Sunday, October 31, 2010

Gruene time trial

Jon and I (the team "Lost Faculties") had our last bike race of the season today. It was a 2-person, 27 mile, bike time trial on a hilly and technically difficult course. The team's time is determined by the 2nd finisher, so the best strategy is to work together (taking turns leading) to cover the course as fast as possible. Teams started 30 seconds apart. We were entered in 100-109 years combined age division (Jon has 49 years, and I have 53).

Last year in this race, I crashed on a turn, so I was more than a bit nervous about the course.

As it turned out, things went well this year. We had a plan, and stuck to it. Jon lead me for most of the first half (including the hilly curvy bits where last year I crashed). He set a fast and steady pace, and I mostly drafted behind him, trying to keep fresh for the second half. After one big hill, the last 12 miles were mostly straight and rolling, and I did most of the leading, while Jon followed me. We caught and passed several other teams that started ahead of us, and no one passed us, which was encouraging. We finished in 1:06:54, with an average speed of almost 25 mph.

We were the first in our division of 100-109 years! We got cool little medals, and had our pictures taken while holding flowers. It was great fun!

Getting ready to head home, with bikes!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Longhorn half-iron triathlon

I did the Longhorn triathlon again this year, for the 4th year in a row. Its a 1.2 mile swim, 56 mile bike, and 13.1 mile run. It was a very large race, with over 2100 people. The race went pretty well for me. It was a "wave start" race, where the start was done in 17 groups, spaced about 3 minutes apart. The professional athlete men started first, then the pro women 3 minutes later. I was in the 3rd wave, with about 100 other over-50-year-old males. 14 more waves of various age groups started after us old guys.

The start of the swim was pretty rough; it took about 5 minutes to get clear of the crowd. Then I just settled in on some other guy's feet, and took it easy. I finished the swim in just over 30 minutes, in 3rd place in my age group. The bike was uneventful, with great weather. After about 15 miles I had passed the 2 guys in my age group who finished ahead of me on the swim, and I caught up with a few of the slower pro women, and I was the first amateur athlete on the bike for a little while. Later on the bike I got caught by a few other guys, and I just settled in about 50 yards behind them and followed until the end of the bike ride. I did the run at a steady pace, good enough to finish 3rd place in my age group. Averaged 8 minutes per mile, which I was happy with since about a third of the run was off-road trail, with not very good footing.

1.2 swim time = 30:05
56 mile bike time = 2:27:12
13.1 run time = 1:47:01
total time = 4:50:20

List of top finishers in the 50-54 age group (I'm 3rd):

Complete results of Longhorn triathlon.
(I'm 160th overall, out of 2100 finishers).

I got an email with some race photos of me: