Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Washington DC Triathlon

The Washington DC 5150 race was my second race in the new 5150 series to try and get an invitation to the Hy-Vee Triathlon in September. It was also only my second road tri of the season after 6 Xterra/Off-road tri's in a row. I was nursing a little bit of a sore achilles and calf after the Xterra Richmond race the weekend before but after a really light training week it along with the rest of the body was feeling okay to race. After a couple of days in Fredericksburg Branden and I headed up to Alexandria where his cousin Megan let us once again move in and make ourselves at home and Sue Anne headed down on Saturday to join us in our roadie tri adventure. We had the grand idea of heading down to the race course on Saturday to pre-drive the bike but quickly realized that DC traffic just wasn't going to make that possible. We settled for picking up our race packets, checking out the expo and attending the race meeting. The women's field didn't have a clear standout but was looking to be incredibly strong and close to about 20 deep. After the meeting we headed down to transition to get SA's bike checked-in. It was pretty funny to see the swim course all marked with the biggest buoys I have ever seen every 100m and labelled!!! I'm guessing with the pro field being led off course at the REV 3 race they weren't going to take any chances ;) Race morning was an early one for SA, 6am, as the amateurs were towing the line first. The pro's had a much more leisurely 9am start and thankfully the weather looked to be nicely overcast but dry. Setting up transition and warm up went pretty smoothly despite the close to 1500 age group athletes racing all around us, though had to play a little bit of frogger to get my bike into transition. Headed down to the swim start with plenty of time to get the blood flowing up into my arms to find out that they weren't going to allow us into the water before the start, not terribly happy about that one but everyone was in the same boat. Got off to a good start right in behind Sara but again couldn't quite hold onto her feet and settled for leading the second group out of 7 out of the water. The bike course was truly pretty amazing. That they shut down the main streets through DC was really special and with the age groupers already done we had it all to ourselves. Starting from the Potomac Park we rode past the Washington monument, up and down Constitution Blvd then out for a couple loops along and over the river. I settled into my pace well but just couldn't stay with the top girls. The legs were carrying just a little too much fatigue from all the racing so far this season to crank out any more power. I was happy that unlike Miami I was much more comfortable in the aero position and manage to find a good steady rhythm for the entire 40km. Now it just needs to get a little bit faster!! Out onto the second loop Amanda Felder caught me and we rode together into T2 in 12th and 13th. The run started off okay but with the majority of my training being off-road the pavement quickly took its toll on my fragile achilles and calves. I managed to pick up a spot passing Pip but then lost it and ended back up in 13th.

I got to the finish with no one in sight behind me so got to enjoy a bit of the stunning finishing chut. Big thanks to Kris Mendoza and Triathlete Magazine for the great finish line shot. You can check out the entire photo gallery here!!

Was pretty done after the race but couldn't pass up the opportunity to check out the monuments all lit up so we headed downtown and took in a few of the most popular. Megan did have a good laugh at how the two pro triathletes were barely managing to hobble around. My favourite ended up being the World War II Memorial, the photos below really don't do them justice.

2 races to go....

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