After we wrapped up La Grange we packed into the car and headed east across the state of Georgia and into South Carolina. This added one more state for little Lincoln. We were heading to downtown Columbia for my race on Sunday. I was pretty excited about this course because I knew it was going to be in downtown. There is just something about racing through the heart of the city that is exciting.
One point I forgot to mention about the La Grange race which also happened at the Columbia race was a late start time. These races didn’t start until after 9 in the morning. This was a wonderful change of pace. This later start allowed us to take our time (a bit) to get to the race. It also allowed the temperature to warm up a bit.
Just as in the La Grange race I was a late entrant, registering race morning. This was going to put me in the back of the swim start again except I was expressly told this morning to move myself up into a more suitable spot.
We headed into the pool. This was the University of South Carolina’s competition pool. Very nice set up. The main pool was set up for long course for our 500 yard swim. Since it was long course the swim was a lot less eventful than the day before. The swim was a bit longer (500 yards). Out of the pool and we had about a 1/4 mile run to and through transition.
Now, I have to admit, with all this racing and traveling I am not always as intimately familiar with the races as I should be. I often find out how far we are swimming and riding race morning. This was no different for Columbia. Our bike course was going to be a 3 loop course through downtown. I didn’t know that I was going to have a big climb coming out of transition. That was a quick wake up for me. Then, after cresting the climb the realization that I had to do it two more times was in the back of my mind.
Off the bike and onto the run. The run was on a pretty cool course. Downtown Columbia has several skywalks over the roadways that we used to string together a run. Anytime you can mix up the run course it creates a positive race experience. The only part of the run course that was visited with a deep groan was the finish. It was an uphill right after a downhill. It is just tough to get those legs moving quickly again after a gradual downhill at that stage of the race.
Anyway, across the line and race 28 done. One point that made my day occurred when I was just starting my run. I was making my climb up the same hill that we had to ride up on the bike as I heard “Mr. 52”. It was a racer that had been working at the La Grange race the day before. He recognized me and the effort for which brought me to Columbia. This reminded me that what we are doing is being noticed by people.
This race totaled 13.5 miles. Add that to the total and we have raced a total of 630.1 miles. Tomorrow and Sunday will add more as we race towards 52.