Riding with the wind. When I'm sad, she comes to me.
With the thousand smiles, she gives to me...

Fly on my little wing.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Tested at the Boyne City Triathlon

This was the second year for the Boyne City Triathlon, which I also participated in last year. I'm good friends with the organizer Rob Swartz and he was keeping me updated for the tweaks for the second edition. I was pumped to participate. Despite my bias, this is really a fantastic event. I can't wait to see how it grows in upcoming years. Plus the great thing is that it is a for charity event, supporting Team Lucky Seven and neurological research at the Mayo Clinic.

The venue for this race is fantastic (plus only a 15min drive from my house), the bike course is superb and the prize money draws solid competition, which makes it extra fun. This years edition also included local food trucks for post race refuel, cowbells and tech hats for awards rather than cheap medals and t-shirts at most events. The other very unique feature was that the local high school media class produced a live stream of the event, including multiple cameras and commentators. Which I think is just a super cool feature for a local event to pull off.

On to the race specifics! The weather was similar to the Charlevoix Tri and there was some decent chop on the lake. Dave was racing and as far as we could tell the other contender was this guy Alex, who also raced the GR tri and is ungodly fast on a bike as well as XC skis. The horn blew and we were off. Dave is a stronger swimmer than I so I tagged his feet. Despite the rough conditions I exited in 23:39, what might be around my PR for an Olympic. Dave was out of T1 ahead of me and I caught him a few miles into the bike. We both knew the course well and traded off every few minutes. We turned the corner around ten miles into the bike and saw Alex and guessed we had about a 3-3:30 lead. We continued to push each other and I finished the bike in just under 1:01. (AP 260, NP 273)

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I exited T2 first and settled in as Dave caught up to me. We saw Alex coming in off the bike and estimated a two minute lead. The course is a two loop triangle shape, where roughly the first mile is flat, the next half mile is a decent hill and the next half mile is a slight incline. There is a good downhill for a half mile then another flat half mile to the finish. Dave and I ran together and paced up the hill. Dave's family were all over the course cheering. As we ran by his dad informed us that Alex was throwing it down to catch us.

Pushed to the limit.
We completed our first lap, when I peaked over my shoulder and saw Alex would be making contact shortly, making it an exciting race. We ran together for about a few minutes and I decided I wasn't going to let him set in and recover, nor was I going to leave it for a sprint finish. When we hit the hill I surged and opened up a gap, thankful for my shorter track workouts. I settled back into race pace. I risked a glance back just before the turn to the downhill section. Alex was only a few seconds behind.

There was one more left hand turn along a sidewalk, hidden behind a hedge. I decided that was the place to make my move, so as soon as I turned the corner I hit the gas and didn't look back for a half mile. That move opened up a gap and I was in for the win. Props to Alex for being an amazingly tough competitor and making me work for it.  My run split was 37:12. Later I chatted with Alex and learned he just completed his first Ironman...the week before. I was pumped to have some gas money to get to Mt. Tremblant!


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