The New Orleans 70.3 turned into the New Orleans 67.1 when on Saturday the race director decided to cancel the swim due to the forecast of windy conditions on Sunday morning. Other than a few extreme situations (ie an impending hurricane) I'm not aware of a situation where the swim has been canceled that early. When it happens, it is usually a game-time decision. And even then there is usually quite a bit of consternation.
But, it is what it is and we were left with basically a bike-run event. After all, its not like there was going to be any real separation in two miles among 35 fit guys who have to ride 10m apart. I had a decent opening run, and was on my bike without any issues. That wouldn't last long, though, as things went downhill quickly.
The details are presented below in list form because I'm in specification writing mode.
- About a mile (1) into the ride ride my front bottle which was filled with PowerBar Perform, decided it really didn't want to be in the cage anymore, so it flew away.
- A Brazilian who I believe mainly does ITU races decided it would be a good idea to ride in our group. He rode like it was an ITU race, so when he finally decided to move to the front preceded to stop pedaling after passing me. I didn't brake quickly enough and there was the draft marshall to give me a 4min penalty, leading to...
- 4 minutes in the sin box. Never fun, but considerably less so when it is chilly and windy.
- Replacement Perform grabbed at the aid station had a leaky cap and was spewing Perform all over my front wheel/frame/body/chain. I got a few swallows and had to dump the rest.
- I probably didn't take enough calories, likely leading to a mild blow up the last couple miles of the run (5:45s to 6:15s).
- The last mile. There was a bridge, then a large roundabout, then the turn to the finish. We had already been through the roundabout once, after finishing the first lap, so I figured the turn for the finish wasn't too far past it after the completion of lap #2. I was wrong. We had to go back over the bridge then turn right and go through some gravel before finally reaching the anti-climatic finishing straight.
- The finish was in a gated parking lot at UNO rather than the French Quarter, the location of last year's finish.
On the bright side, I did feel great on my new QR CD0.1 (when I was actually riding it) and felt good running as well (outside of the last couple of miles) so while last weekend didn't quite go as planned, I am looking forward to some solid racing in the near future. After all, might as well get all of the nonsense out of the way at once!