Tuesday, December 15, 2009

2009: The Highlights.

Well for as much as I may complain about the 2009 racing season ( too short, spent too much money, didn't qualify for Kona....etc.) There were a lot of highlights so here are my superlatives for the 2009 season.

Best Swim: Ironman New Zealand. Although it was slower than last year, the Ironman swim was probably the smoothest, clearest, least physical swim I was in this season. I was in good shape for it and the fact that Lake Taupo is clear blue and there were multiple divers stationed at various points along the course waving up at us. Made it one of the most interesting of my season.
Patriot was second on the list although Rhode Island 70.3 was the first time I ever lost my cap on the swim and the current and waves pushing us back into shore were a definite help. Anytime the swim has massive waves that "cull the herd." I usually tend to be on the advantaged side of the cull.

Best Bike: Park City Mossman. In the race report I described feeling like Chris Lieto as I got off the bike in second in my age group. The course was flat an really built for hammering, and since I had kept myself in the wrong gear at Patriot this ride was a redemption for all the long rides that I had put in during training but just couldn't get the results out of in racing.
Honorable mention goes to the Griskus Sprint in that I had the fastest bike split in my age group which gave me my only podium of the year. Also Rhode Island 70.3 I did the whole thing in the big ring and was averaging over 20 mph until we hit Providence, they were good days but I know I still have a lot of untapped potential on the bike.

Best Run:
Overall was the ING Hartford Marathon. My buddy the Cranky runner and I pace each other to 3:20 and 3:21 finishes respectively. We had held 3:15 pace until the last 10k, and I was pushed to a new level of pain. Hell I set a PR in the Half Marathon during this race. It was a day that truly hurt but in a good way, I know I have a Boston qualifiying time in me, I just need to get my training organized and I'll make it happen.
Tri: The Patriot Tri housed my best run split of the Tri season. I ran a then second fastest Half Marathon Split pulling a 1:38 after a pretty dismal bike. The run course wasn't easy and had it's fair share of hills. But I guess that's the way I like it. Hard and ridiculously evil. Which I guess leads to the next category.

Most Evil Run course: RI 70.3 hands down. You run up and down college hill twice and on both loops I was watching a majority of runners dreams turn to carnage. Alot of guys complain about the pounding of the quads on the way down but personally I think the grind up is harder. You're breathing hard and pushing every thread of muscle and tendon to it's limit and that's what tri was made for baby.

Most Evil swim: RI 70.3 Swells, air temps in the mid 50's at race start. This swim was not for the weak. The race directors were offering a Duathlon option for the weaker swimmers just to prove how nasty this thing was. Hats off to the dude from Florida who did the thing in board shorts it was one of the most bad ass sights I've ever seen.

Most Evil Bike: Ironically it wasn't RI 70.3 ( which was pretty rough.) I'm going to go with the Griskus Sprint. Ok yes it's only 10 miles but you get some inclines in there that tend to take the sprint out of sprint triathlon. Also add in the high school swim studs who aren't used to competitive cycling and things are pretty interesting.

Most Evil Race: RI 70.3 hands down. Tough course, tough competition, it was a challenging race. The fact that it was a Kona qualifer and attracted a lot of fast west coasters added to the legend.

Most Racer Friendly race: Patriot Tri. The volunteers are helpful, the race director is approachable, and the entry fee is under $200. It's a bargain race that gives you alot of bang for your buck. Also the bike course is an oddity in New England, it's realatively flat. Expect a good time and a fast time at this race.

Best Race T-shirt: Ing Hartford Marathon. I'm a sucker for simply designed Long sleeve tees ain't going to lie.

Best Post race Party: Tie
Ironman New Zealand: ok the awards dinner is an awards dinner but afterward when everyone heads to the pub EVERYONE HEADS TO THE PUB! I managed to share a beer with Mike Reily and Bryan Rhodes if my hazy memory serves me correctly.

Griskus Sprint: It's a local race and one off the oldest in Connecticut. In the field you'll have guys and gals raging from multiple Ironman finishers to first timers. The food's so-so but the antics are worth it. The MC's are hysterical. Also it's a good way to meet alot of your fellow tri geeks.

Most spectator Friendly race: Park City Moss Man: The bike and run are multiple loops with a large median so your loyal supporters can set up camp and not be stuck waiting to ride by for you for hours at a time.

So those are my 2010 superatives what are yours?