Posted by: Bill | August 10, 2009

Belated Race Report – Diamond in the Rough Tri

It’s now been about four weeks since the actual race. Life, as usual, is getting in the way of blogging. Much time has been devoted to work, training, play, and yes, the impending addition of twins to our home.

This triathlon was my first of the season. Usually, I have complete at least one in the Spring, but was too slow to sign up for my favorite (Columbia) this year. That might have been for the best as I had not spent much time in the pool by May. My primary goal for 2009 is finish the Patriot’s Half-Ironman in mid-September. Last year’s effort to run this race was thwarted by a hurricane.  I felt good last year, but I feel I’m much better prepared this year.

DITR and the upcoming Luray Triathlon (this weekend) are meant as warmups to Patriot’s. I told myself I would not race as hard as usual for both of these. I tell myself things like this often and they don’t work out, but I was somewhat successful for DITR.

The swim was in the Chesapeake Bay right near where the Susquehanna river empties into it. I grew up in Harrisburg staring at the Susquehanna often and swimming in it very rarely. That being said, the swim went ok. As usual, I had trouble swimming straight, my wet suit felt like it might strangle me and I didn’t really get into a rhythm until 1/3 of the way in. There was a bonus of plantlife doing some strangling of its own.

The 27 mile bike course was advertised as hilly. I did not realize that most of the hills were bunched at the beginning of the course. This led to some expletives under my breath as I did not feel like I could loosen up during the first 10 miles. It was constantly up and then up and then up again in short bursts. This led to me remembering that I had planned to not kill myself on the bike so I calmed down a bit. The middle was nice and flat with good river scenery. I was caught in the middle of a bunch of riders that were clearly breaking the USAT rules and working together. I removed myself from them (tempting as it was). We then hit the real climb of the course which was about a mile at a 7% grade. This is much more my type of climb (long). The group that was working together had been blown apart by the climb which made me happy and I passed a few of them. Overall, I biked at 19.0 mph which was slightly faster than I expected so I was pleased. I did fail to drink enough though which hurt me on the run.

The run course was only 5 miles and completely flat along the river out and back. The previously-mentioned lack of hydration gave me a sidestitch right off the bat. I pushed hard and ran a 7:30 pace. I think I could have done a bit faster given better hydration. The course was poorly marked from a mileage standpoint, but I should have expected this from the people at Pirahna Sports as I don’t think they are so good with the details sometimes.

We’ll see how things go in Luray this weekend. I am hoping the weather is not like yesterday (95+ and crazy humidity). Here are a few pictures Heather snapped along the way. Due to her “injury”, no races for her the rest of this year. The second person in the pictures is one of Heather’s Luna Chix teammates.

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