2011 Pat Griskus Sprint Triathlon

Tonight’s 25th edition of the Pat Griskus Sprint Triathlon was a minor epic. It is rare that a short course race like this can have so much drama, but this one was packed with interesting storylines. This was my third Griskus Sprint in a row and I don’t think I’ll stop any time soon. I just love the vibe of the Wednesday evening format. We had a spectacular July day in Connecticut until 5:45 P.M. That was 15 minutes before the official race start. That is when the skies opened up. Until that point, we had deep blue sky and a temperature of 91 degrees Fahrenheit. It was hot, until it rained. By the end of the race, the temperature had come down nearly 20 degrees, though it was still steamy from all of the moisture.

The race was delayed 30 minutes while we waited out the thunderstorms that came roaring through. There was only a little lightning and thunder, but it was enough to force the delay. The sky was an angry grey and black mess and the downpour was constant for nearly 45 minutes before slowing to a steady rain. With the lightning off the radar, they started us on the 1/4 mile swim. I was in the first wave, and there were no warm ups. They lined us up and then the horn blew. The start was insane as the competitive guys violently thrashed for advantage. The out and back swim course is always a bit sketchy.

I had a nasty head on collision on my return leg. It could have been a whole lot worse. I was hugging the buoys, but I know I was in my lane. Someone from a later wave drifted across and we smashed into each other at full tilt. I stopped dead in the water and was fortunate to take the brunt of the impact with my right arm and shoulder. If we knocked heads, it would have been a lot worse. Fortunately, my goggles stayed on and I got going again. I think I had a horrible swim. Results will be posted tomorrow, so I don’t know my split, but I had ground to make up.

It continued to rain as we went out on the 10.5 mile bike leg. I love this loop. It has a mix of rough and smooth pavement with a lot of turns and several steep ups and downs. I felt pretty strong the whole way. Don Gustavson, a good rider, traded blows with me the entire way. We avoided the draft, but still were able to pace off of each other. I pulled away on the final climb and didn’t see him again, until after the race. He didn’t finish because he had a nasty crash in the final fast corner where you merge on to Route 64. His elbow was heavily bandaged, he had a deep wound to his hip, and he was complaining about his collarbone. It must have been ugly. The roads were really slick from all of the rain, and he just took it too fast and his front wheel washed out. There were several other crashes on the dicey course. Let’s hope everyone heals up.

I continued to make up ground on the 5K run. I caught several more people on the undulating out and back course that has several sharp bends. I was able to surge on the final hill and pick up three more spots. I had James Kelly in my sights, closed in, and then my legs gave out. I couldn’t hold on and he sprinted away in the final 50 meters. I think I finished 8th overall and 2nd in my age group (third if you count the winner). It was a good result given the fact that I only had three days rest since Ironman 70.3 Rhode Island. I was really looking forward to this race, but I’m happy to have 10 days off before my next one. My time was 1:01:05. Eventually, I want to break an hour here, but I have to swim faster first.

Cassie Maximenko (1:03:04) was the women’s winner and Christopher Thomas (57:19) was the men’s winner.

The weather cleared during the run and the sun was peeking out by the finish. A beautiful rainbow presented itself, which made for the perfect ending. The sunset was spectacular and the nearly-full moon rose high in the sky. This is why I love this race. The post race bash was lots of fun as we cheered on all of the first time finishers and all of the final finishers. The last athlete to cross the line was Tanya Sage, who lives in Debbie’s hometown of Prospect. There was a story about her in today’s Republican-American.

The volunteers were incredible today. They had to stand in the pouring rain and keep the athletes safe from traffic. The lifeguards had to deal with the rain, wind, and a choppy Lake Quassapaug. Kudos to the race organizers for staying composed, delaying the race, and ultimately pulling it off. I would have been really disappointed if it was cancelled or shortened. During the heavy rain, I hung out in the Giant Slide tower, which wasn’t totally dry, but it kept me out of the wind and was a bit warmer. I had some company in there. The transition area was a mess, with waterlogged gear strewn everywhere. I was happy to have my Seven Kameha SLX for the bike leg. It handled the challenging conditions the way it should. That bike is stable under all circumstances. Now I have to clean it up and my rear tire was flat when I got home. I’m lucky that it happened after the race.

Pat Griskus, who the race is named for, was a legendary athlete who succeeded at the highest level, despite being an amputee. He broke new ground for disabled athletes and set the stage for so many others to follow the path that he blazed. It was fitting that the 25th edition of the race in his honor was completed despite some interesting challenges.

Race Results

Republican-American Recap




2 Responses to “2011 Pat Griskus Sprint Triathlon”

  1. 1 dongustavson 18 July 2011 at 9:43 am

    Good racing Scott, I’ll see you out there again soon! -Don

  1. 1 2011 Amica 19.7 Triathlon Ocean Beach « Life Adventures Trackback on 24 July 2011 at 8:46 pm

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@thecubscouts #pinewoodderby never gets old. Pack 157 Bolton, Connecticut #cubscouts So that little injury caused by my @renocxnats crash on Saturday afternoon wasn’t so little after all. It’s a broken leg (fibula). Prognosis is good, but it hurts like heck. My blog post report with blow by blow details is linked in my profile. #cxnats #teamhorstsports @horsteng #crossspikes #crossisboss - - -

This #lifedeathcyclocross stuff is true!!!! 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 🌏

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