Another month, another triathlon...we had a nice weekend in the neighboring Oshima (big island), a mere 2 hour jet boat ride from downtown Tokyo. 5 nanbanners (Phil, Andrew, Stefan, Laura, and your humble narrator) made the trip for the adventurous rough water swim, superfast bike, and hot and windy run. My lovely wife, accompanied me as usual, and thanks to her, the action shots of the race and party are below.
This was me looking genki in a "guts pose" before the swim start....easier to do before the race starts...
Tiptoeing gingerly thru the rocky beach...
Driving it home with the waves behind me...
Back to the beach...where is that zipper again?
Running surprisingly hard to transition 1..trying to beat my 4 minute T1 from last time...
Just mounted Hillary Swank, and ready to crank with the nice tailwind...
I'm riding so fast that Megu's shot is blurry...
Is that a happy-to-be-off-the-bike grin, or a sadistic grin when the pain starts to kick in?
Bringing it home against a nasty headwind...
Team Oshima with post-race euphoria...
Megumi is in the haus! She had a tough workout too!
The Ryano with 2 little rhinos...
This spot is reserved for Meggu...the only veggie plate!
The waiting is the hardest part...kampai already!
My results were decent this year.
Swim: 28:13 (57th place)
Bike: 1:08:40 (31st place)
Run: 46:08 (51st place)
Total: 2:23:01 (29th place overall, 27th out of 244 male finishers)
It compares well to 2 years ago. My times from 2008 were:
Swim: 31:59 (78th place)
Bike: 1:09:28 (38th place)
Run: 46:21 (55th place)
Total: 2:27:48 (43th place overall, 42nd out of 190 male finishers)
This year I finished much higher, 29th, versus 42nd 2 years ago, despite the more crowded field. The wind and heat were tougher this year, so I guess I was better prepared.
The swim was faster, but a slightly shortened due to the immense waves. They say it was 1200 meters instead of 1500 meters, so I figure an extra 4-5 minutes, but the swim was much more challenging this year as the huge seas rocked us up and down like seals in the surf. It was actually a fun adventure to get thru, and I felt moments of surrealism as I glimsed at the tiny minnows swimming below me.
I was particularly happy with the bike, which I improved by about 45 seconds despite getting lost in T2, which must have cost me 40 seconds. It was also hotter than last time. Without the 4 minute T1 transition and 1 1/2 minute T2 transtion, my bike was about 1:02:15, very close to that 1 hour barrier, averaging 38.5 kph. 2 years ago, I averaged 37 kph, so that was a nice improvement.
The run was a hard grind as we had a nasty headwind for the final 5k. 2 years ago I saved too much for the 2H of the 10k, so this year I made sure I was near max throughput for the first 5k. I did 22:42 for the first 5k, but as the head wind hit me at the turnaround, I couldn't hold the pace. The heat was started to make me dizzy. Luckily a guy passed me with 4k to go, and I sped up, got right on his tail, and drafted for the next 3k. Still, the last 5k was 23:27, so the allusive 46 minute barrier once again escaped me.
No worries, though, a fair show, given the big waves, wind, and heat factors. With a little more speed training in the pool and on the bike and track this summer, I should be ready to test PBs in both olympic and half ironman distances in August and September.