Thursday, July 18, 2013

Mini-Mussel Triathlon Race Recap

Last weekend we packed up the family and all our gear so 3 of us could Tri as part of the Musselman Triathlon Weekend in Geneva, NY.  This is a HUGE event for this small town.  The main event, of course, is The Musselman 70.3 Half Ironman.  SD was entered in this...he did his first 70.3 here last year and it was this race that got me my Tri mojo back while watching of course I wanted to tri it this year! Thing 1 & I were entered in the Mini-Mussel....the sprint distance.  1/2 mile swim, 16 mile bike, 5K run.  They also had a kids race, a super-sprint race, and for those truly cray-cray....the Double Mussel where you do the sprint tri on Saturday plus either the Aquabike or Half-Iron on Sunday.  (I think this is something you have to work up to! ;))

Yes, that's Clifford the big red dog on my towel
Thing 1 and I drove (well, he drove....yikes!) up Friday afternoon to pick up our race packets. Packet pickup was very well organized and we were in and out of there pretty quickly.  We then went home to pack our gear and get ready for the morning.  We would have stayed overnight Friday too, but there were seriously no rooms to be had.  Luckily, we live only an hour away and the Mini-Mussel didn't start until 9am. We didn't even have to get up that early.  We packed the car and loaded the bikes onto the rack the night before, so we were able to sleep in until around 5:30 and were out the door by around 6:30.  We got there just in time to rack our bikes, set up transition, hit the potty and head to the swim start for the pre-race announcements.  I was pretty excited to do this and was even more excited to do it with Thing 1.  Is it wrong that my only goal for this race was to beat my kid?????  I thought not ;-D.  

Little notes in transition
Here is my whole race strategy: I started in the wave before him so I get a 6 minute head start.  I figure this is fair because I birthed the child with no drugs...and well, he is 16 and crazy fit. 6 minutes seems like a reasonable handicap for a 44 year old woman. Next step, kill the swim.  This is where I excel, so I wanted to come out really strong. Bike: crank over 16mph and put my new bike to the test.  Run: Just hang on and hope I gave myself enough leeway to survive the run & cross before him.  

So off we go....The Swim...

Someone had a sense of humour giving men 13-23 the pink caps!
It was a 1/2 mile....800 meters and I was in the 4th wave.  I lined up with all the baby blue caps and we were soon off.  I positioned myself to the side because I don't like to get swam over and it was less congested here.  Plus it was the side the buoy's were on.  I felt great on the swim and just kept my arms going steadily, breathing 1:4 for about the first 400 meters. Once we were in the canal proper, I was breathing with every stroke and starting to overtake a few green caps from the wave in front of me & even a couple from 2 waves in front! I had no idea what my time was but I thought I was doing well.  When I got to the boat launch we exited on I was grateful for the arms of assistance from the volunteers who helped us get our footing and continue up the ramp and onto the mat that ran into transition.  Tons of people were walking here. I felt good, so I just went wide and around them.  When I heard SD shout "14 minutes", I was elated! I had swum my best swim yet!!!! Official time: 14:14 I was 12th in my AG, 85th female & 244th overall! Sweet!

I hate this picture. Thing 2 says it's the best one because I'm not smiling & I look like I'm trying hard. Thoughts???

T1: 1:58 Got my socks & bike shoes on, grabbed my bike & helmet and I was out of there.  Made a snap decision not to put my bike top on at this time.  

The Bike: It was a nice bike course.  Some rolling hills but nothing too major.  I felt like I biked pretty well and felt very comfortable in aero position.  The only bad thing about the bike was that I passed by the accident scene from the cyclist that was killed.  I understand he went head first into the back of a car that had run out of gas and was killed.  Please, please, please look where you are going when you bike.  This was so sad.  When I went by EMS & police were there and they had a tarp up blocking the scene from view so there was nothing I could do but continue biking. I knew Thing 1 was behind me otherwise I would have had a minor freak out. Official time: 58:13 16.6mph
Kinda looking like I know what I'm doing...who would of thought?!?

T2: 2:16 This should have been faster.  I was really slow getting my shoes and shirt on.  I need a tri belt.  

The Run: An out and back course along the lakefront trail.  Very pretty. No shade. It was warm.  Not even close to what Sunday would turn out to be, but I was hot nonetheless. I saw Thing 1 just after the turnaround.  I thought for sure, he would catch me. I just put my head down and ran as fast as my tired legs would carry me. Every time I looked back I thought I'd see that yellow singlet bearing down on me.  But no, it was victory for Mum as I crossed the line 45 seconds in front of him!  (and yes, I know his official time is faster than me, but if you ask anyone who was there who crossed the line first, it was me....bwahahahaha ;D)
Official time: 29:46  9:18mile


I so enjoyed this race.  It was such a fun atmosphere and the volunteers and community were great! I will definitely do this one again!
Best spectators ever...what a couple of goofballs!

"Official" family timing ;-D
After the race, we checked into our hotel, showered and went to pick up SD's race packet.  He got weighed and got all his goodies and then we went to the Wall of Mussel to sign our names and have some food before the mandatory meeting for half-iron participants.  Then it was back to the hotel to get SD's bike and rack it.  That is a nice feature, having secure bike racking the night before the race.  Especially since it started really early @ 7am.

My favourite picture of the weekend
As for Sunday's half-iron...well, let's just say that heat is an Irishman's kryptonite.  In short, SD had a great swim: (35 minutes) & a pretty good bike (3:01) but the half marathon had no shade whatsoever and it was over 90 and humid.  He got about 6km into it and decided that he'd had enough.  Given the day & how he was feeling, it was definitely the right decision to make.  I'd say he killed the aquabike division though! Overall, it was a good family weekend.  We had a great time together. And for all my race pictures, I'd like to thank Thing 2 who was our official iphone photographer & did a great job!


TriMOEngr said...

Great race recap! Man you are fast. I swim about half that far in that time. And a very solid bike and solid run. VERY impressed. Way to go holding off the young'un! Glad those run workouts he gave you a while back paid off. Love all the pics.

Jamie said...

You did great!! I'm so sorry I didn't see you, either day! Mike and I are thinking about the mini-mussel next year (and then doing the Boilermaker the next day). So hopefully you do it again! Or we could change our minds and do the 70.3 again :)

Frickin' Fabulous at 40 said...

Great job! I don't know how anyone races in this weather! July and August are pretty much a no-go for me!

Suz and Allan said...

Nice job on a speedy race!