I recently did the Appleman Sprint Triathlon in Littleton, MA. This was the first time I had ever done this event and it is in it’s ninth year. The race is very popular and sells out usually before I think about signing up. This year though, one of the residents is a friend of mine and asked me to come out and do it with him. Ted is a selectman in the town, so it was good for him to get out and support the local race. There was another politician in the race as well, some guy named Scott Brown. This is the second weekend in a row that I have been racing with the US Senator for Massachussetts. I think he is stalking me!!
The swim was a half mile clock-wise swim. I thought the water temp was well over 78 degrees, but with F.I.R.M. racing I guess wetsuits are always legal. I made the decision that I wasn’t going to wear my wetsuit, the water was just way too warm. Doing that I was giving up some time to everyone wearing it, but it just seemed like I would over heat in it. My stratgey for the swim was to start out in front and race hard for the first buoy and then relax the rest of the way in. It really wasn’t that great of a strategy, the water was too warm to push hard in the swim. Also by starting in the front I had idiots that thought they were just going to jump on me and swim over me, that never works. Unfortunately when they attempted it I think they ripped of my timing chip. More to come on the timing chip. No official time for the swim, but according to my Garmin split it was 14:47. Pretty slow.
The bike course is ten miles and not technical, but does have some short little hills in that keep you honest. I felt like I was riding pretty well and passing quite a few people on the bike. I had no idea how many of my age group were in front of me though. I managed to average 21.3 mph, one of my fastest bike splits for a race.
The run course was not what I had expected. Kelly had mentioned that it was a trail run. I figured that meant it was on a gravel or dirt road. Oh no! This was like climbing a mountain, hopping over rocks and roots trail run. The run was tough and it was hot. At least for me it was. My split for the run was 23:34. Just under 8 minute miles, most times I would be upset with this time, but considering all the climbing and hills I was ok with it.
I never realized once during the race that my timing chip was gone. It had to have come off in the water, because I didn’t have a split for the swim. I crossed the finish line and they asked to remove my chip and I put my foot out and it was gone!! At the finish line there is a guy who is recording everyone that crosses so you do get an official time. Of course I go try to find my time and my name doesn’t appear anywhere on the results sheet. I end up having to go to race officials and giving them my time off of my watch. I even was able to give them the splits. I guess the guy at the finish line doesn’t report in his results until the last racer has finished and that is why I didn’t see my name.
I was 29th overall in the race and 3rd in my age group. It’s nice that I’m finally finishing up near the top of my age group. Hopefully I can keep improving and start finishing higher up overall as well.