Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Have You Seen This Wheel

First of all, let me say that the Troika Half Ironman was a BLAST and for the first year with the new race organizers, the event went swimmingly, no pun intended.

I lined up on the Medical Lake beach with some other dudes from Tri-Fusion (Ken Collins, Rick Phillips and a few other familiar faces) and within about 5 minutes after the start I was...

...overheated! The weather was predicted to be 95+, but feeling like you've lost your radiator just a few hundred yards into the swim is not fun. It didn't slow me down at all, but I have to say that's the warmest I've ever been inside a wetsuit. Water temp was 76.

I decided to draft the final 800 yards to keep my core temp down.

Coming out of the water, I *thought* I was in third place, behind the other two guys who came out of the water directly ahead of me, but as I pushed my bike out of transition, somebody shouted, "You're 4 minutes down!".

4 minutes?

This is not what you want to hear just a half hour into an event. One thing I was happy with, however, was that I threw on my brand new Zeal Optics sunglasses and not only were they incredibly light and face hugging, but I had ZERO fogging...

So I didn't really know who I was chasing until the out and back portion, where I clocked an unfamiliar face and bike about 3:30 ahead of me.

Although I rode my Specialized Transition nearly 5 minutes faster than 2007, with a 2:18 I was still nearly 4:30 back by the time the 56 miler ended in Riverfront park.

During the bike ride, I used GU Roctane and Millennium Sports Athlytes, then I switched to "course gels" for the run. I ran conservatively to the 10K mark, where I once again clocked first place (who I still didn't recognize) about 4 minutes ahead of me.

Troika is known for being notoriously warm, and if it weren't for the well-stocked aid stations with ice, ice water, and sponges, I'm not sure I would have avoided running off-course to take a dip in the river. My run was a bit disappointing at 1:34. If I could have run the 1:28 I was shooting for, I would have won the race, but, as it was, I was down by about 5 minutes by the time I crossed the finish line.

The winner was gracious, cool, and fast. His name was Chris Bordreaux, and he also happens to race as a pro for Avia had a strong showing at the race, since they're my sponsor too!

So I'm happy with my time and my race...

But why was it a bittersweet event?

Because my front Zipp 606 wheel was STOLEN from Riverfront Park. It was entirely my fault, as I left it near the parking lot for nearly 10 minutes. But since I get to race in Coeur D' Alene again this Saturday, I'm pretty disappointed and desperate.

So if you see a Zipp front wheel (that could have had the WheelSport East stickers removed by this point), then let me know! You can see it right there in the picture at the head of this post.



Spokane Al said...

Wow - that really sucks about your wheel. I trust that karma will take care of that person at some point.

Congratulations on a great race. As always you rock.

P.S. I will be looking for you at the CDA race on Saturday. Since I am an old guy I am in the second wave and will be giving you a bit of a head start, so I recommend that you take advantage of it.

Steve said...

You looked strong out there. Nice work on the 2nd place, that guy was pretty fast.

Sorry about the wheel. Hopefully it turns up soon.

BUDDY MONK said...

Congrats on your 2nd place overall men's finish at Troika. Unbelievable!

Matt said...

Great race Ben, you looked solid throughout the entire race, I think I was dehydrated just from watching...Way to rock it!!

Pat G. said...

Hey Ben,
You going to post a report on Saturday, August 8 race in CdA?
You and Jessa?