OBX Sprint Todd Holwick 1st AG 8th overall 1:11:56
With a few minor nagging injuries all summer, I decided to cut back on the training intensity and just focus on the sprint distances for the end of the season. After missing out on the weather perfect day for the Sandman Tri due to a conflict in my schedule, I decided to do the OBX Sprint. This year, instead of driving down on race day to Manteo, my wife decided to come along and we drove down Saturday afternoon. We get to packet pick up late afternoon. The weather is great, but a little windy making the water a little choppy. Storms are forecasted to roll in later that night. Several weeks of no rain and of course, since I am doing the race, it is going to rain. I wouldn't know what to do with a warm, sunny race day.
Well, we get checked into the hotel, get my stuff together and go to bed wondering what type of weather the Triathlon Gods are going to deliver to me in the morning. Alarm goes off, I look out the window and there is a heavy rain. I sat in bed for several minutes debating if I really wanted to do the race or just go back to bed. If I don't do this race, I am done for the season, so off I go in the pouring rain.
I get to the race and to my surprise, a lot of people are there. The heavy rain has slowed to a light rain and the wind is somewhat calm. The race is a go, swim included. Never found out what the water temperature was, but I heard it was in the low to mid 70's. At this point I am just irritated with the weather and I decide to skip the wetsuit. I am just ready to just get this thing over with. I run into Jeff and Laurie and we head down to the water in our new STC Tri kits.
The Swim 12:15 2nd AG and 36th OA
While gathering for the swim start, I run into Steve Matulewicz from the swim across the Currituck. As Larry describes him, "The big lean and mean looking guy. " He is there doing the sprint with his daughter. The first two waves go off and just like last year, you can still walk, if you want, out to the first buoy. My wave goes off, a few dolphin dives and I am quickly swimming towards the first buoy. The water is perfect. Not too cold and calm. I settle into a decent pace and for the most part, just cruise to the end. Twice, I ran into packs of swimmers from the first two waves and things got a little hectic trying to get around them. Oh, and by the way, it is still raining.
Not quite the mini run, like the Jamestown race, to get to the transition area, but still a good ways from the water. T 1 is uneventful, and I am off on the bike.
The Bike 33:22 13.5 miles 24.3mph 2nd AG and 7th OA
Shortly after leaving the mounting area, I find myself in a mass of people all over the place. As I am trying to get around several of them, I am forced off the road. I hit a big bump and my torpedo water bottle shoots out, literally like a torpedo, several yards off the road. It is my only source of fluid, but I decided not to go back to get it. It is only a sprint, so I figure I can do without it for the short distance. I never drink on the run, so if I get desperate, I'll grab some then. I quickly pick up my pace on the bike but am a little cautious due to the wet, bumpy road and slick expansion joints on the bridge. I am trying to keep my pace at 25mph, but have to keep slowing down to either pass a few slow moving vehicles or the groups of riders that just can't seem to stay to the right. Oh, and by the way, did I mention, it is still raining?
I make it to T 2 safely, just barely. The dismount area is not marked very well and I have two volunteers pointing at two different lines. Which one??? As I brake, suddenly, my rear wheel is lifting off the ground and I feel my body heading over the handle bars. I managed to keep control and safely enter the transition area. Could have been a possible YouTube video.
The Run 23:05 Not the fastest of my runs, but 3rd AG and 25th OA
In anticipation of the rain, I brought an old pair of running shoes. They managed to stay dry in a plastic bag prior to the run. T 2 is uneventful, and I am off and running. I am just barely out of the transition area and my nice dry shoes are already soaked. Shortly after leaving the transition area, the run enters about a 3/4 mile path that goes through a field behind the airport. Last year, it was just a path that was mowed low to the ground. This year, they decided to semi pave this path with a mixture of dirt and gravel. Well, with all of the rain, it all turned to mud. So, you had to play the " dodge the mud hole" game for 3/4 miles on the way out and then again for the return. On the return, someone even lost their shoes in the mud. I guess they finished the race barefoot. By the way, did I mention that it is still raining?
Finished strong. To my surprise, 1st AG and 8th overall. 1:11:56 Shaved off about 4 mins from last year. Packed up the car, waited for the awards, and headed back to the hotel for a hot shower before heading back to Chesapeake. As I am leaving the race site, out of the corner of my eye, I see a water bottle a few yards from the road. Could it be mine? I stop to grab it, and sure enough it is mine. Great! It was one of those insulated Camelbaks. I'm glad that I don't have to replace it. Still raining.....
Worst part of the race, the drive home. It was the first weekend that the main bridge heading in and out of the Outer Banks was closed to only one lane in each direction using only the Southbound bridge. The entire Northbound bridge is closed until May 2014. After taking 1hour and 20 minutes to only go 3/4 mile, we decided to turn around and go all the way back past Manteo and through Edenton to get home.
Oh, and by the way, did I mention that it is still raining out? NOT! It was now sunny for the drive home. Go figure.