Monday, June 6, 2011

Coliseum Rock 'N RollMan Half Race Report

I raced this weekend, but dont have too much to report.

Friday afternoon I headed down to Macon, GA for the Rock 'N RollMan Half.  Why Macon, you ask? Well, $1000 was up for grabs to the winner, so I was looking forward to a good race. This, however, this didnt quite pan out.

I arrived at the race site on the morning of the race and heard the announcer say the water temp was a balmy 86 degrees. This, combined with the predicted high air temperature of ~100F, meant it was going to be a warm day from start to finish. I was then thrown a bit of a curve when the valve on my tube in my rear tire broke, necessitating a tube change.  I switched out the tube without too much trouble, taking care to ensure the tube wasnt pinched as I certainly didnt want a pinch flat right after starting the ride. Finally, with the start fast approaching, I headed down to the lake.

I got a pretty good start and soon enough Nina Craft and I were swimming together with no one else in sight. I swam behind her for a while, then moved ahead after a little over the half way point, only to have her stick right on me.  I felt like were holding a solid pace, but nothing extraordinary.  Fortunately though it was strong enough to create some separation from everyone else, and we exited the water at almost the same time.

I had a pretty quick T1, and was out on the bike first. I was out on the road all alone and wanted to keep it that way. The bike course was challenging but fun with plenty of hills and decent road surfaces most of the way. I checked behind me a couple of times at the end of long straightaways, but never saw anyone so I just focused on pouring it on keeping up with calories and hydration. The miles ticked away and before I knew it I was rolling into T2.

Starting the run, I was feeling pretty good. The first half of a mile of the run course overlapped with the bike course, and I still didnt see anyone, so I figured I had a pretty decent cushion over 2nd. So I just wanted to stay comfortable and make sure to not blow up.  Of course "comfortable" is a relative term when you have to run 13 hilly miles in 90F heat after biking 56!  So it turned into a long run by myself, not counting the encouragement from my buddy George at miles 2, 6, and 11, but before I knew it I had made it to mile 11.  This was near the 2 mile mark on the way out, so when I turned back to the park I got to see people heading out on the run. I cruised in from there, crossed the finish line, and, just like in FL, went straight to the med tent for bandages on my blister- covered feet.


Speaking of people heading out on the run... I have much respect for anyone who finished this race! With a smaller field and brutal conditions (tough course, hot weather) this was certainly one of the hardest half IM courses I've done.

Unfortunately I couldnt stick around for too long post race as that evening I was due in Nashville, TN for events for The Kids Triathlon where I was volunteering as a celebrity big kid, but that will have to wait for another day!  

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