Race Report – Riverbluff Tri (fka Nashvegas Tri)

In August of 2012 I was looking on a website for a race and discovered a triathlon in nearby Cheatham County called the Nashvegas Tri. I had never done a tri and, though I figured I’d like to try it at some point, it wasn’t high on my list. At the time I discovered it, Nashvegas was a mere four weeks away, but I figured if I could borrow a bike and find a place to swim a few times, what the heck? I was able to do both and got started the next week. In total I swam 7 times and rode probably 12, but I felt incredible that month. Race day I just went out to finish and have fun, and ended up having so much fun that I knew I’d have to return. I decided that once I got a Boston qualifying time, I would turn my attention to triathlon. Fast-forward to 2013. I qualified for Boston on June 22, flew home, got a Y membership and started swimming that next week. I bought a bike the following week (that ended up not arriving until early August…long story).

That’s a long intro to this year’s Nashvegas Tri race report (re-branded Riverbluff Tri, but I like Nashvegas better).

The race started out with a fog delay. You could barely see 20 feet over the water, much less the turn buoys. Just before it was in danger of becoming a duathlon, the fog burned off enough to allow the race to start. I was much better prepared all around this year, and it showed on the swim. My speed was not blistering and I was not in the lead pack, but I wasn’t that far behind the leaders. Compared to last year’s freak-out 50 meters in (I did settle down and get it done but had to tread water for a few minutes), this was a big win for me. T1 was simple and smooth, and I ran my bike out ready to go hard.

My coach had suggested I stay controlled on the bike and not worry too much about time, seeing as I’d only had my bike for a month. Um, yeah, that didn’t really happen. I went out hard on the rolling course and pushed it the whole way, ending up with a 1:07 split, which, while not blazing, was a respectable 14th fastest. I knew I was going hard and really had no idea how it was going to hit my run.

It hit it hard. A half mile in I started cramping in my side. This puzzled and irritated me – I never cramp! Why now?! I spent the rest of the run variously doubled over trying to breath it out, walking through aid stations, and running when I could. I crossed the line with a 45:36 10k time – ouch.

Still it was as awesome an experience as I had remembered the first one being. And being fairly new to the swim-bike portion, I was pleased to post some decent times in those disciplines. The run was less disappointing because I know that the running ability is there – the poor run performance today was more about learning how to race tri’s than about learning how to run faster (although there’s lots of room for improvement there as well). At the end of the day I walked away with a total time of 2:19:54, which was good enough for 13th place overall. I’m not real thrilled with this, but I did have fun and I know my times are going to improve with experience.

Best of all, my two oldest sons met me at the finish and ran through the chute with me! I love having my wife (who indulges my obsession) and my boys at races with me, and it means a lot to me. Endurance sports are not the greatest spectator sports!

nashvegas finish line

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