USTS Richmond/Norfolk, VA -- a real stitch!

USTS Richmond/Norfolk, VA -- a real stitch!

Post by John Fraze » Tue, 31 Aug 1999 04:00:00

What a day.  The theme seemed to be forgetting things:

1. Forgot to allow for the porta-potty lines 5 minutes before the pre-race
briefing;

2. Got halfway down to the water and realized I'd forgotten my goggles and
swim cap -- got in a warmup run after all (though my heel is now bruised);

3. Got about a mile out on the bike and realized I'd forgotten to put on my
sunglasses (I've worn prescription lenses for 15 years);

4. Completely forgot about putting on sunscreen.

Other noteworthy occurrences:

1. The swim. Traditional triathlons are "swim-bike-run", right?  This was
more like "walk-wade-porpoise-try to swim-realize it's too shallow-walk some
more-swim a little-look up and realize everyone's walking again-walk away
from those still trying to swim-sprint up a nearly sheer cliff-bike-run."
In a 750m swim, probably 500 was actually swimmable.  Good for me since
swimming is my weakest sport and I was next-to-last out of the water in my
age group (with 3 minutes between waves, two age groups after me passed me
on the swim).

2.  Getting my ***kicked by senior athletes on the bike.  There I was
hammering along on my bike at probably 20 mph and feeling pretty good about
passing a couple guys, when along comes a 70-year-old man who just cruises
by.  Didn't find out that he's a multiple IMH competitor (last time
15:20:00) until the awards ceremony.  My new triathlon career plan is to
wait out the rest of my contemporaries -- I should be able to take home a
prize by the time I'm 80.

3. Getting my ***kicked by senior athletes on the run.  After getting over
a horrendous side stitch (why do I never get those during training, only in
races) and with about a mile to go, a white-haired man (turned out at the
awards ceremony to be in his early 60s) comes up past me.  I hang on to his
tail briefly while he makes conversation (!) with a girl ahead of me -- then
he loses me going up a hill.  Just couldn't seem to turn my legs over any
faster.

What a day.  As I approached the finish line, I saw a guy ahead of me who
looked to be about my age -- so I poured it on and sprinted over the mat
about a half-second ahead of him.  Briefly felt as if I would die, but as
usual, after a couple cups of water (got to say that the Met-Rx sports drink
they served tasted vile) and about 10 minutes, I was looking forward to
doing it again.