This last weekend was the first race of my 2007 season. Yes that's right, a race in 2006 represents the beginning of my 07 season and so it is each year. The race is the Polar Bear at White Sands Missile Range near Las Cruces, NM and it is always the first race of the South West Challenge Series, the longest continuous multisport race series in the world.
The race consists of a 5K run, 30K bike and 400 meter pool swim, in that order. There were 139 triathletes in attendance plus about 20 different teams. My brethren, the Clydesdales, had 14 entrants representing. The temperature at the beginning of the race was about 35 degrees so I decided to dawn a pair of gloves to go with my skintuit.
The run brought back the fond memories of last year and racing among friends. As I’ve mentioned before the SWCS, despite being a series of races across a large region, is like one large family. From the outset of the race I had a fellow Clyde declare he was going to try and hang with me throughout the run. About a quarter mile into the run he stepped on the back of my shoe and pealed it right off. I had to turn around and grab it to put it back on. This action was immediately met with a whole chorus of people heckling me for running too fast for my shoes to keep up. Once I was back on the run more people were urging me on to catch him, which I did by mile one.
I completed the run without further incident and a few nods and “how’s it going” in a total time of 23:23 and was then off to the bike. I started the bike thinking that it was a 20K but by the 15K sign I had been set straight. I then settled in for a 25K ride…until I hit the 25K sign then I resigned myself to a 30K ride, which I was able to complete in 51:40 with very little gas left in the tank. Once I hit the swim I was pooped and in a group of very fast folks. I got swum over maybe three or four times and spent the swim in a general mêlée to the finish. The swim took me 8:48, which is slower than my training pace but what the hay, it’s only 400 meters.
In the final analysis I took first among the Clydes, not only my group, the over 40 Clydes, but overall...beating out the young Clydes as well. I also ended up as 20th overall.
Yahoo! The omens are good!