I had trouble posting pics on Facebook, so I'll just hang them here. I haven't posted here in quite a while anyway.
It was great weather for swimming, biking and running - about 65 degrees and clear with a light north wind. The water was warmer than the cool morning air, and as some of us warmed up with a quick pre-race swim, I thought to myself, "it's 6:45 a.m., I've been up since 3 a.m., drove 2 hours to get here, and I'm 150 yards from shore, treading water in Lake Providence." Not so long ago I would never have believed I would consider this so much fun. But most of you few who read this blog will understand.
There were 81 participants in two waves to start the 400 yard swim. Males over 55 were in the same wave as the females, so my friend Kate and I decided to try something different and line up at the front of the wave and fight for the clear water instead of picking our way through the pack from the outside. It worked wonderfully and I only had to yield to one faster swimmer.
The bike leg was as flat as you would expect in Louisiana cotton farmland. Just like the Mississippi Delta. I rode really hard trying to maintain an 85-90 cadence and never looked at my speed. There was a girl with a gecko tatoo on her lower back that I played yo-yo with for a while and then let her get ahead of me by 10 or so bike lenghts. I made myself stay within that distance of her and hung there for about 10 miles. We came to a slight downhill and I saw her stop pedalling, so I caught up and passed her and never looked back to see where she was. She came into transition about 10 seconds behind me.
The run leg was disappointing. I might have gone too hard on the bike, but I wasn't worried about it since I've been doing lots of running lately, it was relatively cool and this was only a 5K distance. But I ran poorly and kept thinking I would settle into a good pace, but it never happened. Then one side of my back core muscles started tightening up and it was run a few minutes and walk 30 seconds. I think my pace was about 10:30. A bad finish to an otherwise good race.
Here's the group photo of the great ladies who put the race on. There's also great support from the East Carrol Parish Sheriff's Department.