July racing was one hit and one miss.
I was hoping to race well at Lifetime Minneapolis. It was my very first race back in 2006, I won the elite amateur race in 2009, and it was my first pro race in 2010. The swim was fine, there was a large group that I drafted comfortably. As it turns out we didn’t really go that fast and several amateurs swam quicker. We lost a few minutes to some stud swimmers who all rode together (they cruised about 56:30 on the bike). I rode around most of the guys from my group in the first couple miles of the bike. Just before we got to River Road Jordan Rapp went by. Onto River Road I was just behind Jordan and David Thompson.
Turning onto the Franklin Bridge I almost rode straight into a curb. Not paying enough attention. This gaff caused some separation from Jordan and David and I probably should have tried to bridge back up right away. Instead I lost focus through the ride and drifted a little further back. The ride was the most disappointing since this mistake got me off track mentally and I rode at least a minute slower than I should have. The run was a wreck. Both slow and very unpleasant. I know what went wrong with the bike but am less sure with the run. It is great to have a hometown pro race and someday I want to actually race well here! Next year.
On a side note, Lifetime really takes good care of the pros for this event with shuttles and hotels and course previews, the star treatment. They do a stellar job. However, the prize money is terrible. Top 3 get paid well but 4th is already down to just over a grand and 5th through 10th make less than 1,000. So for his hard 9th place effort David made a couple hundred dollars. I don’t understand why so many quality pros show up when the money falls off so quickly after 3rd place. Then again no sane person would become a pro triathlete for the money.
Late the following week one of my athletes requested to race a double, doing a local sprint both Saturday and Sunday. I have learned my athletes are usually more tenacious than me so I gave her the green light without argument. Sunday was the Chisago Sprint. Chisago has a little cash for the sprint and the race director is very supportive of local pros. I, in turn, got permission to race and was excited about a sprint of 1/4 mile swim, 22 mile bike, 5k. A 22 mile bike! Those proportions could only be better if it was a 3/4 mile swim and 1 mile run but I wasn’t going to complain.
Naturally race day I show up and find another Midwestern pro in the men’s race. Thankfully he is a Wisconsinite. I have a solid winning record against Wisconsin pros so I knew in my heart I could destroy him. I led the swim and after losing the lead through T1 I reclaimed it a couple miles into the bike. This is an amazing bike course. By far the best I’ve ridden in the state. Really smooth, open roads the entire way. You could spend almost the entire ride in the biggest 3 gears. I really enjoyed the bike and got a decent lead. I ran hard the first 2 miles or so but with a good lead wasn’t willing to incur any extra discomfort so I eased off a bit the final mile. It was good to feel strong again after such a lousy race at Lifetime. My athlete easily won her Saturday race and had a killer race Sunday to come in second behind the female pro who showed up.
The day was not over yet. There was a competitive half going on and I was eager to see if my boy Dan Hedgecock could run down some other midwestern pros to get second behind David. While we were waiting Jerry, our resident race announcer, sweet talked me into a Polka Contest. My partner was the race director. I have German heritage. I thought because of my genetics I should be a natural. Not so. Gloria was quite patient and I did my best to mimic the actually dancing she was doing. I thank her for a great race but apologize for my Polka performance. No one got hurt, that’s the important thing. Sometime after the Polkaing David finished and then Dan clinched 2nd. We are lucky here in Minnesota to have so many fun and competitive events.
The last few weeks I’ve gotten some good training done and I am eager to race my first half of the season at the Rev3 Wisconsin Dells.
I still do not have a mustache wax sponsor. If you know someone, tell them to contact me quickly. I do not know how much longer I can keep this thing before my landlord evicts me.
If you do not have a twitter account, start one solely to follow me @dpalmertri. Thanks.