Up and out early, as usual. Got there and setup early enough that I could warm-up and chat with people. I actually talked to a number of people before the start and finally I got to me Brian Mass (visit his blog at www.tundrat-zone.blogspot.com ), who I have communicated by way of FB and blog in the past, but never met until this day. It was great to finally meet him, and get passed by him on the run. It appears that he a had very good day.
The weather for the day was on and off windy, when not windy it was hot and humid. It was a pretty good day to race.
The swim was a little ridiculous. There was a lot of people, the course was tight, water was shallow, and there was some chop. Most people ran half way, or more, to the turnaround bouy. I did not wear a wetsuit, and I am glad I did not, it would have been a waste. I had moment of panic on the swim, the first in a long time. I got jammed up on the turn bouy and my left arm got caught in the rope. It took me too long, it seemed like forever, to get untangled from that bouy. I was right up against the bouy, people were swimming around and into me. I was trashing my left arm around and finally it came free. I did not panic too much, but there was a little panic there. Once around the bouy it was a little less crowded and I could actually swim. I would say this is the worst swim course, swim setup, I have done this year. Possibly the worst in any triathlon I have done. They need to rethink how they do the course. Maybe go to a TT start like Pigman Sprint. I can't remember what was different in 2008, but something was definitely different, and better.
Got through the longish transition run with no problems, got bike, and got out of transition with no problem. Initially, the bike felt windy. I think we were biking south and it was in our face. When the wind was at the side it was not too bad. The last part of the bike was through a residential neighborhood, and for the most of that the wind was mostly a headwind. That made the last few miles tough. This course is mostly flat, so that made the wind slightly more bearable.
I did see one thing on the bike that was disturbing/frustrating. I got passed about 5-7 miles into the bike by 3 guys in the 40+ AG, so they started 3 minutes behind me. That was not the disturbing/frustrating part, the fact that they appeared to be drafting was the aspect that irritated me. Maybe it was a coincidence the 3 passed me at the same time. Maybe they were not cheating. Who knows.
I came into T2 with the intent of trying a flying dismount. I did not. I got my feet out of my shoes and on top with no issues and I have plenty of room for the attempt, but I backed out and just stopped on the dismount and ran barefoot into transistion, rather than run in my cleated feet. I had the usual slow time getting my socks and shoes on and busted ass out of transistion as fast as possible.
As expected the run was painful, not the leg, just whole body pain. It was humid and I had biked hard. I pushed the run as hard as possible and I am happy with the result, even if I would have liked to have gone closer to a 7:30 min/mi. At this point, I have to take what I can get. I think it is going to be a long time before I can consistently run below 7:40 min/mi pace. I got passed by one guy in my AG, there was no way I was going to catch him. I checked the results and he finished about 30 seconds in front of me. He was running at about a 6:48 min/mi, so almost a min/mile faster than I was running. My average speed on the bike was 2+MPH faster, but his run was too much for me. No biggie. I gave it all I got, as usual, that was all I could do.
It was good race, and aside from the swim, it was a very good race.
Swim (something less than a third of a mile) - 6:54 (1:19, yeah, defintely shorter than a third of a mile)
T1 - 2:15 (long run to transition)
Bike (13 mile) - 34:57 (22.3 MPH, same average speed as 2008)
T2 -1:30 (I have to do something about socks and getting my shoes on)
Run (3 mile) - 23:54 (7:58 min/mi)
Total Time - 1:09:29
AG - 6/19 (The AG winner was under an hour. I checked the results from the last two years, and no one in my AG was under an 1:05)
I have never done Timberman. I have heard it is a beautiful course. I also heard that Waconia and Timberman are the two toughest races in the series. My sources have told me that the bike course is hilly, with some challenging climbs. Apparently, the first part of the run is hilly and then flattens out later. The run is a mix of pavement and gravel and there is not a lot of shade, so hydrate well. Since I have not done this before, and it is the second longest race I have done this year (1mi swim, ~24mi bike, 6mi run) I will just do my best to get through it.