5th USAT Supersprint
When you are in the middle of one of your biggest blocks building into Half and Full Ironman world championships what sounds better than a supersprint? Nothing, speed-play is my favorite part of training and this event would definitely put my into some serious oxygen debt.
The race was simple. 325m Swim / 200m Run (to transition) / 4km Bike / 1.6km Run TWICE THRU! In other words you were swimming for 4 minutes, biking for 6 minutes, and running for 5 minutes…sounds like a runners race. The rules on the other hand were not simple, they were a knock off of the ITU rules. The field was a mixed bag of experienced pros and a lot of very young inexperienced kids. My goal was simple, #1) Don’t get hurt #2) Race hard.
The bike course was a 5 lap out and back with cul-de-sac u-turns 1/4 mile apart. It took me a little over a lap to dispose of a lot of “triathlete’s” that need to work on their cornering and gap the field. Over the course of the next 3.5 laps I apexed a U-turn and then sprinted for 30 seconds, feathered the brakes, and repeated. My gap grew to about 20 seconds
I ran hard and fast. A group of 4 caught me after 1/2 of the first run and I worked not to let a gap open. I kept them down to 5m as we hit transition to grab our swim gear. Now this is where the race got crazy.ITU rules are that you must put all of your gear in the basket. So after the swim I put my goggles and cap in the bin, after the bike I put my bike helmet, and now after the run I threw my run shoes in there…Then realized that my cap and goggles were under everything! I reached down pulled out my cap and goggles and my shoe came out with it. I fumbled to put my shoe back in the bin…It had to have looked like a circus act.
I ran toward the start of the second swim I was shocked that I had moved into 4th and was within striking distance of the lead as we dove in the water. I worked hard to close the gap to the swimmer in third which took about 100m. I settled in assuming he was on the heels of the 2 leaders. I kept feeling like the pace was slowing so I finally looked up and learned that a 30m gap had opened. We were less than 100m from the end of the swim so I stayed put and just tried to recover a bit before the rest of round two.
Back to the basket where my bike helmet was under my run shoes, so I pull out my helmet and shoes go everywhere and I gather everything back into the basket and I jumped on the bike and the race was about to get real. It was a 5 horse race…Shoemaker & Darr Smith had about a 15 second gap on myself Ben Collins and some other fleet footed junior. We rocketed into the first U-turn and Collins took a horrible line into the corner and made a cross over move and caught the seam between the curb and the pavement and almost wrecked us both. I was very lucky to save that one. We dashed to the other turn-around and I over drove the corner. I then remembered goal number 1. If I had a phenomenal rest of the race I may finish 3rd but likely I will finish 4th or 5th and the difference in pay is nil so I raced hard but smart.
I ran hard, but everybody else out there was making me feel slow. I was running 5:15 pace and felt like I was sitting still. Suddenly a cracked out chick with a shaved head jumped the barrier and started running with me. She as barefoot and keeping up, I was slightly confused but impressed by her speed. Just about that time Ben Collins dashed by me stealing away 4th place and tactfully took a video of him beating me to the line…see twitter for full details on why.
It was a lot of fun to race with the kids that are going to make the future of the sport.