With COLT (Chain of Lakes Triathlon) and the Harvest Duathlon a thing of the past, the Minnewaska Triathlon is now my local race. Just a short 15 miles or so down the road to GLenwood I get to support a local event. So yes, of course it is on my schedule every year! I got to race with the kona kid the week prior and this week I got to race with Mike who is a rockstar human. Not really sure what race we crossed paths at but he's one of those people I'm glad to have in my life. We've had a pretty solid yet healthy competition between us as our performances are usually pretty equal. I went out on a little training ride with him and twisted him arm just slightly to get him to sign up for Waska.
The race starts early, 7:30a to be exact and I like to be there early so I can relax, eat some breakfast and get in a short warm up run in. Being a local race, I even got to bring mom with which means a lot for both of us! With the pre race meeting over we walked down the beach to the swim start and we were quickly off. Just as quick as the race started we all realized just what a weedy mess Lake Minnewaska is! One could barely get in a full swim stroke in with all the weeds and being only a 400 yard swim, it wasn't really worth going further away from shore to avoid the weeds. At one point, I literally stood up and pulled weeds off of me. Yes, the water is also a little shallow haha. Being a shit swimmer, I was pretty stoked to exit the water and see Mike right in front of me. THis meant I had a decent swim for once! With no wetsuit, It made for a speedy T1 and I was off to chase down the leaders.
We leave town and the first half of the bike course is generally uphill so I had to go easy for just a bit to bring my heart rate back to a normal level. I pushed on and was chipping away at the bikers at a pretty solid pace. Once half way through the bike course I could only see a few cyclist ahead of me and had no idea what position i was in. Like normal, what goes up must come down so the the last part of the bike had its fair share of downhill portions but yet still had a few annoying climbs. I came around the last corner and entered T2 and there was only a few bikes on the racks. That was a great feeling!
I HAD REMEMBERED TO SWITCH OUT MY LACES TO MY ELASTIC ONES AND THAT MADE FOR A SPEEDY T2 AND I WAS OFF TO CHASE DOWN THE LEADERS! Having no idea how many guys were ahead of me, I tried for a 6:30 pace and about 1 mile into the run meet Zabel on his way back to the finish line and knew he was in 1st. Hoping to only see a few more guys, I meet the another "retro" athlete Spencer. For those new to the triathlon world, when I say retro I mean old school and my that I mean he rocks a speedo the whole race and is fast! I got to the turnaround point, threw some water on myself and made a beeline for the finish knowing I was in 3rd. I had maybe ran about 100 yards and realized the next pack of guys were hot on my tail. Sure enough, Mike was in the group which was exciting. He was having a killer race! Nearing the finish line I thought I could hear the pounding of a runner behind me so I had to find one more gear and push on. I generally have a rule for myself to not look back so I had no idea if someone was actually close behind and crossed the finish line completely gased. I finished the last half mile at a sub 6 minute pace and had 3rd place overall wrapped up with some time to spare.
So there you have it. A crap load of training and I found myself on the podium with a 3rd place overall finish. Mike also dominated the day with a top 5 finish. Sure it was amazing to finish 3rd but months or years from now I probably won't remember what place I was. What I will remember is how I had to pull weeds off myself during the swim. I will remember the size of my medal I received and the fact that Mike's was like 4 times the size! I will remember the picture perfect weather we had to race and how I got to spend another morning doing what I love with some great people. I'm beyond thankful to be able to wake up each day and be able to swim, bike and run!
Kudos to: Jake's Bikes - Wattie Ink - Trek Bikes - Tribe Multisport / Tribe Racing and all those who support my crazy journey
WORK HARD. STAY HUMBLE. A LIFE FILLED WITH SWIM, BIKE & RUN. 5Ks TO MARATHONS, SPRINT TO IRONMAN 140.6