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Race Result

Racer: Mike Tine
Race: Greater Hartford Triathlon
Date: Sunday, August 28, 2005
Location: New Hartford, CT
Race Type: Triathlon - International Distance
Age Group: Male 30 - 34
Time: 2:37:28
Overall Place: 16 / 109
Age Group Place: 5 / 19
Comment: Rain, chest cold, tired legs - am I never satisfied?!?

Race Report:

11th fastest in the water, 10th on the bike (8th net after bike), 56th (ouch) on the run (16th net).

Let me start this off by saying, I'm a better racer now than I was when I first began my triathlon racing 8-10 years ago. I'm happy I'm able to do these events and that - knock on wood - I remain healthy. That being said, being around such incredible athletes day-in and day-out has made my goals stretch, and so the disappointments pile on. Because my goals stretch, but my training doesn't. Last year was my Ironman year. I did it. Some things conspired to make me slower than I wanted, but I trained hard, and I am an Ironman. This year was to be a down year, a rest year, one during which I could wake up in the morning and decide what, and sometimes even if, my workout was to be.

With that, I shouldn't be disappointed in my race. However, I was performing fairly well up until the run, and then it fell apart - again. This race was an amateur production. The last time I did this (while still living in CT), it was still the Northeastern Championships, and there were 300-400 participants. Then the race director was non-sanctioned by USAT for not turning in the one-day USAT payments. He's back in the good graces of USAT, but the race has yet to build back up. Judging from the lack of professional production, I would guess that it will never build back up to its former self.

Summary of the course: 1.? mile swim (was supposed to be 1.5km, but it was definitely longer) in a pristine lake, 24 mile challenging and hilly bike course ending with 3-4 miles uphill (getting steeper towards the end), 6.5 mile run in rolling hills. All in the rain.

The swim was in a pristine lake, the cleanest I've ever swum in. It was a counterclockwise triangle. I started extremely well and got to the front with several others. I then settled into a rhythm and tried to hang on the feet of a superbly fast woman. I couldn't. Additionally, I was having some unusual trouble staying in a straight line and began veering left. To correct this, I had to lift my head more frequently which threw off my rhythm. As such, I was extremely happy with my 11th fastest time.

After the swim, we had to run about 1/3 mile up a gravel road. Thankfully they warned us, so I ran in my sandals. Unfortunately, it was uphill, so I had to walk about 50 yards of it to catch my breath. I still was only about 3-1/2 minutes behind the leader as I left bike transition.

The bike transition was also over a gravel parking lot, and with the uphill bike finish, there would be no leaving of the shoes on the bike either before or after the bike. Bye, bye carbon soles!

The bike began with a pretty steep downhill (40mph?), which was interesting in the rain. But that Colnago is so steady up and downhill, it's amazing. I almost missed braking for one sharp turn off a downhill from 219 to 44, but thankfully a car ahead of me began braking and woke me up! Even so, it was a bit dicey. I recovered and cranked the 10 miles down 44, passing several. I got passed by, I think, 1 person, but passed 4 so I ended up 8th by the end of the bike. All was going fine, even sticking in the big chain ring (comfortably) up rolling hills. Then the big hills at the end arrived. They hurt. They got very steep, and we all had to come out of the saddle frequently. I had 2 people in sight ahead of me. I'd gain a little, then they'd pull away a little, but I basically kept them in view up to transition. I could likely have caught them, but that would not have been worth the pain and effort caused prior to the run!

As I was leaving on the run, I realized I was REALLY tired. I'd been fighting off a chest cold for a few days, and it unfortunately reared its head again on Sunday morning of the race. As such, it was hard to breathe (wheezing at points during the run, and I don't have asthma). Also, my legs were TIRED. They just didn't want to move. 3 people passed me right out of transition, but they were all just ahead of me going into transition, so it wasn't any loss of place. I slow-jogged with a few moments of walking for the first 6 miles. I just didn't have the energy (breathing), breath, or leg strength to push harder. I have to admit, my ability to push through pain seems diminished these last 2-3 years. Anyway, when I passed the 6-mile mark, I noticed there was one person within about 50 meters of me, so I decided to push hard for the last 0.2 miles which I'd been told was downhill. Well, the next 0.2 miles was downhill; unfortunately, the course was mis-measured and so I actually had about 1/2 mile left! I held off the guy behind me, but I had absolutely nothing left at the end. I immediately sat on the ground, then lay on the ground, and just thanked God I was done. 9-minute pace was about 2-minutes/mile slower than I wanted. Oh well, I finished, and was still in the top 20. I had a top 10 in me, but not on this day.

Here comes Reston!