Saturday, September 6, 2008

Oktoberfest Sprint Triathlon - Longmont

Today was my last scheduled race of the season, a local race at Union Reservoir in Longmont, Colorado. I've been wanting to get a couple of my friends, Russ and UD, from work involved with triathlon, so we teamed up for a relay. I thought the Oktoberfest Triathlon sponsored by Without Limits Productions would be a perfect introduction race. As with most athletes, the swim keeps those that aren't comfortable in the water out of the sport of triathlon, so I did the swim. UD biked across America while in college, so the bike leg was a natural fit for him and Russ is a strong runner, so he ran the anchor leg. Our goal was to have fun, no injuries and not embarrass ourselves! My goal for Russ and UD was to get them interested in doing a triathlon as an individual or at least another relay.

We decided our team name would be Need More Cowbell and I had some performance tees made by Electric Weave, which came out totally sweet. At the very least, we'd be the best dressed relay team. The nice the thing about doing triathlons in my home town is that I can sleep in since I live less than 3 miles from Union Reservoir. Also, since it was a small race, a more reasonable 8 am start was nice. We arrived around 7:25 and briefly discussed strategy. Russ and UD were pumped.

It was a little bit chilly when we started, but the water was not to bad. My wetsuit certainly didn't hurt, but it wasn't cold at all on my hands, feet or face. It felt nice. There were 4 waves, so I had to wait 13 minutes from the start of the race until the fourth and final wave. Finally the siren and I was off. Falling back on my Boulder Peak experience, I positioned myself for a fast and short swim along the buoys. I almost fee like I'm missing something, as it wasn't to crowded along this line. I made it to the first buoy second place in my wave, but I could tell pretty quickly that I went out to fast as I was quite tired. I slowed the pace, stopped to let a little water in my wetsuit, caught my breath and kept going. I got passed by a few people, but I'm quite sure that I still finished within top 10 for wave 4 swimmers. Unfortunately, for some reason the timing system didn't capture my time, so I can't say for sure, but I'd estimate 12 to 13 minutes.

I ran into transition, gave UD the timing chip and he was off. The bike course was a 4 mile loop repeated 3 times that circled UD's house, where his sons Alex & Adrian and wife Kathy cheered him on. UD finished in just under 42 minutes. When he returned to transition, I could tell he was winded, but jogged to the transition point and handed the timing chip to Russ. Russ ran off like someone was chasing him. Russ made quick work of the course, somewhere between 24 and 26 minutes we estimate, but again since the timing chip failed for us for some reason, we don't know the actual time. Our overall time was 1:28, but with a 13 minute swim, 42 minute bike, there's no way that Russ ran 33 minutes. We figure that 1:28 was our wave unadjusted time, which would have put us at 1:15, which seems fast, but Russ was really pumped on adrenaline, so 21 minutes isn't out of the question. In reality, we probably did something between 1:15 and 1:28.

We celebrated our accomplishment with a frosty beverage from Oskar Blues, a local micro brewery in Lyons, CO. We recalled the race, watched others visit and shortly after finishing started to joke that we probably one the relay category. We also started talking about doing more relays and I think if Russ sets his mind to it and wants it, with a plan to build swim endurance, Russ could be ready for a triathlon by June 2009. Make the commitment Russ, Greeley Sprint Triathlon, first weekend in June. It's a pool swim, you can do it! We also vied to make this a semi-annual event, where we'll do a relay in the Spring and Fall.

To our surprise, we did win the relay category and are now the Oktoberfest Sprint Triathlon reigning and defending champions. We even got trophies, glass boots, I suspect for enjoying Oktoberfest tasty beverages.

Good job UD and Russ!

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