2012 Brian’s Beachside Boogie

For me, the highlight of today’s Brian’s Beachside Boogie in Madison, Connecticut, was the national anthem. A local girl, 12-year old Samantha, sang the Star Spangled Banner before the start; and it was pitch perfect. She absolutely nailed it. I was already pumped up for my first race of the year, and my first in a new age group (yikes), but after she belted out the lyrics I was even more ready to go. Year’s from now, her performance is what I’m going to remember.

My own performance was pretty weak, but it was fun race, which is the most important thing. I was able to gauge where I’m at with my fitness, which was the main objective. I needed some intensity, and the 2 mile run/10 mile mountain bike/2 mile run format is perfect for the early season. The Boogie is a low-key race (though there were athletes with tricked out bikes featuring 29er wheels, narrowish slick tires, and aero bars) and attracts a wide range of abilities. It is a great entry-level duathlon and I met a few folks who were doing their first ever multisport race.

The runs were my fourth and fifth of the year, which is kind of sad. The other three were on the treadmill earlier this week, and only totaled 61 minutes. I took three whole months off from running because I needed the break after a long season that culminated with the Lookout Mountain 50 Miler last December. My legs are still sore from that thrashing! I’m in no rush to build distance, but it did feel good to pick up the pace a bit today. I’ve been doing a lot of strengthening and stretching, but my biomechanics still need work. I didn’t modify my bike for the flat and fast bike course.

I’ve done the Boogie once before, back in 2010. The Hammonasset Beach State Park venue is normally windy and cold. Rain was forecast today, but it held off and we actually had nice weather. It was chilly and overcast, but not too cold. There was only a little wind; it was nothing like two years ago. I could have actually used a tailwind on the bike because I was pedaling pretty slowly.

There were a lot of great volunteers on the course and the proceeds benefit some good causes. The race has been going for 15 years and continues to honor Brian Kelley, a young man with ALD. His inspiration led to the founding of the race, he had his hand in making the artistic age group awards, and his presence at the race today continued a long tradition.

Debbie and I were sad to skip the Bimbler’s Bash trail race in neighboring Guilford, but we ran the Bash last year, and the dates conflicted this year. Plus, I’m in no condition to run a technical trail race. Debbie is running Northern Nipmuck next week, so we opted for the Boogie and a fun day on the shoreline. We packed our kids’ bikes and they enjoyed the playground. Lunch was at the Shoreline Diner & Vegetarian Enclave in Guilford. They offer some great vegan and gluten-free meals. We also visited Zane’s Cycles in Branford. They were having a huge sale. I had a gift certificate, so we put it towards a nice used (don’t tell him) bike for our five-year old son. He was thrilled.

It really was a good day. We even found a gas station that was selling regular unleaded for $3.93. I never thought that nearly-$4.00 gas would excite me, but most of the other gas stations were selling it between $4.15 and $4.18. We got lucky! I think the attendant messed up.

We spent the afternoon with my parents in Old Lyme. Debbie did a 90 minute run and I joined her for my sixth run of the year in the last 30 minutes, for a loop of the Mile Creek Preserve, which has a nice and rugged singletrack trail. So, the day started with “Rabbit, Rabbit,” continued with a bike theme (many of our days do), and was no joke.

Race Results

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