This morning I competed in the Port Jefferson Biathlon. For those of you not familiar with this race (and I imagine 99.99% of you are not), it is a small town swim/run event. The distances are approximately a "500 yard" swim followed by a "5k run". I put these in quotes because the run measured 3 and 1/2 miles on my buddies Garmin, and God only knows if the swim is short or long. It's small, fast, and fun, not to mention the start is about a quater mile from my front door so there's really no excuse for me not to do the race.
If you're from Long Island, or most likely any of the Northeastern states, you'll be familiar with the problems we've had with Jelly Fish this summer. Those bastards have really made it difficult to get open water swims done this year! Ok, in reality, I've just used that as an excuse all summer as the reason why I SUCK at swimming.
On to the race-
So we start down the shore from the finish, and like most other swim starts, it's a free-for-all. Over the course of the past year or so that I've been involved with multisport, I've learned that since I'm not fast, I need to start well to the sides of the start...not today! I was right in the midst of all the college and masters swimmers. Basically, this was my "screw you guys, I'm gonna try my damndest to stay on your toes". Suprisingly, I was able to do just that. I threw some elbows and before I knew it, I was out of the water somewhere in the middle of the pack (I would have been nearer the front but a group of us went off course and almost wound up in Conneticut!).
The run began a little slow as I lost a ton of time in transition geting my stupid wetsuit off. I'll refrain from naming the wetsuit company that makes my suit (it rhymes with "schmintana schmoo"). I really hate that thing. If there weren't so many stupid jellies in the water, I definately would have left it at home. Anywho, there are two major hills on the "5k" run. The first right after the transition and another at the beginning of mile 2. I'm currently training for the American Zofingen Duathlon in October (thousands of feet of climbing on the bike and both run portions) so I was able to manage these climbs rather easily. The last 1/2 mile of the run is in the sand along the shore. It's soft and sandy in some spots and rocky and wet in others.
All in all I was able to make up time on the run and finish in 11th over all and 2nd in my age group in a time of 29:40 I'm dissapointed in my result but realize that the last time I was in the water was most likely at a triathlon in early June. Either way it was a fun way to start a Saturday.
On a side note:
This summer has been really tough for me work-wise, so I really haven't been able to do a lot of multisport races. I've done a bunch or road running races and concentrated mostly on my running for the summer. It was nice to get back into the swing of the multi-sport crowd and see all my buddies again. They've all really progressed a lot since the last time I raced against them. For today I was just a wet runner and they were great multisport athletes. Good Job Guys!
Congrats to Stefan Judex (1st overall), Doug Moyer, and Chris Gomez (Sorry if I got your last name wrong Chris, it's been a while :) ) You guys all rocked out there today!