I almost passed on this race. I am not for racing my bike on wet streets. I woke up with bike loaded and looked at the radar. It looked wet in Huntsville, but my dear wife had said even if it is wet give it a try. She is the one I had promised not to take chance on wet streets. 2 years ago she had spent 5 hours in an ER waiting for a plastic surgeon to stitch up my face (26 stitches). It was a bad wreck and she was great. I usually ride before church, but that Sunday we did not make it. I also had to have my dentist crown one of my front teeth. So if she said give it a try, I might as well. I drove my little truck to the Southeastern YMCA. The roads were dry and the rain never materialized.
This was a first year for this race and I was not sure how well it would come off. The staff at the YMCA did a great job. I must commend them on putting together a nice sprint triathlon. 5K run, 8 mile bike, and 300 yard swim.
The run and the bike ride were surprisingly hilly and pretty challenging. I managed 10th overall and second in my age group.
The run came first and I decided to run behind my friend Matt Hames. I might of passed him on the run, but he would of trashed me on the bike and the swim. He is the total package. My strategy was to just stay behind Matt on the run so I would not have to wait for him to pass me. He set a nice pace and finished 4th and I finished the run 5th.
Then came the bike. It definitely had some pretty steep hills. There was a long grade about a mile into it and I came to a stop. I was in too high of gears and had not managed my momentum well. Too steep to restart I lost at least a minute creeping it forward over the crest. It was an out and back so I vowed not to let it happen on my return trip. We made our way to the greenway for 2 miles in and 2 mile back. Then back on the return to the killer hill. I hammered it and had no problem on the return trip. I finished the bike ride in 10th place overall.
I racked the bike and put on my goggles which I had around my neck during the ride and headed for the pool. To achieve 300 yards each of the 6 lanes had to be swam down and back. It was a little confusing at one point, but I settled my pace and finished not passing or being passed by any racers in the pool. My strategy was to get to the pool before it got crowded with racers. I finished the race 10th overall and placed 2nd in my age group. 59 people finished the race including 4 others from my church. It was nice have members of my church family share in the race. 3 of them placed in their age groups. There were also 3 members of the Decatur Tri Club who placed (Myself, Matt, and Charlotte) Matt took second overall. It was a great day for my church and the Decatur Tri Club
By the numbers:
Run 5th 20:46, Bike 17th 32:55 (Plus transition),
Swim 23rd 7:01, Overall 10th 1:00:42.
I planned to use this as a tune up for the Huntsville Sprint, but it was a really great race in itself. I will put this on my schedule for next year. This race gave me confidence in my ability to run in the heat and that my summer training was paying off. I was so happy with my run time that I entered the Brooke Hill 5K the next Saturday.
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