Moss Park Fall Triathlon Festival

Time for the August installment of Team CurbCrusher. Ok, I know its September, but on August 23rd Team CurbCrusher was up early and participating in my first Aquabike. No, not a triathlon for August, I decided that I’d try the Aquabike event at the Buttar Fall Traithlon Festival at Moss Park.


The nice thing about a local race is that I can go pick up the packet the day before the race. On Friday, as Tropical Storm Fay was moving away from central Florida, I drove out to North Lake Park and picked up a race number, t-shirt and all the assorted junk that goes with a triathlon.
Race morning goes fairly smoothly because of this. Lady and Little CurbCrusher decided that they want to go cheer me on, so we head out to Moss Park early in the morning. I get the bike set up in transition, and organize all my stuff with no problem. I’m in the middle rack on a set of three racks, but snag the spot near the end. It’s not my favorite spot, but it will do. Looking at the soaked ground with standing water, I’m glad I signed up for the Aquabike. The run portion of this triathlon is through the campground at Moss Park, and the entire road is hard packed dirt. I’ve been in the campground after a regular rain and there is a good deal of standing water, I can imagine what five straight days of Fay has done to the roads. Nope, good think I’m swimming and biking today.

Swim — 14:37

The water is comfortable, but not something you can see in. Lake Mary Jane is a lake that has clean water, but because of all the cypress around the lake, the water is a permanent shade of brown. So when you start swimming you can’t see much in front of you. All the male triathletes and aquabikers go in the first wave. Its 750 meters and even though I’ve only had a couple of swims in the past month, I feel pretty good in the water. I keep reminding myself that I don’t have to run, so not to hold back. I come out the water in a little over 14 and a half minutes, and head for the transition.

T1 — 5:19

There’s a pretty good run from the water exit to the transition area. The run is on sand, some pavement and through a stand of pine trees that leave a number of needles and pine cones to step on, along with a bit of standing water. I slog through to the transition area. Get the bike jersey (a Father’s Day gift) over my head, helmet, shoes and shades. Grab the bike and run to the spot where I can mount.

Bike — 39:30

The bike course is about 12 miles long. The roads are dry and clear of debris so it turns out to be better that I was thinking. I keep telling myself that I don’t have to run, so there is no reason to take it easy on the bike. The course has a couple of places where you have to make U turns and they are a bit sandy. I watch my cadence and speed, trying to make sure that there is at least an 18mph on the bike computer. Since I’m not running, I don’t worry about drinking too much, so I suck down the bottle of Gatorade on the bike. As I get near the end I realized I will probably break 40 minutes on the bike. Considering that the previous two times I’ve done this course I did close to 44:00, I’m really happy.

Finish — 1:01:17

I dismount and run the bike back to transition. The guy next to be is back and racked his bike right where mine should fit. I spend 15 – 20 seconds moving his bike and getting mine into position. Then its time to haul butt to the finish line. I leave the transition area and head to the ropes marking the finish line. There is standing water the entire length of the finish chute. 30 yards of splashing and getting wet, but I’m done for the day.

I was hoping to get under and hour, but was only a little over a minute over. I’m fairly happy with the finish. It’s good enough for second place overall in the aquabike group (of course there were only three males running the aquabike). Everyone that’s running the full tri is coming in covered with mud. Apparently there are lots of parts of the course that look like the finish chute. Yep, its looking like I made a good decision to run the aquabike.

Next month its back to a triathlon. It was fun to just do the two fun things, but its not really a good workout unless you do something awful like running.

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