Sunday, March 30, 2008

2008 Race #2: Snake River Sprint Triathlon

OK, before you read this race report, you must agree to view the following video one, and video two featuring my adorable brand new baby twins, River and Terran Greenfield!

Now that we've stared at two scowling babies and my stinky crotch, it's down to business. The second race of this season, the Snake River Sprint Triathlon, is similar to the Vancouver UBC - a bit unorthodox due to it's early date. The swim actually takes place on a Friday night, then you are seeded in the next morning's bike/run according to your swim splits. This is because the only body of water in Lewiston, the Snake/Clearwater river is just a bit cold, like suck-your-genitals-up-into-your-body cold.

I am the defending champion of this race, and was confident going in that I could repeat. Lewiston, ID was bitter cold on both Friday and Saturday, making for snowy and chilly race conditions. Nothing like time trialing your bike through a snowstorm! I considered wearing my snowsuit, but was concerned about the puffy legs getting sucked into my chain. ;)

The swim was smooth. Friday night I showed up, signed in, and waited my turn to swim. My 500m was a 6:13, and since I was aiming for a 6:15, I was happy with it. Later this season, once I've laid down my speedwork, I'll be fine to break 6:00, but for an early season race, this was a good time for me. I swam very hard, and was proud of myself for not peeing in the pool, which I will occasionally do when I swim that hard.

The next morning, I headed out to the bike/run portion. Upon arriving at the race, I found out that there were a few swimmers faster than me, including some young girl racing on a team division that swam 5 minutes and change. Humbling. I swear, kids are doping at younger and younger ages.

For this race, pre-race breakfast was a chocolate Bumblebar and a yam. Yum. I slammed a GU gel prior to the bike time trial and used GU sports drink from a CeeGees water bottle during the bike event, mixed at about 200 calories in 6oz, since I didn't want much fluid volume but wanted a dense sugar solution to keep my blood levels elevated. I also load with Millennium Sports Kreaceps and Citruvol for 3 days prior to the race, and took Hammer Gel race caps, Impax enerprime, and Impax Delta E to amp up the volume a bit more. Afterward, of course, I refueled with Wicked Fast Recoverease branched chain amino acids, since I've got a killer bike camp to coach next week (check it out at - I'll be blogging while I'm down there hopefully).

The bike was fast, and I passed everyone but first place, who I rode into transition directly behind. This guy, Michael Berquist, is known for being a very speedy short courser, and I knew it'd be tough to out-run him, so I was a bit apprehensive about not being in front of him on the bike. Since Michael is stationed at Fairchild air base, he was unable to make it to the swim the night before and "phoned in" his swim time (which incidentally was 25 seconds faster than mine), so I was surprised on race morning to see him there (and surprised the race director actually allowed this, since the rules clearly state that if you cannot swim, you are given a slower "default" swim time). Not that it's Michael's fault that the race director let him break the rules, but I did feel a bit strange that I had to drive down the night before, swim in a foreign pool, sleep in a hotel room, and get up the next morning to race, while he stayed home and called in a swim time (unverified by race officials) from his home pool. This seems unfair to me.

Michael outran me by about 20 seconds, and although I beat my last year's time by 2 minutes, I ended up with a 2nd place overall and 1st place division. I was happy with the showing for a quick weekend race, and a big shout out to my sponsors, especially Wheelsport East, who is busting butt to hook me up with a carbon time trial bike for this race season (keeping fingers crossed that it gets here in time for Ironman!). I have to admit that I have a bit of a bitter taste in my mouth after this race about the first place guy not actually racing against me in the pool, but life goes on, and there are bigger and better races coming down the pipeline, so stay tuned!

Ben Greenfield
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