The 1st wave of swimmers in the 2007 Heatwave Tri is about to start their 1/2 mile swim in the picture above. I was soon to follow in the 3rd wave. This was my second appearance at this event, the hometown race I consider the high point of my triathlon season. I'll do a few more but this is the big deal for me.
The swim leg was a great improvement for me over last year. I shaved about 4 minutes off my time, thanks to smoother water, a better strategy, and an additional 125,000 yards of swim training.
At right, 3 Legends of Swimming: myself, Niece of the South Woods, and Flowood Fighting Flounders Masters Swim Team Founder, K.E.. Of course we appear calm and relaxed, but what is really going on under that facade is what makes me love this stuff. A mixture of fear, excitement, determination and a strong desire to pee or throw up even though you don't need to. Swim finish times, respectively: 16:02, 13:35 and 13:47. Not bad at all.
My trusty bike awaits on the rack in the transition area. It's not fancy - an early 1990s vintage Dave Scott Ironman Centurion. I found it on EBay for $150, and then had Gary at Pro Bike go over it completely. He changed the handlebars, added aerobars and moved the shift levers, gave it a new paint job, new front ring gears, a new seat, cables and I bought a new set of tires. I am told the frame is still one of the best steel frames ever made. Not as light as the high-tech carbon and aluminum, but smooth and comfortable.
This year's bike leg was a little strange, in that we were mixing with stopped traffic while the inbound and outbound racers from the bike and run intersected. My friend KayVee's blog describes her experience with her usual entertaining skill at Tri 3X Fun. She adds that there was a timing and distance problem with the course also.
I was able to finish in 2:50:04, a 3 minute
improvement over last year. With an adjustment for the bike leg maybe I did even better. It was much hotter than 2005, so my run training only earned me a few seconds improvement. Running is my weak link, but I will continue to work at it. I have so much fun doing this stuff... I can't quit now.