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.

Monday, September 5, 2016

Boyne City Triathlon

The fourth edition of the Boyne City Triathlon was Labor Day weekend. I'll be the first to admit I'm very biased toward a race that is 10 miles from my house, on my home roads and where I'm good friends with the RD, Rob Swartz, who's story with Team Lucky Seven worth a read in itself. But even if none of that was a factor this would still be one of my favorite races.

The course, the backdrop and pavement conditions are spectacular, the event is very well run by Andy and the Tri to Finish crew. Post race food trucks, with options such as Happy's Tacos, The Pita Cruiser and Cheese & Co, are unique and delicious. Yes, I did consume a "normal person" portion of food from each truck.  Plus the monetary prizes bring out some great competition for a local tri. The awards medals double as bottle openers and did I also mention that the race benefits a charity for neurological research?

Hunter had his picture taken quite a few times on Sunday. 
The additional factor this year was that Rob got in touch with four time Olympian Hunter Kemper, who came out to "hang out" for the race. There was a pre race dinner where Hunter gave a talk about his Olympic experiences. In the morning he was hanging out in transition with a megaphone and was also at the finish and awards handing out medals. I got the chance to chat with him for a while as well, making the whole race day experience that much cooler. What a great ambassador for our sport.

A couple other notable personal details about this race include that this was my wife Brittany's first duathlon. We need a bit of time to get her comfortable swimming. She was super nervous the morning of but I reassured her there wasn't any pressure here and the goal was to complete the race and enjoy it. My goal was somewhat along those lines as well, which is unusual for me as I'm usually  in a race to compete and contend. However this spring and summer have been unusually frustrating for me in the injury department. Without getting into a whole bunch of details lets just say that the race today would be my second longest run in a good four or five months. Kind of an issue when you need to run a marathon in another month. I also had a new race kit printed up. I'm willing to bet that I'm the only triathlete with a pig (Hill Valley Farm logo) on their kit. Also shout out to my main sponsor B-Nuts Trail Mix ("sponsor" is a loose term when it is your own business).

We dove into the calm and beautiful water of Lake Charlevoix and the race was off. I found some feet and got a solid draft almost the whole swim, exiting in 19:37, my best swim performance to date and I would say rivaling Muskoka last year. I don't want to claim I'm becoming a swimmer...

Onto the bike my plan was to hold a few notches under normal "race" pace and see how my hip held up. This equated to about 260w as recorded by my new (i.e on sale) Stages Powermeter. I had a few sciatic spasms mid bike, but got those worked out and things didn't tighten up on me, which was  a big relief.

I finished the bike in 1:03 and began the run about the same time as another competitor named Tom. We ran together for the first two miles or so. My hip was feeling okay, but my "run legs" felt pretty flat. I decided my only shot was to try to up the pace a bit earlier in the run, rather than wait until the end. I managed a bit of a gap for the next two or so miles and my hip continued to feel okay.

Brittany, myself, Rob and Dani Swartz, my buddy Jason and Hunter. 
Whatever happened I wasn't willing to risk re-aggravating the injury and leaving me further in the hole with only a month to go before my A race. Plus I obviously didn't have any top end run legs. So when Tom caught me with a mile to go it was a big sting to my pride, but I was unwilling to challenge him for last spot "in the money" and told him so. I could tell in our brief exchange that the competitor inside him was disappointed. I finished fourth overall with a 38:31 run, which I'll be the first to admit isn't shabby considering my situation. Overall time was 2:03:07. Brittany finished her first duathlon without feeling too terrible. I think she might be hooked. Full results.

My whole summer has left me as bummed out as ever as far as training and performances are concerned. We'll see what the next month brings me and we'll see how Kona goes. I might not go out as I wanted, but I'll find a way to have a good time doing it.


1 comment:

  1. Cool article and another great performance out there Ben. 2:03 ain't too shabby! And I was digging the new kit man. Pretty sweet

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