Convinced my buddy Luke to give in and do the race, so we rode up together. He has friends who live about 20 minutes from the race, so we went to their place after packet pick-up. They cooked ribeyes, pasta, and grilled vegetables for dinner. Not sure that ribeye is the best pre-race meal, but it was delicious. Watched the end of the LSU baseball game and hit the hay around 10:30 pm. Sleep comes easy, so pre-race jitters aren't a problem for me. Was out in a few minutes and slept till my alarm went off at 5:10 am.
Got dressed and got our stuff loaded up. Had a bowl of runny oatmeal since I added too much milk and didn't have time to cook it off. Hit the door since we were running a little late. Race start was 7 am. Made it to the parking lot at 6:30. Hurried up and got set up, since we were literally the last people to arrive. Was in the first wave, so quickly got my chip and got in a quick warm-up in the water. Got around the middle of the pack and got ready for the start. Weather was awesome with a race time start temp of 60. About 10 degrees below normal for this time of year.
Swim (800 m):
Swim was supposed to be 800 m, but turned out to be somewhere in the neighborhood of 900 to 950. Last year's race was short, with the fastest swimmers out in about 9 min. This year's fastest time was around 12:30. Pretty uneventful swim except for getting swam over once and swimming over two guys myself. Also took a little detour between the two buoys that were out at the farthest point out on the swim. Swim was U shaped and for some reason, I went way wide on the part between the two legs of the U. Came out of the water at 18:59, which was 6th in Clydesdales.I am in there somewhere...
Fairly smooth, but a little long for me. Time was 1:29, which could have been due to the fact that I was way at the end right up next to the fence due to the fact that we were late to set-up.
Bike was nice with it being on the Natchez Trace. No wind to speak of with rolling hills. Tried to keep my hear trate down, but it just wasn't meant to be. Couldn't get it below 160-162 the entire ride. It was up in the 170 range for a good portion. They had three large packs of 15-20 drafting peletons. Stayed out of them and made sure to ride a clean race. Tailed another BRTri member about 200yd back for the entire race. I would get closer on the uphills and he would lengthen his lead on the downhills. Finally took him with about 2 miles to go. He passed me in the first mile on the run though. Ended up biking 19.7 based on the official length of the race with my time. Bike computer had 19.5 since the course was a few tenths short. Hit T2 with a bike time of 1:15:31.
I'll let you decide if there was drafting or not...
Back down to my spot by the fence at the end of the row. Time of 1:18 which was disappointing. Anything over 1 min in T2 is unacceptable. Did put on socks though since I haven't been running and knew that my feet would not hold up on the 10k. Even with socks though, I can usually make it out in under 1 min.
Settled in for a long run and was just hoping to come in under 1 hour. My run training since N.O. Half has totaled 24 miles. That is 8 weeks at a 3 mile average per week. Needless to say, I didn't expect much from my run. Run was nice, with only the first and last miles being in the sun. The middle 4 were on an asphalt running trail through the woods. Run was a little hilly. From around mile 2 to the turn-around was all uphill. Made it nice on the way down though. Got to see lots of BRTri folk and give some high fives. Beating another BRTri member, Jeff Crow, kept me going even though I didn't feel like it. With about 0.5 mile to go, Stephen Hollinger passed me and let me know that Jeff was gaining. Had just enough kick to keep him at bay and beat him by about 40 seconds. Run time was 58:27 for a 9:35 average. Not good, but not terrible for the lack of run training I have done. 2:35:42 which was good enough for 12th in Clydesdales out of 35. Missed my goal of top 50% though, but this race field is always fast.
View of my rear. I am the one in the middle with no shirt on.
My nemesis, Jeff (left), and Stephen.
It is something about the "Olympic" (swim wasn't Olympic distance) distance that brings out the fast people. Don't really know why. Always finish top 50% in sprints and both halfs I have done. However, haven't been close in the two Olympics I've done. Maybe it is too long for the beginner types, but not the allure of a big accomplishment to beginners as the Half distance. I know this, all you beginners need to put Olympic distance races on your calendars so I can finish top 50%...
Heatwave is a great race and one I will certainly do again. Also, Deanna Favre was out there racing and I missed it. Don't know if Brett was out in disguise on the course, but if so, then I missed it. Didn't realize until after the race that a Hall of Famer's wife, who is a cancer survivor, was out on the course. Bet she has the best bike and some nice gear though.