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July 10, 2006

BFAST #3 turned into BFASD #1

No triathlon, but a duathlon instead. Really rough ocean conditions forced the race organizers to ditch the swim on Saturday. I didn't go down to the beach, but apparently the strong winds from the northeast were really churning the water. When this happens, we typically start the race with a 1-mile beach run. Not this time. The tide was so high from the strong winds, there was no place to run on the beach except for the really soft sand near the dunes. Instead of turning the race into a miserable sufferfest, Charlie O'Brien mercifully had us run a mile on the same road used for the run portion of the race.

My wave started second, and I decided there was no need to wear out my legs at the beginning of the race. According to the results, my mile split was 7:18. I don't think the run through the parking lot to transition 1 was taken into account, making the mile a bit long. I yanked my shoes off and was getting ready to take off on the bike when I noticed that my inserts were bunched from taking the shoes off. I quickly straightened them out so I wouldn't have to do it in T2. Now or later, it was going to have to be done. T1 took 57 seconds.

Having a run at the beginning of a race instead of a swim appears to cause some bunching. A huge mass of guys were all leaving T1 at the same time. Most of those guys decided it would be a good idea to stick together for the entire 11.5 miles. It was like a stinkin' peloton. I passed a bunch in the first 2 miles and then came up on the pack of offenders. I muscled around them but couldn't maintain enough speed to stay in front. They all passed me again. I decided I would ride 3 lengths off the back on this stretch of the course that heads north into a headwind.

As we approached the right hand turn for the 2 block section that takes you back towards the ocean I jumped in front again. As I was making the turn, another rider passed me and was actually griping at me about the pack. "You know you have a ton of guys behind you?!?" Like it's my fault. He then griped at the volunteer waving the flag at the last right hand turn before the home stretch. Like he can do anything either. I was disappointed I didn't see ANY race officials on the course. With a tailwind at my back, I was able to get up to 30 mph while just spinning. It was awesome. Unfortunately, I didn't get enough of a lead and a small group passed me again. The packs were nuts. The didn't just pass on the left. There were some yahoos passing on the right as well. What a @#$%! goat rodeo.

I saw my friend Jay Millson up ahead and tried to surge to catch him but couldn't. Needless to say there was another lovely pack of guys all trying to get into T2 at the same time, and one guy wiped out. My bike split was 27:07 for an average speed of 25.4. Very happy with that. T2 took 48 seconds and it was off on the run.

Grabbed a water on the way out and tried to pick up speed. My legs were cursing me. Jay was just ahead of me, as was another friend of mine, JB Long. The bike had taken it's toll and I didn't have much left for the run. I finally got into a rhythmn just before the half mile mark. Running into the headwind was tough, and the group slowly pulled away. I passed Tony Boselli at the turnaround and with the tailwind, was able to start picking up some more speed. I passed a fair number of people, but none from my age group until a half mile before the finish. I thought about blowing past him, but wasn't sure if I could hold him off if he did have something left. I hung on behind for a while, but it meant I had to slow down. I did this for about 50 meters and then I decided I had to pass him. As I did, I started to pour it on, and as I was making the left hand turn into the final stretch, I began my kick. The announcer at the finish commented that #82 was finishing strong and didn't mention anyone else. I ended up beating the other fellow by 3 seconds. That was good for a single digit place in my age group, lucky number 9.

Finishing time was 59 minutes and 8 seconds. I did the 5k in a pitiful 22:59.

While this race can't be used for apples to apples comparisons with my other races, I was very happy with the performance. I finished 50th out of 442 participants.

After the race, chatted with a bunch of friends and even won a jug of Hammer Gel in the drawing. James won our age group and Josh finished third in his. Josh beat James by 6 seconds, abit of vindication after losing to James by 38 seconds in the last race.

Good race, fun series.