a.k.a. Clays Park Triathlon was today in North Lawrence near Massilon. This is a good short course race that draws some decent competition. I think I heard the announcer say that there were 18o racers that showed up for this windy, humid and hilly race. My group was the first to go off this morning which usually isn't the case, (Thanks Mark Gorris) it's always the young guys first, but since we were off first I know it gave some of us extra motivation to hit it hard right from the start and keep it up to the end to keep from getting caught by the young fast guys. My swim went well and I swam side by side the whole way with Mark and we exited the water 1 and 2 and transitioned fast and once on the bike we were swapping places until about the halfway to the halfway point and then he pulled away from me and kept his gap. Mark is a strong rider and a super guy as well. So it was Mark who was leading the race at this point with me second. I hit the halfway point and for about the first 3 miles on the way back it was all downhill so I was able to keep my speed pretty consistant at 28-30+ mph. I chose to race my road bike this year due to the hills on this course and I think it was better for me. I did however get passed with about 3 miles left in the bike by another guy that was in full aero gear. He actually did the Virginia Kenetic Triathlon last month, the same race that we went down and raced.
I entered T-2 and racer #2 was on his way out and Mark was running already. I had a smooth transition, (actually both T-1 and T-2 were probably my best transitions I have had in a couple of years now) and I was running pretty smoothly. The run was 2 rolling laps of an almost 2 mile course through the back of Clays Park campground. Since the race started at 8 a.m the campers we in full breakfast making mode on their outdoor campfires. Normally that smell gets my taste buds in full gear but when running for dear life at redlined pace hoping not to get caught by someone that started 5 minutes behind you, that smell was actually nauseating. I kept my gait smooth and ran the rollers strong and ended up finishing 3rd overall in my wave of 58 and after all groups were in I ended up 9th overall and 1st in the 45-49 age group, and didn't get caught......
Tony had another strong race and finished 3rd overall. He said he didn't feel quite up to bike speed but he did have a good run, running just over 6 minute miles, he did manage to average over 22 mph on the bike though, not too bad for the hilly course.
Overall, the Bike Authority/Fleet Feet Triathlon Team had a strong showing. We had 9 in the race and had 4 in the top 10 in the men's race, including Christian that took 2nd. overall. Overall mens Clydesdale, Overall woman and the others won or placed 2nd. in their age groups. Great job today by all.
Also great job to my Team Lake Effect teammates that raced at Vultures Knob and the Erie crit this weekend, excellent racing everyone and congratulations Chris on your win in Erie, well done!
Next up is the Greater Cleveland Triathlon training day this Saturday at Headlands and The Dam Tri Olympic race in Meadville P.A. next weekend.