Monday, May 10, 2010
Kinetic Tri. Weekend
Friday morning, we left for Virginia for the Kinetic Triathlon. Saturday hosted the Half Ironman, and Sunday hosted the Sprint distance. After about 8 hours of driving, we arrived at the race venue. The race was held at Lake Anna State Park. Once we arrived, we suited up in our wet suits for an open water swim. After our open water swim workout, (and 'yes' I said open-water swim workout. The water temperature was in the low to mid 70's.) we went to the best Italian restaurant I have ever been to. It was called Angelo's and they had the best Spaghetti and Chicken Parmesan ever.
The next day, we got up to go watch Kevin Park and Brian Stern race the Half Ironman. Both raced great. Out of hundreds of racers, Kevin finished 5th overall and 1st in the Masters. Brian finished 29th and looked strong throughout the race. Sunday was the Sprint distance triathlon that consisted of 730 people including me, Dad and Doug. I was in the 35 and under group, which took off at 9:00 and Dad and Doug were in the Master's group, which started at 9:14. The weather was perfect for the race and the temperature was around the low to mid 60's but the high winds kind of made it difficult to race in some spots. I had a horrible swim I thought. Every breath I took, I swallowed water. I ran out of the water and into T1 in 15th place. Once I started on the bike, I was catching people left and right. The bike distance was longer than an original Sprint. Usually the bike distance in a Sprint triathlon is around 12 or 13 miles. The bike distance for the Kinetic Triathlon was 18 miles with long gradual hills and a couple of short, steep climbs. The wind wasn't a huge factor though. I thought I was going to be fighting a huge headwind the whole time but all the trees on the sides of the road created a wind barrier it seemed like, which was great. I felt very strong on the bike and came back into T2 in fourth place with the 3rd place racer just in front of me. After T2, it was time to open it up on the run. I was still in fourth place after transition. I ended up catching the 3rd place racer a couple minutes into the run, and opened up a gap. I knew I would not catch the 1st and 2nd place racers at this time, so I just wanted to keep up the pace and not make any mistakes, like rolling an ankle or getting a stomach cramp. After my turn around point, I saw some runners closing in on me. I picked up the pace a little more and I tried to keep myself focused. I ended up holding off the couple runners and finished 3rd overall out of 730 racers. I was very happy with my performance, considering it was the first triathlon of the year.
Doug and Dad raced as well and they both raced excellent. Doug placed 1st in the Masters and Dad finished 3rd. Dad has been battling a pulled calf muscle lately unfortunately, but he took it easy on it for the week and the day before the race. He also had special kinds of tape wrapped around it before and during the race and also raced with a calf compression sleeve. He said the calf still hurt but he was able to run on it and not do any more damage to it. At first he said he wasn't going to race because he did not want to do any more damage to his calf, but thankfully the tape and the compression sleeve worked and brought Dad to a 3rd place finish in the Master's field.
Overall it was a beautiful weekend. Lots of racing and lots of sun. Virginia is a great place to visit if anyone is interested in taking a vacation there. The area we stayed at was called Spotsylvania, and around that area consists of some of the most brutal battle sites from the Civil War, along with the Stonewall Jackson Shrine. Lots of history and lots of great training roads and trails for the athlete and the History lover.