Sunday, April 10, 2011

2010 Josh Billings Triathlon

This is not your standard triathlon. No swim, bike, run, but a bike(peloton style), kayak, run. .

This tri has a big time race feel. For several weeks before hand, cyclists where out training on the bike route, kayakers and canoers practicing their strokes on the Stockbridge bowl, and runners, well, running. I drove down to do like the rest, train on the course. What i found was a town full of energy. Great Barringon, Stockbridge, and the neighboring communities gave an impression of a North Conway,NH or Lake Placid. Roof racks, fit people, and talk about the upcoming race filled the air. 1200 people where expected to show for the country's second oldest triathlon of this kind.

I did a decent job preparing for the race. I knew it would come to the bike ride and getting into the pack early on. The bike race hits a hill early on, mile 1 or 2, and many experience cyclists know, that hill will determine the rest of your bike race. Hit the hill hard, get into a group, and you find yourself in a good paceline for the rest of the race. Bonk on the first hill, miss the paceline, and you will either lose 10 minutes as you fall into the second peloton, or exert all your energy riding by yourself.

I missed the first major group as i had a hard time positioning myself at the front of the start (note to self next year), but kept to a group not too far behind. All in all, i only lost five minutes from the first group.

The kayak is where i was able to pull away. Though I have been suffering from "Dead Leg" , temporary paralysis of my leg from sitting on a nerve the wrong way, big blue was good to me and my leg was fine. I finished with one of the fastest kayak times of all racers, including teams.

The run the other hand was brutal. Possibly the slowest run in quite some time. The run course is a hilly 6.2 mile course. At mile 3, i was plagued with muscle cramps. I had to stop and message my legs. Running is generally my strongest leg, but on that race day, i was humbled. What could have i done different, more electrolytes, more gu, ...i found myself very frustrated as i jogged forward.

In spite of the challenging run, i still finished well, placing second in the ironman kayak division. I won a nice Josh Billings Mug that was filled with a tasty Oktoberfest later that night.

....and i could not have done so well in the race without my champion support crew. Notice the "helper" race number

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