This was the first year they held the Fort Ritchie triathlon. There was two triathlon a sprint distance and the olympic distance. If you know how I am, you know I did the olympic distance. The olympic distance included two laps in Fort Ritchie Lake, 750 meters each. The lake was dirty, like most man made lakes, and this one had an unusual amount of undergrowth (I use to just call it seaweed). The first 200m of the swim was awful for me, I could not get into a good rhythm with my stroke, and was being clobbered by other swimmers. After the second buoy I got into an open space and got into a rhythm, and then was attacked by the "Swap Thing" (a.k.a. the undergrowth). It was explained to us in the beginning of the race to swim through it, if you stop swimming you sink into the undergrowth, so I just kept swimming, and kicking, and finally made it to the last buoy. Then I swam to shore ran across the beach (or some sand they put there and called a beach), then to the pier and jumped in. I did see a few people from the earlier waves before trying to catch their breathe on the pier, but no wasting time for me, I jumped in and started back into the rhythm. I got into a rhythm quicker this time, and the second leg seem to go faster than the first, but all and all it was a slow steady swim for me. I finsihed up with the swim with a time of 35:46, not a good time, but I wasn't the last out of the lake.
I quickly ran up the carpet and ran to the transition area, dried off my feet, put the socks and biking shoes on, swallowed a gel pack (GU chocolate), put my race belt on and took my bike off the rack and off I went. Put my ass in the Saddle and I was off. The hill climb was first, steep hill, but not to long, and down we flew. I was probably around 35 - 37 mph down the hill, then it got technical and I needed to slow down, and into the valley. I kept moving through the valley with some rolling hills and then I made a right and went away from the mountain, then to the turn around, and back toward the mountain. I did here people say it was about a 5 mile climb, and I thought they were joking. But they were not I started climbing at a normal pace, passing some of the other riders. The climb was tough, but wasn't that bad, I have climb worse in practice, and I finally did get to the top. I went down the hill at a fast pace, and then a quick left turn and back into transition. Bike time was 1:22:47, not that bad since most of it was hilly.
I quickly changed shoes, and I needed to hit the porta-john. Took about 20 seconds in the john, and then was very relieved and I was off. The run was two laps, through a hilly, rough course through the Fort Ritchie community. Caught up to my friend, Jason, around mile two and half or so. Then we hit the turn around and I didn't see him again until the end. I was met by some nice people saying good job on the run, and my reply was the only one I could think of "This is the only sport that I am somewhat good at." I caught to some 18 year old, and tried to pass him around mile four and failed. We held a small conversion, and I learned he wasn't a runner, but he was going at a good pace though. We went up the last big hill of the run and I told him just hang on my shoulder and we will be finished in no time. Will he couldn't hold on I flew past him near the end of the sixth mile, and finished the race strong. My run time was 46:09 not the best 10K time but the course wasn't that great either.
My final time was 2:47:48.3, not the time I wanted, but a time I will live with. I know I still need to get better with my swimming, and the only way to do that is to keep practicing. I will need to get ready now for the New York City Marathon on Nov 7, Eagle Man Half Iron Man in June, and the biggest event in my life my new daughter, Bex, which is due any day now.