Sunday, September 26, 2010

Black Bear Triathlon - Race Report

It seems like I am writing one of these things every week lately. Maybe it's because I have been racing almost every week lately. Whoops. Is that a good thing? Probably not. But neither is sitting on the sidelines wishing I had entered the race. Not much of a spectator, there'll be time for that later in life when I finally wear myself out - unless of course they have some sort of event for old worn out people that I could get into. Hhehehehe.
So today I raced the Black Bear Triathlon in Orono. Yes, Orono, Maine. I have a camp in Island Falls so the plan was to go "uptacamp" Friday afternoon with Dave and Jared and hang out, then pull the dock on Saturday. Then on Sunday (today) we stopped in Orono on the way home to race. It was my version of The Perfect Storm. Two of my favorite things in the same weekend, camp and triathlon. We took care of the dock Saturday and then chilled out for the rest of the day and talked trash about today's race. I had beaten Jared and Dave last weekend and they were both looking to make it tough on me today. I knew I'd have to earn it. I won this race last year and took some friendly ribbing over the winter for racing such a small race. I had won by 2 1/2 minutes but I worked my tail off to do it. Still I got some flak but that was OK. A win is a win right? We showed up on time but with not so much extra time that we could preview the bike course (remember that - you'll need it later) and we got registered and set up. This is such a great little race to do beacause they limit the field to like 75 people and there are very few volunteers and hardly any spectators. The bike racks are made of 2x4's and you have to count your own laps in the pool or bring your own counter. At the pre-race meeting a guy asked if it was alright if he rode without a helmet! That was a no-go, but good for a chuckle.
Jared, Dave and I were in the 3rd wave. I had a great swim, getting out 4th and about 30 seconds ahead of Dave and Jared. As I was headed out on the bike I saw them come bolting out the door. This was going to hurt, I could just tell. I figured I would let it all hang out on the bike ride and see if I could hold Jared off again. Didn't we just do this? I caught the few guys that were ahead of me and figured I was out front. I peeked bck a few times and didn't see anybody but kept hammering away. I came back into UMO after 12 miles or so and had a great transition out onto the run course. Jared later told me that me rear wheel was still spinning when he saw my bike on the rack. He was close! When headed out on the run I spied a big guy in front of me by about 50 yards. It was a guy named Dave that I had met through another friend before the race. At first I thought he must be in another age group but I quickly realized by the way he was running that this guy was in my AG and had no intention of letting me go by. I held the 50 yard gap for the first mile. I couldn't get any closer though. I was srarting to think he might out run me when I realized I was running bolt upright and not focussing on my stride. I got squared away and started to reel him in. At the 1.5 mile mark of our 3 mile run I fell in right behind him and stayed there for a minute or so just to try to get a feel for whether or not I could pass him or not. I pulled out and ran beside him for a bit. We stayed together for about a half mile. I tried to crack him a few times but every time I surged he would come with me. Then I saw a little incline coming and I waited until we got to it before pushing again. This time it worked and he started to fade. Phew....good thing too because I was pushing pretty hard and I did not want this guy around when we got back on campus. I made the final turn into UMO and took a quick peek back to see how close he was and to check for Jared. I had it - but I didn't know what others may have done so I kept pushing all the way through the finish on the track. Just before the finish I saw Dave standing there clapping for me and I was confused. Apparently he had gotten off course on the bike and got pretty frustrated with the level of direction from the volunteers. He stopped after the bike deciding his head was just not in it after getting screwed up on the ride. It IS tough to navigate this course if you're from away and are not familiar with it. I had a tough time last year as well. I wish we'd ridden the course first but we didn't think we had time. We should have made time. Dave was pretty disappointed but he'll be back, he was having a great ride too and I'm certain he would have been in the top five. So I was able to hold off Jared one more time. Something tells me my days are numbered with this act but I'll keep going at him as long as I can. We have a great time with it and keep it in perspective. I won the race for the second year in a row. This year I got tested too. This may be a small race but the people that show up mean business. It was really great to be able to win the race on the run, I had to really go and get it. Good times.
I have decided that today was my last triathlon for 2010. I will pass on the trip to Clearwater. I simply have too much going on with work and life to be able to take the time (again) to travel to Florida in November. I also have a little thing called Ironman Lake Placid on the horizon and I'll be getting geared up for that soon. Clearwater just doesn't fit in the plans this year. Maybe next year if some friends qualify and want to go....
I'm excited about having some time off to refect on the season, one that had it's ups and downs but certainly finished on a high note. I need some time to focus on business and family. I look forward to getting the group together for spin at my house real soon. BUt first, some much needed rest!


  1. Congrats Bob! You earned that win! Awesome!
    Totally get it about Clearwater. Hard to pass up a qualifying spot, but it's time to rest and get ready for training for the big one!

  2. Better bring your "A" game next year Brother!!! The Nothern Maine contingent of the old guy Tri Club is gunning for you... Great to see you and Dave B again. Nice job we will see you in the spring (or sooner)