Lung Burn at The Josh

It was a glorious day in the Berkshires of Western Massachusetts. My teammate, Arlen Wenzel, and I represented Team Horst Sports and the Horst-Benidorm-Property Research Masters Cycling Team at The Great Josh Billings Runaground Triathlon. Arlen was the cyclist for the four man Pfizer Corporate Team. They took top corporate team honors.

I race the Ironman Division, so my race consisted of a 27 mile mass start road bike leg, a 5 mile kayak, and a 6.2 mile road run. Just like last year, I was one of the last guys to miss the “front group” at the top of the first climb on the bike leg. The Josh start is insane with 400+ cyclists screaming through the village of Great Barrington. I had good position, but I just couldn’t red line it for long enough. In the 45 degree chill, I seered my lungs trying. I ended up in the third group on the road. There were no Ironmen in the first two groups, but that is no consolation. If I can eventually make the main front group, I’ll pick up an easy three minutes in the future. It is too bad that I missed it again. It doesn’t pay to be one of the strongest guys in a chase group that has no chance of bridging.

I decided to save my legs and sit in once things settled down. The roads and scenery of this course are just beautiful.  The spectators and volunteeers are amazing too. They line the roads in all the towns and are on all the climbs too. Arlen assisted me with my bike/kayak transition. I had an OK paddle. Last weekend I cracked my left rudder foot pedal and it is flexing a bit. I had to set the foot pedals longer than usual to avoid a complete failure, and that put some serious pressure on my rear end. It was a bit uncomfortable, but I made it.

 

Deb assisted with the kayak/run transition. I had a decent 10km run and passed the three or four Ironmen that were in front of me. The results look like two Ironmen canoeists beat me, but they have an advantage with their speedy boats. So, it looks like I was first in my division, Ironman (kayak). I’ll be curious to see the splits. I can tell you one thing, it was a total body workout!

 Scott on the finishing stretch in Tanglewood.

After the race, we popped in at the Berkshire Mountain Bakery in Housatonic, Massachusetts. What a cool spot and what great bread. We picked up several loaves, including one for some new neighbors of ours in Bolton. If you have never been through these Berkshire towns in Western Massachusetts, then you should check them out. Peak season for visiting is less than a month away. The leaf peepers will converge on the Berkshires in a major way. We saw a fair number of Connecticut, New York, and New Jersey plates today. In a month, they will dominate!

The Berkshire Mountain Bakery.

Deb peruses the choices.

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