Saturday, August 29, 2009

Roving and Rambling: Race Reports and Urban Running

Oh my god I have to hurry up and get to the end of this year or at least then end of September. I have taken on so much at work that I my season has pretty well been toasted not to mention my blogging. Well, actually my season has just turned out to be something that I hadn't intended, a season full of sprints and nothing longer than a half-iron.

The up side, however, is that I am right on track to capture the Southwest Challenge Series title of Champion Masters Clydesdale for the third time in the past four years. Last year I focused on burning myself to a, racing everything at the ultra distance.

So, it has been two weeks since my last post and I have done two more races, the Los Alamos triathlon, which is THE OLDEST continuously running triathlon IN THE WORLD. Go ahead, find another race that has been running uninterrupted for over 35 years and I will recant.

The Los Alamos triathlon STARTS at just over 7000 feet elevation and then goes UP. The other cool thing about it is it is, well, I guess it is an inside out triathlon. It starts with a mass bike start, very cool, has a swim in the middle and then finishes up with a run. The mass bike start is such a blast. Everyone crowds the starting line and when the gun (someone yells GO!) goes off the front riders fight for position all screaming downhill. The bike is a tough one with a lot of big, long climbs. The swim is a great cool down but I swear that my legs were so baked from the run that I just about scraped the skin off the tops of my feet because my legs were dragging so badly. I hoped out of the swim and decided to run barefoot because I didn't want to have to pull my socks on over wet feet. It seemed like a great idea at the time but some later asked me when I explained my rationale, “Do you do regular triathlons without socks?” to which I answered, “no way”. I then got the quizzical look and “Well, then don't you put your socks on over wet feet? Swim, Bike, Run” To which I replied with great eloquence, “Um, well, Hmmm, I um, yes, I suppose I do put socks on my wet feet normally. I guess I hadn't really thought about that.”

I was really shooting for first place Clydesdale because that comes with a cool $100 and it is probably the only race in the world where a Clydesdale can walk away with some cash. On the run as I went sailing past the Clydesdale that won the race last year and I think the year before I was all “Yeah baby!” and then some big guy went sailing past me. I chased but then I knew I wouldn't be able top hold his pace AND pass him at the end. I then figured that he must be running as part of a team because he was wearing big, dry basketball shorts and he didn't look like someone who had just come from the pool. I was wrong. I ended up SECOND place Clydesdale and got no cash. To add insult to injury the guy wasn't even a Masters Clyde but Los Alamos doesn't break them out it's just Clydesdale ages 1 – 99. Oh well, justice was done. The guy I was chasing down is 12 years my senior, that dude is hardcore.

The next race was the F-1 at Bottomless Lakes. The F-1 is an 800 meter swim, 14 K bike, 4K run, 14K bike, 4K run and it is draft legal. I was totally ready to get in some good drafting but no luck. During the first quarter of the bike I was just passing people and when I found one guy I could draft my freakin seat FELL OFF! I don't know how but I caught it between my thighs and was able to grab it and carry it the rest of the way in. Of course this meant that I had something in the ball park of 26K to ride without a seat. I was pretty disappointed because like I said I was really looking forward to a draft legal race and I knew my runs just wouldn't be all that good having to stand throughout both rides. In the end my runs weren't too bad and I had a pretty good overall time. I was pretty happy to end up second Clydesdale because when I had seen the registrant list there were about six Clydesdales registered. It turns out though that I was only one of two that showed so the second place finish is not so impressive but I did do fairly well overall anyway and I can now say that I did a race sans saddle.

Finally, just this past week I made a brief trip to San Francisco for work. I love going to San Francisco mostly because I like the cool, foggy weather in the mornings and evening. The other thing I like about San Francisco is for some of the interesting running that is available. I doubt I would enjoy it on a regular basis
but it provides a nice diversion every once in a while. This trip I did a 16 mile loop starting off near Union Square then heading west through Japan Town until I eventually caught Presideo Park and ran that to Golden Gate park, did a lap around that then ran to the Pacific ocean then back to the hotel. The cool thing about the run is that probably six to eight miles of it were either on single track trail or dirt walking paths. Of course the down side is that at least eight miles was on concrete, which really beat the crap out of my legs but the run was worth it.

Next up I'll be reffing the inaugural Wild on Windsor triathlon in Windsor, CO. The race is put on by 5430 sports and they do an incredible job though interestingly they are selling to the WTC so now Ironman will own a series of sprint and Olympic distance races in Colorado. I wonder if they are going to start developing a short course world championship series? Next race I am scheduled for is the New Mexico Marathon. It is just a pick-up race not something that I will run hard but it is the day before my birthday and it will be a nice long run in my own neighborhood so I'm looking forward to it.

1 comment:

  1. Having your seat come off is a novel twist!

    Hope the CO race goes well, and the rest of the Challenge Series unfolds the way you'd like.