Sunday, August 16, 2009

Now I know How Chris Lieto Feels: The Park City Mossman Race Report.

Well my 2009 tri season looks to be done. Today was the Park City Mossman Oly in Bridgeport and ironically enough it was the first race I signed up for when I got back from New Zealand. ( Figured if cash became an issue as it usually does I wanted to have an August race.) So this morning I drove out at 5am to tackle CT's fastest Oly. I got to the race site about a half an hour before Transition closed so I didn't do much of a warm up. Things have changed since the last time I did this race. While it's still a multi loop run and bike the swim course has been lengthened so it could all be done in one shot. My times are all estimated as I haven't been able to find the official results and I'm trying to remember off of the sheet I looked at this morning.

The Swim: Lots of Changes
This year unlike year's past they sent the "older guys" infront of the kids so I went off in the second wave about 5 minutes behind the leaders. Races on the Connecticut shoreline always tend to be hit or miss with the tides and today was another miss. You could seriously run to the first buoy. Several guys took this strategy but I'm not one to run in humidity and neoprene so I dove in when the water was knee high and began to swim. I was amazed at how fast we caught the first wave. At the second buoy. After that the swim was pretty uneventful. I came out about 3rd in the wave, and it looked like I was in a good spot to retake my 20-24 age group title. My total swim time was 18:08 about 3 minutes slower than the fastest guy in the group but I figured that the flat and fast bike course would allow me to make up time as there were no climbs to upset my mash in the big ring rhythm. I managed to get my wetsuit off pretty quick and got on the bike and began to hammer away.

The Bike: This week's sign of the Apocalypse...
I love the bike course at this race as it's flat and multiple loops. There are a few turns and rough pavement but for the most part it is ideal for time trialing. I kicked the stomper in to the big ring and just hammered like Miguel Indarain. This guy, Mark from Staten Island came along on the 2nd loop and we began to swap the "lead" for the next three loops. I would lead one half of the loop and then he woould lead the other. We each tried to break away and build a lead only to have the other wear it down. I asked "What's your 10k time?" "About a 42." he answered crap this guy was about my pace so I was going to have a real race on my hands. We came around to enter T-2 and I did my sexy barefoot dismount, and I finally figured out how to do the one leg over the rear wheel thing. It would have gone off flawless except for my worn cleats. I ended up having losing a shoe, thankfully the volunteers at this thing are awesome. My bike split was about a 1:07 and I averaged 22.3 mph. I was really happy with this split because I never and I mean never average over 21 mph on the bike.

The Run: Now I know how Chris Lieto Feels...
T-2 was a comedy of errors as my Yankz lace came un hooked and I spent about 30 seconds reconnecting it. Mark took off in the lead and I doggedly followed. I got passed by a kid from our age group as he cooked along. ( come to find out this kid won my age group at the Griskus and would win here as he threw down a 15:00 swim and a 35:00 10k I'm just shocked I managed to make up that much time on the bike.) He caught Mark at the first aid station as I soldiered along trying to catch him As I passed him at the turn around we both sort of looked at one another and talked about the kid Bib 154 who had passed us. "I really hope he's a relay." I stated..."All I know is he's flying. " Mark said as I got around. seriously if this were Kona this would have been the Sindballe Lieto conversation once Normann Stadler had run past. We had led the Age Group off the bike and now were getting picked off. I knuuckled down as I saw some older guys ahead and figured if I could pick them off I would be in business. We got to the turn around and I was passed by two guys from team Tri Fitness. One of them had a 23 on his Calf. I tried to hold with him but got dropped after 400 meters. The rest of the run I seemed to be in no man's land. I passed a few more people but no one from my age group. I figure from my recollection of the bike Split that I was in 3rd in my AG so I would be getting on the podium all I had to do was defend at this point. I still dug deep as I could hear foot steps rapidly approaching from behind. I came down the finishing chute and was caught by a relay runner but nothing really to worry about. My 10k was about a 43:48 and my overall time was 2:10 after subtracting the stagger. I looked at the results and I had pegged 28th overall and 4th in the AG. I'm still trying to figure out where this 3rd guy to pass me had done it, but for all I've been through in the last month it was a good day.

Granted I think i'm going to talk to John Hirsch and Chris Lieto to get in on the support group for guys who have been in the lead on the bike only to lose it on the run.....