Triathlon 1 - Timberman, Gilford NH Story*Training*Injury*Schedule*Spectators*Statistics

The Timberman is held on Lake Winapausaki, in the next town over from me. A Sprint distance, with a 1/3 mile swim, 15 mile bike, and a 3 mile run, seemed doable.

The rather aggressive pace I have set for my 50x50 goal has started to take a toll. The nagging hamstring that has bothered me since October of last year refuses to relent, though I have cut my training miles waaaay back. A 12 mile training run is difficult at the moment.

Since cycling was cycling was my sport of choice prior to the running fixation, I thought I would even out my training with a triathlon. The only problem being I suck at swimming, with the only time in the water was with SCUBA gear on. I confirmed my worst fears with a trip to my gym, where I couldn't make the 25 meters end-to-end in the pool. The swim instructor (who happened to be doing laps in next lane) commented that she thought she was going to have to save me. Wonderful.

I signed up for her Master's Class which started that week -- 7 weeks before the Tri. A couple of classes and a few private lessons with her and I'm doing much better. Well, at least I can make it the 25 meters without stopping or swallowing half the pool. Good to go.

Around this time I realized that my Hard Rock Hybrid Mountain Bike wasn't going to cut it in a road race. I went out and bought a Trek 1200. A race horse compared to the Nag of the Hard Rock. One 20 mile jaunt and a sore ass-bone later and I'm ready for that portion. Sure.

WIth a week to go, and a couple of more private swim lessons and I'm feeling better about the swim.

Last minute travel to Baltimore -- for a funeral -- allowed me to stress about something else.

Race time forecast was for Thunderstorms, but all we had was rain, and mid sixties. The water felt great at 72 with the wet suit on.

The swim course didn't look too bad, until they told us we had to swim around the "far" buoy. (Did you notice the foreshadowing?)

The purple wave, Men-first timers, went off after the Elite, and 2x2 age group waves. Boy, that Buoy looks far.

Into the water I went, and began swimming. Stroke, Stroke, Stroke, Stroke. No closer to the turn. Stroke, Stroke, Stroke, Stroke. Repeat 2 hundred million times. No closer to the turn. Hmmmm.

It seems as they forgot to anchor the Buoy. And it didn't stay put. Who would have thought that could happen?

After 3 or 4 miles of swimming, they discovered their blunder, and turned us. The rest of the swim was uneventful, if not exhausting.

Out of the water and into transition and onto the bike. The turn from 11 to 11B crossed traffic, and the cops were eating donuts or something, causing me to come to a skidding stop. This would come back to haunt me.

Back in the groove, I ate them up alive, passing everyone in my sights. I made an illegal right hand pass when someone wouldn't give way on the left, but I got away :with it :-)

The rain was relentless, but the turns were do-able, and the miles flew by.

Just at mile 14, my rear tire blew. Rather than spending the 15 or 20 minutes to change the tire (I never really had a chance to practice that), I went with option B, and ran the last mile in.

Into transition, and a change of socks, then out onto the 5K course. It was later that I learned that the T2 (bike to run transition) timing mat was not functioning.

Despite all of the trauma, I had a good time and will do another.... It has to wait until after Marathon season, though ;-)





Updated August 21st, 2004