August 30, 2009
Robbie Guy and I traveled to the windy city this past weekend to dust off our racing shoes and join 4000+ other triathletes in the largest triathlon in the nation. The expo was very good, the course turned out to be great, and the whole thing was pretty well organized.
I wasn’t aware that I was babysitting this weekend until I had the privilege of introducing our newest member, Robbie Guy Layman to our sponsor Wild Turkey on friday night during our stop at ND. To say the least, he felt the powers of Turkey! But, like a true Pants Off Racer, he took it in stride and killed the triathlon on sunday.
.9 miles – Lake Michigan never felt so suffocating. It was a water start so we all started in the water next to eachother in waves of 100+. Robbie and I were in the 20-24 age group with 155 other dudes. The swim course was right along the waterfront in the yacht club area near Navy Pier. I had been swimming a lot lately, but not like this. I got about 100 yards into the swim and couldn’t even breath. I was sucking in water like no other, my extra medium wetsuit was suffocating me, and I couldn’t even swim. I felt like Pronk out there doing frog strokes for the first 10 minutes of the swim. After I managed to overcome the panic attack of not being able to breath, I finally got into a groove to finish up the swim. It was a pretty demoralizing start to a race, but my time wasn’t nearly as bad as I had thought – wetsuits make a big difference I guess.
450 yards – I was just happy to get out of the water at this point. T1 was a nice run along the way to get to our bikes. Nothing special really happened here.
Bike: 1:04:12; 23.6 mph
24.8 miles – The bike course was great. It was right on Lake Shore Drive and was a 2 loop course going north. Going out on Lake Shore was straight out into the wind – serious wind. But, of course, coming back the wind was right behind us. Going out at 20 mph and coming back at 28 mph is never a bad day. I was expecting a lot out of this race, but after a pitiful swim I was pretty discouraged about the whole thing. The bike felt pretty good though, I just cranked out as hard as I could the entire ride thinking about all the training I have done this summer. 25 miles doesn’t seem like much when your training rides last for hours – it was by far the best biking i have ever done in a race.
Robbie Guy had been talking some serious smack about this race ever since we signed up. As i remember him saying, and I quote, “I’m definitely a better swimmer than you, a little faster on the bike that you, and probably better at the transitions. Plus, I ran a 40 minute 10k. So, bascially D.R., your not going to beat me unless i die on the run.” Thanks to Robbie’s encouragement and the Wild Turkey babysitting I had been doing all weekend, I was really pissed. I passed Robbie on the turn-around on the bike and knew he wasn’t gonna catch me on the run. So, basically, when I saw Robbie in T2, i was a little surprised and knew I had to put in a good run to cap off my dominance of Robbie Guy.
Run: 38:23; 6:11 pace
6.1 miles – The run course looped around the waterfront near the Shed Aquarium and came back to finish a block or two away from the swim start. Going out on the water we had the wind at our backs, but I didn’t really realize how much wind until I turned around to have it in my face. I did great when the wind was helping me along, but couldn’t keep up my pace once I made the turn. Overall, it was a good strong run and I felt fresh. I should have pushed it a little harder, especially miles 4 & 5. Mile times: 5:54, 6:02, 6:03, 6:19, 6:21, 6:36, and finished the last in 1:07. I really wanted to hit 36 minutes but I’ll take those times for today.
Overall: 2:14:25; 30th/4243
I was happy with how I finished. It was my first triathlon in almost a year and I’m glad I got back to racing before Wisconsin. I was surprised to find out that I placed 3rd and Robbie 5th in our age group. It’s amazing actually considering the swim.
|Overall Place||47 / 4243|
|Gender Place||47 / 2951|
|Division Place||5 / 157|
|Overall Place||30 / 4243|
|Gender Place||30 / 2951|
|Division Place||3 / 157|