Saturday was the NEO triathlon kickoff at Clays Park in North Lawrence put on by Gregg Genovese and Champ Racing. It was a shorter sprint distance race of a 500 meter swim, 20k bike and a 5k run, which meant it was going to be fast. We haven't really been training for any fast races yet this season since we just finished doing the long distance race in Tennessee a few weeks ago, so this would be a good fitness measurement.
After checking out the participant list the night before and seeing all the names, I knew this race was going to be the who's who in NEO triathlon.
The Old Guys, which is the group that I'm in (40+) went off first. The swim was short but fast with alot of bashing going on until the turn around point where we spread out. I came out of the water in 4th in my 56 man field and should have been one better but I had to stop and get my bearings at the turn around because I couldn't see the buoys due to swimming directly into the morning sun.
Had a pretty smooth transition and was soon out on the rolling bike course that was changed this year due to bad road conditions on the previous years course. The course was basically all up to the turn around and my legs really weren't feeling it for whatever reason, maybe because I hit it pretty hard on Thursday on the bike with some climbing. Anyway I reached the turnaround and started back and kicked up the speed to get the average up. I came back in to transition averaging 22 mph, had a fast transition and was out on the run.
Mark Gorris and I entered T-2 together and I rolled out just a bit ahead of him and he soon caught me. I was with him when we caught Don Asher from Wooster who was ahead of us the whole bike and looking smooth. I tried to stay with Mark knowing he was a good runner. There were times when I would gain on him and there were times when he would pull away, it was a good run. The second lap I think we picked up the pace a bit because I was breathing harder than on the first lap, that and it was starting to get hot. We came to the finishing stretch and I could see Mark pick up the pace once again and I matched him but he was 20 seconds ahead of me when he ran through the finishing chute.
Overall it was a good fast race for the first fast one of the season, although my legs would have been better on the bike had I not did so much work a couple days prior to the race. I finished 7th overall in the 40+ age group and 4th in the 45-49. Stern, Garrett, Gorris, me and rounded out the top 4.
Great job to all my Bike Authority / Fleet Feet triathlon team-mates for their efforts and finishes in this race, we took home the overall male win with Dave Duecker and overall female win with Desiree Thomas and Katie Z. finishing a very close second, nice job ladies! The party afterward was great too.
Next up is the Twinsburg Duathlon on June 3rd then the weekend after is the North Shore Border War, while working on getting faster during the weeks.