EnduraSport Harryman Triathlon (Duathlon)

Yesterday’s half iron-distance Harryman Triathlon turned out to just be a long duathlon. We were all lined up on the beach of Lake Welch. Wetsuits were donned, swim caps were on, goggles were in place…and the fog never lifted. After a 15 minute delay, the fog actually got thicker. The race director had no choice. The triathletes couldn’t see the course marker buoys, and the lifeguards couldn’t see the triathletes. 

2009_Harryman Tri

That was a bummer because I drove to Harriman State Park in New York to get my first taste of long course triathlon. I still haven’t done an open water swim in nearly 10 years. Regardless, the athletes made do. The 1.2 mile swim was replaced by a 1.5 mile run. After all, you have to spread everyone out before hitting the bike leg.

I had a good race despite the crummy weather. I like rough conditions and the cool rain and slippery roads were part of the challenge. My transitions still need work. I was in good position after the first run leg. I ran like 80%. I had a good 57 mile bike leg. I’ve done this bike course many times, though always in the counter-clockwise direction. The Army Spring Classic Road Race and Bear Mountain Road Race are both run in the traditional direction with the big two mile descent on Lake Welch Parkway and then the gradual and winding climb of Tiorati Brook Road. Yesterday, we descended Tiorati and climbed the Parkway. 

My new bike, a Cannondale Slice, performed well. I just built it last week, so this was my first real test. I’ve got some great parts on it, particularly my Zipp 404 wheelset, my Zipp bars, and SRAM shifting system. Yesterday was a good test of my aero position. I felt on top of my gear most of the race and I kept most of my speed on the descents. I actually thinking I gained time on most riders on Tiorati. 

My second transition wasn’t any better than the first. I was stiff on the first part of the run, but settled in to a good pace. I had a mishap when around 4 miles. I came to an intersection. The only course marker was the arrow pointing right for the bike course. I know, it is the athletes responsibility to know the course, but four hours into a race you aren’t thinking clearly. The only person around was the police officer in his cruiser at the intersection and he was as confused as me. He sent me right. I hesitated, then followed instructions. We were wrong. I was committed. I came across two other runners who were headed back claiming they went the wrong way. I kept going and used my GPS to measure when I got to the 6.6 mile mark. I figured I would turn back then. 

I got back on course and noticed that the arrow had been reversed. Oh well. I had a decent final 3 miles and picked up the pace. I finished strong, and learned that I was 4th overall and 1st in my age group. I gave my honest account of my wrong turn, but showed the officials that I covered the full 70 miles with my GPS. There was no inquest and now DQ. I kept my spot. After a triathlon without a swim, lots of rain and fog, and a wrong turn, not much else could go wrong. I was happy with the workout and  my results. I’m under no illusion that this is anything like a full Ironman. This is just another step in my training program. 

Harryman Half Iron Triathlon Results

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