The run wasn't fun, but it was a good race. Last year, I was worried about a foot injury and took it easy, but had been training pretty hard on swimming and cycling for IM FL. This year, my feet were fine, but I hadn't been doing much training focused on this race. How hard could it be? It was just another Tempe tri around Town Lake. Well, with the heat, it was pretty hard (probably 90 degrees by 10 am). The non-wetsuit-legal swim was fine, but the start and first leg of the loop was more exciting than usual. My start wave (men 50+) had a lot of swimmers, and the width of the course, a tight channel between the boat docks and the bridge arch, meant that swimmers were closer together while sighting into the rising sun -- so I was dodging and swimming around (and over) other swimmers for 500+ yards. On the bike segment, my tri bike hadn't been reassembled precisely right, so I couldn't use the big ring at all (although most of the time in my age group, the big ring is only for show anyway). Then on the run, it was a 2-loop course, so the second loop was hotter and harder, and required a lot of effort, until the very end. I don't know if I've ever been more depleted at the end of an international tri; it felt much harder than usual. My time was 3:05:43, which put me 4/11 in my division, 269/491 overall. That's 12 minutes faster than last year, when I was 410/601 overall, but 3/5 in my division (this year, I picked up 2 minutes on the bike, 2 minutes in transitions, and 8 on the run). Darn that (fellow TriScottsdale member) Billy Dean who decided to have his 60th birthday this year. Photo credits: Pat Chang
4000 meter open water swim at Canyon Lake. Beautiful day, and what was a pretty good swim for me (1:22:52 without a wetsuit) -- but which put me last among Masters men, 33/36 overall. Those other people were fast. Results here.
I had a very nice day. Luckily, the older guys got to start early,
so I was finished before 9:30 am, when it was still only in the low 80’s. I had a great swim (I was 157 out of 3377 in
the swim—love that tide going out in the Hudson), and a pretty good (for me)
run, but had bike mechanical issues and took a long time in each transition, so
overall it was a good day, which could have been very good, but for the bike issues, and I finished at about the midpoint of my age group; when I did it 7 years
ago, I was in the 33rd percentile. It was the ultimate SGC triathlon: out front in the swim, then spend the rest of the day watching people pass me on the bike and run. Full results here. However, know that they cut the run course short, it was an 8K and not a 10K to get people out of the heat -- and around 10:30 or 11:00 am, well after I finished, they started sending runners up 72nd Street directly to the finish (1.5 miles) so they wouldn't be out in the heat. I had a blast. It’s a
great party and they do a nice job running the event, but the logistics are
amazingly difficult. It’s the athletic
version of the typical NYC story – “It’s impossible to live here/I couldn’t
live anywhere else.” The top right picture is from the finish line festival after the race. I look a lot more dubious about the experience than I actually felt.
The 2016 edition of America's Most Beautiful Bike Ride had wonderful weather (start at 50 degrees, finish at 75 degrees) and no flats or mechanicals. 98.8 miles on my Garmin, but Andy Gordon had 99.5 mi on Strava, so we'll go with that. 4,400 feet of climbing, 6:06 riding time, average speed 16.2 mi, finished by 1 pm which is my fastest ever. And I felt it that night and all the next day. Just a great day. And it's much, much better to be riding with Andy than to be riding for Andy.