NYC Aquaphor Triathlon
July 14, 2013
The wait was over. It had been almost a year to the day since Lisa and I were volunteering in the 2012 NYC Aquaphor Triathlon. Volunteering during last year’s race allowed us a guaranteed spot for 2013. We flew in on Friday, with the bikes and everything went smoothly except for the CO2 cartridge I had in my carry-on bag. Whoops! They did not find Lisa’s though! She had one in her carry-on as well. That evening, we attended a mandatory race meeting before we could get our packets. Bike check-in was only allowed on Saturday, so in preparation, I assembled the bikes in the hotel room and everything tested out okay. On Saturday, we head over to transition; we mostly walked the bikes, since riding in New York City is a little dicey to say the least. There were over 3400 participants so two transition areas were set-up. Lisa was in yellow and I was in red. Lisa put her bike in transition first and then we met over at the red area. While I was waiting to enter, I noticed two cuts along my rear tire. The threads were not cut, but I was debating on replacing it. I went ahead and put my bike in transition and thought… “I did not come all this way to take a chance on a cut tire.” This was the final straw with my incessant worries about flatting during the race. That prompted me to remove my wheel and head to a local bike shop.
The alarm clock and wake-up call came too early on Sunday morning. We both took the shuttle to Riverside Park. Trying to carry coffee, a pump, a wheel and two transition bags was awkward on a bus full of people, but we managed.
The water temp was around 760F so it was wetsuit legal. I bet over 85% of the participants had on a wetsuit. Lisa and I sported our Hub-City/Lift Center Racing tri-suits as we did not see the need for a wet-suit. I never saw Lisa take off on the swim, but she went way ahead of me as yellow was first. Every 15 seconds, 15 racers entered the water. The current in the Hudson was quite noticeable and it would provide for faster swim times. I entered the water somewhere around 7:35 or so. Everyone had said that it was a saltwater river so I was expecting something like ocean water, but it was not that salty probably more like brackish water. Away I went. I did get to pass a few people and completed the swim in 21:19. That was a pace of 1:17/100yards which was freakin’ awesome considering I swim like a tugboat. The faster swimmers averaged between 15 and 16 minutes.
After exiting the water, I had a run of about 400 yards to get to transition. I grabbed the bike and set off to the scorch the course. I always look forward to the bike portion and it usually is the most fun for me. With my new 3T carbon aerobars and set-up, I hammered like I was on EPO. There were many hazards on the course. The road itself was the main hazard (bumps, potholes, raised patches, gutters, etc.) along with cones, barrels, water bottles and other riders. I must have sounded like a broken record saying “on your left!” umpteen dozen times. We biked up and down the Westside Highway and went through some toll booths. I did not even have to pay! I completed the 40K course in 1:04:03 which was the fastest bike time in my Age Group of 394 finishers.
After racking the bike in T2, I set off to run the 10K. The run carried us on 72nd towards Central Park. It was quite an experience to run down a huge street with people lined up and down both sides. 72nd ended at Central Park and from there the race would wind through the park and near the former Tavern on the Green. The run was hilly and it was hot and humid from the previous two days of rain. I settled in and ran averaged a 7:49 pace for the run. I was greeted by hundreds of people as I got within a few hundred yards of the finish. I finished with a time of 2:18 which put me 16th in my age group and 134th overall. Lisa finished well and we met in the family reunion area following the race. Later that day we celebrated our finishes at Buceo 95, a tapas bar in Harlem.