So according to Athlink.com I hadn’t done an Olympic/International distance triathlon since 2012. So when the Huntington’s Disease Triathlons sort fell into training for the GFT in October (maybe more on that in a later post) sign up was a gimme. Now much has changed since the last one – Escape to Miami. Even in just the run alone, I have made some big strides (pun intended).
So race morning was typical fair: got to Larry & Penny Thompson State Park just after 5am to get our race numbers and a good spot in transition. It was a little cloudy and humid, but it’s July in South Florida, that’s to be expected. After getting my shoes and stuff set up, headed to the lake right next to transition. Just before the first wave (elite) went out, one of the bouys was moved. Now I was in the third wave, so when the elites went straight instead of to the far left buoy, everyone around began to wonder. So when we crossed the start mat, we were told to go straight, cutting off the left triangle, probably eliminating 0.1 mile from the scheduled 0.7 mile swim. Water was relatively clear and neutral in temperature. Everything went well until about the last 1/4 when my goggles fogged up and I stopped quickly to clear them out, and realized I was facing 2 o’clock instead of the swim exit. Cleared the goggles, turned slightly to face the exit, and made my way out of the water and into transition. Swim time: 19:00 minutes.
After grabbing the bike stuff and leaving transition (rocky and root-filled) I made my way out of the park. It was then I noticed that my bike computer sensor was just a bit too far from the magnet to register, and I was not about to stop; although I should have because at several points the cable wacked the wheel spokes a few times. I actually stopped about 5 miles before the end to try and tighten the cable (should have checked before the race). So I basically did the bike on “perceived effort” with several times of short pushes. Heading west was into a headwind, south was pretty smooth, as was north and east. There was a brief encounter with a shower, which kept me cool and thankfully didn’t become a heavy shower or downpour. The roads were typical Miami condition: near the state park were bumpy and few dips, along with a railroad crossing, but most of the 21 mile course was decent. The road did have vehicular traffic on it, which for the most part knew how to pass cyclists, except for a caravan of three work vans. I was not far from the end when I came up them. When I got close and noticed they were slower than me, I shifted gears and checked for oncoming traffic (car and bike) I found out there were two female riders going side by side leading the caravan. So after passing them and several other cyclists (mostly sprint). I bumped my way over the roots and rocks into transition. Bike time: 1:10:37 (17.8 mph)
Got my run shoes (and socks) on, grabbed my race belt and jogged out for the run. Run went out through the paved trail and into the RV park (just like Miami Man), turn-around and then back into the paved trails, around the lake, and then loop two. Kept a steady pace throughout, only slowing a few times at aid stations for water to splash most of it on my head – the iced water felt good in the humid, mostly unshaded park. The bunny hopping on the trail during the second loop was a pleasant surprise – joked with a guy passing me at the time if we had to race the rabbit, too. There were some slight rolling parts and a section of roots on the course – the latter was spray marked. What was also marked was each mile, and even a spray painting at half mile points. That made it easier to know when to push it some more for the finish. Crossed the finish line to hear my name (last name butchered as usual). Hey, you’re on this site, so you know. Run time: 55:12 (9:12 min/mil)
For a race where all of the fees go to medical research, they put on a good event. Lots of volunteers, a bottle exchange on the Olympic bike course, several water and gatorade stations on the run. Except for the no real explanation on why the swim was changed (& possibly shortened), and they ran out of race shirts (I have enough), it is well organized race in its 24th year. Check it out for next year @ http://www.huntingtonsdiseasefl.org.