Last year I did the Ice Breaker Triathlon - a .5 mile swim, 13 mile bike and a 4 mile Xterra-style trail run. Since I generally try to do a race 2-3 times - I was headed back for try #2. They hosted a super sprint race before the Ice Breaker called the Baby Ice Breaker 200 yard swim (yes, 200), a 6.5 mile bike and a 2 mile run. Race 1 was at 8am and race 2 was at 9am. I looked at the results from last year and the winner finished the first one in 43 minutes, I could do that I figured and still have 17 minutes to get reset for race 2.
I thought the race was 1.5 hours away but as I kept driving - I found out around 7am that it was still a good 20 minutes away. Small panic but I was still ok.
I got there but there was a line to pay for parking - actually 2 lines. I went to the shorter of the two but didn't realize the guy at the gate was unable to do math very well. It was $8 to park, I handed over a $20 and it took him close to 45 seconds to figure out that he owed me $12. A new low for humanity or at least 1st grade math.
I got to the parking lot at 7:30 and got my stuff - now 'less stuff' than before (lesson learned at New Orleans 70.3) and raced over to the transition area. They had a special area for people doing the first race- so I had my own rack!
I still had to register, it was 7:40am - the pre-race meeting was called. Medium-sized panic and run to registration.
I got through quickly and had 10 minutes to go number my bike, get my transition set up and get to the water. I finished in 5 minutes and still had a few minutes to get wet, warm up with a few strokes and get to the start line.
I think there were 75 people or so and one very pregnant lady. She said 'please don't kick me'. Not the smartest woman I thought.
Since it was small, there was one mass start - fun for only 200 yard swim.
It started and I probably swam 225 yards including my 747-esque buoy turn. The swim was so shallow, I think I swam 150 of it and ran the rest. The run up to the transition area was about a quarter mile - so I went as fast as I could and passed just about everyone. Getting to T1, I used the Ben Collins 2-step ITU style wetsuit strip and managed to get out on the bike 3rd - catching 1 and 2 in less than 1/4 mile down the road.
The course was REALLY windy and hard turn after turn - most were blind and if there wasn't a turn, it was a short hill - just steep enough to have to change gears. At one point I was flying around a sharp turn and some guy decided to ride the course backwards and we almost collided at about 30mph. I gave him my customer feedback special which I'm sure went well with the soiling of his bike chamois.
I kept pushing and rode it into T1 - literally. This is the only race I've done where you can ride in transition - which is sort of fun. I got out onto the run only to see a wall of people standing on the road watching the bikers come in - blocking the entire lane.
I forgot to mention that in my hectic morning - I dropped my number belt - so this meant I was going to just carry my race number. So there I was, running out on the course holding my race number. Sort of retarded.
I ran hard and after about a 1/2 mile looked back and so no one at all but kept pressing. I got to the 1 mile and still didn't see anyone but kept up the same pace - maybe 6:40 or so. I looked back a minute or two later after seeing the final 1/3 mile ahead and slowed down - seeing no one behind me. I ran in and they almost missed me entirely - I had taken 5 minutes off the course record. 38 mins - another 2-3 mins wouldn't be hard to strip from this time.
I immediately shot under the rope and back to transition to change the numbers on my bike and reset transition. The guy in 3rd place came in and asked me if I had completed the course because I had gone so much faster than the previous winner (not to mention him) - I assumed so, since I had done the race and told him so. He said he never saw me pass him and I wondered if he had contemplated that he wasn't ever ahead of me. He was also the only other guy doing both races. I passed nearly everyone who beat me in the swim in T1. Thanks to Ben for showing me how to get a wetsuit off without in record time.
The 2nd race started in a few waves, so I actually had a good 30 minutes to recharge and sit in the 60 degree water cooling off.
My wave was #3 for the race - which started from the beach. I got into a decent rhythm and swim about as straight as I ever have - but really not too fast. I tried to go faster and faster but without a black line or wall to hit, I could only assume my effort was 'moderately hard' in intensity.
I got out of the water and began the great chase to catch as many as I could on the 2 loop bike course. I hopped on and got out pretty quickly. I rode pretty hard but never felt like I got going very well - barely creeping into the 170's. I was never passed by anyone and thanks to the loud rumble of my disc wheel- people got out of the way pretty quickly. I finished up ok and moved out onto the run.
Once one the run I passed runner after runner - only getting passed by 3 people on the whole run (pretty good for me these days). I had intended to run in my Under Armour trail shoes but my regular UA Spectres worked really well on the off-road run course. At one point there was a guy in front - maybe 40 yards ahead and out of no where- he goes up in the air and falls into a ditch on the side of the road. He tripped on a flat, smooth surface. I ran by - he didn't look hurt and began immediately adjusting his shoes.
The run course was very sandy - both deep and sort of a lose covering on a trail. I kept at it - but never feeling like I was going very fast - but was still catching other people. I definitely felt better than last year - but wasn't digging deep, likely a function of having only done base efforts and having limited quality training of 3-4 weeks this year.
I finished the race - with some good publicity for having already won the first race. I ended up 5th in my AG - won by pro Jeff Pilland. I won a really nice swim bag and 2 trophies - getting more kudos for doing both races and placing pretty well in both.
The guy who doubted my course-following ability was crushed by the way.
After the race - one of my readers Rik came up to me and introduced himself! We chatted briefly before he got called to his awards - since he finished 5th in his AG. Bravo Rik! Always fun to put a face with a name.
I got home and gave the trophies to Sada -who immediately asked if I did a mountain climbing race? I asked why and she pointed to the mountain (iceberg) on the trophy. I explained it was an iceberg, not a mountain, and that I only swam, biked and ran.