I thought I'd take a minute to give you all a race report before we head off to another day of travel towards La Paz, Argentina.
In a few short words, I got "lapped out". For those of you unfamiliar, "lapped out" refers to when a competitor gets lapped on the bike course by the leaders and is therefore pulled from the race. This tends to occur if an athlete had a bad swim, a flat, a crash, or is simply not as strong as the other competitors.
There were a couple of reasons why I was lapped out. First, instead of being 8 laps of 5km on the bike, it wound up being 9 laps of 4km, which meant that the leaders had less distance to travel before they started lapping the slower competitors. With an extra 1km per lap, it would have given me a chance to bridge up to a chase pack and continue through the field, of which I was about 1/4 mile short from obtaining. The second reason is due to my swimming. Seeing as how I've been swimming for a little over a year, my ability did not come even close to those that have been swimming all their life.
Each bike lap took about 6:00 and if I'm coming out of the T1 5 - 6 minutes behind the group of 4 or 5 leaders, that clearly does not give me enough time to avoid being lapped out. After analyzing the way the triathlon went, my coach Ian and I realized that there was a group of roughly 5 competitors that got away from me in the swim and were able to make it into T1 20-30 seconds in front of me. That was the last group that did not get lapped out.
So, if I'm looking at the positive side of things, I'm roughly 20-30 seconds down from being in the thick of the competition. After having watched the remainder of the race, I know that my bike and run ability will easily match these other competitors. At the same time, this is not a duathlon, it is a triathlon so I still have a lot of work to do in the water.
Next weekend's race in La Paz is supposed to be quite hilly and a lot of fun (according to the Brazilians who will also be there). Not to mention, because it's a small town, virtually the entire place comes out to watch the triathlon and at some parts it's apparently like the Tour de France! Let's hope the bike course isn't short, but if it is, game time.
Thanks for checking in!