Last weekend was my annual race like a tri geek weekend. I always enjoy hangin’ with the triathlon crowd, a lot of them are kinda geeky about their sport… a lot like I am about mountain biking, so it’s a great fit! The 28th edition of the Big Creek Triathlon, hosted by my good friends Jenny and Craig was another huge success with over 450 participants registered for the event.
The 2008 version of team Vitruvian Triad consisted of Brian Kura leading off for the swim, myself for the bike and Kristy Feldman doing the run. My goals for the race were for our team to repeat as overall team champs and also to improve my 40km bike split of 57:17 from last year. Our main competition this year was going to be Team BOS and consisted of Collier Schofield, Casey Owens and Dan Bartlett. Last year Collier was probably the fastest time trial rider in the state prior to his nearly devastating altercation with a pickup truck. The fact that he can even ride a bike a year later is truly amazing… and it gets even better. Casey is an Olympic caliber runner with the 10k distance being her specialty. I’d never heard of Dan before, however with Collier and Casey, we knew that we were going to have a really tough go of it!
The race started and Dan came out of the water in 25:34, Brian came out in 28:07. So Collier had a 2:30 head start on me. I ran my bike out of the transition area and did my cyclist style of entry onto my bike. I’m sure that all of the triathletes that witnessed this probably got a good laugh out of it! I took off and as soon as I put some pressure on the pedals, I knew that my legs were going to be mediocre, at best today. I forced the issue until my heart rate hit 175 and decided based on how I felt, that was all that I had in me for the day.
I was able to maintain it in the mid 170’s over the first half, but found myself thinking that it wouldn’t last. I hit the turn around and started going into the head wind and found my effort slowly dropping off to the point where I was struggling to get back into the 170’s. I put my head down, stuck my tongue back into my mouth and did my best to bury myself into the red. It really helped to have a lot of people to pass throughout the ride as it gave me small goals to shoot for throughout the ride.
I ended up with a bike split of 56:22 over the 40km distance with an average heart rate of 173 and scored a PR by 55 seconds. I was unable to reel in Collier, but I did manage to close the gap by about 78 seconds. I handed the baton off to KF and she took off like a scalded dog in pursuit of Casey. Casey ended up running a 38:34 and KF was unable to close the gap. However she still had a great run in 39:41, which I’m pretty sure was her best time by a lot!
Team BOS ended up taking the win in the team competition with a time of 2:02:41, we brought home 2nd with time of 2:04:54. Last year we won the team competition with a time of 2:14:48. So our team set a new PR by 10 minutes and we still ended up 2nd with absolutely nothing to complain about! It actually felt like a huge victory in that Collier, despite what had happened to him last year, cut a time of 57:40. If you’d seen him at this time last year, you would be absolutely amazed at what he had just accomplished! In a small way, I shouldn’t be surprised as Collier has some very strong mental fortitude and a lot of help from God which led to a speedy recovery. Brian had a great swim, especially considering that it was his first open water swim! I set a PR and had the fastest bike split overall and KF had a pretty amazing run, finishing a scant 67 seconds behind Casey and setting a huge PR.
As always, Jenny, Craig and their army of volunteers did a fantastic job in putting together another very successful event. Everybody looked like they had a great time throughout the day and I’m already looking forward to Big Creek 29!
Next up is IMBCS #6 up at Seven Oaks Ski Hill this Sunday. I love the course and am so looking forward to racing on the dirt again!
Thanks for reading,