|Fort Southwest Point, Kingston, Tn|
|My friend Dylan Beck and his dad, Chad.|
Chad opened up his tri resume here with a solid day of racing.
|The fam' showed up to surprise me just before I started warming up.|
Its not a long drive, but I wasn't expecting them to make it.
|Lots of ambiguity about were the start actually started.|
|Somebody drafting ME!|
|Lots of traffic closing the swim out as we overlapped the sprinters.|
|Look at all those bicycles in transition! The Accelerate3 program means lots of time watching the tiles fade on the pool floor in the winter. I am beginning to believe!|
The bike course is basically a pair of peaks bookending a rolling course. The descents are just tricky enough to tighten up your cheeks if you haven't developed good handling skills on the bike, but they can be taken at full speed, no sweat. Its really a perfect setup. These two descents offer an opportunity for a proficient cyclist to exploit their talent over the typical athlete. Its just another skill to separate the competition.
|Strava Data Link|
I rode a 245W average at GCT a few weeks ago, but I was kind of being a dandy about putting down the watts this time. I had a major fatigue meltdown the Sunday before the race and bounced off rock bottom with a lot of sleeping and resting the last week. That meant I hadn't tapered so much as just stopped training. Ultimately, my pacing strategy turned into "ride as hard as possible without hurting" which was around 230 watts. By the turn around, I managed to gapped 60 seconds into 2nd place and I still had an hour to ride.
|DimondBikes #9 was the first one back to transition.|
|I love to come back to a ghost town.|
I arrived back at T2 confident and ready to run. I imagine my races like avalanches. The swim is the initial crackle as there is barely enough movement to even be noticeable. Then the bike starts a massive powerful slide gaining momentum. Finally, the run finishes off with a nasty crescendo as all the kinetic energy is exhausted. Yeah. Sure, I am just like that.
|You can barely see the lady miss me with the splash of cold water as I check out of T2.|
|BUT! this guy chased me down for a|
second chance at that splash.
That's my kind of volunteer!
|The Zoots are awesome to run in, honestly. The sock-like upper is comfy for naked piggies, the elastic laces and giant finger loops make for quick T2s, and the drain holes mean you aren't running in |
|There was a small bland section in town of |
administrative mileage to make the 13.1 distance.
|The course mercilessly presents 4 temptations to jump from this bridge.|
From there, I had another ~5 miles to wrap up so I just decided to see if I could get a nice negative split. I soaked up all the river view, I ran through a gaggle of hissing geese that I was certain were going to flog me, and I caught two runners simultaneously deciding to take a #1 in the woods on the back side of the fort.
|On the gas coming down|
|Along the backside of the Fort|
|Much of the run course is along the water front and a river walk path. It's especially cool as you can see the finish line from the descent of the Fort all the way around the river bend.|
|Best part of being the first one back is all the Oreos you can eat!|
|The run course is gently rolling aside from the two bike climbs up to the Fort. You can see quite a few places where I slowed way, way down to manage the elevation changes. |
Strava Data Link
|Last weekend for Goldilocks. |
I finally had 10" to donate and started over!
Its a big big bonus that the race was awesome, because Kingston is kind of a dumpy little town. Its definitely the kind of place I'd like to live and train in, just not where I want to go on holiday. The good news is its a quick little squirt to Knoxville, and it's pretty happening over there.
If you do stay in Kingston, the Super-8 seems to be a popular choice. There is a mini-fridge in the room and they've got some good coffee and free grub at 6am. The rooms aren't spectacular, but they aren't terrible either. The big guy behind the counter doesn't have much of a personality, but he was helpful. The best advice he gave us was to make the trip to Knoxville.
As I wrote, the course was pretty dang cool, especially the run. The race director was all over the scene answering questions and doing his best to keep the wheels greased. The aid was plenty and the volunteers were everywhere. I cant imagine anyone not getting enough support from this race. I know the ascents look imposing on the elevation profile, but they were welcome breaks in the rolling monotony of both the bike and run courses. There are a few gremlins to squash for their first go at the half iron distance, but I have no doubt it'll be finely tuned next year. I cant wait to see the improvements and start collecting cannonballs!
|Packet pick up is at the Fort Friday afternoon or in transition race morning.|
|Remarkably loud bell despite my efforts to be ginger with it. |
There is at least a bit of exploring to do at the Fort.
|Carbo-loading with some good luck sugars! |
Worth every calorie!