The inaugural Renaissance Man Olympic Triathlon in Florence, Alabama was set to debut multisport into The Shoals, which happens to be my home turf. I have to admit, I wasn't very fired up about this event, originally. My weakest discipline is the swim, and the Olympic distance spends a greater percentage of total race time in the water than any other standard distance. Generally speaking I am slowest at Olympics, so I avoid them altogether. To further limit my chances of success, the swim was to be too warm for a wetsuit and feature 750 meters getting upstream. Three big whammies to start my day. I knew I would have to race my local race, after all if we don't support our community who will, right? But, I also knew this race presented a real opportunity for me to get stomped, right here on my own doorstep. Still, you've got to defend your city limits.
The morning started with derailleur gremlins playing the 1-up&2-down dance while warming up on the bike. After a bit of tinkering, I was racked, loaded, and ready to fire off at swim start. It was pretty dang cool realizing I had friends in every kayak, canoe, and paddle board marking the swim course.
Bib #16 meant that I was queued up for the time trail start 15 swimmers back from the starting line. A TT start means the swim is easier to support for rescue personal and the bike course is less congested since swimmers trickle in less volume than mass start races. Unfortunately, it also means the racers don't start at the same time; its entirely possible to show up to the finish first and still get beaten. While 99% of the field benefits from a TT swim start, 1% whines about it. I am a whiner.
|Cool pic, right?|
Photo Credit: Ashton Lance of the Times Daily
|The bane of learning to swim is having trouble finding a ride out of T1.|
|On the way to a 26mph avg speed bike split |
on just ~260 watt AP
Lauderdale county maintains some of the best, buttery smooth asphalt a cyclist will ever see. It's actually a challenge to keep our local rides marked because they repave so often. Combine the silky road surface with great traffic control, wide sweeping turns, and this course can be taken full tilt.
|The thing just rolls so sweet. I'm not sure how TJ managed to witch so |
much voodoo into a frame, but diggity dang its a bad-mother-bicycle.
DimondBikes.com, but you're too late for #9.
|Strava Bike Course|
|Never rack a bike in anger.|
|running out of transition along the McFarland Marina.|
|I'm so diggin' the Zoot gear. .|
|UNA's chemistry professor, Dr. Diaz, rolled out on the run course for crowd control. |
The biggest problem with the Zoot Suit is keeping the honey's from pawing at me.
The run course from Strava
Most of the time, I show up on the soft side of the finish line wishing I could wring just a few more drops of fulfillment out of the day. At least for the Renaissance Man, I felt content with the accomplishment. It was certainly a good day to be triathlete in The Shoals.
|Carol Bishop straight up showed out for her debut into triathlon by snagging 2nd Overall female.|
|L2R: Jessica Diaz, Todd Allen, E!&Me, Stacey Nelms, Carol's Friend, Carol Bishop|
Front: Robert Rausch, THE most interesting man in Lauderdale County
|Mikayala is going to make sure I don't get away with that timing chip, |
whether I pass out or not.
I'm guessing my blood gets lost, but virtually every race I come off the gas to find the world gets real dark for a few seconds.
|Greg and Matt wrapped up the swim volunteer gig just in time to escort me in for the finish.|
|I'm a really big fan of these two.|
|You just got to embrace the ridiculousness of it.|