Fun at the Pioneer Sprint

triseries-logo_colorThe Pioneer Sprint was the first triathlon of the year for most.  The race had a late start time of 1:00.  Kind of nice, but I didn’t know what to do with my time all morning.  I certainly didn’t spend it doing a gear check.  

I packed up the Jeep and leisurely headed out to Petersburg.  It was 11:30, I thought I had more than enough time.  I even decided to stop at the gas station for a quick lunch, consisting of a Powerbar and a Diet Pepsi.

I showed up just before the Mini Abe race went off.  I think I was the last person to check it according to Leah.   I checked in at “Kim Sharpe,”  I don’t think they transferred the number…  But I didn’t think twice,  I knew the person at registration…

Nancy and Ashleigh were hangin’ outside transition, sporting the new t-shirts.   Nancy had the Eco design and Ashleigh had the green, “I love smoking shirt”.  Very cool rabbits!  I wish I got a picture of you two.

It looked like everyone had their bikes in transition.  The racks were pretty full.  Thank God they were numbered and Kim registered early, I was on a pretty good rack close to the bike in/out.  My plan was to wear a jersey in the pool so I could have a quick transition.  The only problem… I didn’t have a race belt.  I checked around and Kevin Milward graciously gave up and extra belt his family had from the previous race.  It was pink, but I didn’t complain!  Thanks again Kevin!

By the time I got dressed and had my transition area ready, I headed into the pool.  I needed a really good warm up.  

Wow the water was warm.  I hope they didn’t do that just for us…  It was hot tube-esqe, if I only had a beer…

After the warm up I placed my self in the staging area under the 5:00-530 sign.  I had timed myself earlier in the week for 300 yards at 5:20 or so.   I was next to Chuck Hitchcock, and he didn’t want to trade places.  He said I was more experience.  

If he only knew that this race last year was my only indoor pool triathlon.  I told him I didn’t want to slow him down.  He already took Nancy’s advanced swim class.  I just graduated from the beginner class…  So we stuck to our guns and waited in link.  

I noticed Joe House and Eric Sommer were the first two off.  They are fast swimmers!

Standing in line, I couldn’t stop my nervous hack.  I coughed all the way to the waters edge.  


The first one hundred when fine.  I was comfortable.  But crossing the lane at the start of the second hundred I caught my goggle/head on the rope.  Ouch!  My goggles stayed sealed, and I didn’t seam to loose my stroke, but I took in a a huge mouth full of water.  It took me two or three strokes to get my rhythm back.  The last one hundred I could see I was being caught.  I dug a little deeper, but by the end someone was on my toes.  5:25, I took 30 seconds off last years time. (that doesn’t seem like much?)

I exited and ran to the transition.  Helmet, click, bike, exit.  24 second.  I ran to the line and placed my foot in my left shoe.  My cranks turned over and I missed my right shoe.  It ended up scooping a pile full of rocks.  What a novice move!  I bent over and tiped my shoe out, and flipped it back over and off I when.

The first two or three miles felt great.  28mph or so until I hit the hills.  Yes there are some good rolling hills out there.  At one point I hit a max of 37.5mph, and 15 mph going up the next hill.  Pretty much a wash!

I made up some good ground on the way out, and I was hoping for a tail wind on the way back in.  It never happened, maybe a slight cross wind?  I kepted a steady speed, but definitely slowed down on the way back in.  I averaged 23.4mph.  Overall I felt great on the bike and ready to run.

T2 went pretty smooth.  Racked the bike, took off my helmet.  Slipped on my Zoots, hat and pink race belt.  I then stopped and took a drink from my water bottle which will account for my 30 second T2.

My feet felt good coming out of T2.  I ran comfortably for the first mile at 7:30 pace.  I had a few people ahead of me.  Dave Bagot was three up, and I kept him in my sight.  Mile 2 was a little faster, with a couple of down hills.  By mile three, I was closing in on Bagot.  He was probably 100 yards ahead of me of the last killer hill.

Lance Cull, yelled “Come on Danoh!”  I just chuckled.  There was nothing I could do.  I just wanted to survive the hill and try to close in after the summit.  

About the time I picked up my pace so did he.  I was not able to catch him.  I crossed the finish in 1:02:31, good enough for 6th place. I took 7 minutes off last years time, not bad,  but I am guessing a lot of people saw a time decrease due to the horrible weather was last year!

I immediately walked past the water station, waving off the free swag gloves.  I was so close to throwing up, but I held it in, and after a couple of minutes, I felt fine.  (That is always a good sign that you tried your hardest… or that you are out of shape?)

I warmed down with Eric, Bruce, Scott, John, and a few others.  Everyone seemed to have had a great time.  Oh, except for Lawyer who when down just outside of T1 in a corner full of gravel (I didn’t see any…)  Thank God his Speedo was untouched!

Everyone then headed inside for a warm meal and awards, just as it started to rain.

Congratulations to everyone, and a BIG thank you to the volunteers and directors.  This was a fun race and the comraderee  was unprecedented.

See you at the next race

[Pioneer Sprint Results]