Sunday, June 05, 2016

Oshima Triathlon: Wind, waves, and wheels

In its strongest showing to date, 9 TiT athletes dominated the field at Izu's Oshima island series triathlon last Saturday, taking 4 of 6 of the top prizes overall, including another sterling 2nd place overall by Mark Shrosbree at 2:12:29. Dave Sims finished just behind Mark with his usual strong swim and bike, which featured an early collision with the topswimmer. Hoel Goisbault, one of TiTs many rising stars, took 5th with a missile-like 37:55 run, good for 2nd best run of the day. Motozo, your humble narrator, finished 6th, recovering from a shocking 30 minute swim to power to past 20 bikers and runners with a course PB 2:20:30. 

Dante Michael had a strong debut performance bagging 13th place. Jay Johannesen, despite limited trips to the pool, turned in a sub-40 run for 35th place and 11th place handicap-adjusted. Marat Vyshegorodtsev and Marcus Saw brought home the bacon with outstanding debut showings. Danai Kuangparichat scored 3rd in the sprint distance. Kudos!

Here is the summary of the TiT performances:

2  Mark Shrosbee 2:12:29
3  David Sims 2:13:01
5  Hoel Goisbault 2:16:49
6  David Rubenstein 2:20:30
13 Dante Michael 2:24:22
35 Jay Johannesen 2:29:41
77 Marat Vyshegorodtsev 2:42:42
116 Marcus Saw 2:52:26

3 Danai Kuangparichat  1:13:23

In a very windy day with white caps forming beyond the concrete breakwater, we were all wondering if the swim would actually happen. To my surprise, a race official in the bike area announced that the swim was on 1 hour before the start. Gulp. 3 big groups of about 100 swimmers each lined up on the rocky beach and without much ado the fog horn sounded. 

Swim: This was the true test of meddle on the day. After swimming to the first buoy, you are directly exposed to the open ocean, which felt like swimming inside a washing machine. Than you turn left at the 2nd buoy and into the full force of the waves.

Meanwhile, I am hearing whistles and lifeguards shouting at swimmers to swim straight, and many swimmers giving up, treading water, or floating on their backs. 30 swimmers were fished out of the water by lifeguards. I think that is a record in itself. At the 3rd buoy, which is in front of a larger concrete breakwater, you turn left again, halfway done with the first loop. As soon as

you turn, you are in heaven for 200 meters as it becomes dead calm as you swim towards the shore. Then, another left turn towards the first buoy with the waves behind you now. Than another left turn and you are fighting the waves again. Repeat heavenly leg and bring it home. 

Bike: The bike was super risky yet fun. We had a huge tailwind for the first 5k and rocketed up the coast at 45-60 kph. The bike is 4 x 10k loops with 5k up the coast, than 5k back in land, which is somewhat shielded from the coast wind. I maxed out at 60.1 kph on the coastal road.

I think Simses maxed at 63 kph. Mark must have been close to that. Dave and Mark had the fastest bike splits with 1:01 and 1:03, which includes both transitions. I had 1:06. Dante had 1:07. Hoel 1:09. We all spent a lot of time yelling at bikers to get the fook out of TiTs way!

Run: It felt like a relief to escape the swim without drowning and bike without crashing. Now to execute a decent run. I hoped I had enough in the tank. There was no one near me which was a good sign?

The run is simply 5k up the coast and 5k back, passing on the decent coastal views if you have cares to appreciate that. We had another decent tailwind up the coast, but I was a bit careful not to max out as I knew the headwind and hills would draw all reserves on the way back. I figured I would see Mark and Dave at around the 4k point, which is exactly what happened.

Dave was about 700 meters in front of Mark, grinding through it. Mark looked genki. I missed seeing Hoel who was apparently near Mark. He must have been flying. Actually he was. Dante was behind Mark. I made the 5k turn and looked around. No one near me still. Strange. Usually there are several guys in my age group around me. I tried to step on the gas pedal but that headwind was tough. And 2 big hills which didn't seem so bad with the tailwind. Good to see Marat and Jay and Marcus on the way back. I gave it everything I had for the final 2k and finally managed to get under 44 minutes. Mark, Hoel, and Jay all had sub-40's. 

Awards banquet: The party featured taiko drums, sushi, fruits, and stinky kusaya grilled fish. It was awesome.

As mentioned, TiTs totally dominated the podium with 4 of the 6 top slots. Mark was number one by far in the handicapped ranking, which subtracts 1 minute for each year over 35 years old. I thought I would have a better chance of nipping a handicapped award but 2 senior gentlemen grabbed the 5th and 6th place spots. a 60 year old man finished in 2:28! Dave also got a 4th in the handicapped ranking. Important note: get to the party early to secure a table with sushi. Proceed with caution when eating Kusaya. 

Other notes: 
The difference between Mark and the 42 year old champion 相馬さんwas 4 minutes. 相馬 had a 20 minute swim, which is unbelievably fast 
considering the big waves and chop.

For reference, he had an 18 minute swim 3 years ago but finished behind Mark for 4th place. Mark had 2nd place 3 years ago as well. Great to have Megumi and Ty on the course cheering. We climbed the volcano the next day with Mark, Hoel, Dante, which is a must see if you do the race. 

Quotes from the day:

Mark: "We TiTs need to practice rough-water swims"...."Favorite bike course"...."Good run"
Dave: "Shocker of a run"
Hoel: "Fun and challenging course"... "Like the true open water swim"
Dante: "These TiTs are really raising the bar"
Jay: "Don't they always cancel the swim?"..."I've done 2 swims this year..."
Danai: Damn bro, should have done the olympic distance!"
Marat: "Swim was easy. Need bigger waves!"
Marcus: "Great fun. Bring the next one on!"

1 comment:

Cuzn Mitch said...

Nice one, Motozo!