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the races of 2015: part 2, triathlon edition

November 6, 2015
bostri web2

Because nothing could be more gripping than an amateur athlete’s race reports, I present to you the Triathlon edition of my 2015 race season recap. Similar to 2014, all of my 2015 triathlons were saddled in the middle of my road race calendar–largely symptomatic of the seasons (race in the spring and fall – tri in the summer).

My big race this year was Timberman 70.3, my first half Ironman. Almost all of the training I did was in preparation for this late Summer feat. Starting in January of 2015, all of my free time was devoted to swimming, open water swimming, biking and running. A lot of hours.

In addition to Timberman, I signed up for several sprints to reacquaint myself with the sport before attempting the 1.2 mile swim, 56 mile ride and 13 mile run. And last, in anticlimactic fashion, I registered for one last end-of-Summer tri for the season, Lobsterman–an olympic distance triathlon in Freeport, Maine.

Without further ado…

Race: Capitol City Tri

capcity tri


Date: July 26th, 2015
Location: Concord, New Hampshire
Distance: Sprint (.3 mile swim / 15 mile ride / 5k run)
Net Time: 1:30:42
Times: swim 13:18 / T1 1:44 / bike 51:37 / T2 0:54 / run 24:05
PR: yes
Place: overall 36/115 – 3rd AG award

Pre-race shits: some
Post-race shits: no
Injuries: none
Pre-race pain: none
Post-race pain: none
Shoe’s stayed tied: yes
Swag: medal / award (small jar of local honey + compression socks coupon)
Scale of 1-10 post-race happiness: 3 

Summary: I was a bit baffled by my OWS anxiety despite having trained plenty and raced four triathlons the previous year. But here I was in the water having fleeting thoughts of bailing on the swim. But I made myself do it. I had a hard time getting my face down into the water but managed to crawl my way up and down the warmish Merrimac River. Having raced this course last year, my swim time was only marginally faster. Aside from some rough potholes the bike was fine.

I gambled on the direction that seemed logical, and sadly for the people behind me, they followed my horrible sense of direction.

But then this happened… about .5 miles away from the finish line the run course was inexplicably unmarked leaving runners with an open-ended decision of which direction to go. I came to a complete stop, myself, along with a group of 20 or so runners I had just passed, all looked around in disbelief. I gambled on the direction that seemed logical, and sadly for the people behind me, they followed my horrible sense of direction. Not only did we run an extra .5 miles (According to my Garmin the distance was 3.7 miles) we also came into the finish from the wrong direction. At one point we were just standing by the finish line and someone said, “Hey, we should probably cross the timing threshold.” I want to say this debacle added 4-5 minutes to my 5k. Somehow I still managed to win 3rd place in my age group.

Despite this being a small local triathlon, I felt the run course oversight was pretty ridiculous considering the race fee and general ordeal that is competing in any tri. I really felt the officials should have offered the 30+ racers affected by the snafu free entry for next year’s race, but that’s just me. Unless that happens, I would personally never race this triathlon again.

 

Race: Boston Tri

boston tri 4


Date: August 9th, 2015
Location: Boston, Massachusetts
Distance: Sprint (.5 mile swim / 9 mile ride / 4.4 mile run)
Net Time: 1:20:28
Times: swim 21:43 / T1 2:21 / bike 25:54 / T2 1:13 / run 29:27
PR: no (missed it by 9 seconds)
Place: overall 88/525

Pre-race shits: some
Post-race shits: no
Injuries: none
Pre-race pain: none
Post-race pain: none
Shoe’s stayed tied: yes
Swag: pint glass, about $100 worth of Clif Shot Blocks, free beer
Scale of 1-10 post-race happiness: 2 

Summary: NOW I was really baffled by my OWS anxiety. This was a really shitty race for me. With my half Ironman only one week away, my confidence was at an all-time low. While my bike and run were just slightly faster than the same course the previous year, my swim-time was almost exactly two minutes slower. Really, the only positive thing about this race was the packet pick-up. The race organizers had cases and cases and cases of Clif Shot Blocks — my go-to race sustenance. I liberally filled my swag bag with enough maltodextrin to last the rest of my race season. Also, I’d like to point out that Ethos does a really great job with their races. Very well organized, well supported and one of the few tri’s I’ve competed in that has complementary beer at the end.

 

Race: Timberman 70.3

timberman 2


Date: August 16th, 2015
Location: Gilford, New Hampshire
Distance: Half Ironman 70.3 (1.2 mile swim / 56 mile ride / 13.2 mile run)
Net Time: 6:07:33
Times: swim 45:39 / T1 4:37 / bike 3:25:29 / T2 4:22 / run 1:47:26
PR: n/a
Place: 118 in division, overall 924/1,859

Pre-race shits: normal poop!
Post-race shits: no
Injuries: none
Pre-race pain: none
Post-race pain: none
Shoe’s stayed tied: yes
Swag: backpack, bike seat cover, hat, shirt
Scale of 1-10 post-race happiness: 10

 

Summary: I was hoping to break six hours, but honestly I have zero complaints about this race. All of the stupid anxiety I had about the 1.2 mile swim disappeared and it actually ended up being completely amazing; albeit a little pokey. The bike was a slog-fest but I aced the run. (You can read my full race report here.) Timberman was is one of my life’s biggest achievements.

 

Race: Lobsterman

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Date: September 12th, 2015
Location: Freeport, Maine
Distance: Olympic (.9 mile swim / 26 mile ride / 10k mile run)
Net Time: 2:54:04
Times: swim 38:22 / T1 3:01 / bike 1:26:29 / T2 1:42 / run 44:31
PR: OD PR
Place: 11th in division, overall 129/306

Pre-race shits: minimal
Post-race shits: no
Injuries: none
Pre-race pain: none
Post-race pain: none
Shoe’s stayed tied: yes
Swag: free beer, tech shirt, pint glass
Scale of 1-10 post-race happiness: 8 

Summary: Once again, I was worried about the swim for nothing. This race, like the Half Ironman, went completely fine. But holy shit! That water was c-c-c-c-c-cold. The swim took place in Casco bay off the coast of Maine in the icy Atlantic Ocean (in mid-September). Thankfully I had the opportunity to get into the water before the race started. The amount of life sucked out of my lungs when my face hit the water was substantial enough for me to momentarily take pause and reflect on my life thus far.

Overall I would say I had a successful tri-season for just my second year into the sport. Next year I will continue to challenge myself as I am planning a 70.3 (TBD) and I have already signed up for my first full Ironman 140.6.  (IM KMD Copenhagen) I’ve even secured my Air-BNB to which the host told me “they were excited to host a real live Ironman”.

Dying for more gripping race reports? You can read part 1 of 2015 here.

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