Monday, June 29, 2009

Haruki Murakami is in the building

3 words: Hot hot hot. This year the Murakami triathlon was held on June 28 instead of its normal late September date,
which eased the normally rough sea of Japan conditions. However, it was extremely hot, over 30 degrees at 9 am and 35 C at 11 am. This would be my hottest olympic distance tri, and memories of
China's "dual in the sun" half IM with Mika and Jay haunted me. None of the clouds appeared that had been forecasted, and I escaped to the one oasis of shade near the beach after setting up my bike in the transition area.
Still, I thought I might have a chance to crack my PB of 2:25 given the fast bike course, but blew the swim with a 31 minute leg. This was shockingly disappointing, as I had swam a 25 minute in Nijima last month and had trained consistently in the pool and Kamakura this past month. I tried to keep my head up to locate the target buoys, but I suppose I didn't do this enough (every 3-4 strokes), and I got caught out of line a few times, causing a zigzag formation.
The bike split was ok at 1:11:48, a little slower than last year's 1:08 (without a swim). There was a stiff wind going out for the first 20k, and I couldn't get Hillary above 32 kph. I battled the bike out with my friend Tony, who also was sporting a Cervelo tri bike (name unknown). He is about the same speed as me on the bike, so I wasn't too worried about the slow speed in the headwind. The tailwind at the turnaround was great. Weeeeeeeee at over 40 kph for most of the 2H of the bike. Average time was almost exactly 35 kph. I pushed it reasonably hard on the bike as I knew the run was pretty flat.
T2 went well and I was in and out of T2 area in about 15 seconds, but I felt awful for the first 5k. My legs wouldn't move. I said, "run faster" to my legs, but they would not respond. I guess it was the heat and my lack of running since the Oxfam 100k hike injury. I jogged it for 25:00 5k split as
Tony tried to reel my in, about 20 meters behind me. At the 5k point, Megumi yelled, "Tony's right behind you, Babe!" I suddenly felt a little more genki as if Meg's encouragement were a wake-up call, and picked up the pace. At the next corner, I noticed that I had dropped poor Tony, who is not as experienced a runner as your humble narrator. (incidentlly Tony wants to start running with Nanban Rengo). The 2nd 5k was just under 23 minutes for a 47:57 total 10k run.
Total time was 2:30:54, my slowest time in a couple of years, after a 2:25 PB in Nijima. I finished 1 minute ahead Tony, who also finished 1 minute behind me in Nijima. Congrats to Mika, who had a 2:43, good enough to win her age group. And a big ootsukaresama to Ma, who did her first tri in about 3 hours but a DNQ. Many thanks to Dave Sims for driving us up and back to the race. Nice to go without having to pack and assemble the bike! Thanks as always Megumi for the pictures and support.
A final note: The famous author, Haruki Murakami, was in the race and did over 3 hours. I hoped to get an autograph as I just finished reading "What I talk about when I talk about Running", but I never did see him....

2:30:54 36th overall (out of 195 finishers)

6th Age group (out of 33)

Swim 31:09 60th

Bike 1:11:48 19th

Run 47:57 61st


Joachim said...

Well done, David, Congrats...! When I saw you training @ Kamakura I knew you would do a strong Murakami race.

David 元三 Rubenstein said...

thanks Joachim..wouldn't call it strong, but hot weather is not my cup of tea..