Monday, May 7, 2012

Crawfishman Triathlon Race Report

Raced the Crawfishman Triathlon yesterday!!  In usual fashion Crawfishman delivered a great race!  It's been pretty warm the last few days and naturally, race day didn't disappoint.  Bill and I drove down the day before with the boys and stayed with our family that lives in Covington, Nina and Lonnie!  My friends Deanna, Judy and Lesely came down the day before too.  Lesley's husband Phillip was the designated driver and chauffeur for them for the weekend!! 

Post Race Pic! 
Deanna - 4th Age Group*
 Judy - 1st Age Group (3rd fastest Swim women)
Lesley - 5th Age Group
My alarm was set for the usual 4:00 am race morning wake up.  I had my typical breakfast of Oatmeal with crunchy peanut butter, banana and vanilla soy milk.  Made a bagel for Bill and we headed off to the race site.  Got there at 6:00 am when the transition opened.  An hour and a half before the first wave started.  Perfect!

"Celebrity Race Number... Small numbers are lighter and have less wind drag coefficient...."

I was racked right next to two tough women - Kathy Abela (#14) and Susan Boudreaux (#13).  Last year they both caught me around mile 3 on the run.  I was able to run Susan down just before the finish line but couldn't catch Kathy.  It was a pretty "close" finish! 

Kathy Abela 1:48:01
Ginger Spansel 1:48:05
Susan Boudreaux 1:48:11

I chatted with Kathy as we set up our bikes - reintroduced myself (we'd also raced against each other at River Cities and she kicked my hiney).  You think we were racked all together on accident??  I think not!

Had plenty of time for a run and swim warm up - perfect - no stress.  There were 5 waves for the swim with all the women going off together in Wave 5.  You'd think with the number of women in the wave it would be a smooth start??  Not a chance.  I got pummelled!!!  Kathy was just to my left and I think she tends to swim right, she kept pushing me farther to the right away from the buoys.  I finally had to back off and swim over her legs to get on her left side and let her drift off on her own.  I finally got into a rhythm and ended up catching a lot of the girls who'd sprinted out at the start.  Felt pretty good about that because usually it's me getting passed at the midway point during the swim. 

"Hi Bill!"
On the final leg of the swim we were parallel to the shore and I could see Bill and our neice Michelle walking alongside so I had to give him them wave!  She asked how he knew it was me - he said he recognized my swim stroke and that I'd just waved at him!  :)

My awesome husband and race photographer!
When I came out of the swim I heard Lesley's husband Phillip call out 16:30 for my time!  I was happyeeeeee!!!  Keep in mind that a swim course in a triathlon is never exact from year to year but last year my time was 20:38.  That's what swimming consistently can do for you.  Since I moved from Texas I haven't had any kind of consistency in my swim training until last year.  I'd swim once or twice a week leading up to a race, counting on the fact that I've always considered my swim to be my best event. 

Pushing the "Lap" button on my watch.
Off onto the bike for 18 miles of rolling hills.  I felt really good on the bike, got my Garmin to properly scroll so I could actually see (for once) how fast I was going.  Hmmm.... what a novel concept... knowing your speed!  The only aggravating thing this day was the men around me.  There was one 58 year old guy who kept passing me then slowing down... you know the scenario. I'd pass him back, he'd pass me back.  Finally I couldn't take it anymore and told him to just go and stay ahead.  Then there was the little old man who didn't seem to have a problem drafting.  Blatently drafting.  So in my electrolyte haze I asked him if he was enjoying the draft.  Just up ahead there was a draft marshall who'd slowed way down, I wonder if he got a penalty??

When I got back to transition my spot on the rack was gone.  3 bikes taking up all of the space.  I was mad!!.  Where should I put my bike now??  I wasted some time trying to move one over just enough to get mine close to my number.  (fyi - penalty for not reracking your bike in the proper location).  In the end I just put it about 3 places down and felt really bad for whoever was supposed to be there.  As I ran out of transition I saw the race director and yelled out something about my bike place being taken, hoping I wouldn't get a penalty.  (yes... I am a rule follower).

The run was hot and hilly and I kept hoping that Kathy and Susan wouldn't catch me again.  Worry... worry... worry..... pathetic!   I finally told myself that worrying about those two girls was only eating up my energy and put it out of my head.  As it turned out I was safe! This year it turned out like this:

Ginger Spansel 1:41:10
Kathy Abela 1:43:49
Susan Boudreaux 1:47:07

I won first Masters Female, Kathy won her age group 45-49, and Susan regained her title of Grand Masters Female. 

Swim: 16:39  HR Avg 167 / Max 168
T1   :51.9
Bike: 49:48 / 21.6  HR Avg 165 / Max 173
T2   :56.1
Run:  32:54 / 7:49  HR Avg 17 3/ Max 184

Our niece Michelle out watching her friend Jonathan Hobbs race.

Female Champions!  L-R
I don't know the first guy's name :(
Susan Boudreaux - Grand Masters
Stephanie Smith - 1st Overall
Sophie Capmartin - 2nd Overall
Ginger Spansel - Masters 6th Overall
Barbara Kerby - 3rd Overall
Mark Salvetti - Race Director

The beautiful awards were custom and created by Mark's son Nicholas Salvetti!  He did the painting!!  Very cool!  This is Nicholas - he also helped at the swim exit helping the athletes out of the water.  We were chatting here about the awards and his artwork!!

*I just have to add that Deanna was in a horrible bike crash 9 WEEKS ago.  A big pit bull ran out in front of her and she hit it dead on.  She went over the handlebars and broke her left clavicle (9 pins) and right wrist.  Just being out here to race is impressive let alone placing 4th!  She was only released by her doc to start training three weeks before the race.  Triathletes are TOUGH!!!

One more thing - awesome t-shirts.  Every race now days thinks they HAVE to do a DriFit Tech shirt and some of them give really bad quaility ones.  I miss the cotton tshirts.  Crawfishman has great cotton t-shirts and this year they also had Tech Shirts (in gender specific - thank you) sizes for sale!!  Deanna, Lesely and I all got one!  Great idea - good marketing!  I even wore mine after the race!   AND.. we got stemless wineglasses etched with the race logo as we crossed the finish line.  Those Louisiana races... well done!