Monday, October 07, 2013
I did my first tri today. It was the Little Miami Triathlon. Instead of swimming the first leg, you canoe for 6 miles. The second leg is a 5.5 mile run. You finish with 18 miles on the bike.
This was my first time in a canoe since 1976. Fortunately, my partner was vastly more experienced in the canoe. She's been canoeing since, oh, 3 weeks ago when her and her husband canoed the river. Today was her second time in the canoe. She was the captain. We got passed by a lot of canoes. After the race, she said, "I think we picked a bad canoe. It seemed heavy." Duh, I was in the canoe.
The important thing was that we didn't flip. We've had heavy rain the last couple days and the river was up and fast. It was challenging. In fact, it poured almost the entire time in the canoe. Not only did it rain, but there was thunder and lightning at a few points. Plus, I goaded my teammate (a native German) into singing a few verses of "Schnappi, das Kleine Krokodil". I love Schnappi. I can die a happy man.
When it came to the run, I just wasn't feeling it. So I walked most of it. My teammate had to hit the portalets when we got out of the canoe, so I moseyed on. I knew she would blow by me at some point. That point turned out to be the water station at mile 1. Just beyond mile 4, a friend of mine from high school went flying by.
The last 20 miles of the 5.5 mile run was up what is referred to in race literature as "Killer Hill". Well named. It is steep, muddy, slick hill. Some places have stairs. It really hurt. I was both relieved and sad when I got to the top. The agony was wonderful.
At the top, I found my bike, gathered up my stuff, rode over to my car, dropped off my stuff, and headed out. Not exactly a fast paced transition. The bike portion started and finished in the Fort Ancient Memorial. This is a pretty neat place. There a lot of mounds in Fort Ancient of the type as Serpent Mound. Once I got out of the memorial and on the road, I started passing most of the punks that blew by me on the run. This happened a lot last year when I was doing a lot of du's. It is very satisfying. BTW, I passed my teammate at mile 2 of the bike. I went by her right in front of one of the few mile markers they had on the course. If I would get off my ass and train and run regularly again, I might actually pass some of these punks on the run and pick off even more people on the bike. Must consider...
I finished at 3 hours, 56 minutes and change. They didn't have timing arches at any place other than the start and finish and my cyclcomputer wasn't working, so I have no definite idea how long each leg took. I do know that at abou 1 hour 50 minutes in, I was at the 3 mile mark in the run. There was a water station there and I asked one of the guys working it for the time. I will say I did the canoe in 1 hour because that just seems like a good number. Since I walked most of the run, I'll say I did it in 1 hour 56 minutes just because it means I would have had to done the bike in 1 hour meaning an 18mph pace and I like that.
My participation was a last minute decision. My teammate's original partner had family issues and couldn't fly in from Texas. So she put out a request for a replacement on facebook and I said "sure, I'll do it." She's talking about doing it again next year and wants us to start practicing canoeing to get ready for it. She also wants to get a real bike. She did the race today on a P.O.S. she picked up at WallyWorld. It was heavy, shifted poorly if at all, braked rather sketchily, and had knobbie tires.
Still, a half hour cross race is harder.