Sunny skies and cool temps greeted us on Sunday morning for the 2015 Fall White Lake Sprint. The energy in the air was palpable which was so much different than the day before (read here for my account of the White Lake Half). Although I had competed the previous day, I was ready for the Sprint.
All males started together in the same wave. Have you ever put too much cereal in your bowl and not enough milk? It took a couple hundred yards for these corn flakes to spread out. And I swam well. So did Jeff Plemmons and Joel Isley, two men in my age group who are much faster triathletes than I. But I wasn’t too far behind them.
The course consists of two laps around White Lake. That’s a total of 14 miles. Starting out on this course is nice, because there’s not much bike traffic. Starting the second loop things get a bit crowded, because many of the novices and slower swimmers join the rest of us on the road. Nothing wrong with that as long as you call your position as you pass. Not many people do that, but it has saved my butt a few times. It’s simple. Just call out, “On your left.” before you pass someone. It alerts them that you’re there so they don’t inadvertently move into you.
So here I am, on the course. I’m pumping my legs off, breathing hard, pushing 250 watts. And from my left shoulder I hear, “Hey, Lowell.” It was JR Naylor passing me with very little effort. At least that’s how it seemed. And as the gap between us grew longer, I noticed he wasn’t even clipped in to his pedals. He was wearing his running shoes. Had he been clipped in, he might have been going so fast that my ears would have popped as he passed. But that’s JR. He’s just fast.
The best part was when I came in to the transition area after the bike ride. A perfect dismount was followed by a perfect run to the rack. I was the first one on my rack to return, so there were no other bikes on it. When I swung the bike around to rack it, I didn’t swing it high enough and knocked over the rack! Damn, that cost me a fast transition.
I pushed hard on the run. I was trotting along at a painful but sustainable pace of about 8 1/2 or 9 min. per mile in the last half mile. That’s moving pretty fast for me. Then I heard someone behind me. I didn’t hear foot steps. I heard wheezing and chuffing. I picked up that pace. I was not about to be passed. And I wasn’t.
My time was 1:25:….. I forget the seconds, but one hour and 25 minutes is fine with me: good enough for 3rd place behind Joel Isley and Jeff Plemmons.
Look out Joel and Jeff. I’m coming for you! 🙂
Stay to the right, pass on the left and keep on smilingLG