So Friday I went to Jack and Adams and bought a second Profile dual-bottle cage, mounted it to may training bike and I got up at 5:50 am on Saturday to set off to go watch the Rookie triathlon. Google maps said it was 37-miles, but that was via I35. So I figured maybe 2-hours 30-mins. The road surface on the Old San Antonio road isn't great, although its not hilly, its certainly not flat and when you get into San Marcos its a mess with roadworks, and crossing the railroad track 3x in a couple of miles.
Unlike the prior week, I didn't have the luxuary of taking it easy to get there and riding back hard. No sir, if I want to see any of the race I'd need to push hard from the start. I was delighted that I managed to keep my AVG MPH above 18MPH, but by the time I got to 39-miles on the I35 frontage road I was feeling distinctly lost having never been to the Texas Ski ranch before, and the google maps printout didn't seem to match anything I'd seen. I wasted 15-mins on the corner of York Creek Road looking at google maps on my tiny Treo screen, only to find out that the Texas Ski ranch was only about 1.5-miles ahead of me.
Sure enough I biked just down the road and there was a massive highway sign with directions ;-) I arrived and stood around just outside T2 watching loads of runners leaving, down on the road it looked like ants on the march, two columns of people running in both directions as far as you could see(well in reality it couldn't have been more than a mile since the run was so short and it was an out and back!).
The event looked great fun and seemed to be really well organised. I'm kinda bummed about some of the people I talked to at the race, including a few faster people I'd met at the Cactus Challenge race. They expressed the opinion they were just there for a training day, not really racing.
I can understand the "not-an-A-race" mentality, so you've NOT planned your training and taper around this race, but you are still going to race flat out and give it your best shot. But to show-up to a race billed "The Rookie" and not do the same is disenfranchising all those people for whom it was their first race, and who have probably worked really hard to get fit enough to just finish. It also stops endless numbers of other "first-timers" from getting a race place and thwarting their ambitions to become a tri-ath-elite.
If you want to show-up and have a great time, hang-out with the local triathlon dignitaries, do what triathletebigo and I'm sure many others did, volunteer. Alternatively, do what mizmizuno did and take some pictures, everybody likes good ones! Big-up to mojojoey who won big time. It was also good to see anricat who looked like she enjoyed her race, as did anetmarie.
I was especially gutted for all those for whom this was their Rookie race that podiumed. Becuase of a "software glitch" there were no awards on the day. No getting your award is disappointing enough, however, not having that picture on the podium can never be replaced even when the award does show up in the mail. Perhaps one of my Austin buddies can suggest to Jack and Adams that they set-up the podium up inside the shop and offer the award winners to come down and collected their award and have a digital picture taken.
After a long delay it was time to set-off back to Austin with mojojoey in-tail. I was going to be late for my date with Barton Springs, and it was the heat of the day and I was tired. So I was delighted to see when we finally got back to Austin that with no cramps that my return ride with superhereo driving me on, had been faster than last weeks return when I took it easy going out, and didn't go as far!
Next up, swimming Tuesday am at Barton Springs then bike to work.
Outbound: 42-miles, 2:19:20, AVG MPH 18.13, consumed 1x 750ml Ultima replenisher mix, 1x 750ml water
At the Rookie, lots of Peach Iced Tea, a couple of fruit ice creames, even a veggie burger when they opened up to non-competitors!
Return: (stats to follow)