>> Monday, April 13, 2009
(Thanks for all the great comments on my race report. It was a hell of a day! I’m glad I was able to share that whole story with you. Thanks again for the comments!!)
So, when we left off, I had just finished the New Orleans 70.3 in 5:28:25, which was a PR by 5:33. My left hammy was still sore from whatever I did to it on the bike, but I was THRILLED that I was able to have had such a great run! I remarked in my race report that I had been flying when I hit the line - I didn’t track my splits, but I’m SURE I negative split the half marathon. I have proof of how much I was booking it. Here’s a photo from just before hitting the carpet, which signals the start of the finishers chute. Note where I am (I’m the one who’s legs look duck-like), and note the man in black on the right:
There was still a little more drama left in my day. A volunteer bent down to remove my timing chip. She took off the 2 safety pins (I’m always paranoid that I’ll lose it) and un-did the Velcro. She took it off and looked at me. “Uhh, sir... there’s no chip....”
Long story short: I had a slight pedal-to-pedal collision with another biker at one of the water stops on the bike, and we hit on the side where I was wearing my chip. I told the lady that it must have busted the chip right off. She quickly had me go talk to someone in the tent next to the line, and they confirmed that they had manually recorded my number when I crossed the line, so I was good! WHEW!!
As it turns out, I had an official bike split and T2 time, so the crash must have just broke the chip’s little “arms,” but it didn’t fall off until sometime during the run. A day after the race, I snapped a photo of my scratched ankle that shows the only remnants of that little chip-breaking encounter with a stranger:
In the food and drink area, I ran into Chris McCormack and got to touch him AGAIN! I told him, “Hey, nice job out there.” (I didn’t know how he finished, but I figured, hey, he’s Macca, so it must have been OK.) He asked how I did. I told him I PRed. He said, “In this heat? Way to go, man!” Praise from Caesar himself!! Thanks Macca!!!
Wil had my camera and was snapping photos of the finisher’s chute. Here are some shots she got of the pros doing their thing. Here’s the winner, Brent McMachon:
Pharmie thinks this photo’s pretty “hunky”
Sweet came in first
While we waited for the bus to take us back to transition, Chad found me and said “hi.” We chatted for a minute as I tried to avoid the sun. We got back to transition (after a great, air-conditioned, cushy-seated, charter bus ride), Pharmie and I took our bikes to the Bicycle World tent so they could be shipped back to us, helped the Evotri gang haul their stuff back to the van, and we all went back to the house. Pharmie and I compared sunburns. I did NOT have a watch line a few hours earlier, but now my arm looked like this:
We all showered up and hit the town. We were STARVING. I ordered a ton of big, rosemary-BBQ shrimp:
I’m NOT falling off here. Really.
(but notice my red arms and nose)
It’s harder to see my number, but THANKFULLY
“69” is still VERY readable. Great. Thanks Mother Nature.
Anyway, that concludes the massive story of our trip. We’re SO GLAD we went and did this augural event, but we don’t know that we’d do another long course, far away, early season tri like this again. Here are the links to all the great buddies we hung out with during our trip: Pharmie, Stu, Rural Girl, Robby, TriSaraTops, Tri-Cajun, JP, Wil, and Sweet