2010 Brian’s Beachside Boogie

I finally made it to Brian’s Beachside Boogie. After years of thinking about doing this quirky little race at Hammonasset Beach State Park in Madison, Connecticut; I did it. The Boogie is a duathlon with a 2 mile run/10 mile bike/2 mile run. The uniqueness is that it is off-road (slightly) and mountain bikes are mandatory. No cross bikes, hybrids, or road bikes allowed. The entire course is within the state park, which is one of Connecticut’s finest. The gorgeous setting on the water gives the course a scenic presence. The run loop is cross-country style with a mix of grass, gravel, dirt roads, and pavement. The two loop bike course is grass, gravel, pavement, and a little bit of mild singletrack.

The race attracts a motley crew of participants, which makes it a ton of fun. All ages and all skill levels lined up for the start at the pavilion. It was my first multisport race of the year, so I was a bit rusty with the logistics and transitions. Debbie and the kids joined me for the trek to the shoreline. The weather conditions were nasty. It was raw. The temperature was only 35 degrees, it was damp, and the wind was blowing hard off of Long Island Sound. You couldn’t hide from the wind and you could feel the cold in your bones. It was almost unbearable. Cold is fine. Wet is fine. Windy is fine. But, when you have all three together, it can be miserable. Debbie ran with the Chariot while I was racing and when I finished, she was almost frozen solid. We ran another four miles together and she still didn’t warm up. My pinkies were cold for two hours after the race. What happened to last weekend’s warmth?

This was just a training race for me, but I still wanted to be competitive. I thought that I might have a shot at first (or at least top three) when I reviewed the previous year’s times. It turned out that I was mistaken. My legs were fine on the first run, but after a very slow transition, they betrayed me on the bike. The first loop was bad. I had no rhythm and I couldn’t build any speed. The second loop was better. On the final run leg, I held my own. Karl Schilling of Canton, blazed the course in 55:52. Timothy Cote of New Haven was second in 57:16. Don Gustavson of Fairfield was third in 57:31. I was sixth in 59:05. Apparently, “mountain bikes only” is subject to interpretation. No griping here, but it was amusing to see several of the guys in front of me with mountain bike frames, but skinny smooth tires and aero bars. The rigs looked funny, but clearly they were an advantage on this flat and fast course, over my traditional mountain bike with suspension fork and 2.25 inch knobby tires. I had a to work a little harder, but that is what I need right now, harder efforts. Overall, I was pleased with the result.

I have to start training harder. The next four weeks are make or break. I have to increase the hours substantially. I’ve been squeezing exercise in wherever I can. I rode to and from work yesterday, with a little extra. I also went for a short trail run last night. After the race today, we ran for a while. Then, after brunch at one of our favorite restaurants (It’s Only Natural in Middletown), and a trip to the grocery store; I got suited up again and rode the rest of the way home. With work and family responsibilities, you have to get it done in short stints. Of course, it is the long endurance training that I’m lacking.

Back to the Boogie. The top three women were Jimena Dolzadelli of Burlington, Jill Herrick of Belchertown, Masschusetts, and Michelle Desmarais of Bristol. It was a good day for the Silk City Striders, with lots of participation and top age group results from Janit Romayko and Ned Kennedy.  Full results are posted here.

Hammonasset was a fun place to have an event. Anytime you race near the ocean, it is enjoyable, regardless of the weather conditions. I like venues with character. I’m sure that there was more than one industrial park criterium  in New England today. That is no fun and it is one reason why I don’t do those races anymore. The Boogie was low-key and interesting. I’m glad I finally did it in its 11th year. Proceeds from the race benefit the Myelin Project.

Race Results

Coda: two things I didn’t remember to write about. 1) the handmade awards (I think done by Brian) are wonderful. A very nice touch for this race. They are paintings on ceramic of the seaside. Very nice. 2) I thought I had seen it all until I saw a race marshal/volunteer manning a corner on the course wearing a full length fur coat. Man, I know it was cold, but the coat was a clash with the running sneakers and the ball cap! PETA would have been all over him. Maybe it was fake…but I don’t think so. I so badly wanted a photograph, but I was in the middle of a race.

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