Monday, August 6, 2012

"Columbus Race Report"

Last weekend I participated in the Giant Eagle Multisport Festival in Columbus, OH for the first time.  The event was well run.  The course was fast.  The competition was fierce.  However, the best part of the entire weekend was my fan club.  My sister and her family live in Columbus and were gracious enough to host the entire family for the weekend.  We had a lot of fun.  Anytime the family can come to a race and cheer me on, it makes the entire event more special.

Triathlon's greatest fan club!
The Swim
The race started in Alum Creek Lake, north of downtown Columbus.  I chose to race in the elite amateur division, as I continue to challenge myself against the best competition I can.  I knew my swim wouldn't compare to many of the other elites, but what I lack in the swim I always hope to make up for on the bike.



The swim was two laps and was close to the shore so spectators got a great look at the entire swim.  As the swim progressed, I saw the elite field swim away from me, but I kept my composure and exited the water with a swim time of 24:49.  Although it was one of the slower times in the elite division, it was a PR so I can't complain. :)

Sunrise on a beautiful Columbus morning

To the bikes!

The Bike
The bike course was a point-to-point course starting at Alum Creek State Park and finishing in downtown Columbus.  The first half of the course consisted of rolling hills.  It was fast, but definitely got the heart rate up.  My goal was to hammer the bike the hole way so I did my best Bradley Wiggins impression (Tour de France and Olympic Time Trial Champion).  I finished with the second fastest bike split in the elite division at 56:48 (this time included my transition time in T1).

The Run
As I started the run, I knew I was in the thick of things.  I had a good transition and left T2 with the same guys I was tracking on the bike.  I quickly settled in to a steady pace that would eventually jockey be back and forth between two of my competitors.  The run course was a scenic route on the paved river trail along the Olentangy River in downtown Columbus.  With a couple of very scenic views of Columbus from river level, it was a bit easier to loose yourself in the run instead of getting bogged down in the high tempo of the run.  As I came down Neil road and heard my dad cheering me on in the distance, I knew I was close.  I lengthened and strengthened my stride to cross the finish line with a run time of 38:44 and an overall time of 2:01:32.

Overall, the entire weekend couldn't haven't been any better.  Congratulations to fellow Pittsburgher Chris Nocera for his 1st place finish and to fellow Ballou Skies teammates Beth Shutt and Jason Jacobs on solid performances.

Beth and Me
Jason and Me