stephen | July 10, 2006 (11:31 PM)

Grand Haven Triathlon

Sprinting past a 14-year-old at the finish.

This was my first tri that was partially cancelled due to weather. Lake Michigan had to have at least 5 foot waves rolling in when I got down to the beach at 7am. The race director decided to "get us wet" rather than completely cancel the swim portion of the event. Rather than swimming the 1500 meters along the coastline, we ended up "swimming" (running) to a buoy, then swimming parallel to the shore for about 150 meters while trying not to drown, and finally riding the surf in. There were lifeguards and support vessels everywhere. I heard afterwards from one of the lifeguards that they had to help about 6 people.

I was disappointed that my swimming advantage was cut short, and would have been a distinct advantage with most of my competition drowning, but after trying to fight through the waves I'm glad the race director called it the way he did.

The swim was followed by a 800 meter run along the pier to the transition area. This was a difficult transition to plan for. I opted to run with flip-flops and found that those running in shoes or bare foot seemed to have a slight advantage. Something to remember for next year.

The bike segment took me down Lake Shore Drive 20 kilometers towards Holland and back. The wind again was a factor. Going out I probably averaged 18mph and coming back it was more like 22mph. The bike proved to be my weak point again, finishing 101 out of 186. Most, if not all, of the people passing me were on tri-bikes. I need to find out how much of a disadvantage I have using my road bike.

I was still fresh for my run, which I think was partly due to the shortened swim. My pace felt even throughout and I ended up with my fastest 10k time ever. Almost 40 seconds faster than my 10k run at the Kalamazoo Klassic a few weeks ago. I came in 23rd for the run with a time of 44:22.

Overall, I finished 55th, though some of the times in the results look a little sketchy. In fact, just before the finish line, I passed the guy that they recorded as beating me by 3 seconds. I'm wondering if the race directors were having issues with the timing chips and the mats.

Besides the disappointing weather, I had a great race and I'm glad that Amy's parents came to cheer me on and keep Amy and Sophia company.

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Stephen's 2008 Race Schedule

Date Events Location
2/10 swim meet Brighton
2/17 swim meet Grand Haven
3/2 swim meet West Bloomfield
3/16 swim meet Milford
3/30 YMCA Indoor Tri Ann Arbor
4/5 10k Martian Meteor
4/18 - 4/20 1650 free,
1000 free,
500 free,
200 free,
100 free,
200 IM,
100 IM
State meet @ EMU
5/4 10k Burns Park Run
6/1 Half Mary Dexter/A2
6/8 Sprint A2 Tri
7/13 Sprint Waterloo
8/2 Half IM Steelhead