New York City Triathlon Race Report
The New York City Triathlon had one of the earliest starts for a race I have ever experienced. This is not surprising though, given the massive amount of work that needs to be done in order to close down the 9A highway along the Hudson as well as 72nd street across to central park. This made for an early start. Bryna and I were up by 3am in order to be ready by 4. It must have been one of our more productive days because we actually ended up getting to transition right before it opened. This wasn't a problem because I was in the third wave to go right behind the pros and the transition area wasn't open for long at all. After getting all my stuff organized, we made the long walk down to the swim start and found a bench to sit down and wait right outside the corral for my wave.
Swim: 13:10 T1: 3:56 Bike: 1:11:13 T2: 1:02 Run: 42:16 Overall: 2:11:35 24th Elite and 57th Overall
The swim in New York was something I wasn't quite sure how to feel about, the massive current of the Hudson helping the early waves down the river made me excited about swimming a fast time, however I also knew that the advantage of being one of the better swimmers was going to be minimized given the push everyone was getting. Before the swim I had a lot of people commenting on swimming in the Hudson and asking if I was worried about how dirty it would be but this never crossed my mind and I guess the water quality isn't something I think about too much when doing a race. As we were corralled to the start area, it seemed like we had to wait forever to start given there has been a lot of talk recently about faster amateur men catching the pro women that start ahead of them and interfering with their race. This meant we were made to stand at the start for a while before diving into the Hudson. The swim for me was nothing out of the ordinary and I enjoyed being in the elite wave given there were a lot of strong swimmers that allowed me to draft off them. I ended up exiting the 1500m swim in 13:10 which to give you an idea of how strong the current was, would have been a world record in the pool by over a minute.
I then started the long run down to transition, put my helmet and glasses on and headed out on the bike course.
The bike course was something that I looked forward to in NY given it was right up a highway that is otherwise impossible to ride on and as I began the bike leg I found myself moving up a few positions early in the bike before finding myself alone for a long stretch. This didn't bother me too much and I tried to find a tempo and rode up to the turn around point. As I turned around I noticed there were a few people up the road and no one very close behind so i settled in trying to catch the two riders ahead. As I came down under the underpass, I hit a few bumps in the road that were common along the NYC highway and ended up coming unstuck on the bike. My first CRASH!!! I ended up coming sliding down the road after coming off my bike at around 40mph and fell pretty hard on my elbow and took a chunk of skin out of my hand. I ended up spending about 4 minutes trying to yank my chain out being being wedged between the frame and the crankset. Just as I got it out tech support arrived and helped me get everything back in order and back on my bike. As I was getting organized to get out of there another guy was coming down under the underpass and saw the motorbike from tech support panicked a little bit and slipped on the same wet road I had come down on. Dare I say he came down much more gracefully than me.
As I got back on my bike I noticed the pads on my aerobars had been pulled out of the screws and were very loose rendering them useless for the rest of the ride so I sat up on the hoods and tried to stay as low as possible as I rode to T2 25 miles later in a time of 1:11:13.
Coming out of T2 for the 10km run home, I didn't feel quite as good as I usually do off the bike but there were 3 or 4 people just ahead of me so i set out in chasing them down. I was able to pass 2 people right away on the run before settling in a little behind one of the pro women. I still wasn't feeling as well as I should on the run and was struggling to keep a pace anywhere close to where I thought I should. After catching the pro woman ahead of me I began to really come apart and was feeling like I was overheating so I had to ease up and take my time through the aid stations and get some ice and water. I am still not sure whether or not to put some of it down to the hard fall I had taken or a lack of run fitness, but I am putting it down to the crash and moving on anyway! I limped home in 42:16, and although the course was slightly hilly running through central park my run split was 7 minutes slower than what I ran in Des Moines last September. It was a race of firsts for me as I was also taken to the medical tent to have my cuts looked at.
Overall the race didn't quite go as planned for me and I ended up finishing in 2:11:34 and 57th overall. I was very thankful to have Bryna there to help me after the race and clean up my wounds so that I can make a speedy recovery and move onto the next one!