2009 Pat Griskus Triathlon (Sprint Race)

The Pat Griskus Triathlon is the real deal. I first heard about this race years ago, but had never done it or even seen it. I only heard about it. I never gave triathlon a serious go until this year, so when I laid out my 2009 plan, I knew that Griskus was going to be on it, even if it wasn’t going to be one of my “A races.” I did the younger Griskus Olympic distance race last month, but the classic is the Wednesday night sprint race that has been held in early July for the past 23 years.

The race is wildly popular with Connecticut triathletes and is known for the huge number of first timers that compete every year. Griskus is often a triathlete’s entry into the sport and the race has to be one of the largest of its kind in New England. There were 501 finishers last night. More than 100 of them were first timers. That is remarkable considering that most people worked yesterday too! The other interesting thing is that 400 people came back and did it again. For many, it is probably their only triathlon of the year.

Quassy

Held in Middlebury, Connecticut at Quassy Amusement Park, the race includes a 1/2 mile swim, a 10.5 mile bike, and a 3.1 mile run. The park was jammed with its regular customers and there were many spectators too; so it was a crowded venue. The swim course in Lake Quassapaug was just fine. I gave up nearly four minutes to the fast guys, which is something I’ll need to work on. It put me at a big disadvantage heading into the bike leg. I was also seeded in the second wave, so I was already three minutes behind the top triathletes. That is no big deal, but it would have been fun to compete side by side with those guys. The race was scored on net time anyway. The bike course was on the undulating and beautiful roads around Middlebury ,and I had a lot of fun with the downhills. The run course was an out and back leg from the park with some significant elevation change for a short course. 

I made up good time on the bike and run, finishing in 1:03:17. I was secretly hoping to break 60 minutes, but I didn’t really come close. I was training through this race, so maybe in another year, it will get more focus. Regardless, times are meaningless when you have so much fun. The race had great sponsors, wonderful volunteers, and a cool vibe. I saw a number of athletes with disabilities, including a guy on a hand cycle. That was inspirational.

It was great to see this guy finish!

The top three men were Domenic Gillen, Christopher Thomas, and Ian Ray. Gillen put up a 55:52, which is really fast and faster than his 2008 winning time. He had the fastest splits on two of the three legs. The top three women were Cassandra Maximenko, Michelle Wolfson, and Robin Passander. Maximenko’s time was 1:05:38. You can view the full results here. The competition was great, but it was even more interesting and fun to see all of the finishers telling their stories after crossing the line. The post race party was lively and I heard it lasted long after the sun set. We wish we could have stayed longer, but Thursday was another work day, we had a long drive home, and my three year old was running on fumes.

Race Results

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I crashed out of the Singlespeed Championship @renocxnats (on the dreaded off-camber) but not before having more fun. @artroti43 raced on the frosty course ❄️ at day break. 🚴🏽 We met a lot more @horsteng #crossspikes customers. I hung with little bunny hopper 🐰 Miles, the Junior 11-12 year old Silver Medalist.🥈I cheered for Nic, who represented @the_ccap in the Junior 15-16 age group. @sportstert and Iva came down from Tahoe to cheer LOUDLY for me. 🎺 I got my badly sprained ankle taped and iced. I had a beer. 🍺 I’m even looking forward to my red eye flight home ✈️ . Best of all, I’ll see @trailrunningmom and the kids on Sunday. I can’t explain the sensation, but despite the pain, I’m ready for next #Cyclocross season to begin... after some rest. #teamhorstsports #cxnats #horstengineering @parkavebikeshop #crossisboss #lifedeathcyclocross #crossiscoming You could say that at least for this week, I’m married to my #bicycle - - -

@renocxnats #cxnats @seven_cycles #sevencycles #teamhorstsports #horstengineering #crossspikes @horsteng #chapelofthebells #Cyclocross #lifedeathcyclocross Good day representing @horsteng at @renocxnats in the 45-49 age group. It’s a great course. The wind was blowing hard, but the sun finally came out. I’m happy with 37th place but should have made a move to get to 29th, which was 30 seconds ahead. That’s a long way when you are going flat out and cramping. 4,500 foot elevation was a factor. I’m disappointed that they cut one lap of my race when I wasn’t close to getting lapped by the leaders. You train this hard and come all this way; and you want to get the most racing for the $ and time invested. They only let 25 riders do the full six laps. The only positive to come out of that was that I watched fellow New Englander @adammyerson execute a perfect final sprint to win the Stars and Stripes again. Teammate @artroti43 had a good ride too. 
@seven_cycles #sevencycles #horstengineering #teamhorstsports @bicycleseastct #crossspikes #cxnats #renocxnats #Cyclocross #crossisboss @therichardsachs didn’t have the race he hoped for but it was still great to see him @renocxnats and “pit” for him. He said he officially started his second off season, but first of 2018. @artroti43 and I played soigneur/mechanic for 90 minutes, but minus the massage! atmo #renocxnats #richardsachs #teamhorstsports @horsteng #crossspikes #hauteframebuilding #Cyclocross #crossisboss #lifedeathcyclocross I previously hadn’t published this image, but it recently received an Honorable Mention in the 2017 @appalachianmountainclub Photo Contest for the People Outdoors category. Check out my blog (link in profile) for the interesting story of his photo (shot with this iPhone 6s), a trip report from this amazing Maine adventure, and past contest history. I love this image of two of my favorite women. I’m barred from submitting images to the 2018 contest, but I’ll be back in 2019. #appalachianmountainclub #baxterstatepark #katahdin Congratulations to Master Park, the Park Family, and the entire team at Park’s U.S. #Taekwondo at the Grand Opening of the new facility in the former VFW building. Our kids love it! So much better than being next door to the pawn shop and liquor store.😊#tkd 🇺🇸🇰🇷 This morning, the @trinitycollege Main Quad was bathed in beautiful sunshine ☀️but it was frigid and the wind was blowing! ❄️ The chapel was packed with an overflow crowd to celebrate the (shortened) life of a lovely friend. She will be missed. #circleoflife 🌏 #Repost @horsteng
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