For those of you new to the concept of draft legal racing, the format is a little different than a standard USAT tri. The bike course is looped, and you can hug a wheel and work together to crank out some serious top speed. Each loop takes you through transition, and requires hairpin turn skills and powerful accelerations to maintain group contact. The final loop ends in transition where shoes are slipped on for a foot race of epic proportions.
The neat thing about a draft legal race is the format actually brings people in at the same time for ticker tape photo type finish, as it eliminates the separation that results when strong bikers (like me) pound skinny little cross country stars (like I might have been if I didn't play tennis in HS) into oblivion in the TT portion of a non-drafting race.
The reward in draft-legal racing is for the strong swimmer who can make the first or second bike pack, and also has the bike handling skills and lactic acid flushing power to crank out ~15 one minute intervals at 500 watts to survive with that pack into the footrace. Then, whoever has run the most strategic race and has enough pop left runs a sub 5 minute mile for 5k runs to ultimate victory.
Pretty easy in theory right? Well, lets just say there are some skills required that aren't as easy on paper as they are on race day. Here's a rundown of Team Scrappy's race and what we need to work on to get better at this format:
|Yes. There are gators in there. I'm that crazy.|
After wavering on temperature all day, and making the girls race wet suit-less at 9 am, the boys were allowed to put on our superhero costumes for a VERY shallow 750 m swim. In my opinion, this was a shameless USAT markettering excuse to get some shots of hot chicks in bathing suits coming out of the water, and squeeze top speed out of the men's group for results purposes. But I digress.
Too bad I left my wet suit at home. And thank god it was shallow so I could run to keep up.
As usual, Brett came out of the water first, and I third to last. Into the main pack for Brett, and catchup time for me.
|My fellow hydrophobic triathletes.|
Thankfully everyone at this race was able to do a flying mount and the transition exit was smooth an unobstructed.
Then it was time to make the donuts. Brett had a 20 second lead to protect in the first bike pack, and I needed to rally my poor swimming friends to help me bang out a huge bike.
|Brett in hot pursuit|
|Wishing this guy knew what he was doing so I could stay closer.|
Hey FL, also, you are all really really nice and that almost makes up for the shelacking you gave us northerners. Nice to meet all of you!
On the Run:
|Getting down to business.|
I threw down some pretty good numbers on the run (5:20 pace), due in large part to the sustained speed work I've been doing on the bike this winter at the Bike Hub's indoor computrainer rides. My bike leg was functionally a windy little loop TT, and I'm pretty accustomed to getting of and running away from this kind of workout. My number were 1:10 faster than 5k done last year in May, and I think that's a pretty big deal.
|Here's what you will remember most about me.|
|Can you smell what the Rock is cooking??||Business: Part II|