Lakeland Bi-Tri Classic

Bradforton, Salisbury, Petersburg, Atterbury, Oakford, Kilbourne, Havana, Little America, Dunfermline, Canton.  The 90 minute trip from Springfield to Canton was culturally interesting.  Small town USA at it’s finest.  Although at 05:00 there was not much to see except darkness and the occasional wildlife.  In fact, until sunrise, around 05:30, I was white knuckling the steering wheel.  It was like Mutual of Omaha’s Wild Kingdom.  I saw 3 deer just outside of Salisbury, I almost splattered a family of raccoons in New Salem, and had to bunny hop a possum this side of Atterbury.  With daylight came less stress on my way to the 18th annual Lakeland Triathlon in beautiful Canton, Il.


I arrived around 06:30, per Danoh’s instructions, to get a parking spot near the transition area.  He was right.  The little parking lot filled up quickly and I was lucky to have rockstar parking.  Word on the street was rain would arrive around 09:00 so I was eager to get started and a little nervous about what kind of role the rain would play.  My Ironabe experience was less than stellar so I was looking forward to a shorter, less stressful triathlon.


Warmingup in the water left the theme from Jaws in my head.  Swimming in this “diver’s pond” was a unique experience as you could see very deep in the water.  No sir, I didn’t like it.  The water temperature was 76 degrees.  The air temperature was around 65 degrees.  So I was regretting not wearing a wetsuit.  (thanks for the offer Kevin and Dan).   The water was NIPPLY!  I opted for wave #2 considering my swimming skills.  Unfortunately, everyone in wave #2 also had a low self opinion of their swimming ability.  I found myself at the front of wave #2 just before the gun went off.  Reluctantly I dove in and started to swim.  About 2 strokes in I was engulfed in clawing bodies.  It felt like Invasion of Body Snatchers.  I relegated myself to stop and let everyone go by then start again.  By now I was tired and breathing heavily.  Definitely not the same feeling I had in Springfield.  I eventually had to alternate breast stroke and freestyle the rest of the 500 yard swim.  I staggered up on the beach with a time of  10:39.  Good enough for 108 place.  OUCH!


My T1 felt like slow motion.  1:15 was good enough for 51st so I guess I made up some ground.  HA!

The 12 mile bike portion was not only windy but surprisingly hilly.  I felt good but getting into a rhythm was tough because of the undulating terrain.  All I know is that I passed a ton of riders on the bike leg.  Mostly because I was able to maintain good speed up the hills.  On the return I felt better and was able to increase my average to 22.1 mph.  I finally broke the 22 mph mark for a triathlon.  All I could think about was getting back to T2 before it started raining.  With about 1 mile to go it began to sprinkle but not enough to cause concern.

T2 was 47 seconds but only good enough for 70th place.  I guess I know where I need to practice.

Coming through the running shoot onto the bike path I was passed by a female.  I decided to try and stay on her for as long as possible.  She had a painful rhythm but by 1 mile in I felt better and we ran together the rest of the 5K.  I’m not sure I would have run that fast without someone to push me.  It turns out she was the first female finisher and beat me by 36 seconds.  My 5K split ended up being 20:36 or 06:52/mile.  I surprised myself.


Overall time was 1:05:52 with a 17th place finish.  I was happy considering my poor transitions and swim.  I hope I am improving.  The Canton Triathlon is definitely a must-do race.  Pretty fun and laid back.

P.S. For all you rabbits out there that love to smoke……