Tuesday, July 28, 2009

New York City US paratriathlon Championships

Last Sunday I found myself wetsuited up sitting on a pontoon strapped to Ryan, getting ready to jump into the Hudson River. I can honestly say I never thought I would swim in the Hudson. It is a combination of murky and a little salty. Cleaner than I was expecting.

Now the major benefit of swimming in the hudson is that there is a lot of current.

The few days before the start were hectic. We drove down on friday and got in late after sitting in traffic trying to get on the island. We were tired and the nerves were a little frayed from the New York traffic.

Saturday was registration day. We sat through the PC briefing and went and got our kits. We were staying at the official hotel which was probably 4km from transition. This was a bit tough as we had a long tandem bike. We were not confident enough to ride in NYC traffic so we had to walk down to transition. Because of the location of the transition zone noone was allowed to stop their cars and drop off their stuff. A large hastle for us. As a result this took us the majority of the day. We got back in time for dinner and took a bus tour in the evening.

Sunday morning was early. Transition closed at 5:45 when the pro's started. We managed to get there with just enough time to finish setting up. We were racked next to Aaron Scheidies. The world's fastest paratriathlete. He has a similar visual condition to Ryan so they are natural competitors. He is a super cool kid. I suggest googleing him to see what he is about.

There was over a 1500m walk to the swim start. The para triathletes were situated in the pro tent which is cool. Just simplifies things.

We got the call to head to the pontoon. We ended up sitting there for a while as they were leaving a gap before the second group of racers went.

We were given a 30sec warning and were told to jump in and grap a rope. The current was super strong. The gun sounded and we were off. We knew that we would be amongst the faster swimmers in this wave so we pushed from the start. The swim is a straight shot downstream so sighting is a none issue. We were alone pretty much the whole time. Out of the water in around 17:00. That demonstrates the powerr of the current.

The bike starts out with a short downhill serction with two sharp rights followed by a steep hill up to the expressway. This was super technical for a tandem but we managed it well. We were now free to fly. I haf decided that I was going to bury myself on the bike as I knew that is where I could help the most. We caught up to the wave infront of us pretty much right away. We were flyinh by these slower cyclists. It was quite busy out there. It was a neat bike course as the closed the expressway on the west coast for us to race on. It was a hilly course, but fast. I was hoarse by the end from constantly yelling "on your left".

Into T2 I was a little torched from the effort. We changed quickly and climbed the hill out of the transition area. Ryan was pushing hard at this point. It took my body a while to come around. I actually felt pretty crappy for the whole run. It took a lot more effort this time to stay on Ryans shoulder.

The run through Central Park was cool(actually very very humid) this played havoc with my digestion. We continued to pass a ton of people. Only one person caught us from the wave that started after us. Ryan was flying, and I was surviving. I was going to bury myself before I slowed him down. We got to the finshing chute (which was crowded) and crossed the line in 2:18,second in his category. We acheived all of his goals so this was a very successful outing.

It was a fun race to do, but I won't do it again. Logostically it is too hard.

I would like to thanks Ryan and Mindy for giving me the opportunity to race in NYC with Ryan. It is a really neat experience, and I look forward to what the future holds!

1 comment:

ShirleyPerly said...

Another awesome race - congrats on 2nd place!

And that is a heck of an oly swim time. I had no idea the Hudson current was that strong.