Sunday, September 16, 2007

kirkland tri

This morning I raced in the Kirkland Triathlon for the fourth straight year.  In 2004 I placed a distant second behind Jon Salerno but I've managed to win the race each of the last three years.  Kirkland is always a fun race for a few reasons:
  * the transition area is within easy biking distance of my house
  * I get to see lots of friends and co-workers there
  * the bike course is quite hilly, especially for a sprint tri

I saw Michael Gordon in transition.  He's coming back from a double-fracture in his foot that he sustained while crusing to a 3:05 run split at IM CDA.  He pushed through the pain there and it cost him in extra rehab time.  But he is at least able to jog a little now - and his run split today was a lot faster than a jog, regardless of what he may tell you.

Ben Collins left me an long, upbeat voice mail yesterday saying repeatedly that he'd "be at the race."  I was a little surprised b/c he had tough races in Europe the last two weekends and I know that he prefers not to race every weekend.  But I looked forward to the challenge of staying on his feet in the swim and the opportunity to turn in a more competetive bike leg than I did at Seafair this year, when my front derailleur cable came loose.  So I thought it was a little odd when I didn't see him in transition... or in the swim warmup... or at the starting line... by which time I'd figured out why he was so gidy on the phone yesterday - he was planning to be at the race but just to watch.  I know you're reading this, so - nice one, Ben!

Without Mr Collins in attendance I was forced to lead out the swim myself.  The water was rather rough by Lake Washington standards and first 200 was straight into the waves.  Jon Paoule and I reached the turn buoy at about the same time and I elected to take the lead on the backstretch.  The turbulence slowed me down a bit but I tried to keep a strong pace and threw in a surge or two to try to get a small gap.  We exited the water pretty much together.

I saw the duathletes lining up for their time trial start as I left T1 and yelled something along the lines of "come and get me!"  And they did.  Two guys caught me about a third of the way into the bike leg.  I went back and forth with one of the guys a few times but the other guy just pedaled off into the distance.  It started raining a bit on the back stretch and my ornery lower back started getting sore...  But the pain was manageable and I tried to just keep putting out steady power.

I started the run with hopes of chasing down the duathlete who by now must have been 2 or 3 minutes up the road.  Not likely, but it kept me pushing.  I got within sight of him on the way back from the turnaround but couldn't close the gap all the way down.  I turned in a rockin' 16:47 run split but I'll need to figure out how accurate the course was.

I chatted with a bunch of people after the race as we waited around for awards.  Jessi, Penny and my parents all came to watch the race and Penny aws a rock star, as always.  She just gets mobbed wherever she goes.  We also ran into Jill Fry, who took a picture of us along with Heather & Lavonne from Jessi's Luna Chix group.

after the kirkland tri

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