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Race Result

Racer: Steve Smith
Race: Timberman Half Ironman
Date: Sunday, August 21, 2005
Location: Guilford, NH
Race Type: Triathlon - Half Ironman
Age Group: Male 35 - 39
Time: 4:32:09
Overall Place: 18
Comment: s:25:45 b:2:25:08 r:1:38:30 ... no legs

Race Report:


At mile 10 I started walking. This, I think to myself, is why I schedule a *series* of "A" races in quick succession, why I give myself three important races and three chances to execute. Because Bad Days Happen. Yes, some days the legs are just not there. It could be a bad day, or it could be the beginning of something much uglier, but today, here at Timberman, I'm having a Bad Day, and I know it.

What I'm still wondering, is whether it's the beginning of something Much Uglier.


Timberman, voted the best large triathlon in the country last year, did not let me down as much as I let myself down. The swim course is probably one of the best in the country, in terms of water clarity (perfect) and surrounding scenery (classic New England at its best). The bike course is challenging (but not that scenic), in the best sense of the word, with one strenuous climb, several hard climbs, some rollers and some false flats all pieced together in a nice rhythmic way. The run is challenging as well, with one decent climb and some slow-you-down hills that you must repeat for the two-loop course. Better yet, the run course looks over that scenic lake and travels through a cool little lakeside town (before ducking onto a main road briefly, but it's all good).

The race organization is superb, and for those that can accept camping as at least mildly un-annoying, the Gunstock campgrounds provide that warm athlete-village atmosphere that can so enrich a good race.

I started the day with a good swim (PR-ing the distance significantly which says more about my past execution than it does for my current swim fitness), struggled on the bike to find my legs--only to discover them tired and powerless--and then started the run in 10th place. From there, the day worked me over.

I squeezed out a 4:39:09 for an 18th-place finish in tough conditions. As this was my first "A" race of the season (to be followed by Reston and Duke) I was a bit sad. No, not disappointed, because I did what I could with what I had. I pushed myself, finished in exhaustion and that's all I need for a good day. I was a bit sad because I know I could have done so much more. There was a significant gap between 7th and 8th place (4:17 to 4:22) and I know in my heart that is where I belonged. Now if I can just convince my legs.