Sunday, June 8, 2008

Race Report: 2008 Greeley Triathlon

The first triathlon of 2008 is in the books and I finished within 1 minute of my overall time goal, so I consider my goals met and the race a success. The day started early at my house, up at 5 am for a shower and breakfast to leave the house by 5:30 am for the 40 minute drive to Greeley. This year we all left at the same time, rather than drive separately, just put the kids into the van in their pajamas and we were off. The weather today was chilly, overcast and sprinkling. I'm 3 for 3 on miserable race conditions this year, hopefully this will be the last crummy race day of 2008! We arrived around 6:20, plenty of time to get the Family Fan Club stuff setup and get my transition area prepared. While I was taking care of pre-race activities, I thought of another t-shirt design, which I'll reveal in the next couple of weeks.

I jumped in the pool for a quick 100 meters, felt good and fast. The negative to that approach was that it was cold, so I just stayed in the pool for the next 25 minutes until it was my turn. The thing I like about the Greeley Triathlon is that it's a pool swim, where everyone submits their expected times, everyone is ranked based their submissions and we snake across the pool. As long as everyone submits reasonable estimates, it works really well. This year I passed two people and got passed by one, so the people in my number range did a good job of estimating their times. The swim started strong for me, but around 250 meters I started to get really tired. I've been battling allergies the last two weeks, which I think attributed to the lack of endurance, but I still finished better than last year in the pool. The nice thing this year was that Kim, Connor and Griffin were on the pool deck cheering me on, so I could see them cheering when I was swimming south in the pool. (I've been working on bi-lateral breathing, but when push comes to shove, I only breath on the right)

After the swim, I quickly transitioned to my bike and I was off. It was a bit cold on the bike, but not to bad to start. I was feeling good, loving the aero bars position, but cautious with the slick roads. I got passed by the top 5 or 6 competitors, but otherwise held my position. By the end of the bike my feet and thighs were pretty cold.

After the bike, I transitioned to the run with heavy cold legs, but I felt good. I kept a consistent pace with no walking, running mile to mile. Having done the race last year, I was surprised that the run course had changed slightly, a good reminder to check the course before the race! Compared with last year, the change made the run a bit harder, over rolling hills, which makes my 5k PR time all the more satisfying. I'm looking forward to the next 5k to see what I can do when I only have to run!

Overall, I finished in 1:21 with a 9 minute swim, 39 minute bike and 29 minute run, all PRs collectively and individually. I didn't make the top 3 in the Clydesdale category, 3rd place was 1:18, which will be very reachable NEXT year. Back to this year, I cut 16 minutes off my 2007 time, which is pretty significant for a Sprint race (500 meter swim, 12 mile bike, 5k run).

The organizers do a great job, it's run by triathletes, so they know what needs to be done on race day. I'll definitely be back next year as long as it doesn't conflict with the Steamboat Springs Half-Marathon. The organizers also invited Family Fan Club to return, which we're definitely excited about.

Next race: 5430 Sprint @ Boulder Resevoir on June 15th.

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