of Lafayette Triathlon, held annually in
Lafayette, Louisiana, would be my 20th and my
last triathlon of the year.
swim, 8.5 mile bike and 2.5 mile run would also
be the shortest distances of any race I've done
this year as well. My buddy Hunter, who
raced with with me in my my first ever
triathlon, the Hunad
Challenge Triathlon, which we both created
back in January, would be racing with me today.
This would be his first 'official' triathlon
since the Hunad Challenge
was an unsanctioned race. Heh, he and I
were the only participants in the
Hunad Challenge so I
guess it would have been kinda hard to get the
USAT down to sanction our race.
We arrived on
the campus of the University of Louisiana,
Lafayette around 6:30AM. After rushing
through registration and body marking I was
anxious to go scope out the pool.
"Oh that's just
awesome, the pool is outside. I just LOVE
swimming in 60 degree water! It rocks!" I
sarcastically commented to Hunter.
My wetsuit was
with my bike somewhere in Texas on the way back
from last weekend. The temperature outside
was in the lower 50s. I was
pleasantly surprised to find out shortly after
my hissy fit that the steam floating off the
surface of the water indicated that the pool was
heated. A dip of my toes in the
water confirmed it's toasty warmth. No
cold swim or shrinkage for me today!
When I registered
for the race I seeded both Hunter and I way up
front stating that we had a 3 minute 200 meter
swim. That's probably a minute or so
faster than I really am but I didn't want to get
stuck in the back waiting for an hour after the
race started so that's what I put down. He
wasn't too happy about that since his primary
swim stroke is the breaststroke. He has
freakishly long arms and hands the size of
baseball mitts so strangely enough he can swim
faster doing breaststroke than most people,
including me, swim freestyle. I was seeded
with race number 17 and Hunter was 44.
director made some quick introductions and
started the race promptly at 7:30.
Each participant was started at 10 second
intervals. The clock said 4:20 when
it was my turn to get in the drink. The
200 yard swim was easy. If I ever
learn to do flip turns it would probably be even
easier. As it is I would get to the
end of the pool, grab the side and then push off
under the lane rope. I reflected
back on my struggles in the pool in
Athens for my first
"official" tri and smiled broadly as I grabbed
the ladder to exit the pool.
I ran into
transition and quickly slipped on my bike shoes
and rolled my bike out to the mount line.
A good friend of mine, Llew Hughes, was kind
enough to loan me his bike for the race.
The bike performed wonderfully but I felt a
little awkward because I couldn't get in the
aero position. The course was mostly
flat with the exception of a couple of small
hills. Any speed gained was quickly
slowed by the two 180 degree turns and multiple
90s. It was only 8.5 miles so I was
done in no time.
My feet were cold
so starting the run I felt like I had blocks on
the bottom of my feet. I maintained
a good 8:15 pace for the first mile but as soon
as I passed the volunteers at the first aid
station I stepped in a crack and tweaked my
ankle. My pace slowed to 9:30 as I
limped my way through the rest of the race.
I finished with the clock still showing 59
minutes so even with my start time I knew that I
broke an hour. My final time
was 56:57.0. Had I been 27 seconds
faster I would have had a 3rd place podium
finish for my age group... and this time it was
even in the MALE 35 - 39 division and not the 35
- 39 female divison as what happened to me at
It was fun racing
the U of L tri and maybe I will do it again in a
couple of years. Full course Ironman
training will limit my racing schedule to a few
select races next year and unfortunately the
sprints that I did this year will not be on the
schedule. Next year those few select
races will be Ironman 70.3 New Orleans, Gulf
Coast 70.3, Escape from Alcatraz (fingers
crossed), Ironman Florida and, God willing,
Ironman Championship Series in Kona.
It's surely been
an AMAZING year and while my tri season is over
with this race I still have a few road races
left. I'll be doing a couple of 5K
races and the Baton Rouge Beach Half Marathon.
Sometime around the end of the year I will write
a summary of my entire experience for the year.
It's surely been one to remember and next year
will only be better!
Thanks for reading my account of the
University of Louisiana, Lafayette Triathlon. I hope you enjoyed reading
it as much as I enjoyed writing (and living) it!