In 2001, if anyone would have said that I would do this race 12 years in a row, I wouldn’t have believed them. Yet on Sunday I did just that and completed my 12th Buffalo Springs Lake Triathlon and got a healthy dose of almost the same heat as I did during the first year. This year was a lot of fun because I had 5 other Timex teammates here (Nik, Christine, Barry, Bo and Bruce) which is always good mojo for a race.
After arriving later on Friday, I cooked up my pasta and had my usual unpleasant night of pre-race sleep. Up at 3:30, out the door by 4, and was in transition by 4:45. My experience at this race has shown mostly good results and was excited to see what would happen again this year. The weather report for this year was for cooler temps than from 2011 (high of only 97 vs. 110 last year). Of course, during the race it doesn’t get that high since we start at 6:30AM, but it seems like it’s always in the back of your head. The swim went off without a hitch. My wave started with the M45-49 men and some of my friends and teammates started with me including long time racer and good buddy/Timex Teammate, Bruce Genarri. There was no gun to start us, only the voice of the race director Mike Greer saying, “ready, go.” Classic. So off we went.
I got out of the water in roughly 2-3rd in my wave and mounted my QR CD0.1 and was on my way. The hills in the park are a good warm up, but once you hit the main road, you should be able to dial in your pace quite well. I saw my good friend fromDenver, Terry Nugent (who is a former NFL quarterback for the Browns and Colts) and I could tell he was going to have a good day in the M50-55 age group. Soon, I caught up to Bruce and we rode together for most all of the ride (legally of course). The ride was pretty uneventful other than getting passed by another person in my AG at mile 10 and narrowly missing a tarantula that looked like this crawling across the road at mile 33. I have a feeling he got squashed from another rider behind me. I cruised into T2 feeling good and ready to see how the legs would feel for the run.
It took me a little longer than usual to get my rhythm, but after mile 3 I started to gain more speed and momentum. My Calf Sleeves from Compressport were fantastic and made my calves feel great. It was soon after that when I saw a female beach goer walking along side of the road wearing a t-shirt that said, “Let’s Get Wasted” in large, colorful letters that looked exactly like this. It’s moments like this that make me realize that no matter how intense a race can be, it’s still just an event going on around people trying to do their daily routine. When I am running I am always looking for motivation, but seeing that shirt just didn’t do it for me, but it did make me smile. I kept on my way, passed a few more people and hit the turnaround.
At mile 6.5ish is the turnaround where there just isn’t much. It’s just a few cones, a timing mat, and a person saying “turnaround here.” As I was approaching, I was dying for water. “WATER!” I shouted out, and to my surprise a volunteer replied, “All we have is Pickle Juice. Want some?” “Nah,” I said. I learned later that they were reps from a company that was at the expo promoting Pickle Juice to help with cramping due to the high salt content. I am sure they got some business from other athletes considering the heat. Sometimes you need salt no matter what.
As I headed into the last 5K I really pushed with all I had for the day. I was all by myself, but knew I was still racing against many others on other waves. I finished in 2nd in the AGE and 4th amateur. I qualified for Hawaii AND the 70.3 championship in Vegas. I turned down the Hawaii slot (I had already qualified) and took the Vegas slot. I am looking forward to Sept. 9th to race in Vegas again.
One of the best parts of the trip was Stand Up Paddle boarding around the lake after the race for an hour! I never hurts to throw the paddle board in the car on a trip if I have room. You never know when you might find a place for a quick SUP!
Thanks again to Timex and all my sponsors for making my races and training so successful!