First the results...
in the master Clydesdale division there were 28 starters
total 10 1:42:39
swim 6 16:44
Bike 8 53:16
Run 9 26:58
Feel pretty good about the results, thinking about it I might have been able to break the 1:40 barrier if I hadn't sprained my ankle on tuesday, but given the conditions it still would have been tough. On to the race report.
They moved this event to Harris lake this year so it was the first time at this site. In my opinion the site is not big enough to handle the 1000 participants, volunteers and spectators. I would say 700 would be better, but they seemed to pull it off so I doubt the number will be reduced especially since it sold out. Arrived at the site around 6:15 and the park was already filled and they were parking the outside lots. waited in line for 15 minutes and got one of the last spots in the lot just outside the entrance. The rest had to park at the visitor center at the nuc plant and either bike or take the shuttle.
Got to transition and picked up my chip, then did my warmup and while running noticed my ankle was not happy. I had taped it before I left hoping it would be ok, but this run was not giving me hope. checked out both the swim start and finish, then went to get body marked. After body marking it was getting close to the race start at 7:30, my wave was at 8 so my plan was to hit the porta john, then do my final prep of transition and do a quick swim warmup at the start before my wave. While I was in line for the porta john they announced the race was about to start and everyone would have to exit transition. Apparently while i was in the john they announced the start and to clear, so when I got out they were saying if you were caught in transition you would get a penalty, but I needed my cap and goggles and to take off my shoes so in I went, did what I needed and left with only a warning by a USAT official. Headed to the lake to get in a warmup, but when I got there the race still hadn't stated yet, and no one was allowed in except for the wave that was starting. so no warmup and the start area was way too small. I heard they had some electrical problems that delayed the start, so I planted my ass down to wait. When we were called on deck I got up and started loosening up my arms and shoulders for the swim.
The Swim: The water was warm, but at least it was cleaner than the old lake. Moved far left to get a good line and started off strong, made it to the first buoy just behind the first group, but after the turn we were facing the sun and my goggles were starting to fog up. This made sighting really difficult which meant more siting and slowed me down quite a bit. After we passed the next buoy I decided to clear them and wow did that make a difference, wish I had done that 5 minutes earlier. Starting swimming stronger again and hit the final buoy and turned for the final stretch in. The water was rough here and coming from the left, but since I prefer breathing on the right it was not a problem for me. Sighted in on a straight line and started working some kicking in to get the legs ready.
T1: Had to take my time getting out of the water and jogging to transition so as not to risk the ankle so my time was slow, think at full speed could have saved 45 seconds here, but not worth the risk in the rocky water or the long ass run on the grass barefoot to the bike. Once at the bike I got my shit taken care of and started. When I finally got on the bike the computer said 1:18, so it took me 1:18 to run from my rack to the mount line, that's a long way and I was in the middle of transition.
Bike: Had a great bike, felt really good and on the climbs I was able to get into a good rhythm. It's about 1.2 miles to get out of the park and 4 speed bumps. They put some wood in front of the bumps that made it much better getting over them, but I still saw tons of sponges and water bottles lining the road. The first part of the bike is up hill so I got aero and tried to get into it. I could tell it was going to be a good day on the bike, I was thinking I could break 54 on a good day based on my practice ride a couple weeks ago. The one rough spot on the route is when you turn onto friendly road, and still it was not that bad but saw more water bottles at the rough patches. There was a long downhill followed by a really long climb but the road was recently paved and it went better than I remember doing it during training. This is where I started trading spots with another MC, he would pass me and then stay about 20 yards ahead until a climb came up and then I would pass him back, we did this for the last 15 miles. I remember the last half as being a long downhill to the lake, and it was, but there was a strong headwind on this morning so I did pick up a bunch of speed, but not as much as could have been. Then the short speed bump filled 1.2 miles back to transition.
T2: Tell you the truth I don't really remember T2 except that due the length of the transition area there was a lot of running, oh and I almost rolled my ankle leaving T2.
Run: The run was quite an adventure. Started of very tentative, the MC I had been trading spots with on the run was about 10 seconds ahead of me and I gradually came up on him and passed in the first 1/2 mile. I was really looking for someone to pace off of so I could concentrate on not landing funny on the ankle. A 27 year old girl passed me and I latched on to her, after another 1/2 mile she stopped to walk so I had to move on. It was hot, but the trails were shaded and they had 4 or 5 chances to get water on the trail so I was quite happy. At the turn around with 1.2 miles to go my confidence in my ankle had increased so I picked up the pace to get a negative split. It was starting to hurt now so I knew I has at the right pace :-). finally made it to the road again and had one more left turn onto a grass finish shoot that was about 20 yards. I made the turn and tweaked my ankle, the pain shot up my body and caused me to jump in the air, when I landed I had a couple strides of limping and then both my hamstrings cramped up and I must of looked really funny. I had enough momentum to get me to the line but it wasn't pretty. The race director was in the shoot and he looked at me and said, "Are you cramping up?" All I could say was yeah and keep limping by...
Post race they had red beans and rice, soda, water, heed, bananas, oranges, bagels and assorted cookies.
I liked the new course much better than the old, but in my opinion the site wasn't big enough to handle that size of event. The parking, the transition, and the swim start with no warmup area were the only down side, but other than that the race was run well, volunteers were awesome and plenty of support.