Other Links

The Denison Dash Triathlon was the site of my first triathlon in 1999. Two years later I was looking forward to having my wife and 3 month son with me as I took a shot at getting an age group award for the first time. The course was a 300m pool swim, 13.2 mile bike and a 3.5 mile road/trail run. My race goals were to beat my previous times and potentially get an age group award. My time goals were under 5:45 for the swim, under 39 minutes for the bike and 31 or under on the run.

The night before the race was a little different than normal since my bike's normal location in the car was going to be taken by Jonathan. With the bike relegated to the rack on the back of the car things were loaded and set to go. If Jonathan slept all night he and my wife would come. If not I would go it alone.

4:30am rolled around and I was up and ready to go. Jonathan was still sleeping so I quietly had breakfast as my wife got up. I finished loading the car and secured my bike on the trunk rack. I briefly thought about removing my aerobar pads to make sure they wouldn't fly off while driving but after tugging on the first one with no effect for a few seconds I opted to forgo the idea. With the car loaded we quickly transferred Jonathan to his car seat from his crib. He wasn't quite sure what was going on but tried to smile as he woke up which was very cute. Once in the car he quickly fell back asleep. On the road I kept checking the review mirror to make sure my bike was okay. When I stopped after about half an hour to tighten the straps I noticed that the aerobar pad that I had not tested was gone. I could have kicked myself for not removing it earlier. However my backup plan was to use one of my cycling gloves as an armrest so I figured that I would be okay. An hour later we arrived at the race site and Jonathan awoke ready to eat. Michelle held him while I got my bike ready and set up my transition area. At 7:30 all three of us headed over to the pool. Jonathan was fascinated by all the people and was happy looking around. After the race directors speech the time seeded swim start began. I was starting 139th out of about 350 so I hung out with Jonathan while he ate his breakfast. A few minutes before my start I kissed Michelle and Jonathan and headed out.

The swim start went without a hitch. I keep things relaxed and easy. After 2 lengths I passed the two people in front of me and got passed by one other person. He wasn't going as fast as I would have liked but he made a good draft to follow and was passing some others himself so I relaxed in his wake until the final length where I passed him. Swim time 5:26 goal one accomplished.

The transition was a speedy 1:11 and then I was out on the bike course. I was hoping for at least a top 10 bike placing so I cranked things pretty hard from the outset. The course had a number of rolling hills and corners. I was consistently passing people but I still felt a little sluggish. After crossing under the nearby highway several times I cruised on in to the transition area with a sparkling 35:51 good enough for 4th overall on the bike.

I was heading out of the transition when I realized that I had forgotten my race number. I ran back to my rack to get it and then headed back out on the run. The run followed a road up several hills to a small lake then took a trail around the lake and followed the road back to the finish. My previous time on this run had been 31:40 so I was hoping to do somewhat better. Ahead of me were several women. One I recognized from other races where she had passed me on the run. I figured that I could catch the other two. I kept my cadence pretty high and soon overtook the slowest of the three women. Just after the first aid station I overtook the second woman. As the course wound around the lake I was able to overtake several more people. As I reached the road I could see the first woman I had been chasing not to far ahead. I knew that since I had been able to keep up to her that I was having a very good run. I passed several more people as I headed back onto the road heading to the finish. I knew my time would be close to placing in my age group so I picked up the pace. Finally I was passed by two 40 year olds so I let them go while I passed someone else in my age group. With the finish line in site I surged towards the finish with a time of 27:01 on the run over 4 minutes faster than my goal.

After I was finished I looked at my watch to see my final time was 1:10:23, 14 minutes faster than my previous time on the course. At that point I knew that I would be close to placing in the medals. Michelle, Jonathan and I wandered around for a while and talked with a few people while we waited for the awards ceremony. After about 45 minutes the overall rankings were posted and I found that I had placed 23rd overall and 5th in the 30-34 age group meaning my first medal and a successful conclusion to my second triathlon season.

Send comments to