This was my 3rd consecutive year racing in Quassy, Connecticut. Instead of contesting the half ironman race on Sunday, I opted for the olympic triathlon on Saturday followed by the half aquabike (1.2 mile swim & 56-mile bike, NO run). For the 2016 edition of the race, the professional men field returned to compete for a $15,000 prize purse. My goal was to see the time differentials between the professionals and me.
Here we go!
On Saturday [June 4, 2016], Katie and I rolled into transition with plenty of time to spare. Due to fog, the buoys were not visible, so the start times were delayed by half an hour. The pro men went off and then five minutes later, I was splashing in Lake Quassapaug.
Naturally, my lack of swimming resulted in a 26:49, 1500-meter swim. Good thing I had my super comfortable Zone3 Vanquish wetsuit – it rolled off with ease in transition and after a 85 seconds, I was on the bike and ready to hammer away.
Within a couple of minutes on the bike course, I was hitting my target power output while feeling in control of my breathing and overall exertion. The faster swimmers were already way up the road so I had plenty of targets to pin down and overtake. The 25.8 mile course (~41.5km) took 1:09:04 to complete, good for the 3rd fastest amateur bike split of the day!
The second transition took 43 seconds and with only 10km of running left, I wanted to catch as many guys as I could. Mile 1 of the run was conservative, especially since it was primarily downhill – you do not want to fry your run legs in the first 10% of the run! After two miles, I was able to cruise past two guys. On the approach to mile three, I passed another and after mile four, I reeled in Eric Florio, a superb swimmer who was 7 minutes ahead of me out of the water! Mile four to five was downhill and the last mile was uphill…a lonely two miles where there was no one in sight to catch. And after 38 minutes and 46 seconds on my feet, I finished in 2:16:47. This was good for 12th overall amateur and 5th in the M25-29 age group.
The Quassy olympic distance course was a humbling experience.
It kept me honest on both the bike and run; to perform conservatively and saving some ‘oomph’ for the kick up the final climb and over the finishers line…and then into an ice bath!
The swim is slowly coming together and needs the most work – good thing I have about 4 months until Ironman Kona. My cycling and running are both back on form, but there is always room for incremental improvements. It was an awesome race weekend.
On to the next one!
Just keep swimming!