Well, the week before Halloween and its time for the last triathalon of the Team CurbCrusher season. As with last year, I’m ending the season a short trip down the road from the house at Moss Park for the Masters Triathlon Championship race. Of course there is good and bad to this, the good is that it is close to the house, the bad is that this race is put on by Buttar.com which is probably my least favorite race promoter.
I was busy on Friday and Saturday, so I wasn’t able to get my packet early. I showed up at Moss Park around 6am for a 7:30am race since I needed to get my packet. I checked in fairly quickly and put my number on the bike and headed to transition. After body marking, I wandered into the transition area to find an ‘open-seating’ policy in place, put your bike and stuff where ever you want. So I found a nice spot up against the fence and set up. I then wandered back to the car and noticed that the race t-shirt said it was Nov 1, a week later than the current date. I thought that was odd.
The race was advertised as starting at 7:30am, with pre-race meeting on the beach at 7:15, so I made my way to the beach about 10 after 7. Someone got on a bull horn and announced that the time on the web site was wrong, that the race would be at 8:00am. Then about a minute later, they announced that the race meeting would be at 7:30 and the sprint tri would start at 7:45 and the Olympic tri at 8:00 because the original date was Nov 1 and that was after daylight savings time ended. About 7:30am the bullhorn came alive again and race instructions were given, and it was announced that the sprint tri would start in about two minutes and the Olympic tri would start three minutes after that.
Swim – 15:25
So we finally start the race about 7:35am, just five minutes after the advertised time. The air temperature was in the low 70s and the water was probably in the mid 70s. There was only one wave of sprint tri athletes, but it wasn’t too crowded in the water. I settled into a good rhythm swimming and made my way toward the first buoy. We were swimming east into the lake, and the first buoy seemed to be right where the sun was rising over the lake. So, I just followed some other folks and made my way there. After turning at the first buoy, I looked at my watch to see how I was doing. My watch face read something like “-=L_” hm, not good. After a few more strokes, I looked at the watch again, and could see a line of water behind the face of the watch. Looks like the battery replacement might have caused the waterproofness of the watch to be compromised. I kept swimming and finished feeling pretty good.
T1 – 5:44
Moss Park races have a pretty good run from the swim finish to the transition area, and this eats up most of my time in T1. The first part of the run is not bad, along the beach in the sand. Then you turn through some pine woods with lots of roots, pine cones and pine needles on the ground which all seem to hurt when you step on them. Next is the pot-holed pavement of the park road that seems to just eat at the bottoms of your feet. Finally, as you get to the transition area, the ground becomes sandy and grassy and comfortable to run on again. A pretty straight forward T1, bike jersey on, helmet on, socks and shoes on and off you go. Although I did take time to remove my worthless watch as I figured if I kept it on I’d just keep looking at my wrist.
Bike – 40:58
Almost 12 miles on the bike. The course is flat and runs through the neighborhoods around Moss Park, so it is pretty easy. I used a five minutes of riding hard with a one minute break cycle, sort of imitating the Galloway running method on the bike. Also, continuing the practice of consuming something other than sports drink on the bike that I started at the last race, I had a goo at about the 25 and 36 minute marks. One of the things that I don’t like about Buttar races is there never seem to be any officials on the bike course. There were at least two different groups running a pace line of at least four bikes on this course, along with a large number of others drafting in twos and threes.
T2 – 1:22
Not much to T2. Rack the bike, put on a dry shirt and head out to run.
Run – 31:19
I really wanted to break 30 minutes on this run, and I think I could have done it if I’d had an idea of what kind of pace I was running. But, I found that without a watch, I am terribly incapable of judging my pace. There are two water stations on the race, and I ran between the water stations. I stopped at the water station and walked for a counted out minute (1 – Mississippi, 2 Mississippi, …) after each one. This seemed to work well, and I was feeling very good during the run. I thought that I was doing fairly well and running at about a 10 minute or less pace. Obviously, looking at the time, I was really wrong about this, I was on more of and 11 minute mile pace.
Overall – 1:34:51
Well, I felt good at the end of the race. But I was slower than last year. That was a real disappointment as I was convinced that I could do under an hour and a half for this race. Of course five minutes is a bunch of time, but I’m going to blame it on the broken watch. That wraps up the Team CurbCrusher triathlon season, now for the one endurance running race of the year, the OUC Half-Marathon the first week of December.