Rain on Me – Age Group Win!

Pioneer Sprint 2008 The it was cool, around 50 degrees and raining for the Pioneer Sprint today. My sister Kim and I showed up early to check out the Abe’s Mini and staked out the transition area.  My partner in crime, Jason was at a Hooters mud wrestling contest in Chicago, so I would have to go at it alone today. 

Doing a sprint in a pool was a new concept for me, so I watched the entire mini sprint swim.  I was nervous, seeing I haven’t been in a pool since last October.

I still had no idea what I was going to wear, so I brought my entire winter wardrobe in my transition bag.  I made my decision and set up my spot.  1 tri jersey, 1 long sleeve jersey, 1 wind jacket, 1 pair of socks, helmet, glasses, gloves, running hat, running shoes, knee brace, cycling shoes.  I think that was it.  Looking at the pile in front of me, I knew my T1 time was going to suck.  I can take the pain, but not the cold and rain.

Kim and I made it to the indoor pool.  It felt like a sauna.  It must have been 80 degrees inside.  I decided to take a quick lap, to see if I remembered how to swim.  It felt pretty good, but 300 yards at the gun was a different story.

The race started and people were shuffled in the pool every 15 seconds or so.  There were 6 lanes, so you had to do a down and back and then shift to the next lane.  The fast ones started, and man were they fast.  I started around the 6 minute group.  I really had no idea.

Kim 3rd overall women My time came and I jumped in.  And just like a dog in water I started to swim.  The first few laps felt good, and before I knew it, I was on my final lap.   I climbed out on the ladder and ran out to the frigid transition area in 5:55.  I could have cut some glass out there.

I struggled to get my clothes on, but I got them all on, 2:55 later I exited the transition area.

I love the bike.  Cyclist at heart, I am so glad I took the time to put all these clothes on.  It was cold and drizzling.  I had no idea what the bike course was like.  I soon discovered it was going to be hilly.  I kept my cadence around 90 rpms and hovered around 20 mph.  I had a max speed of 36 going down a few of the hills and ended up with a average speed of 21.1.  Not bad, seeing I just started riding outdoors last week.

Back in for a T2 of 52 seconds. I slid on my running shoes and headed out.  The course went around a residential area in town.   Taking a either a right or left turn at every block.  I did know know how I was doing, I was praying for a mile marker, but none were to be found.

The final climb before the high school was like something out of the Smokey Mountains.  I spotted Kim about a hundred meters up the road.  I tried all the way to the finish, but couldn’t pass her.  I ended on her heals with 7:17 pace.

A total time of 1:10:06.  I did the best I could under the nasty conditions.  Kim finished with 1:16:54.

We packed up and headed in for the free dinner/lunch.  It was great having some warm food after the race.

The results were in and I took the 35-39 age group.  This was a first for me, I am usually second or third.  Kim got third overall for the women.  I did mention that if she was a little slower she could have won her age group instead.  But she did get a pretty cool glass trophy.

A great start to the season!

Dan