We arrived in Bridgeport with my massive support crew of my sisters Melissa and Julia and My GF about 6:30AM. Unfortuately I overslept so I was not able to get my prerace coffee and Corn Muffin which may have made the difference on this day. I managed to get my packet and chip pretty quick and had to make my way over to Transition with only 15 minutes to prepare. It was then I noticed that my shorts felt a little funny I couldn't find the draw string and felt a tag against my hips..."Great I have my shorts on backward" I muttered to myself I did a quick towel change and tried to find space for my bike on a cramped bike rack. After squishing my gear into place I took a quick sip of gatorade and got my wetsuit half way up as I made my way over to race start. I managed to get it on and got some help from a fellow competitor on zipping up my Blue-Seventy Helix. I will say this about my helix it is a pain to clip together but once clipped it's very easy to zip down...likewise coat it with a fine layer of suit juice and it's a breeze to get off. But enough talking about my wetsuit, this year the Young guys were the first wave and joining us was CT triathlon legend Chris Thomas of Team Timex. I will say this about Chris he's very soft spoken and one hell of an athlete...if you don't believe me check the results from last year's timberman. He was 8th and I don't mean 8th in the 35-39 AG he was 8th overall.
The swim: 500 meter wade followed by a 1000 meter swim.
After the formality of the national anthem and having to be hand counted in a makeshift swim corral. The race got under way with the sound of a bull horn. As the rest of the field waded in the shallow water toward the first buoy, I decided I definitely swim faster than I run in Neoprene so I cut narrow and swam toward the buoy, by the time the rest of the field was swimming I must have been back in about 50th spot. I decided the cross leg was where I was going to make up ground. Since there were only 2 buoys on the long cross leg I sighted some of the kayaks and paddle boards, one of the guards pointed me back on course as I was cutting a little wide. I managed to pick off a couple of swimmers as I made it to the beach. I was expecting to be in 20th or further back but to my surprise as I ran on to the sand toward T-1 I heard one of the spotters calling out I was in 9th place. I managed to get my wetsuit off and leave into T-1 in 8th place picking up a spot with a quick transition.
Swim Split 20:22 17th fastest counting all waves 1st in my AG.
The Bike: Where is the Magic?
As I slipped my feet into my shoes I was desperately trying to get my speed up but I had really skipped on the bike training the week before the race. I managed to average 19mph on most sections of the course but I just felt like I couldn't get moving. I tried mashing power gears, I tried high cadence but my legs just could not get the Stomper to be up to speed. I manged to go by cheering section to complete the first loop and watched as the faster cyclist went by as I tried to find someway to pick it up. I managed to get passed by one guy in my age group and I tried to hold with him but was dropped after about 400 yards. I did pass one Heatster racing in a Newington Bike Jersey. "Hey you're Bobby Doogs ?" she said as I went by on her left. I nodded and I think I said something to her as I tried to get up to speed. I reached for a gel in my back pocket as I had nothing to eat. My pocket was empty "Shit I left it in transition." I said to myself. I decided to guzzle on Gatorade as it would be my only source of calories. I managed to pass some lap traffic on each loop but was passed by the faster cycling types and I just tried to suck it up for the last 3 loops of the bike. On the fourth loop I managed to get a good little race going with one guy in my age group. He didn't get out of sight and it helped me get my pace up a little. I hit T-2 and over shot my bike rack in my hurry to get out on the run. After re-racking the bike I managed to tear my race number as I turned my race belt around.
Bike Split 1:13:47 nearly 7 minutes and 2mph slower than last year.
The Run: I'm giving her all she's got Captain...
I hit the run at a good clip and felt that maybe I might be able to salvage a decent time but as I got to the first turnaround and took my split it wasn't looking pretty. One guy from my AG ran past like I was standing still. I ate the hammer gel I brought with me and it helped get a little perk in my step as I started the second loop. At about the 4 mile mark a 27 year old from the Yale tri team came along side I asked which loop he was on "my second he said nearly effortlessly." I tried to serge to keep him behind me. It wooked for about 100 yards and then he passed and was out of sight. I got to the turnaround and began the 1.5 mile straightaway back to the beach. About half a mile from the beach a guy from the Bethel Tri club got around me...I decided that I had to beat this guy to save my battered pride ( as I looked at my watch and saw that I was going to be lucky if I broke 45 minutes.) I tucked in behind him and then got along side him at the second aid station. We matched each other's pace as we started the last stretch to the finish with 200 meters left, I started sprinting for the line. I barely edged him out. I hit my watch and saw the split 44:45 one of my worst 10k s ever.
Run Split 44:44
Total Time 2:20:49 Nearly 11 minutes slower than last year.
10th place in my AG 64th overall.
While I was disppointed to say the least there were several things that were good. One was having the GF and my sisters down to cheer me on. The second was I had very quick transitions in relation to year's past. The third never underestimate the power of Java and a Corn muffin. And the Biggest thing I learned :ALWAYS BRING GU WITH YOU ON THE BIKE!
Well that's it for now I've got my Navy officer application submitted so I'm waiting on what the board says in September. If I'm go for flight school then I may not have another race this season. If I'm rejected then I'll be looking for a late season long course race to try to give me a springboard to 2011. Either way I'll feel the need...the need for speed.R.D.