Tuesday, July 28, 2009

New York City Triathlon

4 down, 1 to go...(5 races in 5 weeks)
Race 1 - Decatur Triathlon - 1st Place
Race 2 - Lifetime Fitness Triathlon - 10th Place
Race 3 - Evergreen Triathlon - 1st Place

Evergreen Triathlon is just north of Bloomington, IL in a local reservoir. It is the Regional Championship, the Regional Collegiate Club Championship, Best of the US qualifier, and probably more. The race headlined Bryan Rhodes and also contained Daniel Bretcher, X-pro's (Eric Ott, Brian Hague, Joe Company), and up and comers (Gavin Anderson, Aaron Bachman, Greg Kopecky). It also had a huge contingent of local stars... All that did not matter once the gun went off. The swim was quick with Gavin Anderson (local horse) pushing the pace, at about 600m in, my thermostat popped (Water Temp was easily 80). I was overheating, sun beating on the wetsuit and warm water temps. I would watch the leaders draw away as I focused on being miserable and not swimming. By the time I got out of the water I thought I was going to be a month down. Instead I was less than a minute.

On the bike I hunted. I quickly road to 2nd, then realed in Rhodesy around mile 10. Once in the lead...nothing changed. I kept the strong rythem on the chip'n'sealed roads. It was fun and reminded me a lot of the riding I did around Purdue.

Once my feet hit the ground it was business time. The run course was a T with turnarounds at mile 2.7 and 4. I ran strong to the first turnaround and learned my lead was 84 sec. I continued at pace to the second turnaround, my lead had grown to nearly 100 sec. I relaxed and focused on form and brought it home with another dominating performance.

Race 4 - New York City Triathlon - 6th Place
Sunday morning was early. 4:10am EST, 3:10am at home. I could hear rain outside and I thought, GREAT! I love racing in bad weather. As I rode my bike to transition in the pitch black evading multiple collisions with taxis I dropped my stuff in transition and jogged up to race start.

After a long delay, the race was (finally) off. I dove in and had a great start. I swam hard and felt like a torpedo in the SpeedZoot, in brachish water, swimming down stream...in the disgusting Hudson River. I would swim well and sacrifice less than a minute to the leaders in the swim. I charged to transition (which I learned now I lost another 15-30 seconds) which was a tick over 800m from swim out to bike mount. Yes, in my barefeet I ran 1/2 a mile, did the swim-bike transition, ran with my bike in 3:16 and lost 15-30 seconds.

I got on the bike in 14th place, that number quickly came down on the rain soaked roads. I immeadiately found high gear. After mile 5 I was 6th place and could see nobody in front of me. Then I ran over glass. It flipped up and actually cut my ankle! I hit more glass seconds later. I would ride paranoid the next 5 miles through the rolling hills of North Manhatten and The Bronx. At the turnaround I saw people!!! I learned I was down, but not out. I would crank hard but focus on efficiency on the way home. The road on the way back was fast and the bike would surf on the downhills of the greasy pavement as I zoomed by tons of athletes with flats headed out. At mile 20 I could see the motorcycle trailing Potts, Reed, and Hayes. It motivated me and I was able to elevate the pace. I would close the gap to seconds as we entered T2.

I quickly headed out on the run. I could see Reed (really tall) and Hayes (wearing Red) for the first mile, they were just 15 seconds leaving transition and 25 seconds at mile 1. Then we entered a winding Central Park and I lost sight and that edge. I ran strong and smart, hoping somebody would pop and that I would be able to slip in my first big top 5. I finished strong in 6th place and for the first time in my pro carreer I did not lose ANY spots on the run. I ran a 35:08 (5:38's) and lose nearly 3 minutes...Now that is rediculous. The day was a success. I beat a lot of athletes that perform at high levels internationally.

Train Hard,
Train Safe,
Andrew Starykowicz
Follow me: astarykowicz.blogspot.com

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