Sunday, March 14, 2010
Triathlon (part two)
The good news is that for the most part, the triathlon went well. The bad news is that I don't have much to complain about or make fun of. Things started off fairly promising for a chance to complain when the triathlon was postponed for 30 minutes because the police hadn't closed off the roads completely. That pushed the cycle and the run closer to the middle of the day in 90 degree heat. Here is a video of the event that the Abu Dhabi Tourism Department put out. You can see me ride past on my bike and wave at 2:47.
More good news is that they put up the results on the website (you have to search under my name) and is really easy to search. Based on the results, my unbelievable 23-minute 10 kilometer run was ruined by the 30 minutes it took me to change from my biking gear into my running gear. What must've happened is that one of the sensors that picks up the computer chip we were wearing wasn't working. The first 5 kilometers of my run got lumped into the bike to run transition. I checked other people's results and it seems the same thing happened to everyone.
Overall, the whole event was pretty well organized with a lot of media coverage. With top prizes of $115,000 each for the top male and female finishers, it was well attended. It was reported by the announcers (over and over) that this event was second in drawing top athletes only to the Ironman triathlon world championships in Kona, Hawaii. I doubt that it had the same number of spectators but that it was nice that my family got a chance to see me and take pictures of me easily. As you can see from the picture of me at the beginning of the cycle and the beginning of the run (just after cycling 100 kilometers) I was much fresher in the cycle.
Even for the age group competitors, there was a lot of enthusiasm and cheering. Because I swim, cycle, and run with most of the people from Abu Dhabi, it was great competing with friends and cheering everyone on.
The highlights of the triathlon included:
-- being handed a handful of white goop at an aid station while cycling and having a few seconds of uncertainty whether I should eat it or not before realizing it was sunscreen
-- riding on the new Formula One track for part of the cycling course
-- throwing my garbage on the Formula One track
-- passing a one-legged man on a bicycle on the Formula One track
-- almost getting in the way of the elite competitors during a narrow portion of the cycling course
-- passing loads of people on the cycle and the run
-- finishing the race hand in hand with my son (watch the below video to see me trying to catch my son after a long day)
-- going home, showering, relaxing for a few hours, then returning to the finish line a 10 minute walk from my apartment to watch friends complete the long course
Some lowlights of the triathlon included:
-- the last 20 kilometers of the cycle
-- the middle 6 kilometers of the run
-- my daughter missing out on finishing the triathlon with me because she didn't hear my wife tell her to run out to join me on the course
When I crossed the finish line with Lucas, the person handing out medals was nice enough to give a medal and towel to Lucas. Of course that only irritated Tia more because not only did she not get to run with me, she doesn't have a medal. The encouraging thing that my wife said was, "You can run with Daddy next time." The key words in that sentence were "next time" meaning that my wife has just accepted that this triathlon thing isn't going away any time soon.