Monday, June 24, 2013

Huntsville Sprint Tri race report by Mark Hudnall

Huntsville Sprint Triathlon, June 22nd, 2013. 400m Swim, 7 mile bike, 3.1 mile run.  Early start helping with set up and then bodymarking.  Volunteering definitely takes the mind off worrying about all the details on race day, but it didn’t allow for a warm-up run or swim, oh well, minor detail.  Transition setup was pretty simple, since it was such a short course there wasn’t much concern with how much water to carry on the bike or any nutrition during the bike course.  I dropped 2 Hammer Endurolytes Fizz in my aero bottle and I’m ready to go.

I was bib number 57 and hoped I would avoid most of the congestion (and maybe edge Ricky Bobby by a few seconds J).  By 150 meters I had passed 5 or 6 people and was stuck in the pile up at the end of the lane.  I managed to avoid the “pileups” on the next few turns by getting under the lane early, and working to the inside of the turn direction each length.  Passed a few more in the last 200 meters and off to T1. 

Quickest transition to the bike in my limited experience and time to pour it all out on the bike course.  Objective for the day was leave it out on the road and hope that I could still muster a half-way decent run.  Started off strong and enjoyed passing a handful of cyclists, before Dennis Mix came blazing by me at the turn onto Triana.  No chance I could keep up with him…he was on fire!  Uneventful course otherwise.  Managed to have a moving avg speed of 21 MPH, which is pretty fast for me.  “Process Improvement” from Monster Tri - I successfully extracted both feet from my shoes before the dismount line, waved to the camera, and headed into T2. 

 Almost forgot I was on the first rack and tried to run down row 2.  Otherwise another quick transition and out for the run.  Remember, I planned to leave it all out on the road.  Checked the Garmin at the run start and the HRM showed 180bpm.  Picked up the number 19 swimmer and ran with her for the first half mile.  She said she was planning to run a 7:30 pace, so off she went.  I know my limits.  Nathan Graves and Tim Pitt came cruising by on my first lap.  Yes, they entered the pool way later than me and finished well ahead.  As I finished the first lap, Josh Pierson was cheering on the runners…I offered him cash to carry me on the second lap – he declined.  Caught back up with “Number 19” and passed her about the 2 mile mark and paced it out to the finish line with Jess Ahrens at just under 8:00 min mile (according to my Garmin).  Any run course that makes me run multiple circles is mentally defeating, but my pace turned out okay.  Great to get the chance to see lots of the Fleet Feet Triathlon Team out on the course

Great race weather and a very well oiled machine by the race director and all the volunteers.  Looking forward to cheering on my daughter at the Pesky Piranha Youth Triathlon and a little off-roading at Tri for Ole Glory.  C’mon out and get your tires muddy at the Space Rocket Center on Independence Day (unless you’re in my age group and fast, in which case they need volunteers out on the course).  Finish time 53:45 and 7/22 in my AG.

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