Tuesday, March 22, 2011

The Brick

Light rain greeted the competitors of this year’s brick event, the second last of the Spring Fling. Many considered staying in bed after analyzing the weather from their bedroom windows.. A few did stay in bed. Those who didn’t found themselves huddled inside the club office until 9:20 because someone is always late and staying outside more than 5 minutes was enough to make anyone shiver. Anyone who wasn’t already cold certainly was after a practice lap of the course, serving to both clarify any confusion regarding the route and thoroughly chill all participants.

While Kim didn’t quite better her course record set this past fall, her 22:22 was the fastest time by far for the ladies, finishing more than a minute ahead of any other competitors. After hours sifting through stored Garmin files on her computer, she managed to dig out last semester’s bike and run splits for the brick. She blames any slackening of her pace on twice weekly Wreck beach stair workouts. Victoria was next in 23:26 while Kaley was nipping at her heels in 23:30. Or at least she would have been had the two not started 30 seconds apart. But in the interest of safe cornering on Kullahun Drive and to eliminate unfair drafting, the less exciting time trial format had to be adopted. You don’t truly know who you’ve beaten until 20 minutes after the race but at least you made it to the finish. With two traffic lights and a U-turn on the course, pulling in front of cars and gaining three seconds on your nearest compettior sometimes seems like a good idea.

On Friday, Kory decided to try the 16th Avenue option instead of his usual Stadium Road hill ascent and posted the fastest time for the brick, 20:08. Let’s give him a break on this unmarked course, when you are way ahead with no one to follow, sometimes it is difficult to remember to turn. 20:08 is exactly Matt’s time from the Fall Classic; he should have made his way down from Kitimat for the weekend and defended his title. With so many missed events, he would have to do a lot more than tie Kory to make up the ground he has lost so far. Barry was not far behind with a 20:14. During a post race interview Barry mentioned he wanted a fast time “to spite the haters”. While immediately elated with his time after finishing the brick, Barry could not help thinking of his cat’s recent pneumonia diagnosis, hence any associated facial expressions in the subsequent hour.

Vince finished third in 20:21. Not even Sherwood’s shouts of encouragement could allow Vince to run painlessly up Stadium Road, his legs certainly still felt the incline. It is not easy to take words of encouragement from a man pedaling effortlessly next to you. Sherwood, if you would ever give up the mechanical advantage of the wheel for even a single 5k run, you be an infinitely more understanding coach. You are no better than the fat man with an ice cream cone that I passed while running along Jericho beach the other day. If he were to offer me some mid-run encouragement, it would fall on deaf ears. That being said, I did appreciate your help in pacing that allowed me to catch Eddy at the Kullahun Drive turnaround. I did not however appreciate you blowing by me at the start after I slipped off a pedal and jammed my crotch into my seat. I already know I need to work on accelerations.

Kellen earned the title of fastest transition (9 seconds) with the aid of baskets and flat pedals added the night before the race. He was however only 4 seconds faster overall compared to last semester. Considering he has tripled his training volume, I think the baskets may have lost him more time on the bike than he ever could have made up in transition. The coveted longest transition award goes to Ben, with a whopping 53 seconds. Ben not only had time to change into a dry pair of socks and put on three layers of leg warmers, he also made a phone call to his mother and finished up a lab assignment that he laid out in the transition area. All the while munching on a turkey sandwich. We really don’t know how you do it Ben, but you have my vote for VP Time Management. My own 19 second transition would have been much speedier had Max not hid my shoes in the bushes in hope of gaining a few precious seconds on me.

Some other observations:

Ceilidh now holds the course record for the brick in the denim race pants division. To further impede his movement he wore a weighted backpack for most of the race. I am very glad some people aren’t tapering for Spring Fling events. I will however have you know that finishing in over 24 minutes really messes up the point conversion formula that Vince uses to calculate final scores. Denim does not completely excuse a slow time, I will have you know. I have seen video of The Running of The Bulls in Pamplona, jeans are standard attire for some participants and most are moving rather quickly.

Sherry has been getting sick of expired power bar products and made a desperate attempt to achieve a new nutrition sponsor by changing her last name. She was soon dismayed to discover that GU only sponsors professional triathletes and were not willing to pay the $700 legal fees involved in the name changing process. Johnson shares her growing hatred of expired Power Bar product, unable to hide his disgust in the photo below.

He has already had six cases of Clif bars shipped to Blaine, Washington and will be picking them up on Monday. In addition, Johnson has sent several emails in bold red font to the founders of Groupon urging them to include energy bar manufacturers in their daily deals. Meanwhile, he purchased 10 ironing boards for the price of 9 (what a deal!), signed for tap dancing lessons, a Flamenco class and now has a six month membership at each of three different pottery studios. Johnson has said that if anyone needs all of their clothing ironed in a hurry, then they are more than welcome to stop by his place.

Eddy is much better at timing flats than Tyler. Eddy’s flat came 20 minutes before the start of the race, ample time for Kellen to give him a hand and get everything together in time for the race. Kellen is always quick to jump in and help with bike repairs, but even he would have to leave Tyler to deal with his own mid-race flat. His time will be added as soon as I get his results.

Only a single event, The Aquathon, remains in the point series. This will be the second event (out of eight) that involves swimming. As you know, most triathlons feature swimming as the shortest of the three legs (by distance, for obvious reasons) and by time. Most swims take about 1/5th of the overall time of a triathlon. There have been some complaints that 2 swimming events is a bit excessive if we want to really train proportionally for races. While I am sure Ms. Flynn will launch an organised protest, perhaps swimming should be cut back on in the next point series. The series ends Sunday. Set your alarms, get your shoes and goggles ready and find out exactly how many points ahead of you the next person in the standings is. Then swim in their lane and make sure you are out of the water first so you can throw their shoes onto the diving tower and guarantee you will move up one spot in the Spring Fling.

Kory 20:08
Kim 22:22
Barry 20:14
Vincen 20:21
Jon 20:26
Brendan 20:45
Dylan 20:57
Victoria 23:26
Kaley 23:30
Max 21:45
Steph Urness 24:42
Kellen 22:22
Steph Flynn 25:05
Ben 23:03
Claudia 26:05
Johnson 23:39
Rodrigo 24:10
Eddy 24:14
Jen Bhatla 27:17
Jesse 24:41:00
Sherry 27:26:00
Ceilidh 25:10:00
Aaron Green 28:24:00


Stephanie said...

More swimming!!

Kory said...

My watch had 20:07 suck-it prez.