Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Curse What Curse? or Bobby Ends his medal drought.

On July 11, 2003 I placed second in the 17-19 age group at the Pat Griskus Sprint Tri, and since that rainy Wednesday I have not medaled in either of Middlebury, CT races since. 2004 and 05 I didn't race, 06 I wrecked on the bike, and in 07 I got picked off while in 3rd place in my AG on the last hill of the run, fast forward to this year. Normally the Griskus sprint is an A priority race, full taper, trash talk, shaved legs the whole shabang, this year it was a speed workout before RI 70.3, I was in the elite swim wave for the first time at this venue, ( after a quick desperate email to race director Tom Wilkas telling him how I always have one of the top 30 swim splits.) Needless to say after some BS with Alex, who is buying my beloved Road bike Enrico, and rode it in this race to 8th in the age group, Mike C. and Mike B. from my masters group ( coincidentally both have done all 22 Griskus races at Quassapug and Mike B. has done all 23 including the inaugural on Bantam lake in Litchfield.), Sean from HEAT, my former swim coach, (told me I'd never swim DI the proudest day of my life was when I walked into pick my sister up wearing my Fordham swimming Tee boo-yah!) Ray, one of my former teammates, Justin, probably the sickest runner in our age group. I could go on with the meet and greet, but I really don't want this post to drag like the last one.

The Swim: Jack and Jill......
Standing in the elite wave with all the white caps you got the feeling that this was more like a high school swim meet than a tri. Sure loads of us were wearing our neoprene, but there was a line of first timers and high school studs decked out in Jammers and Speedos, a few guys with fast skins. Also the swim is a little bizarre they have two sets of buoy, women start on one side men on the other and we meet in the middle on the return leg. I lined up to the inside and when the air horn went off realized this was a mistake as the swarm of high school studs swam over and around me. For a good 2 minutes, I was really wanting to be on the bike to make up some of the positions most of these guys would gain in the water. By the first buoy the field sorted out and I was on the tail of the lead group, and the leaders were setting a break neck pace. At the turn around the reason I hate this swim course became apparent, I began to sight off the women's buoys widening my approach to the beach and costing me valuable spots., I managed to get back to the inside but it was a frightening proposition as caps from the 3rd wave were getting off course and nearly collided with us guys and gals on the return leg., after a harrowing 11 minutes in the water I got out in 14th place I ran the 400 meters to T-1 and hit the mat at 12:42.

T-1: Wet Suit off, Helmet on, number on, Lift bike over dude next to me's back wheel, it was cramped quarters but I made it out. 1:05

Bike: May God Have Mercy on my legs.
I tried once again to do the bare foot mount, sadly it took me about a half mile to get both my feet in the shoes and it cost me about 3 spots, when a kid went whizzing by on a mountain bike that got my pissed, I got my foot in the shoe and sped off after him hammering down the opening descent like a man possessed. I managed to get around two high schoolers and then was caught by the women's leader, I followed her line through that pesky S-curve which thankfully was closed to traffic so I could apex, granted I still used the brakes a tiny bit. At the 4 mile mark the hills began, I managed to get around a couple of the dying swim studs and was passed by some of the more avid cyclists, one guy in my age group went by and I tried desperately to persue. Slowly I was reeling in some of the weaker riders, but the hills made it difficult ( note to self buy a climbing gear.) I managed to get Mike from HEAT in my sights on that dreaded last hill. I kept him close on the descent to the park as I slipped out of my shoes and did a rather cautious shoeless dismount and tore into T-2 total bike split 32:21 not the fastest on the planet but for all the climbing I'll take it.

T-2 Shoes on, helmet off, Timex Hat on, race belt around, Catch Mikey! T-2 took all of :53

Run: The heart is strong but the legs are weak.
As I took off in Hot pursuit of Mike, I could already feel a tightness in my legs, this was not going to be a PR run, but it would be a quick one. I caught Mike before we left the park. As we made our way down Route 64 I began to get some of the faster cyclists in my sights, yet at the same time I was caught and passed by another runner,from the rival shore line sharks. I made it through the aid station at mile one and forgot that I was wearing a hat not a visor so when I dumped a cup of water over my head it did nothing just beaded off the top. I made it to the turn around and began to reel in some younger looking guys, I wanted a medal and I didn't care how bad I was suffering, made a surge for the young gun ahead of me and passed him by the second aid station, again I forgot I was wearing a hat. ( note to self, go with the visor unless there is ice on course.) I got passed by two relay runners duking it out as I made my way up "the hill" No one in the same zip code with me, which meant no pip out this year, but I needed to finish strong , as there were alot of guys in my age group in the second wave and the stagger would be deducted from the time. I got up the hill and back on the home stretch as droves of runners were making their way from transition. I turned down the service road and kicked it into high gear across the line. Run Split 21:18 not my fastest but respectable, Overall time 1:08.16 4 minutes faster than last year. Good enough for 27th overall and 3rd in my age group, behind some dude from Hong Kong and the guy from Southbury who went flying by on the bike.

At the awards I got my usual Guinness from Mike B. Shot the shit with the HEATsters, Alex and Justin and for the first time in 5 years got a medal and a pimp Timex watch for my efforts. ( debating on whether I'm going to sell it on ebay or keep it as a spare to my other Timex.) and also like always I still didn't win crap in the raffle, but it was a good night.

Next Report RI 70.3

The Long winded one


Speed Racer said...

So glad you finally got that monkey off your back!

rocketpants said...

Nice bling! Glad you ended the medal drought.