side table at my house! People were dropping small things onto it, and they just sat there! Thankfully, it was the only one, and stayed behind the start line and out of our way.

So the race began with everyone sprinting for the front, as usual. What wasn’t usual was that many of the racers stayed with or ahead of my pace! Uh oh, this was going to be tougher than I thought. Also, once out of the protection of the docks in Hamilton Harbour, the wave action was a bit rougher than I thought (not bad, just worse than expected), and I couldn’t seem to get into a rhythm. So I just swam along as best I could, and came into the finish about 2 minutes behind the very fast leader, a little over a minute behind Tyler Butterfield (eventual winner), and 17th overall. I was surprised to see one of my clients (Spencer Conway) come into transition mere seconds behind me. His strengths were bike and run, so I became worried.

I had a very fast T1, and headed off on the bike a good bit ahead of Spencer. I just kept picking off cyclists one at a time. This course was five 2-1/2ish mile laps within Hamilton, the main business center of Bermuda. So there were a lot of turns, one of which was almost 180 degrees (done 5 times). Thankfully, I’m a fairly decent handler on the bike, so this worked to my benefit. It was fun to hear my name announced at each lap of the bike since I was becoming one of the leaders and was an unknown out-of-towner. As I got off the bike, I was in 4th place, having picked off 13 of 16 people in front of me after the swim!

I felt decent, but with surprisingly heavy legs at this point in the race. The run was an almost-flat out and back course along Front Street in Hamilton (3 times), so very spectator friendly. I was hoping I could hold off two clients whom I knew were great racers and whom had been training heavily. Each lap brought them closer to me, but I managed to hold them off until the end. What I couldn’t do was hold off two blazingly fast women or one guy who passed me after I’d passed another person. So I was in 6th place with the last half of the last lap to go. As I approached the finish line, I grabbed a quick glance behind me. Nobody I could see. Until 5 feet from the finish that is! The “Stealth Runner” as I’ve begun calling Alex Jones passed me with 5 feet to go to the finish, putting me in 7th overall! Where did he come from? I have no idea, as he wasn’t there when I looked back with 200 yards to go, and I didn’t hear him coming. But he caught me with an amazing end burst. Not the way I wanted to finish the race, but I was happy to get 7th overall and 1st in the 30-39 age group! Only 1 older guy (Ironman triathlete), 2 fast women, and 3 young bucks beat me. Overall, a great day.