2012 New England Season Opener Triathlon

One of the funniest moments of the weekend was early this morning at body marking for the New England Season Opener Triathlon in Hopkinton, Massachusetts. The volunteer body marker asked, “How old are you?” I said, “39…but, but, but…racing age is……40.” He said, “Wow, you really hesitated there.”

And so I did. In this health care dominant society, 70 may be the new 40 and 40 isn’t what it used to be, but it still has a reputation for being a milestone age. I got the 4-0 marked on my calf, hence the start of my fourth season of triathlon and first in a new age group.

Today’s NE Season Opener was run in much better conditions than the last time I did this race in 2010. That event was epic, with an unseasonably cold temperature and a fierce wind. The swim was shortened in 2010, but I think we made up for it today. It was a longish 1/4 mile. The bike (10 miles) and run (5 kilometers) courses were the same as last time. Hopkinton State Park is a good venue and the volunteers were excellent.

The water was cold, but tolerable with a good wetsuit. I had an OK swim considering I didn’t warm up at all. It wasn’t a disadvantage because very few people got into the water before they were told that they had to! My bike was also OK. It was good to get in to the aero position for the first time since last August. I was happy to be on my Team Seven Cycles Kameha SLX. My bike really stands out in the transition area. Love it! The roads were very rough. There are a lot of bumps and frost heaves, particularly on the park roads. I picked up many spots on the bike leg.

I saw one bad wreck. I actually just caught the aftermath. I didn’t see the guy go down, but it had just happened. Thankfully, he only suffered road rash (bad on his right side) and was already being tended to when I arrived on the scene. The traffic was a little busy and there were a lot of cars around him, so like I said, he is lucky. I had an OK run. My running has been lagging all year. I haven’t done much training after a four-month complete layoff from running, so I’ll take what I can get from my form. At least today will help for the next time I have to push.

So, back to the 40-44 age group-I was third in my “debut” which is nice, but it was fun to just kick off the season. I was 10th overall out of an amazing 430+ triathletes. That is more than twice as many as two years ago! They got another 124 duathletes, plus teams, which proves that the popularity of multisport is still growing. My bike leg was faster this year, but as mentioned, my run was a bit pokey compared to 2010. You can’t compare the swims because they were different.

The Boston University and Massachusetts Institute of Technology brought huge teams to the race. We didn’t have collegiate triathlon 22 years ago when I was at BU, but it is good to see them fielding such a robust squad. I was on the BU Cycling Team, which was how I was introduced to competitive road cycling, which led me to where I am today. I remember racing collegiates like it was yesterday. That was a lot of fun. Today, I’ll have to celebrate the fact that I got to the finish line before most of those “kids” who are half my age…literally.

Race Results

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