Today was the second time I’ve raced the Ransom Canyon Sprint Triathlon. I love this race because of the people who run it, Mike and Marty Greer of Buffalo Springs Lake Half Ironman fame, the community that supports it, Ransom Canyon Texas, and the venue in which it is held. This is one tough little race. Mike Greer is an OLD SCHOOL triathlete. He said today was his 294th triathlon and he has been racing since the mid 80’s and who knows how long he has been race directing.
Anyway, being an old school triathlete Mike is a firm believer in old school venues. Today at the awards ceremony he lectured us on the evils of “Starbucks Triathlons” that are based “in the big city on flat courses that go in loops where you just ride and run around in circles and then go drink your Starbucks.” He believes in small, country venues with farm to market roads, wide open vistas and BIG ASS HILLS, or in the case of the flatlands near Lubbock Texas, DEEP ASS CANYONS that you climb up out of, careen down into and climb back up out of as often as is practical.
As far as my actual race went, I did well and had a good enough time but felt uninspired.
Here’s the low-down. My swim was just weird and kind of sucked. It was supposedly “500 yards give or take 150 because the wind storm last night blew the hell out of our buoys” and I did it in about 11:30. I felt completely breathless for the first half and then finally settled into a groove. I crawled out of the water slipping and sliding all over the boat ramp and finally cleared T1 in 48 seconds.
The bike begins with a killer 9 – 12% grade climb that is about ½ mile long up out of the canyon. I sped along once out of the canyon and just went hard, caught a few people and then struggled into the wind on my way back. Some poor guy went down about 20 yards ahead of me while we were descending back down into the canyon and was hauled off in an ambulance. I cleared T2 in 1:00 and hit the run. I ran…and ran…and finished.
During the awards ceremony I was called out as having won 3rd in my age group, 40 – 44, and I stood up and said, “Um…I raced as a Clydesdale” and they said, “oh, of course” and rolled the award down to the next guy who I must say was far smaller and leaner and looked quite surprised to see an award rolling down to him from a Clydesdale…damn straight Skippy. Anyway, I took first overall Clyde by about 8 minutes and 1st masters Clyde by about 12 minutes…and it just didn’t resonate.
I was happy to see I was #20 overall. I think I may need to change my focus from winning the Clydes division to placing in the top 15 – 20% overall in the short races and of course try to limit my sucking on the long races.
The GEEKGRL had a great race too. She beat her previous year time by 10 minutes and finally beat her nemisis flat out to take 1st Masters Athena!