May 12, 2009

2009 Jay Benson triathlon race report

2009 Jay Benson triathlon race report

Sunday May 10th was the Jay Benson triathlon in Albuquerque. I love this race. Its close to my home and because its a local race most all of my tri-friends & Outlaw triathlon team mates show for this race.

After I got my race packet I started setting up my transition area. After I pumped up my tires I realized my front tire valve was broke & was leaking. I went to my car to get the spare sow up tire & realized I'd forgotten my "emergency" tire. Apparently there would be no racing for me today. Well, I live & learn.

I started loading up my race gear to leave & the guy parked 2 cars down from me asked why I was loading up my bike. I told him of my dilemma & he reached in his car & offered me his spare wheel to race on. This was no common trainer wheel. This was a $900 Rolf wheel he offered to let me use. He'd never seen me before & yet he was willing to risk a complete stranger stealing or damaging his gorgeous wheel! I was absolutely amazed, & completely grateful! I later found out his name is Jamie Dispenza & he's the photo editor at the Albuquerque journal. Props to him. Very few people out there who are so trusting & giving. Thanks Jamie.

I had a good friend who I hadn't seen since 2006 show up at the race with his family to root me on. They came down even though it was Mothers day. That they gave up part of their day touched me deeply.

The race had the Clydesdales starting in the 3rd of 3 waves. This wave had the Clydesdales, Athenas, & women 40 & over. It was nice to have the Clydesdales racing separately from the other men so I knew exactly who I was in competition with. This race was a reverse triathlon. Its order was run, bike, swim.

Out of habit I started the run in the middle of the pack. This was a mistake I wouldn't have made if I'd of thought of it. But I've never been accused of being a deep thinker or an awe inspiring strategist.
All of the fastest triathletes had started in the first 2 waves. So where I chose to start the race had me running with people I'd normally run much faster than. It took me at least 2 minutes to work my way through the herd. In the mean time all the people I'd normally be as fast as or faster than had built a large lead on me.

The run is a loop & once I got out of the pack I started chasing down Clydesdales one by one. By the end of the run I ended up catching all but 4 Clydes. One of the Clydes I was unable to catch ran 7 minute miles. Needles to say I never saw that guy again. I finished the 3 mile run in 32:31 averaging sub 8 minute miles the first time year.

I had one of the best T-1's I've ever had. The transition area was at least 90-100 yards long yet I only had a 60 second transition. I got out of the transition area & onto my bike in front of 2 of the 4 Clydes who'd recorded a faster run than me. Transition practice makes perfect.

The bike route is a bit more technical than most triathlons have. Lots of turns & curves & 3 switch backs. I liked the U turns because I was able to see how much of a lead I or my competitors had. I ended up really hammering on the bike finishing the bike in 34:31, a 21.6 MPH ave!

When I got off the bike there were 2 clydes in front of me & despite having another really fast T-2 of only 85 seconds & really good swim- ok, it was good for me, not necessarily good for most triathletes- I wasn't able to catch either of them. I finished the swim in 7:55 & had a total race time of 1 hr 8 min 21 seconds, finishing 3rd place Clydesdale & getting 8 more points for the South West Challenge Series with 63 points in 7 races.

Overall I was excited with my results. There's something about this race that brings the best out in me.

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