The Potomac... calm, the bikes... already racked, the triathletes... a buzzing, which only meant one thing... race day in Washington DC.
Pre Race- Early
My alarm went off at 3 am. Into my Negative Split Racing tri tank and shorts I hopped, finished packing my transition bag, ate some oatmeal, out the door in half an hour... it was onlly 3:30 am. I made my way through local streets into Downtwon DC by 4 am to catch the first shuttle from the Grand Hyatt Hotel over to West Potomac Park and transition. Upon arrival... I was body marked with the number 1675 and recieved my chip. I made my way over to my bike... in row 17 to find the garbage bags that covered the chain and aerobars yesterday in the rain were gone... no where to be found... seriously who would steal bags from someone else? Anyways I set my little tiny transisiton towel out with my bike shoes, aero helmet, sunglasses, race number, CDA finisher hat and running shoes and was off to the mechanics tent to pump some air in my tires. After that was all done it wasn't even 4:45 in the morning and I was outside of transition on Ohio Drive doing my warm up run alongside the Potomac.
Once 5 am hit... one hour till the race... the sun was coming up over the Washington Monument and I was ready to start. Around 5:45 my parents arrived as I needed the cooking spray so I could get my wetsuit on and more importantly off. The race start was delayed to high traffic on the course but once it was clear the race director and DC Mayor Adrian Fenty spoke with words of well wishes and a safe clean race for everyone. Several waves went off but at 6:39 it was my turn along with the rest of the pink caps to hop into the Potomac to get ready to start what would be an awesome race.
The Swim... Dirty and Disgusting
As I made my way into the Potomac I was thinking "what is wrong with the picture" then I realized it was me... being in the Potomac. For almost 2 and 1/2 minutes us 39 and under pink ladies treaded water. With 30 seconds to go... I wished all the ladies well before the horn blew. Well as soon the horn blew the craziness of a swim start started. I was fortunate to be on the left side... since I breath the my left and the buoys were on the left... but others were unfortunate. I made it the first half of the going out part without swimming into anyone or being swum into myself... then my craziness started. I was soon surrounded by caps of all colors getting kicked, smacked, and swum into. The first turn buoy was a mess... I had to tread water for a mere two seconds to wait to get around it. Once cleared the rest of the swim was a piece of cake. I made my way across buoy two then back down the river swimming straight to finish up. As I was swimming I noticed just how digusting the water really was. I was swimming on someones feet touching them... not even able to see there feet.. I know how dirty was that water? Anyways it was past the finish to the last set of buoys to then swim back upstream to exit the water and get into T1. I didn't have any watch on but found out later on I made it out in 13:52... not bad... espcially considering it was the Potomac.
Trasistion One- Speedy
Wetsuit off, bike shoes on, helmet on, sunglasses on, bike off the rack, and out I went in just a few seconds over 2:00.
The Bike- Twisty Turny But Fast
So there I was hopping on my bike on Indepedence Ave about to make my way through parts of DC... when all the sudden I had trouble clipping in my right shoe. Finally... at least a minute later I in the pedal and starting to roll. While cycling up Independence I saw dad by the road cheering me on as I was passing dudes left and right. The course made a few tight turns and UTurns before it ever we were going fairly straight. It took about 4 miles but my legs finally started to really roll and find my legs. The next thing I knew we were cycling under the Kennedy Center and past the Watergate building... how historical is that. I barely knew where were heading when we made out way over the Whitehurst Freeway through Georgetown, onto Rock Creek Parkway, then onto Canal Road where we turned another tight UTurn to make our way back to transition. Not to far after the turn around I was passed by get this... a 61 year old dude... I couldn't believe it but kept rolling. I passed my fellow 25 - 29 year old age groupers as well as others as we made our way back with the wind at our backs. Before I knew it I was back at transition dismounting my bike and rolling into T2 having averaged just a tad over 20 mph.
Transition Two- Not So Speedy
Bike racked, helmet off, bike shoes off, running shoes on, CDA running hat on, race number in hand, ready to go!
The Run- Long But Beautiful
Out of transition on the grass, I was already passing others, feeling this would be the longest 5k EVER! Once onto Independence Ave my legs started to feel good and I started to roll faster, passing dudes and gals left and right. I wasn’t wearing my Garmin so I had no idea what pace I was running at but could feel myself pushing. The course was beautiful. Up Independence Ave where there weren’t too many spectators. But once I turned onto Constitution there were many out there on the side of the street cheering us on. The course was pretty flat, just a slight upgrade here or there. As I was running I saw my mom who was paying no attention to the race. I kept on screaming Mom as I was running. When I finally got her attention her response was “I know you”. I mean how cute is that? Anyways as we headed toward the Capital we had to make a slight UTurn then it was off to Pennsylvania Ave for the finish. The finish right there was awesome experience knowing the Capital was right in back of you. Once I crossed the finish 1:18 later I got my finisher medal and posed for some glamour shots!
Next Up on Triathlete 4 Life... A Spectator Side to the Sport as the Elites raced on!
More to come...