Written by Jon Mellinger Wednesday, 16 September 2015 18:30
As the season comes to a close there are fewer and fewer opportunities to showcase the hard work of a long season. After flatting both tires in the Top of the Delaware Triathlon, I was eager to get to my next few races. The Nation’s Triathlon was the next opportunity to put my training to the test.
Prior to the start of the event, heavy rainfall helped lower the water temperature of the Potomac River. Though it’s nice to have confidence in your training, I have even more confidence in a wetsuit. Maybe it’s the likeness of a sausage or the added buoyancy for my hindquarters (probably the latter), but every little bit helps!
The swim start was fantastic; starting six competitors at a time, but the first 100M was fast and furious. In order to complete the course that went under the Arlington Memorial Bridge, I had to make my way through the mass of humanity before me. My confidence continued to grow as I passed greens, reds, and orange swim caps. The swim was exactly how I like it... uneventful and not in last (turns out I was 6th out of the water in my division).
The beauty of the bike course was instantaneous, beginning at the Washington Monument, headed north, and then snaked back down to the Pentagon. Lots of first timers had a tough time keeping their line but I moved through the crowd and got into the grind. Two of the turnarounds crossed medians with short wooden ramps, with the dampness from the day before, these were quite slick. An improved bike split, my obsession with my Carver clinchers continues, put my average right at 22mph through 40K.
After hoping off the bike, I changed up my typical race strategy in transition, threw on socks in the hopes of running a solid 10K. The Verge Sport tri-suit is one of the best I’ve had, but the compression was tough in the heat. I decided to rock the crop-top, which helped me take in nutrition and breathe. After the first two miles I hadn’t passed any competitors in my AG, so I began to worry. I was either far ahead or far behind. My splits were remaining in the low-sevens so I kept moving through the field determined to find someone. Lots of 30s, 40s, 50s, but still no one in that 25-29. By the last mile, I passed one other person in my AG. And checked my watch, a 43 minute 10K, so what the heck happened?
Overall, I was feeling good about the race, finished sub-2:30, 7th in the AG, and a top 5% overall finish amongst 2000 competitors. My placing even earned me a slot at USAT AG Nationals in Omaha, NE next year.
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