Well its been a great weekend, rounded off with a "great day at the office". I was the fastest Clydesdale award at the 2006 Sand Key Triathlon. I actually won the 40+ category by 2-minutes and also beat the Clydesdale 39 and under winner by over 5-minutes.
For the first time in something like 45 triathlons I won my category.The Clydesdales started in the 4th wave with the 40-44 age group and my age group, 45-49, started in wave 2 so from the start I was racing to see how many of my age group I could catch with a 7-minute lead.
For the first time that I can remember, despite being mentally tired from travelling from Poland to get to the race, physically I was well rested. This probably accounts for how I could keep my heart rate over 160, in the 90-100% range for the whole race.
When it was time for my wave, the 40-44 plus all Clydesdales to start I’d decided to start near the front and off to the right. The start went well, run into the water was about 15m and then into the swim, it was crowded to the first bouy but not rough. In fact in comparison to all my other swims this year this was probably the easiest.
Round the first bouy and I was having trouble passing one guy, until that is he flipped on his back and started to back stroke. I’m pretty sure he was in my wave. Why do people start at the front if they have no chance of holding their position and just get in the way? Anyway, the rest of the swim went well, fairly smoothly. At the last bouy as I turned I figured I must still be in the top-10(actually 2nd Clydesdale, 9th in wave) from my wave and had caught and passed many from the three earlier waves. Turning the last bouy I looked up and there was someone walking in front of me, I swam a few more strokes and could feel the sand near my fingers I stood up removed my swim mask and hat and started running forward, only to find a sudden dip and much deeper water, dived back in and completed another 15m with my eyes closed.
The bike was a fast one aided by my new Zipp 606 wheels, I was a stunning 19th overall, not bad for a 49yr old, 203lb/96kg guy. I was constantly passing people and all the way to the end on the way over the bridge on Gulf Blvd I didn't get overtaken, then I was passed by the two leaders in the womens 30-34 age group, only to pass them on the downhill on the otherside. It was a fast bike course with generally draft free racing. A swift dismount and I was out on to the run, still feeling fresh.
Given I hadn't been overtaken on the bike at all, and managed 2.5-miles on the run before getting over taken by a few younger men I knew I was in with a shot, but unaware I was in first in my category and 5th in my wave which was younger than my age group. I was passed by Cliff Cook of the St Pete Mad Dogs about 3/4 of a mile out, he looked like maybe a Clydesdale so I figured I was down maybe a place or if he was passing me and had started in the wave 7-minutes earlier. It turned out to be the later, I chased him but didn't catch him and crossed the finish line in 1:09:30.
Stats for the day:
Distances: 1/3-mile open water swim; 11-mile bike; 3.1-mile runMotionBased data from my Garmin 305
1st Clydesdale overall and 40+; 8th 45-49 Age group
51st overall; 290 finishers
30:09 Bike; 1st Clydesdale, 3rd 45-49 Age group, 19th overall; Average MPH 20.5
0:50 T2; 3rd Clydesdale, 4th 45-49 Age group; 68th overall
27:41 Run; 3rd Clydesdale, 12th 45-49 Age group, 128th overall
AltaVista race results
Sand Key Triathlon race website