Marlboro Triathlon

Posted on August 23, 2010

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First out of the water

Several Sundays ago I had the opportunity to defend my title at the Marlborough Triathlon. The field was a bit deeper this year with race director Bill Burnett heavily recruiting local pros. The JetBlue transition award added an interesting twist to the race (the person with the fastest combined transition times would win a free round trip flight on JetBlue). Admittedly, I had a clear advantage over everyone else going for this award by having the most ideal spots in each transition area (because I was wearing #2 ). The race got underway and a couple guys with wetsuits on (I wasn’t wearing one) got out a bit faster than me. Going into the first buoy I settled in on Andy Noble’s feet and then passed him at the first left hand turn. When we made the second turn to come back to shore I upped the pace and really began working it. I snuck a quick peak behind me when we were about halfway back to shore. I was surprised to see Noble still sitting right on my feet. I eased up just a tiny bit and began to prepare for the pain of t1.

I exited the water 5 seconds ahead of Noble, and as soon as I hit the timing mat at the swim exit I essentially went into a dead sprint. It hurt like hell after swimming for 6 minutes at close to a max effort, but I tried to comfort myself with the thought that I could be sitting on a free flight to Vegas in the offseason (if I won the JetBlue fastest transition award)… Since Noble had a wetsuit on, I was able to put 30 seconds into him in t1. I hopped on my Parlee TT bike, got my feet in my shoes just before the first hill and went to work. It was tough to get into a rhythm after sprinting so hard in t1. I couldn’t get my heart rate up at first – I think I needed a micro recovery. After the first of three hilly bike laps I began to feel better and really started to hammer. I’ve never done a race with Dean Phillips where he didn’t pass me on the bike, so I was half-expecting him to come whizzing by me at any moment. I think it took him about 1.5 laps to catch me last year. I hit that same point, looked back, but couldn’t see anybody. I felt like I was able to build into the ride, and by the third lap I was pretty much going flat out/max-effort hoping that I could hold off Dean for the first time in my career. I entered Marlborough High still in the lead and began to take my feet out of my shoes in preparation for t2. I did a flying dismount, got my shoes on as fast as I could, and then sprinted for the transition exit. As I was leaving I heard the announcer say that Dean was just approaching.

Marlboro Podium

I felt great on the run. I got into a fast but comfortable rhythm and focused on running with good form. I had no one to chase and no one on my heels. The run seemed to go by fast, and before I knew it I was coming down the finishing chute to win for the 2nd year in a row. I also won the JetBlue transition award by 2 seconds over Jake Shoemaker. Compared to last year, I swam 9 seconds slower (probably due to lack of wetsuit), biked 23 seconds faster, ran 19 seconds faster, and of course had faster transitions. In total, I was 44 seconds faster this year. What’s even more impressive is that I went into this race with a great deal of fatigue since I am currently in the midst of a heavy training block. Last year, I was a bit rested for this race. I was able to bike much faster, but clearly the new time trial position did not affect my run at all as I went 19 seconds faster in that, too!

Getting my first place medal from Dick Hoyt

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