Monday, October 06, 2014

Shimoda homegrown triathlon #2

The 2nd Shimoda home-brew triathlon was in September, after a very hot summer which included CP's inaugural Atami triathlon in August. Rumors are flying on a possible unification Izu-series triathlon in the making, so keep your ears to the ground for those exciting developments. We had some newcomers to the mix and returning Izu warriors.

The winner was Brett, edging Jay by a smidgen. Petr was strong, fast, and quick with a joke again. Motozo did a little better. The Rhino suffered a flat tire. Naoko and Alessandra had a nice swims. Meeks finished the race without incident but injured her pinky tendon playing basketball at the post-race party! Steve delivered the goods despite a pain in the gulliver that week. Dave D. came through in a big way, providing valuable Shimoda tri history. Keren offered lifesaving support and general constructive moral support. Did I leave anyone out?

Brett           2:28
Jay              2:31
Petr             2:35
Motozo       2:38
Naoko/Fab 3:03
Steve          3:24
Meeks        3:33

Dave D.

It was a more competitive race thanks to Brett and company. We all were faster on the bike and run. Look out Murakami!

As usual we rode the course on Saturday, and did the race on Sunday morning, 6 AM. The Rhino called the meat guy, and we had a full-on barbie before the race briefing. We had some newcomers, so the race explanation didn't get much easier. (Note to myself: get some buoys and chalk for the roads.) I did shorten the running and swimming pre-race day, which helped. On race morning, it felt like we were getting up for an Ironman race, quietly sipping coffee, eating cereal at 5 AM.

Due to excessive photo ops and a slightly larger group, we started 15 minutes late. The course was the same as the first one, an out-and-back-swim from Ohama towards Toji beach. Brett and the Rhino bolted out of the gate and quickly gapped the main group. Unfortunately neither had done the first triathlon in June, and mistakenly made the turn towards the beach too early.

I continued to the turnaround point, hoping that they would follow. It turns out they followed others behind, and lost valuable minutes. Owing to that navigational error (partially your narrator's fault no doubt), I finished the swim in the lead, with Naoko nipping at my heals.

The bike course was the same as the first race in June, 1 large 35k loop from Ohama to Irozaki along the breathtaking southern Izu coast, return inland through rice fields, followed by a small 4k loop to Toji beach and back.

As in the first edition, I was soon reeled in by Petr, Jay, and Brett. We formed a small peloton for most of the bike (drafting rules are loose due to lack of marshal budget). None of us 4 riders had the inclination or motivation to break out of the pack. I had a hand injury which prevented me from riding aggressively as it ached on road bike handlebars. We rode together for most of the 2H of the 40k bike.

My bike time was much improved from the first  Shimoda tri, somewhat helped by the mini-peloton and more indoor bike training over the summer. Brett and I came in about 1 minute ahead of Jay and Petr. I knew I didn't have a chance against these running specialists, so just hoped to run a decent time, pacing off the leaders...

Run: It turned out to be a showdown between Brett and Jay for the coveted gold medal. Brett had a minute lead off of Jay. I finished the bike with Brett, but his T2 was very fast, so I was 20 seconds behind to start the run. Jay soon wailed by me, followed by Petr.

We modified the run to be 3 small 1.3k loops near Ohama beach over the wood boardwalk, than 1 large 6k loop through the bamboo forest, horse ranch in Toji, Toji beach, and back to Ohama beach. I was going about the same pace as Petr during the first 3 small loops in Ohama, but lost contact with him on the final small loop.

Brett was able to hold off Jay. Petr was 3rd. I think Jay can lay claim to the most Izu series points this summer with a gold medal at Atami and 2 silver medals in Shimoda.

As usual we rambled over to the White Beach Hotel for full breakfast with all the fixings and the awards ceremony. Brett had a sparkling time of 2:28, which is quite fast for that hilly bike/run course and includes him getting lost on the swim. He had a tremendous 39 minute run on that mountainous terrain.

 swim      bike      run     total
Brett:   33:17  1:15:55  39:32  2:28:44
Jay:     30:43  1:19:12  41:13  2:31:08
Petr:     31:23  1:18:06  46:27  2:35:56
Motozo:  28:52  1:20:20  49:07  2:38:19
Naoko/Fab: 29:12  1:34:48  59:27  3:03:27
Steve: 46:04  1:45:39 52:46 3:24:29
Meeks:  39:10  1:49:42  1:04:18 3:33:10
Dave D.: 34:07  1:34:45    ------     -------  
Rhino:  30:21  --------   57:26    -------- 
Ian:     -----     ---------    1:37:40   -------
Aless.: 36:55  ---------  57:23   ---------

An added benefit was the 3-day weekend, which meant we could relax the next 2 days and even ride the next day back to golden Irozaki. A big thanks to the Rhino's friend Joe for the timing results, and great photos from Ian and Ale!

And it should be said that Meeks is recovering nicely from her pinky finger injury. (Note to myself: don't play basketball after a triathlon race.)

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