Saturday was another pre race rest day. Food and rest.
Sunday I did the Escape To Miami sprint distance triathlon (.25 mile swim, 13 mile bike, 5k run)
Sixth overall, first in my age group. A damn tough course. The swim started from treading water in the bay which was a first for me. It’s usually a couple of sprint steps into a dive. This one saw everyone that was serious about competing jockeying for position while floating for a good three minutes before the start. The start was straight out for 50 yards and then took a 90 degree left for 300 meters before another hard left into the rocky shoreline. The transition was a mud pit as five inches of rain had fallen the day and night before. My first transition was a mess. With 1500 people between the two races I first ran down the wrong rack, then went to the wrong side of my bike, then fumbled with my spent arms to get my helmet on. The bike went over the 195 with its hills and wind exposure, crossing from Miami into Miami Beach, past the Miami Beach Golf Club and then back. Beautiful water views in the car, tough as hell on a bike. The run went over the 395 to Jungle Island and back…double the hill fun with dead legs. I had been passed by a group of three guys in my age group on the bike (in a triathlon your left calf is marked with your age so you know who your competition is). After the first mile I had gotten one of them back, and at the turn around I caught up to the other two and the woman in first place in a tight group of three. One guy took up pace with me and started pushing up the hill. I talked to him to see where his breathing was and it was good, better than mine. Shit. Mile two passed and we were on to the last downhill push into the finish. He left me with about a half mile to go. My legs wouldn’t keep up. I had given in, told my self that second was pretty good. When we hit the park and I saw we had 200 meters to go he had a 50 yard margin on me. That’s when the ‘THIS IS IT’ hit. I knew I could get him, I knew that I had to push the pain, to pass through it and finish with nothing left. With 150 meters to go I was 25 back, passing the guy in seventh. 75 meters to go and we hit the final turn, the crowd picked up its shouts and they guy knew I was coming. He turned and looked. Never, ever turn and look. I wasn’t sure if I had gotten him or not, it came down to the lean. When I finally found the posted results I couldn’t find this guy, there was no one in the race close to my time. Strange, either he was a complete hallucination or he had done the longer bike and swim (that race started before the sprint by about an hour) and had mistakenly cut the longer course short. Either way, that man pushed me to my limit and I appreciate that.