Race 7 – Lame Duck Try-Athlon

Silly name…Hard race. Don’t judge a book by its cover for sure. I am going to change the format of the blog a bit because we had so many great pictures from this race that it is better to tell the story through these photos:

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Friday night before the race we had the opportunity to be interviewed by Sam Dick and WKYT in Lexington about Team Chad and the series. It was a lot of fun to watch the interview that night. We will try and get a link to the interview shortly.

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Races start early in the morning my dear Lincoln.

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The only part of this race that was flat was the swim. Very cool set-up. Point to point swim across a private lake.

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Steep climbs give you fast and fun descents.

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As I told the race director heading out of transition “here comes the pain”. She just smiled with a look of certainty. The hills began and continued for all 2.5 miles of the run.

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A hint of the hills.

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Down the final hill.

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Across the line.

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Podium

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Joe Babysitting baby Lincoln.

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And here is the great part…post race interview with the local news about Team Chad and this awesome season! We received so much love and support from Lame Duck.

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And this is the new favorite race picture. Shows, all in one photo, exactly what is required to allow me to head all over the country doing these races – a loving and supportive wife and a patient son. Awesome picture.

Lame Duck is a race that you need to put on your calendar. There are few races I have competed in where I have seen so much local support. This is the hardest 12 miles of racing I have ever encountered.

This was a short race that added 12 miles to the total. We are now at 147.2 miles total.

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Race 6 – Tri the Mountain Sprint

After our race on Saturday we made our way to north Georgia for the Tri the Mountain Sprint.  Prior planning presented a bit of a problem as we rolled into town around 7.  We quickly learned that this was a town that did not have a plethora of hotels but rather relied upon the cabin rentals.  We were able to find a hotel 40 minutes or so outside of town which made for an early morning.

The perk of an early morning drive in the mountains makes for an amazing sight.  We had to get to the race start early enough for packet pick-up so we had the chance to see the fog rolling off the mountain in the early morning sunrise.  Cool stuff.  Selfishly Maggie, Lincoln and I have been able to see some really memorable stuff during our journey.  

Get to the race site, check in and head down to swim.  The swim was a mass start off a boat ramp.  Clustered for the first 100-200 yards but it made for a fun change of pace.  It has been a while since I have done a mass swim start so I enjoyed this chaos.

Off onto the bike for a hilly but beautiful bike ride.  It was a tour of the mountains surrounding the lake.  The race director cleverly talked about the fast downhills (all downhills have a corresponding uphill folks) which there were plenty.  Racing down the hills in the mountains of north Georgia was a cool experience.  We too often plant our heads downward looking 10 feet in front of our wheel as we hammer through races.  This was not one where you wanted to do that.  Head up enjoying the fog burning off the mountains.  Fun, hilly and challenging course (especially on tired legs).

The run.  We knew what was in store as we enjoyed the downhill half mile into transition on the bike.  What goes up must come down and the vice versa is true.  We had to run up this hill to get onto the main road.  Once on the road we were granted with a downhill until mile 1.  I foolishly thought that we were going to have a downhill run all the way to the finish line.  Nope, to the mile 2 marker (and maybe a bit beyond that) was uphill.  I worked through the run and made my way into the town center for the finish.  Again I was shocked at the turn out and support from the town.  Great showing Blue Ridge.  Came across the finish and was happy to wrap up race 6.

Today’s distance was 21.5 miles which brings our total race total to 135.2 miles.  Good times.  Team Chad will soon be known all over.  Now time to rest and get ready for next weekend which starts north of Lexington and then finishes up here in our own Music City.

Race 5 – Chattahoochee Challenge Sprint

Race 5 had a lot to offer.  This race was held in Columbus, Georgia.  The Chattahoochee river hosted the swim.  If you have never visited Columbus then you may not know that it is home to the longest urban white water course.  This course (pictures coming tomorrow I promise) starts just about 200 yards down from the end of the rapids which makes it a very unique swim start.

The weather leading into this race included a lot of rain so the river was a bit swollen. When we got there race morning the water was moving.  Normally a fast current would be welcomed but this one was a bit quicker than normal so it presented some unanticipated challenges.  The top two were direction of the flow which changed as we made our way down the 500 yard course – causing course correction to ensure you didn’t swim into a bridge pillar or the creek.  The second was the speed of the water would push anything down river.  This includes legs which dropped a bit too low.  There were times (not the best swimmer, I know) where I felt my legs being pushed down from poor body position.  This caused more correction.  

With all this being said about the swim, the race did a very good job ensuring everyone was prepped prior to the race about the conditions and it was well lined with support crew to ensure that if anyone got into trouble that they were not far away from help.  Cuddos to them on this.

Off to the bike.  Fun bike.  Flat with about 4 miles on greenways.  This was a lot of fun because this is usually an area where we can’t push the envelope on the bike.  

Off the bike and onto the run with a course the snaked you through downtown Columbus.  The course was a lot of fun due to the scenery in part but more so with the crowd support.  The town really showed their love to this race.  Came across the line worrying about the race the next day because I enjoyed the course so much that I pushed it just a bit because of this fact alone.

