Friday, September 19, 2008

Black Diamond Olympic

My first Olympic distance race of the season and a fine day it was. Black Diamond, located near Enumclaw in the shadow of Mt Rainier is a great venue but the weather for the September race (there is another race at the same venue in June) can be a little hit and miss. Not so this year. The day dawned with clear skies and by the time the race start came around (9:15) it was a balmy 60 degrees, perfect!

The team I race for were represented well. We did not have numbers but we had talent. Michael Gordon, Bryan Urakawa, Mike Pritchard and myself on the mens side and Kara Nielsen in the womens race. There was also ROn Stadick (far right in the picture) racing in the Sprint fresh from a PR at Ironman Canada (in fact Michael, Bryan and Mike had all raced in Penticton at the end of AUgust).

The race went well. I knew I was racing for 2nd with Michael in the field and my aim was to stay out in front as long as I could in the hope of keeping others at bay with a good solid showing in all three disciplines. That is pretty much how it went. I was third out of the water, first out on the bike and then held this postion until around mile 22 of the bike when Michael passed me. As I was racking my bike Michael was just leaving the rack to head to the run exit, I guess I was maybe 30 seconds down. I really wanted to run sub 40 minutes but this course has some funky off road sections that were going to make that a real challenge. I ran consistently despite a little cramping of the vas med and knew I had 2nd locked up after seeing the other athletes including Mike and Bryan (both of who were looking good and in the top 10) too far behind to catch me unless something dramatic happened.

I crossed the line 2nd overall in a time of 2:06:32 just under 4 minutes behind the winner (Professional Triathlete Michael Gordon) so I was happy. The next guy was just under 5 minutes behind me. Bryan and Mike had another epic battle (they have been close in all their races this year) with Mike posting 4th fastest run of the day to beat Bryan by 37 seconds! On the men's side we finished 1st, 2nd, 6th and 7th overall.

Kara had another strong performance and locked up the overall win in a time of 2:22:29, her margin of victory 5 minutes. Ron managed 10th overall in the Sprint race winning his age category handily.

All I wanted was to post consistent splits in each discipline and not have a bad element to my race. I achieved this. My transitions could have been a little slicker and I struggled to get my nutrition down on the bike which may have impacted my run a little but to post the 3rd fastest swim time, 3rd fastest bike time and 7th fastest run time was in my mind solid execution.

Congrats to Vo2 athlete Scott Hill who had a fine race and finished in 2:48:42 despite a crazy week and training through it.

Thank you to my wonderful wife Cindy who took the photos and shouted encouragement to everyone throughout the day. My next race will be an open 10km, my prediction 37:47. Watch this space!


Ben G said...

Nice racing Ben. Looks like you've a great set of athletes around you.

Ben Bigglestone said...

Thanks Ben, it was a good day for us all. Still a little bummed I did not break 40 mins on the run, but given 40% of it was either off road or on a very knarly gravel path I am pleased.

Let's just wait until we get you over here for some racing ;o)