We got all signed in and set up our transition areas and before long we were off and running. Since it was such a short course for all the legs, I had already decided I was going to go as hard as I could and see what I had in me. My legs were a little sore today from the 10K Thursday night, but I was giving it anyway.
Mike and I were in Wave 3 for the takeoff and Jeff was in Wave 5. We took off running down West Hart Road, and before I knew it most everyone was ahead of me. I tried to keep Mike in sight at least but after a while I gave up on that too and just concentrated on taking nice long strides and the fastest pace I could sustain. most of the time, my garmin pace was between 9:30 and 10:30, which is pretty quick for me. pretty soon we had looped back into the hospital parking lot and onto my bike. Mike was already gone at that point, so I ripped off my jacket and threw on my shoes and was off again. The transition gates weren't well marked so I lost a few seconds trying to go the wrong way but was quickly redirected. The bike was windy but I managed to smoke a lot of people anyway and got smoked by a few myself. I love this leg of the races - its about the only time I can pass folks up and look strong. Just before the turnaround in Turtle township, I heard a familiar voice behind me. Jeff had caught up to me and passed me like I was standing still. I hollered out some words of encouragement (I think it was something like "Bastard!" which I hope he knew meant "great job Jeffy!!" :-) ) Caught some tailwind on the way back and kicked her into the big ring most of the way back. The transition went well and the run was quick, I gave it all I had. My garmin clocked me at 1:13, but I am waiting for the official times and splits since mine were pretty imprecise.
My splits are not very accurate since I have a bad habit of forgetting to lap myself until too late. The first one I forgot to split my transition at all, so I have a lap clock somewhere in the middle of transition. The next transition is marginally accurate, and the stop time is pretty off too and includes a little bit of getting my chip stripped off and standing around chatting...... GRRRR.
Knowing that last year their were only 4 Athenas I knew I had a shot at medaling and I was right. I have no idea how many were in my division, but I do know I took second place in it. i got to go up and collect my medal, which was cool and a first ever experience. Looking at the medal on the way home, I had to chuckle to myself. The YMCA events both the Janesville ones and elsewhere seem to always just miss the mark as far as organization goes. This was no exception. The race was pretty organized with a couple minor snafus, however the medals were all engraved for the event and said "18th Annual Beloit Wellness Biathlon 2008." Apparently I won my division at next years race already. Funny.We jokingly say the races are all about the shirt (my sister calls Mike the Tshirt Whore - lol), but since the tshirt is kind of ugly, it's really all about the bling for me today. Might as well enjoy the moment, who knows if I will ever be here again!
Kudos to Mike and Jeff for beating me to the finish again. I think maybe thats secretly why they bring me - at least they know their will be one person behind them eating their dust - good job guys!