Team Chad talk continued after the race again.  Good times in Columbus.

Race total distance was 15.6.  This brings the total race distance to 113.7 miles.

Race 4 – Chattanooga Waterfront

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To the non-racers this may not look like much. However, I just finished up a session with this torture device and asked Maggie how something so pink could hurt so much. This is a foam roller and it helps weary muscles stretch back out after a hard session. I needed some serious time with the pink pain roller.

Today’s race was put on by Team Magic in Chattanooga. Due to the excessive rain we have received over the past few weeks the river was too high for a safe swim so it became a duathlon. 2 mile run followed by 42 kilometer bike (26 miles) followed by a 10 kilometer (6.2 miles) run. Tough day coming off a super sprint on Saturday.

Before the race I road my bike down from my hotel which was about 3 miles away and then I met up with my good friend Bruce Gennari in transition. Bruce is a stud in the tri community (not just locally but nationally) and a genuinely awesome guy. He asked me to get a warm-up run in with him. I’m not sure how long we ran but it had to be 1.5 miles at a good clip. Then some lunges and stretching at the insistence of my trainer Amanda Foland (finally getting the props she deserves). Then we were off for the first run. I could tell the legs were a bit tired from yesterday but nothing to be worried about. Got back to transition feeling fairly good and ready to head out on the bike.

Last time I raced Waterfront was two years ago. I lost my only water bottle that time on a rough section at mile 1. That left me to race the whole 26 without any fluids or calories which is a big mistake. This year I made it cleanly through this rough section, took a celebratory sip off the bottle and kept going. It took me until mile 5 this year to eject my bottle onto the race course. Same song different verse. At a time like this you should stop and get the bottle but there was a crowd and you don’t want to make any sudden braking in a crowd..so just plowed ahead and finished the bike with a parched mouth. Got out on the run and there is nothing to really say about this. No legs. This is a 90% flat course but that doesn’t help when you don’t have any legs.

Race wound up and to my surprise my time got me on the podium in my division; taking third. Before awards the bike continued to work its magic as I was engaged in conversations for several hours before awards. When awards rolled around Theresa with Team Magic was gracious enough to comment on my season to the crowd. Needless to say this got a good response from the crowd. As I headed off the stage a reporter standing by reporting on the race grabbed me for a story. This thrilled me as this is one of the main goals of my season – raise awareness for Team Chad. The interview went great and I am looking forward to the story running (Time Free Press – I will post the story when it is run). So, all in all, despite the tough race it was a great day. Team Magic never disappoints with their races. Very well run. It feels like a real community when you are part of one of their races. Thanks Team Magic.

So, today’s race totaled 34.2 miles which brings the season total 98.1 miles. Until next week. Thanks for following the blog and if you have a chance donations to support Team Chad are the second prong so help me out there.

Thanks

Race 3 – Redskin Romp Sprint

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So this sort of sums up my day. Toes up. Redskin Romp in Loudon, Tennessee went really well. This was a fun super sprint. 150 meter pool swim followed by a 10 mile (2 loop) bike course with a 4k run course to follow. These are all odd distances for a race but it led to a sub one hour race which is nice for the legs. The race was really well run and it went off without a hitch. Further the bike led to a big crowd asking questions about the bike, the season and most importantly Team Chad. Spreading the word.

I will need my legs for tomorrow as I am now in Chattanooga waiting for Waterfront Triathlon. The heavy rains has led to the swim being cancelled so we will replace that with a two mile run on the front of the race. Hopefully the weather will hold off and we will have a nice day.

Today’s total distance was 12.6 miles. This brings to total distance raced so far to 63.9 miles.

Race 2 – General Smallwood Sprint Triathlon

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So this is the most memorable moment from the second race in the series. The General Smallwood Sprint triathlon was a challenge for me because it was the first (of many to come) time I had competed in a second race during the same weekend. Soreness was certainly present on all three legs of the race. This will pass with time but it made for a challenging race on Sunday.

The race put us essentially on most of the same bike course as the day before. It was a very nice bike ride on good roads with good shade from the morning sun. The legs were tired and sore but the bike went well, all in all.

The back into transition for the run. Two loop run course on a bit more forgiving run course than the day before. When I came out of transition a mountain biker slowly creeped up in front of me and I looked over to see he was the “race leader” bike. I said to him “so this is what it feels like to lead the race”. My friend and fellow Rev3 teammate Tracy Reed overhead this and snapped the picture above…a few minutes later the race leader came up beside me and reassumed his rightful position behind the bike. Humor on the course is not always easy to find so this was a nice relief.

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Besides the race one of the brightest points of the weekend was the opportunities that I had to talk about Team Chad. The bike worked in luring several interested racers into discussions. This gave me a chance to, not only talk about the bike, but give them the reason behind the bike. The website for Team Chad was handed out to several people who wanted to know more. Hopefully this will continue as we push forward with our racing. This upcoming weekend we will be racing in Knoxville on Saturday and Chattanooga on Sunday.

Mileage update. Saturday’s race was a total distance of 19.6 miles. That puts us at a total overall distance of 51.3 miles of racing.