2011 Niantic Bay Triathlon

I don’t know if I was delirious from physical effort, but I swear that I saw an ark at today’s Niantic Bay Triathlon. We had so much water from the torrential downpours that we could have swum all three legs of the race. I woke up at 5:15 A.M. after listening to the heavy rain beat on the roof all night. I checked the weather radar and knew that it was going to be a wet one. When the sun rose at 5:49 A.M., you couldn’t tell the difference because the clouds were so dark. It was ugly.

Nevertheless, I made the short trip from Old Lyme, Connecticut to Niantic for the short race. I wasn’t upset about racing in the rain (again), but I was disappointed for the spectators.  I’m also tired of cleaning my bike and gear. It seems like it has been crummy all summer. I keep fretting about the solar PV electric power system at Horst Engineering. We aren’t generating much power. Sunday mornings at the beach in August aren’t supposed to be like this. I didn’t have any fans today. Who can blame them for staying back at the house? The Hartford Marathon Foundation volunteers who helped with this race deserve extra credit for their efforts. The lifeguards, aid station helpers, course marshals, and others all did a fantastic job at keeping the athletes safe. Every one of them was drenched.

I’ve been pouring on the short course races lately. The events are my only real training right now and I’m enjoying them. I didn’t have a great race today, but I had a lot of fun. I haven’t seen the final results, but I was 6th overall and 2nd in my age group, but way behind winner, John Babcock. The usual 1/2 mile swim was shortened to 1/4+ because of a very strong onshore wind-driven chop. HMF was concerned about our safety, as they should be. Who knows if the shorter course made any difference? In my opinion, the rough water wasn’t bad, but all of the seaweed was a bit annoying. You can’t control that. Everyone worries about the jelly fish at this race, but I didn’t have any issues. I love this kind of swim where you are getting battered by the waves and the siting is difficult. I feel that it neutralizes the fast swimmers and gives me a chance to not lose as much time. This was the second roughest open water that I’ve raced in. The 2009 Ironman 70.3 Rhode Island tops the list. Ironman Brazil had big waves, but it wasn’t choppy. They were more like swells.

My bike leg was pretty slow as I toured the 11 mile course with less intensity than usual. I felt slow. I pre-road the course yesterday afternoon, which was a good thing. I know those roads well and ride them often, but they seem to always be under construction. Several of the East Lyme roads had the first of two new layers of asphalt added, so they were slick. Others still had potholes from the awful New England winter. There was sand in the usual spots. The painted lines were slippery like normal. I was in no man’s land on the ride and that hurt me. I had no one to chase.

I rallied with a decent run, but I felt like I never got going and needed it to be longer if I was going to gain ground on anyone. I picked off a few guys, but it was over before I knew it. The whole race took less than an hour. The standing water on the bike and run courses was deep. Despite the rain, the temperature was warm enough so that no one should have been cold, if they remained in motion. Spirits may have been dampened, but everyone was smiling at the finish. I still think that more than 500 people showed up, which is testament to the popularity of this sprint course. I saw several friends from my club, the Hartford Extended Area Triathletes. We had a nice turnout and some good results.

Unfortunately, no photos today! The camera never left my bag.

Race Results

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