Monday, May 17, 2010

Nijima Race Report

We discovered the Tokyo Island Series triathlons two years ago, and were hooked. It's so much more fun than other races around Tokyo. You get to race on Saturday, which means you can party on Saturday night, and the scenery is really pretty.

We caught the overnight ferry with about 20 other Tokyo based ex-pats. Enjoyed a couple of beers and slept OK on the hard floor, that was basically carpet. Ness got a bun in the girls room....

When we arrived I had to put the bike together which is normally a 15-20 minute job, but I'd taken the rear derailer off for the first time and could not for the life of me get the thing oriented correctly. With 3 hours to the race I was starting to panic - I got Vanessa's on OK but mine always seemed upside down. Failed that IQ test! Our lodge owner ended up dumping the bike with the mechanic and he got it on. Got a puncture inflatig the wheels but finally got it sorted.

Overall: 2:09.24 - 3rd

Swim: 20: 35

I had been finally swimming faster recently, thanks to ignoring things that swim coaches have been telling me years and listening to my tri coach who knows about open water swimming. Swimming with as fast a stroke rate as I could, no glide catch pause stuff. Anyway lined up at the start and saw a few strong swimmers from our Tokyo club, but none of them wanted to lead. I think they were all wanting to draft, so i went to the front. I ended up leading the whole swim, both laps and came out about 15 seconds ahead.

Bike: 1:07.24

I did the shoe in pedal start but forgot an elastic band to hold my shoe up. When I got on the bike one ofthe shoes hit the road and twisted out of the pedal. I cycled 20 metres before I realised and had to go back and pick up my shoe and struglle to get it on. All the expensive equipment to save a few seconds and I lose 40 seconds due to an elastic band - and poor prep ;)The wind had picked up and the course was a three loop course that seemed to have constant head wind. It was pretty bumpy and tight too. While I was going for my shoe one guy passed me, so I was in second. I went past him pretty quickly and was no behind the police escorts for the whole ofthe first lap. I was trying to get close to them to get a draft, but the buggers were up to my tricks and kept speeding away from me. Never have had much luck getting help from cops!

Lap 2 the escorts went as everyone was on the course. I was day dreaming a bit and didn't go as hard as I should have on the second lap. I figured some bloody 60kg Japanese whipet would run 36minute ten k, figured I could do 40-41 if I was lucky so needed a 5 minute lead. it ended up being about 3 minutes off the bike.

Run: 41:25

The run was a two loop 5km course with a couple of really tough steep hills, the first one about 800m long, straight out of transition. I was back behind the coppers again forthe first lap, and was glad to have them back again. I tried to to think of the result and tried to stay wth the "don't look back" philosophy. About 2 ks to go on lap one there was a lap of an athletic track and loop back, and I'd done the howle lap and was back out on the road before I saw the guy coming behind. This guy was really hoooking and had his name printed on his race kit, which is never a good sign when he's running you down. I guess he was two and a half minutes back.

I ended up holding him to the same point on the second lap and he got me with 2kms to go. I ranw ith him for a bit but was kidding myself. He finished a minute ahead of me. I crossed in second, but found out later there were a few guys in the third wave that started 8 minutes after mine! Including the winner! So the whole race I hadn't really been leading. One ofthe guys in the third wave finished one second in front of me toget second. I didn't even know until the awards night! It was nice to feel like a race leader anyway....It would have been fun to ride with the winner though as I reckon I could have stayed with him had i had a pacer. Anyway he busted out a 2 hour result which was pretty awesome considering the wind and I could have never gotten near that.

Ness blitzed the girls and won by about 4 minutes. She is reall consistent - i beat her run split though for the first time in about 3 years (the last time we raced in cool weather I think!). It was so nice to have a cool race for a change.

Next up a race in Saitama on June 6 2.25km swim, 60k bike, 15k run, before IMUK Aug 1 and Challenge Copenhage Aug 14.

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