Monday, June 13, 2005

Race Report: Hyannis Sprint Triathlon

I picked up my husband and kids at the Boston airport Friday afternoon, and we hit a lot of traffic driving to Cape Cod. We stopped at the race site to pick up my packet, and didn't get to the family summer house where we are staying until around 7. My first priority was to test out the bike my parents had had checked out so I could ride it. The bike seemed to work and fit fine--I rode with friction shifters when I biked seriously in college so I don't mind them (though these were on the stem when I prefer the downtube). I had ordered a Brooks B-17S to have a comfortable saddle and I struggled to get the old saddle off the clamp to put on my new one. Things went wrong though, when I decided to pump up the tires to make sure they were right, and the pump fell apart, after letting air out of the tire I was working on. We had to drive the bike to a gas station and pump it up with the air pump there, which is risky because it can overinflate the tires. The gauge didn't work well enough to get a pressure, so I had to estimate. I feared disaster, particularly since the bike has 27 inch tires, which is no longer a standard size, but it worked out ok. I packed up my gear and got to bed not too late.

My kids agreed to come with me to cheer me and take pictures. We left the house at 5:20 am Saturday, and even then we got stuck in an impossible traffic jam the last mile to get into the parking. Mmy father's car overheated, but I decided to keep going (turning it off when we were stopped in the traffic jam) and hope it cooled off during the race. We did get parked in time for me to quickly set up in the transition area. Then there was a long wait on the beach--the race started half an hour late.

The swim was shortened--the results list it as .25 mile but I think it was shorter than that--because of wind and a fairly rough sea. We were swimming in Nantucket Sound, not the open ocean but with a south wind it is a large enough area of open water that a pretty good swell builds up. The water was actually fairly warm; I think they said 67. I breathed to one side only and enjoyed the waves. Running up the beach was no fun, and I felt very slow in transition. But I didn't forget anything.

The 10 mile bike ride felt long because I had never been on the course before, but I passed a fair number of people and ate my peanut butter and jelly sandwich. I felt I found a good pace, pushing myself but comfortable. Pretty views, and not much traffic.

The run was longer--I've seen it reported as 3.5 and 3.6 miles. I was dragging a bit but then the last mile I ran with a woman who caught up with me. We talked, and it made the run pass very quickly. I think I also ran faster than I would have to keep up with her. She sprinted to the finish and I didn't have that in me, but I was happy.

I was a bit sorer and more tired than the Clemson race--I pushed myself a little more and felt good about it.

But then when we got back into the car the warning light went on immediately and steam started coming out. I stopped the first likely place I saw--a Honda dealer. They said they couldn't work on the car, couldn't even put coolant in it because Audis take special coolant. But they told me I was only 2 miles from the only Audi dealer on Cape Cod, which did also have Saturday morning service. The Audi dealer said they couldn't look at it until Monday. My husband was at home, but it turned out the phone hadn't been turned on after the winter. I had to call an aunt to go over and tell him what was going on. She loaned him a car to come get us. The kids and I went to get some lunch, as it would take him at least 40 minutes to get to us (it took longer, as the car he borrowed had to be jumped). When we went back to the Audi dealer they had had a chance to look at the car and been able to fix it. The radiator fan had come unplugged. It took a gallon of coolant, so I had pushed it in how far I drove with it overheating, but no damage. We had to wait for my husband to arrive to tell him the car was fixed, but then finally we could head home. I was sticky with salt and really desperate for a shower--it was very hard to deal with the car (and being optimistic for the sake of my kids and show them how to think through car trouble) right after the race.

The car trouble really took away the glow of the race, but I'm getting some of it back and hope to get more back when I get the pictures.

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