Sunday, August 19, 2007

8/19/07 - Rattlesnake Triathlons - Jason Kaminski

Saturday's Rattlesnake Olympic triathlon consisted of a 1.5k swim a 40k bike, and a 10k run. If anyone's ever been down south to the Aurora reservoir, you know how hilly the roads are down there. After my sub-25 minute swim, the hilly bike leg was next. The Rattlesnake triathlons are unique in that they have a time-trial start, that is each swimmer starts individually every 3- 4 seconds. You never know where you stand within the race in this type of format, but I preferred it over a mass wave start since the swim is my weakest sport and I didn't have to fight the crowd. The women started first at 7:15AM, and the guys who were doing the back-to-back races went next. I ended up starting about 8:15AM, thus avoiding most of the heat of the day. I turned in a 1:10 bike leg ( 21.2 mph ave), and then it was onto the run. I only had 2 guys pass me on the bike, and one of them was a pro triathlete from Denver. Having only run 3 times since February b/c of a torn MCL in my left knee, I knew this would be my toughest leg. I turned in a 51:12 for 8:15 pace, and I was pleased with that. Out of the 50 people in my category, I finished 12th in the swim, 9th in the bike, and 14th in the run for a total time of 2:28:37 which was good for 11th overall in my 35- 39 age group.

Sunday's Rattlesnake Sprint Triathlon served as the USAT (USA Triathlon) National Championship, and there were guys from all over CO and a few out-of-staters. Unlike an Olympic distance triathlon, there are no set distances for a "sprint" race. The distances here were 500m swim, 12 mi bike, and 5k run. This was going to be a walk in the park after yesterday's 2 1/2 hour romp. Again, the swim is my weakest sport, but I was thrilled with my 7:38. I had a good T1 and it was off to the bike. I threw in everything I had- I was either going to blow up or turn in a fast time. My cycling legs felt pretty good after yesterday's race, and I hammered the bike in a respectable 34:27 on 12 miles of the same hilly course as Saturday. I zipped through T2 and was moving pretty well, considering again that I'd done nearly no running the previous 5 months. Right before the run turnaround at halfway, my knee popped and I felt this incredible jolt of pain. I pushed through it and finished strong, passing mostly women but also a few back-to-back racers who started with me. My placings were 12th in the swim, 9th in the bike, and 10th in the run and I ended up 8th of 58 in my competitive age group (the winner and 4 of the top 10 overall guys were in the 35- 39 age group). I knew I'd have a strong bike, but was ecstatic with my 7:03 run pace. If my running injuries ever heal up, you guys might not see me much on the bike next season :-)

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