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Saturday, October 08, 2005

1st Age Group Award

Today started out with me waking up around 3am. I couldn’t sleep due to a bad headache and a hacking cough invading my lungs. I saw a second doctor about the cough and lung problems I believe I am experiencing. Just as the first doctor concluded, this doctor also feels the cause is most likely from Acid Reflux. I find this as likely as suffering a broken arm from scratching my balls. I guess the doctors have experience diagnosing this type of ailment. To them, if it sounds, acts and looks like a duck, then it must be a duck. I guess my lung problem sounds like the proverbial duck.

Speaking of ducks, today was a fine day to be one. The sun never stood a chance of showing through the thick cloud cover and heavy rains. That didn’t stop approximately 50 athletes from showing up to do Brooklyn’s first multisport event in over 10 years. Today’s Citytri.com Prospect Park Duathlon was the race to break this sad drought.

I suppose we would have had many more participants, if it wasn’t for the fowl weather. However, the crowd that did show up looked quite eager and happy to participate. Personally, I love being outside in the rain. I find it quite pleasant to participate in almost any activity outdoor activity under breezy tropical winds and steady rain.

Once again my friend and rival Super Todd challenged me in the race. Todd was shining off his recent victory over me in last week’s Greta’s Great Gallop Half Marathon. ST cracks me up. At the Greta, no sooner do the words “We are going to run together right” slip out of his mouth, does he start running his ass off as soon as the starter’s horn blows. It was like his ass was on fire and he was in search of water to put it out. He quickly took a lead and finished the race a good 4 minutes ahead of me. Too bad he didn’t join me on my swim from the day before or else the outcome may have been different. He did soundly beat me though as I couldn’t have run faster, even if I wanted.

At today’s race, ST joked about sticking together. There would definitely be none of that today. We were both presumably rested and ready to go. The starter’s horn went off and away we went. ST took an early lead and soon started to pull a sizable distance ahead. With about .5 miles left to the first 3.1 mile run, I was told he had about a 1 minute lead on me. I began to wonder if Todd would be able to maintain his lead throughout the bike. If I wasn’t able to catch him on the bike, I had a feeling I wouldn’t be able to catch him at all.

When I came into the Run/Bike transition, I was almost completely blind. My prescription eyeglasses were completely fogged over and I couldn’t see anything out of them. Adding to my difficulty at this transition, was being unused to a run/bike combination. I haven’t practiced switching from running to biking in quite some time. I just pulled my sneakers off and was about to leave them lying haphazardly, when I realized I would need them again and I better loosen the laces and try to keep them dry. I managed to get my bike shoes on and head out for the ride.

My glasses were still completely fogged over. It would have been really nice to see the leaves blowing and the rain falling. All I could see though was the double white line. For the most part I was riding by myself. My fogged glasses though couldn’t keep me from trying to make out Todd. I did pass people on occasion, but I didn’t see any sign of him until the downhill of the 4th and final bike lap. I was coming up on him fast, when he finally glanced over to see who was on his tail.

I think the feelings going through Todd’s mind when he saw me were shock, dismay and depression. I am certain he felt he saw the last of me at the starting line. I wasn’t sure I would see him again, but I decided to never give up and to keep pedaling to the best of my ability. The work paid off and I was able to pass him and beat him to the transition area by a 10th of a mile.

Todd was yelling out to me that I wasn’t going to beat him and that he would catch me. I ignored him and simply concentrated on running. By now my glasses were completely useless. It was better off running without them, rather than trying to make out anything through the completely fogged over lenses. This made it impossible for me to see the course markings until I was directly upon them. There were volunteers along the course to assist the runners with directions. I had to keep calling out to them to point which way the course went. Unfortunately, they all simply nodded or would make cursory motions as to the direction. I had to yell at them to point with their arms so I had some chance of seeing where I was going.

The course would have been nice to enjoy with good vision. It went over several bridges and under several arches. As the race director promised, we ran through sections of park that most of the Prospect Park regulars never travel. I just saw blurs of grays, greens and browns.

I had long stopped hearing Todd shouting after me and passed several other runners. Sometimes I would think I heard him on my tail, but it was just the sounds of the runners I had passed. Finally, I came upon the final arch that leads to the finish line. I saw a runner heading in the opposite direction on the start of their second run. I asked if they saw anyone behind me and I was pleased to hear that no one was visible for at least 100 yards. I crossed the finish line in what turned out to be 12th place overall and 3rd for my Age Group. This finish earned me my first Age Group award in a multisport event. Todd just missed out, coming in behind me for 4th place.

When I came home from the race, I was able to proudly show off the small trophy I won. My 5 year old son Lucas took complete credit for me winning it. He feels that it was his coaching advice that allowed me to win an award and that he is a much better than my other coach. Maybe it is my son’s coaching, since before he started to offer me advice I had yet to win an award.


Blogger Brooklyn said...

What a great story! Congrats on your first trophy.

10:09 PM  

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