On July 19th I raced in the Chula Vista Challenge. My former training partner from many years ago, Mike Drury, puts on this race. I have wanted to do this race for a few years to support Mike and this year the dates finally worked out. The race was supposed to be an Olympic distance triathlon, but due to some rare summer rain the previous day, they cancelled the swim and turned the race into a duathlon. The race went well for me as I placed 1st out of 18 men in the 50-54 age group and 11th out of 265 overall finishers.
Whenever there is measurable rain in our community the lifeguards strongly discourage open water swimming because of the run off. We had over an inch of rain the day before the race so the race started with a 2.8 mile run. My timing chip was faulty so I did not get any splits. But I would conservatively estimate that completed the opening run in 16:45, good enough for a 2 minute lead on the rest of my age group.
My age group was the 2nd group to start the race. We started 3 minutes after the oldest men and the elite men. During the opening run I passed all the old men and only had the elites ahead of me the rest of the day. The rest of the race was the loneliest I have ever been in a race. No one passed me the rest of the day. And I never did catch any of the elite guys. It was a real test of self-motivation to keep my foot on the accelerator.
The 40K bike (24.8 miles) course was a big challenge as we climbed over 1,300 feet. It was a point to point bike course so we started at 50 feet above sea level and finished at 550 feet above sea level. I pushed hard from the beginning, but felt like I ran out of gas with 7 miles to go. I thought it would never end. We had 2 separate 200 foot climbs after mile 16 so now I understand why it was such a struggle for me. My estimated bike split was 1:14:21 and that was the fastest bike split in my age group.
It was really hot to start the final 10K (6.2 miles) run. It was only 8:20 in the morning at that stage, but I bet it was already 80 degrees. I knew it would be a death march on the run which was around the Olympic Training Center. When the conditions are that tough, I usually hope for a 40 minute 10K. I would estimate my run split to be about 43 minutes as I finished the race in 2:16:21. That run was brutal! I won my age group by over 11 minutes so I really did have a good day. And I won a beer mug!
To see my race pictures, click on this link:
Living the life…