I signed up for Iceman Triathlon at Lake Pleasant after I had to scrub the Powerman Duathlon earlier in the month after coming down with a 48-hour flu. I wanted to do that race again, to prove I could finish without breaking a bone this time. Also, it would have been my first race since aging up to the 65-69 AG, and it's great being the young(er) guy in a new cohort. There was only 1 person in my group at Powerman, and he finished way behind my time with falling and breaking my finger, so I lost out on a podium, and decided to sign up for Iceman (put on by the same 4Peaks people) to see if I could get it back.
I normally pass on sprint triathlons (not great at races where your finish is determined by how fast you can change shoes), and I'm not a huge fan of cold water. But this was a great little race. Late 9 am start, which meant getting there and setting up after sunrise, and it was plenty warm enough on the bike and run. The water was probably 60 degrees, but it was fine in a wetsuit for the 750 meters. I didn't need my booties or full "squid lid," or the dishwashing gloves I brought for my hands (4Peaks got a special USAT exemption for rubber gloves for this race).
Everything went well until the last 500 meters of the bike, when I got a flat. I tried to fill it with CO2 and float out to the finish, but it was a bad flat (2 small stiff pieces of wire pierced my tire), and being that close to T2, I got off my bike and walked the rest of the way, figuring that would be faster than trying to find the damage and fix the flat. (That was correct - when I got home, it took me a while to find the wires, and that's with being calm and with reading glasses. Out on the course, it would have been nearly impossible for me.)
I had a fine swim, an OK-but-below-average T1, and was doing fine on the bike (and was in the lead in my age group) until the flat, when I gave back all the time I had garnered on the swim and bike. I strolled back to T2 in my cleats, switched to running shoes, and had a pretty good run. It was a challenging run, and with lots of up and down, felt like it was uphill in both directions. Lake Pleasant is a canyon, so that's no surprise, but knowledge didn't make it easier.
But the run, which usually is my weakest event, went very well. I kept moving, and passed 9 men (according to the results), which never happens. I caught (fellow TriScottsdale member) Ralph Ray early in the run, and wound up making up what I lost on the bike and in transitions to finish first in my age group by 1:30. I haven't been on a podium for a while, and when I was before, it was never better than finishing third. I really like my new age group.
So, first place AG. Not bad for the week I signed up for Medicare.
Bike 52:02 (flat tire)
Run 30:30 (passed 9 men on the run!)
Total 1:46:27 (1/2 division, 40/52 men, 54/74 overall)