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    Turtleman Triathlon - Mike's race report

    Tuesday, August 11, 2009

    We had awful weather Saturday morning in Shoreview. My brother, Joe, and I were up at 6:15am in White Bear Lake to get ready for the race. We packed our gear and bikes the night before so we could take advantage of a little extra time in the morning to indulge in more sleep. Sadly, the weather, clouds, humidity and temperature surely did not make it look like a good day to compete. Nonetheless we set out to make the most of the day.

    Good morning!

    We showed up ready to compete in all three events - which wasn't meant to be. Everyone had their wetsuits on the bike racks in anticipation to swim a 1/2 mile. Unfortunately, lightning and bad weather forced the race director to cancel the swim all together in an attempt to get the bike and run legs in before the next storm front came through. So we ran through the shallow end of the beach with a record "swim" time of 37 seconds - though my knees never touched the water. Next we transitioned to the bike for a wet and wild bike ride. Everyone had to watch their turns to be sure not wipe out. As expected, it started raining about 2 miles into the bike ride. This made the already curvy course into a "mind the turns" kind of ride. We had no less than 13 turns during the 21.5 miles bike ride. One could barely get into their zone before slowing down for yet another turn. Though I don't fault the race directors, I would not say I enjoyed the topsy-turvy round-a-bouts we were forced to endure. In the end most finished the course without incident - though there was more than an usual number of people on the sidelines with flat tires. Thankfully it was no one I knew!

    Good morning!

    Next it was time for the run... I set out with an absolute downpour of rain in my face. I had to use my hands as wiper blades just to see what was coming next. It turns out due to in climate weather, (forecast for hail) the race directors decided to call the run off. Most everyone (besides myself) turned around after mile 1 to head for shelter. I decided a long time ago (about mile 12 of the bike ride) that if they canceled the official race, I was going to cross the finish line - race sanctioned or not. I did not train this much for this long to have it canceled on me. I kept running past the crowd of people who turned around so I flagged down a crew of volunteers who were under a bus shelter keeping dry. I told them I was going to finish the course and wanted to know where the next turn was. They told me to run to the next stop light, turn left and keep running until I saw the next set of volunteers. I made a B-Line!

    In the end I caught the back end of the crowd who were "sanctioned" to finish the race...and even passed few along the way. Joe was cheering me on to push push push and run hard to the finish....which I appreciated. Of course it was my first and best time competing in an "Olympic" Triathlon race. Next time I hope I can actually put my face down in the water and make the race a 3 event sport.

    Good morning!