Wednesday, August 12, 2009

2009 Camp Whitcomb/Mason Triathlon

Camp Whitcomb/Mason Triathlon
Hartland, WI
August 9, 2009
Sprint Triathlon
1/3 mile; 22 mile; 5K

Matthew Amman 1st OA
S-8:35 B-53:42 (24.6mph) R-19:43

The original plan was to do a massive workout on Saturday before the race (5hr ride, 1hr run) and then show up and humilate myself at the CWM triathlon. Well, the weather was terrible on Saturday but I managed to sneak in a 2.5 hr ride.

Sunday morning was sunny with a slight breeze. Like usual, I had to sign up race morning. Big problem. Upon registrating I was informed that they weren't allowing anybody in the elite wave. Huh! Two years ago I signed up race morning and was allowed into the elite wave. In a huff, I told the volunteers to hold onto the forms while I chatted with the race director. After pleading my case to both the RD and the head timer, the official response was NO! At this point I wasn't sure I wanted to play; besides Scott and I had a monster workout planned immediately after the race (3.5 hr bike, 1 hr run). After fuming for 15 minutes, I returned to the registration table, coughed up the $100, told the ladies that I'm going to win the race and not come back again. They just smiled.

Scott (Bowe) with the rest of the elite wave took off while I watched. I was stuck in wave 7--the last wave. The previous time I did the race, I swam with a wetsuit and found myself overheating. With similar conditions, I opted to go without it this time. It was the right move. I had a lot of swim traffic to manuevre past and made sure to be courtesy. After the recent triathlon related deaths, I didn't want to hurt a newbie by swimming over them.

Two years ago I raced CWM differently. It was my first time trying to win a triathlon. Between Michael Boehmer overtaking me on the bike coupled with trying to hold off Phil Bzdusek, I rode every hill all out (akin to MTB racing) and prayed that I wouldn't die. It worked that time to take 2nd OA and a big mental booster.

This time without the hype of "being in the front" when starting the bike, I simply kept my effort consistent never digging deep on the hills or making a tactical move.

I started running fast to take advantage of the uneven territory. At mile 2 I developed a side stitch. I kept it under control for another 100 yards but then I needed to stop. After resting for 10-15 seconds, I surged forward. One thing I learned that is if I tuck my chin, the stitch goes away. I may look a little goofy but it seemed to work. I finally crossed the finish line in 1:23:59.

I'm taking my ball and going home.

Race safety is always my primary concern. After getting hit by a car in a triathlon earlier this year combined with a record number of triathlon deaths, I'm alittle worried while racing. In this particular case, you don't pay $100 to simply enjoy the morning especially for us competitive guys. To ask an elite to swim over a few hundred people and then bike past them 5-10 mph faster is potentially hazardous. We got lucky this time, but that hasn't always been the case.

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