Niantic Bay Triathlon

I had a morale boosting result at today’s Niantic Bay Triathlon. This is a fabulous race. I did it once before, but that was before I became a real triathlete. It was years ago and it was an experiment that I didn’t pursue at the time. Now that I am taking the sport seriously, I returned to take a crack at this neat course on the Connecticut shoreline. Much like the Ocean Beach Triathlon two weeks ago, this course has a lot of character. The unique features include the bay swim, the twisty undulating bike course on rough but pretty roads, and the zig-zag run with the finish across a bluff onto the beach.

More than 600 triathletes filled out the six waves for the 7:30 A.M. start at McCook Point Park. The weather was spectacular with sunshine and a pleasant temperature. Prior to the start, the view from the beach looking up at the hundreds of spectators on the bluff was impressive, and I imagine that the view of the six hundred racers below was just as good. The race attracted more than 30 relay teams and a lot of first time racers. I continue to be amazed by the popularity of sprint distance triathlons. It is a juggernaut.

I have been focusing on my swim technique. It is my weakest discipline and is a huge liability. If I could only improve by 10%-20%, I would get much better overall results. I would benefit both from the faster swim leg time and from the fact that I would be less fatigued for the bike and run. I felt like I was doing better, but the results don’t show a huge difference. My swim time was 2:08 behind John Babcock at Ocean Beach. Today, I was 1:30 behind Babcock,which does show some improvement in the less than two weeks since I received some better swim coaching. Obviously, the courses were different, but they were both supposed to be 1/2 mile, so I’ll take this as progress. It was suggested that I shave my mid-summer “race beard” in an effort to be more streamlined. My reply was that my boycott of the razor companies is soon to be over. Then I’ll start another one.

The other area where I am deficient is my transitions. This is almost a joke now. I’ve always been slow and I need some NASCAR pit crew advice on how to avoid wasted motion.  I could have moved up at least one spot in the overall results if my transition times matched some of the other guys. I rode the 12 mile bike course yesterday afternoon to scout the roads. They are known for being bumpy and the winter made them worse. I don’t really mind that because it puts a premium on bike handling skills. I also enjoy the turns and the hills. I used the little ring twice. Last week, I switched to a shorter stem and shortened my aero bars by an inch, so I’m getting much more comfortable on my new Seven Kameha SLX. I can’t wait to try it at some of the longer distance races, including Timberman 70.3 in two weeks.

I made up some ground on the bike, and was chasing one more guy before I ran out of road. My run was also pretty good. The 3.5 mile course winds its way through the beach community to the south of McCook Point Park. There were a lot of folks cheering for us and that was helpful. The more than 150 volunteers from the Hartford Marathon Foundation did a great job with all aspects of the race. The bike course was safe and the run course aid stations were nice to have. I picked up a few more spots on the run, but again ran out of road. The run finish is pretty cool. You leave the road, cut across a dirt parking lot and take a singletrack sand trail over a wonderful bluff. You pop out on the road for a final brief stretch of asphalt before hooking a hard right, running across the sand, and then taking a 90 degree left turn for the final 200 meter beach finish along the water’s edge.

John Babcock broke his course record with a super 57:06 time. I would like to know how he goes so fast. The gap between John and the rest of us is huge. He was followed by Staz Dawson in 1:01:11 and John Peters in 1:01:45. I was 6th overall in 1:02:56 and first in my age group. Between the swim and transitions, I know that I can pick up 90 seconds on this course. I think I can ride faster too. I’ll try again in the future. The first woman was Elise Vonhousen in 1:06:20. She was followed by Jen Lemieux in 1:08:13 and Christine Louden in 1:10:04.

Now I have to shift my focus from these short bursts to the longer distances. Building up my endurance is now my primary focus, but racing these sprints has been fun.

Race Results

0 Responses to “Niantic Bay Triathlon”

  1. Leave a Comment

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

Horst Engineering Family of Companies

Cross Spikes™


Not a bad #sunset in #vermont ### #nembafest #kingdomtrails
Good first afternoon at #nembafest at @kingdomtrails in #vermont ### #mountainbiking @the_ccap #teamhorstsports @horsteng #teamhorstjuniorsquad #kingdomtrails #vanlife
The first #Bolton Summer XC Series Race of the season. Plus, a vintage @mootscycles mountain bike with some trick parts! @shenipsitstriders #shenipsitstriders #trailrunning #crosscountry #boltonheritagefarm
Good day at #mountgreylock @trailrunningmom ran her 20th consecutive Mt. Greylock Trail Race. I did the 5K with the kids and then rode to the top. Trophies went to Deb and Shep. #trailrunning #cycling #shenipsitstriders #teamhorstsports 🏃‍♀️🚴🏽⛰ 🏆
Good to be back at #windingtrails for the Summer #Triathlon Series. #mountainbike #trailrunning #sunset
Livingston Family firefighters. 🔥 👩‍🚒 🚒 When @trailrunningmom “smoked” the obstacle course AND added some push-ups for good measure, the Chief pulled out his business card and made a pitch for her to join the squad. I thought I was the competitive one, but she can turn anything into a competition! The kids had a blast too at family day.
From race directing to @thecubscouts directing. Proud day for our son, @trailrunningmom and the rest of #cubscouts Pack 157 Den 5 as they earned their Arrow of Light. Four of her boys are moving to @boyscoutsofamerica #scoutsbsa after five years of fun and learning.
Little D and I ran the @shenipsitstriders #soapstonemountaintrailrace Jerry Stage Sampler 6K with a bunch of other crazies! Tackling the infamous Sandpit with its 40% gradient and slick conditions was great fun. #trailrunning #shenipsitstriders #teamhorstsports 🏃‍♀️⛰
Start of the @shenipsitstriders 34th annual #soapstonemountaintrailrace This is the 15th year as Race Director for @trailrunningmom #trailrunning #shenipsitstriders #teamhorstsports ⛰🏃‍♀️

Follow me on Twitter



Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 308 other followers

%d bloggers like this: