2010 End of Year Recap

2010 was an interesting season.  The main challenge for me this year wasn't any particular race or event, but rather it was staying healthy.

I had a summer full of medical adversity (you can read all about it here and here) that effectively ended my triathlon season in early July.  That's not to say that my early season racing was poor.  Quite the contrary, I was racing well and was feeling that I was going to have some good results later in the season.  I had a great pre-season and my running was vastly improved thanks to running with the maniacs.  My cycling and swim training was more quality and intensity focused - as opposed to quantity - and I was feeling strong.

But alas, it wasn't meant to be this year.  I never really got around to doing race reports for any of my early season races, so as I look back at the 'season that wasn't' I thought I'd do a quick recap of the events I was able to participate in:

The North Face Endurance Challenge 1/2 Marathon

This race was great. A half marathon up and down Bear Mountain, in Harriman State Park.  Lot's of elevation - both climbing and descending.  Weather that day was clear, but very cold and windy for the month of May.  My friend Tom had run it the year previous and I remember him detailing how crushing the course was.  The race organizers made it clear that they had made some changes to the 1/2 Marathon course this year, but I still went out cautiously at the beginning. 

Some great single track, some nice fire-roads, and some brutal climbs up rocks and boulders to a flat-top peak, and then down the other side.  Really great stuff.  I had one incident where my timing chip got ripped off of my shoe going through some scrub.  I wasted a couple minutes getting it knotted back into my laces, and watched 3 or 4 guys that I worked hard to pass earlier retake their positions.  In hindsight I should have just stuffed it in my glove.

Tragically, I left a lot in the tank at the end of the day.  Most everyone I knew there went out too easy.  Not a stellar performance.

Sleepy Hollow Sprint Triathlon

My wife was originally signed up for this tri, but her knee was giving her some trouble and she had to back out.  Thankfully, the race organizers allowed us to swap the entry and I thought that this would be a great early season test.  It was early June, and I had an Olympic distance triathlon just a couple of weeks later.  I figured this would be a good fitness test.

This was my first sprint distance triathlon I'd done in years.  I've been focused on Olympic and 1/2 Iron distances for the past 2 years or so, so this was going to be a nice change - just red-lining the heart rate for an hour or so without worrying about pacing.

The swim was great.  I came out of the water 1st in my AG (all the M40-44's were in one wave) and as I came up the wood and dirt "staircase" from the river to T-1, my wife yelled out that I was the first out of the water from my wave.  That gave me a good boost and I figured I'd really try to keep the hammer down on the bike.

The bike course was actually quite a bit of fun.  Hilly (up-hill) for the 1st half of the loop and hilly (downhill) for the 2nd half.  I passed a handful of people heading out, and was passed by one person, the overall winner, just before the turnaround.  I heard him coming, took a look to my left, and saw a guy wearing a Speedo go cruising by.  Really?  A Speedo and no top?  Was this his way to give a shout-out to the guys racing at Kona in the 80's?

Yes, the photo is a proof

Anyway, I hit T-2 and was realizing that it was a perfect day for racing. Overcast, not too warm.  Quite ideal.  I headed out for a somewhat hilly 5K and finished feeling excellent.  I passed a few folks, but was just not 100% sure about my position.  I didn't think anyone passed me on the bike from my AG but I couldn't be sure.  Had a nice 5K split - 19:06, and when results were posted found that I did indeed hold 1st in my AG and had a 6th overall placing.

6  Dave Burgess  17:23    1:30    29:59    0:57    19:06     1:08:54

Stamford KIC IT Olympic Triathlon

This race had all the earmarks of being another great race for me.  And in reality it was.  However, as I posted previously, this was the race where I received my first time penalty. I'm still upset about it to some extent, but only because that 2:00 minute penalty kicked me off the AG podium!

I'll keep this report brief - The swim was more of a run / swim.  The tide was out at the start and there was about a 1/4 mile slog through the water, both at the beginning and end of the swim.  There were a lot of folks with cut feet from shells and rocks as I came into T-1..... It was a long run from the beach to the transition area, and there were lots of bloody footprints to follow on the way in.

I hit the bike and had a nice effort.  Not my best, but overall I was happy with it.  I had seen my friend Rodney before the start, and was wondering when he was going to catch up with me.  He's a stronger cyclist than I, and I figured it was only a matter of time.  Sure enough, with about 4 miles to go, someone smacks me on the left thigh (yes, while we're racing) and yells "OY".  There he was, the crazy Aussie friend of mine.  We were side by side for the remaining few miles and went into, and out of, T-2 together.

I hung with Rodney for the first 4 miles of the 10K.  We were running about a 6:40 pace and I was pretty happy with that.  He started to pull ahead and I had to let him go with one mile left.

5/56 M4044  D Burgess  2:17:33   21:36   2:04   1:09:40   0:59   41:15   6:40   2:00

Considering the penalty (that dreaded "2:00" at the end of the results line) it wasn't a bad day.

Gail's Trail Race

I wrote up a race report for GTR not long ago.  Great racing - always on my race calendar for a end of year romp through the woods.

I hope everyone had a great year of racing.  I'm now enjoying the holidays, as I hope you are as well, and getting my 2011 calendar in order.