Many of you have done a triathlon or two, they’re fun, challenging and always ready to hurt your feelings. You know the drill, get there while it’s still dark, walk around and chat, get all of your “stuff” out and arranged just right. Athens, Texas is generally the first Tri of the season around here, last year it was 31 degrees and sleeting, on this raceday it was about 50 and just incredibly nice. This was the 25th Anual race in Athens, about 400 racers showed up for the party. Because it’s the first race, everyone is lying about their winter training and how they’re just getting back started. This is also a very popular “first timers” race because of the pool swim so there is a lot of nervous energy as everyone watches the super fast swimmers get started. I had my tale of woe and suffering, explaining about my Shoulder surgery and searching for sympathy. But at some point, the race actually starts and you really do have to go swimming. This was my second swim of 2010 and it went well, only because I didn’t drown. Then it was off for a bike ride. This course is a fairly easy route, ride over to the Loop around the town, go out, turn around and climb this huge hill I seemed to have forgotten about and come on back. I had a good bike split for me, probably left some speed on the table but I was saving for the run. The run went very well though and when I blazed across the finish line I was glad to see that other racers were still on the course. The Athens race is different because you start every 10 seconds by a swim time that you dream up, it can be way later in the day before you know the outcome. It finally was awards time so everybody gathered around, the Texas A&M tri club was there with about 100 members racing, they all had matching uniforms and it all looked good. Jack Weiss called out the results and low and behold, I finished second in my age group, I don’t even know who won, I was busy getting my picture taken and didn’t hear who the fast guy was. I had a great early season race and now I have a month to get ready for New Orleans.
Last week was my last wind trainer class, there is one more class to go but I will be in California this week. I had fun this winter putting on the classes, I hope some of the riders got better. We consistantly had about 16 riders with a couple of classes having more than 20. Maybe we can do it again next year.
I haven’t been racing my slot cars for months, busy traveling and a bad shoulder kept me away. On Sunday afternoon I decided to rejoin my racing group and see if the eye/hand control was any better. I wasn’t surprised that I was a little “rusty” but after a few laps things started to work again. We ran a new class of Dirt modifieds, these are pretty fast cars that handle very well. When I showed up at the track I saw the cars running and thought they were cool but I didn’t have one. I bought all the parts from a fellow there at the track and spent a hurried time building it up. There was no time for secret tuning so I threw the car together and ran a couple of laps. Amazingly, it was pretty fast and when the action was all over, I had finished second for the day. I was pretty happy with that since I had not been driving in months.
This week, it’s off to teach at a Slowtwitch Camp then get back to my running. I’ll probably have to rest my shoulder this week, it was pretty sore after the race.