Monday, March 23, 2015

Partial Nudity at the Icebreaker!!

Many of our team's race reports get searched for a ton. For example, this time of year, “St. George 70.3 race report” leads a plethora of nervous triathletes to our site as they contemplate the brutality of that course and what they’ve gotten themselves into. On the other hand, I’m confident that "Icebreaker race report," the local sprint I competed in this weekend, will not move the needle on Google. Nor will it be trending on Twitter. That said, I’ve decided to forge ahead with a race report because:

A) It may inspire some of you that race season is here (or soon approaching) 

B) It involves partial nudity (always good for a laugh)

As a side note, this picture, recently posted by MA teammate Rob “The Law” Forshaw, pretty much sums up the sentiment of our team.

Anyways, the Icebreaker is the gambler’s triathlon… this time of year there very well could be a foot of snow on the ground, or it could be 60’s and sunny. This year, I and 300+ like-minded individuals rolled the dice and were rewarded handsomely.

The atmosphere was awesome, and I was surprised at the quality of the field that showed up to “break the ice” with the first legit race (albeit a pool swim) on the local schedule. This would be a short and fast sprint, a measuring stick of fitness for many of us eager for the season to commence.

The RaceTri race director is notorious for his pre-race speeches, which often involve spiking his clipboard, ripping articles of clothing, and other inspirational antics. He's a stud. As we lined up for our time trial style swim start, suddenly the entire field was clapping, with many chanting something in unison. Just when I was about to ask the guy next to me what the devil was going on, the RD did a cannonball, fully clothed. It was well received.

I’d actually never done a pool swim tri, so I wasn’t entirely sure what to wear. I settled on some old bike shorts that I don’t care about, but it soon proved to be a huge mistake.

We had lined up based on projected time for this short 300m swim, and started one after the other in 5 sec increments. After a few minutes it was my turn, and as I pushed hard off the wall, my old, stretched out bike shorts slid down a solid 18 inches. It was a full moon and then some. Maybe a lunar eclipse?? I reached back with one hand and yanked up hard, and for a few moments wondered if I’d be able swim normally the rest of the way. Long story short, I was right on the cusp of swimming right out of them the whole time, but they held on by a thread. At each wall I clutched on with one hand while pushing off. Not ideal, but thankfully it was over soon!

I can relate
I hopped out of the pool, saw 5:20 something on my watch, and sprinted towards the exits and into transition.

Swim 6:06 (with run to T1)   67th / 328

The bike was ~12 miles, but being a pool swim I didn’t have my GPS data for this one. I’m sure it was pretty close one way or the other. There were two, 6 mile loops, with one decent hill but a fast, slightly downhill finish. It was short but sweet, reminiscent of “The Long Scream,” a Sufferfest video I really like (~30 min, time trial style).

Bike 32:17   28th / 328

The run used much of the same loop as the bike course, just a truncated version, and was similarly uphill in the first half with a fast finish. I reminded myself that I asked for the pain… I wanted this early season test. This is what I came for, so suck it up! With a time trial start (not knowing exactly where you stand), I made sure to finish strong, earning the comment “Collin Swenson showing us how to fight for every inch!!” on the loud speaker. I didn’t want to lose to someone in my AG, or anyone for that matter, by a few seconds because I failed to kick it in.

Run 20:32    33rd / 328

Overall 1:00:33   26th / 328,   3rd / 30 in AG

Afterwards it was the usual euphoric post-race feeling, and I can’t wait til the next one. Whether it’s Ironman or a local 5k, go sign up for something! 

You won’t regret it.

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