Ohhhhhh Oshima! I probably used that one last year, but there is no better feeling than flying up the coast on the big island. Its been 2 days since the race and my hamstrings are still tight as a Taiko drum, but what a sweet race and weekend in paradise.
And I am very proud to be a part of the Triathletes in Tokyo (TITs) domination of the event once again this year. We had 3 of the top 4 spots. I took 8th overall and 5th in the age-adjusted rankings out of 235 men. Very pleased with my 1:04 bike in fierce winds.
The swim cancellation was unfortunate but the open sea course design is always susceptible to big waves. Big thanks to Meg for the fantastic photo footage and strong support the entire race weekend!
My data on Garmin for the bike...
37.9km total Distance (I forgot to turn on my garmin at the start)
1:01:55 Moving Time
359m Elevation change
279W Estimated Avg Power
1,036kJ Energy Output
Avg Speed 36.8km/h
PR on サンセットパームライン北上 (6:25)
max speed 58.3km/h
3rd fastest time on oshima triathlon loop (15:26)
1st run: As a feeble substitute for the swim, we did a 5k run before the bike. It has its pros and cons, obviously favoring the strong runners and weak swimmers. A decade ago it would have helped me, but now it is a slight disadvantage. I went out conservatively at 4:35 pace, running about 80% effort. Finished in 23 minutes.
Bike: Than the fun began. Strong gusts of wind provided a massive tailwind at the start, and I zoomed past 40 of the 55 guys in front of me. I was doing 45-50 kph up the coast, than 25-35 kph back inland, yelling at bikers to get out the way most of the ride. It felt like I was riding a rocket. Hillary Swank still has some pep in her. It felt so good that I shouted "Ohhhh Oshima" to the fans. They were somewhat amused. I finished in 1:04, 2 minutes faster than last year, although I am not sure if the transition time was included differently last year...Anyway, it is a nice feeling to go faster when you get older, and I had limited bike training this spring versus last year as well.
Run: The 2nd run was the standard 10k. I was feeling fired up after that scorcher of a bike ride. Legs were close to fried but on this day I had the mental game. So I charged out of T2 and gave it all I had. Uh Oh, a cramp in my left hamstring after the first k at 4:25 pace. That is my good hamstring...not supposed to happen...
I prayed to the triathlon gods that my hammy would hold up for 9 more clicks...At 3K I saw the 3 top guys including one of our own (Rich) heading in which was a good sign. Than Youri in 4th place, he looked shattered....maybe the hammy pain is not so bad, me thought to myself...By the 5k turnaround point, I had seen about 15 guys in front of me. Most of them had started 4 to 8 minutes before me, so I felt I had a decent chance in both the general and age-adjusted categories. I was maxed out coming back from 6-10k against the strong wind and up a big hill. It was tempting to stop on the hill at 7k, but this wasn't going to happen on this day. I passed 4-5 runners in the final 3k, sprinting past a fella right at the finish line.
Man, it was good to finish and celebrate victory with Meg, Ty, and all the TITs! There so many great teammates in the mix, Youri, Paul, Rich, Jef, Scott, Marc, Jeff, Sumie, Peter, and other familiar faces. I am truly grateful.
Aftermath: The next day we rented a car and drove the perimeter of the island, which is a nice scenic drive. The weather cooperated. The sea was calm. Oh, the irony...