Sunday, March 9, 2008

1st Race of 2008 - TriBC

Wow. TriBC is a big race! I'm sitting here on my computer at 1pm, the race "officially" began at 7:30am, and there is still wave after wave of triathletes hitting the pool, like little lemmings in bike shorts.

Lastnight, stayed at Ramada Inn on Granville St. in Vancouver. Justin, my co-worker who I travelled up with, agrees with me that this might be the "red-light" district of Vancouver, evidenced by the plethora of porn-shops, clubs, bars, hookers, and, of course, screaming ambulances, police sirens, and drunken voices keeping us awake into the wee hours of the morning. It was like trying to sleep on the couch of a frat house living room on a Saturday night. Not that I've ever had to do that.

So needless to say, I was a bit groggy on Sunday morning when we packed up the car and headed to University of British Columbia (UBC) for the race. So groggy, in fact, that I left the Zipp 606's leaning against a white pick-up truck in the parking lot of the hotel. 30 minutes later, as I stood in the parking garage of UBC, I realized my mistake. This is a $2000 wheelset. It does not belong to me.

I said some really nice things, like, "Oh Darn" and "Fudge", then hopped back into the car to race back to Ramada with 1 hour to race start, leaving Justin at UBC to go check-in my wheel-less bike. That must have left some head scratching at bike check-in.

Drove 70mph through residential zones back to Granville St. As I pulled onto Granville, a car flashed it's lights at me. I didn't have mine on. I stopped and peeled the dead squirrels, rabbits, and reflective running vests off my windshield, then kept going. ;)

At 7am, breathless, I arrived back at the race, Zipps in hand. Apparently hungover Vancouver prostitutes have no use for an aero wheelset early on Sunday morning.

This is a weird race, because they send you into the 50 meter pool one-by-one, and you trip the timing mat with an ankle chip as you start the swim. You literally zig-zag through the pool, swimming under lane lines, up to the 1500m mark. I tucked in behind some fella in a Blue Seventy Point Zero 3 Speedskin and hung on for dear life, drafting for the entire 30 lengths. I downed a gel while running 300m in bare feet to bike transition. The swim felt easy, because I'm a draft wuss. Official swim time: 24:34

Aside from the unique swim, the rest of the race is pretty orthodox. 40K bike, technical, lots of twists and 180 degree turns. I came out of the pool in 6th and had a very long transition onto the bike (hey - I haven't shaken off the off-season rust quite yet!) With a light sprinkle from the sky, I was nervous about sliding my bike off the road on every corner, but had to ride hard to stay in the running. I managed to avoid crashing and passed 2 dudes. My non-gloved hands were blue when I got off the bike, and not because I ran over a Smurf. That was in the car when I was driving back to the hotel. It was freakin' cold! (mid-40's) Official bike time: 1:02.42

I came off the bike in 4th and proceeded to run my first hard run of the season. I have done zero speedwork so I knew this 10K was going to hurt. You know you're in trouble when you have to start "counting steps" at 1/2 mile to stay focused. The guys in front of me were flying and there were some very fast looking UBC triathletes behind me, so I was kinda uncomfortably sandwiched. My legs died at about 5 miles, but I managed to fight off an up-and-coming UW Husky in the last 20 meters to finish the run in 3rd. Official run time: 36:51

Official age group and overall placing: 1st age, 3rd overall

I hurt. Going to go check out the ITU 2008 World Championships bike course across town, then drive 7 hours back go Spokane!

Over and out,

Ben Greenfield

P.S. For you nutrition junkies out there, pre-race meal: two packets Perpetuum, 6 Impax Enerprime tablets, 2 Impax Delta-E's, 1 Impax Prost-Elan, 3 Millennium Sports Cordygen5, 1 Hammer Gel Race Caps (yeah, I ate my sweet potatoes the night before). During the race: 300 cal HEED on the bike, 1 GU coming out of the swim.

P.P.S. For you tri-junkies out there, Blue Seventy goggles, VO2 max suit on the swim, with long sleeve bike jersey pulled over it on the bike, Giro Transition 2 helmet, Specialized 2007 Transition Elite bike, Zipp 606 wheelset, CeeGees Aero Bottle and Aero Pads, Asics Magic Racer shoes.
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