It is August once again and you know what that means, it’s time for the Wood River Triathlon. There were a few surprises this year, very nice surprises. First the weather gods were watching over us, after weeks of temps in the 90’s and the heat index over 100, we had a nice cool day or at least it started out that way. The temperature was 70 at race time with a high of 89 degrees expected. For me that was perfect, since I was number 7 in the water, I expected to be finished with the race before 8:30.
So this is how I spent a beautiful Saturday morning. I showed up at the race venue at 6 am, racked my bike, laid out gear, and checked in. I had an hour before my start time, so I milled around and chatted with the other competitors, and most of them I already knew. You see, the Wood River Tri is one of the largest local triathlons in the area and 30 to 40 Metro Tri Club Zilla’s show up for the race. I have competed in this tri 10 times now. It is a great spectator course, it is 6 bike laps of a two mile loop, followed by 2 run laps of the same loop. So every lap of the course there are people cheering you on, plus there are tons of racers on the course so you always have someone to chase, chasing people always makes me faster. Oh, and they feed you to, not just fruit and Gatorade, but chicken, veggies, sandwiches, pizza and so much more, not only you, but your family too. After the race the competitors and their families get to swim and use the waterslide all afternoon. This is such a family friendly event and when you mill around before the race, it’s more like a family reunion than a race.
While I was wondering around I ran into my nemesis Terry, we did some trash talking and I said I needed a before picture with him, you know, the before I smoke your butt, picture.
I headed over to the pool to check it out before the race, it looked really daunting just sitting there waiting for the race to start.
I had to run over to the round house for a quick team picture before the race started, after the picture, I had about 15 minutes to the race start.
I did a quick warm up swim in the dive tank, I really don’t know why, it doesn’t matter what I do, my swim is always slow. I jumped out of the dive tank with about 2 minutes to the start of the race. My race number was 7, so I went in the water at 7:01:30. My swim went pretty well, I think it may have been my fastest ever, but don’t get all excited just yet, fast for me, is really pretty slow, but I was still happy with it.
My transition was a little slow, but not too bad.
I hopped on my bike and took off, as soon as I hit the road, my friend Renae came past me, giving me encouragement as she passed. I spent the next 12 miles trading the lead with her. After the first lap Mike jumped on the course with us and it ended up being a battle between the three of us for the entire bike leg. It made for a fast bike, I finished the bike leg with a 20.7 mph average and I was very happy with that. I have to attribute my fast bike to two things, first chasing my teammates around the course and second the quality of the roads I was riding on. The street department had repaved almost the entire course, the streets were smooth and there was very little gravel on the corners. I have to give a shout out to the Wood River street department, they did a great job.
I had a good transition from bike to run it was under a minute before I was back on the road on foot, hoofing it around the course.
I have not been running well lately so I was a little worried about the run. I was really surprised because I felt pretty good, the first 2 mile lap went well and the second I slowed a little about halfway through, but as soon as I slowed down a young fit girl passed me and she was flying. I focused on her and picked up my pace, I actually felt good and held the new pace through the end of the race. My run time was not as good as it has been in past years, but it wasn’t bad. I crossed the line, looked at my time and saw that I had taken two minutes off my total time from my last Wood River Tri. It was not my fastest time ever at this race, but it was still good.
The temperature had started to rise, and at the finish line there was a shower setup to cool off under. I have to admit it, I showered with Mike.
After a long shower and a massage, I watched the rest of the race. My good friend Jenny was on the curb cheering on her husband Tim. He finished the race and came over to discuss the woes of his race. As soon as he got on his bike, his chain fell off and he couldn’t get it back on, after about 3 or maybe 20 minutes he finally got it on and took off, but since, as you could see, he is no mechanic, he was afraid to switch gears during the bike for fear of the chain dropping again, so he rode the entire race in one gear. The gear was a little too small and he had to pedal like a mad man the entire race. I say look on the bright side he got a double workout for the price of one entry, I’m not really sure he feels the same way though. Even after finishing the entire race, he still had grease on his hands and had even rubbed in on his face.
This year’s race was the fastest I have ever seen, but even with the speed of the competitors, many of the Zilla’s took home hardware. I saw the volunteers carrying out the trophy’s and they were so cool looking, I really wanted one. Most of the time when I get a trophy, I just put it in a box in my closet, but these trophies were so cool that I really wanted one. My nemesis Terry took home 1st place while I took home 2nd. Now I’m going to have to live with him for another year before I can take that title away from him. Our rivalry is a friendly one, and I have no idea who stole the wheels off Terry’s bike.
After losing to Terry, I had to drown my sorrows in the pool. So off to the pool I went with my girls by my side. They brought their boyfriends too, but there are rules when the boys come. The number one rule is no making fun of the fat mom in the bikini.
We had a little high diving fun while we were there, and even Jade finally jumped after three or four trips up and back down the diving board. It was pretty funny when the 5 year olds where telling her how to jump off the high dive.
It was a great race and lots of fun, I can’t wait to beat Terry next year. Thanks to the City of Wood River for holding such a great event.