Rec Plex Fall Triathlon – October 9th, 2005

When I had found out the Rec Plex would be having a fall triathlon this year, I had decided I would do it as a tune up for the Florida Ironman. So when I signed up, I signed up for the elite division which does the race twice, the person with the lowest combined time wins. However, by the time the race got here I had withdrawn from the Ironman, my Achilles were hurt, and it was supposed to be really cold on the morning of the race, needless to say I wasn’t looking forward to doing the Rec Plex Triathlon…I had spent the weekend hanging out in St. Louis with my girlfriend Nikki Reed, visiting her friends and family and on race morning we left her parent’s house around 5am. The morning air felt frigid, temperatures in the lower 40’s. We were both ready to get this thing over, both the triathlon and the season…

The elite competitors start the triathlon first, I had been slated to be the first in the water, but the spring winner Shawn O’neal had asked the race director to be first making me the second in the water. I knew Shawn would be faster in the water as well as on the bike; my only hope was to beat him substantially on the run.

Normally in the Rec Plex I’ve started towards the back in the swim, so it was strange not to be catching and passing people. I figured that some of the people behind me would catch me, but I didn’t get caught at all and had a decent swim, 9:02. I hadn’t been swimming since NEMO except maybe a couple of times so I was surprised I swam faster than in June.

Heading out the door into the transition area made me realize how miserable the bike was going to be. I had laid a jacket, pants, and gloves out by my bike and it took me a couple of minutes to get the gloves and jacket on. I started putting the pants on, but the water on my legs was slowing me down and finally I decided to skip the pants and then wasted another minute or so trying to get them back off. Finally, I was out on the bike.

Things never felt good on the bike and I could tell I was at least 5 minutes behind Shawn at the turnaround. As I rode back into the second transition, I had heard a volunteer yell that I was eight minutes back. However another person told me I was just 2 minutes back; I wasn’t sure who to believe. After a much faster 2nd transition, I headed out on the run.

When Shawn passed me heading back on the run, I was a little more than a mile back, I knew I wasn’t going to catch him. However, I felt pretty confident that I would be solidly in second place. So it came as a shock to me when with less than a mile to go, I heard footsteps coming up behind me. Caleb Goldkamp who had obviously started behind me had caught me! He ran past and I picked up my pace and ran right behind him for a little while. He eventually pulled away and finished 20 or 30 yards ahead of me. He had run a 5:18 pace on the run; I had averaged 6:04. My final time for the first triathlon was 1:38:06, over 3:35 slower than in June, the entire deficit coming from the bike leg…

One nice feature about the elite division is the top 3 get a cash payout, $150 for first, $100 for second, and $50 for third. After the first race, Caleb was 3:21 ahead of me in second place. I was determined to go faster in the second half.

As I expected, my second swim was 45 seconds slower than the morning race. But my transition was much faster than earlier. I didn’t waste any time trying to put on my pants and I even skipped putting on my jacket this time. Once out on the bike I felt like I was going faster and my computer told me that I was. Shawn was still a good distance ahead of me at the turnaround, but I was definitely closer than in the morning. My second bike was 3 minutes faster than earlier!

I had figured I would be significantly slower on the second run, but things didn’t feel as badly as I thought they would. It took a couple of minutes, but I settled into a pretty good pace and began to have hopes of catching Shawn and at least beating him in the second race. I ended up making up 4 minutes on him in that 5 mile run, but it wasn’t enough and he beat me by 2:05. However, I beat Caleb by 6:51 which moved me into second place overall. My second triathlon took me 1:36:15, 1:51 faster than in the morning, though still slower than in June…

The cold conditions made things rough, but by the end of the race the sun had warmed things up some and I was able to enjoy the customary Chevy’s breakfast burrito they always have at Rec Plex Triathlon’s. Only this time it was better as I sat next to my girlfriend Nikki who had placed 3rd overall. A great end to a fun triathlon season…

posted at 17:04:24 on 12/11/05 by Tony Rigdon – Category: Race Reports

Lake St. Louis Triathlon – September 3rd, 2005

In 2004 I had decided I would do the Lake St. Louis Triathlon only to find out that they sold out early, so this year I made sure to register at the beginning of the season. As it turned out, Lake St. Louis would end up partnering with Ultramax Events and I would end up going over a day early and helping the race director Dave Reynolds with the setup of the race. I probably ended up working a little harder than I should of the day before the race…

Since the triathlon was not USAT sanctioned, they had decided to allow wetsuits no matter what the water temperature was. So on the morning of the race I had a difficult decision to make, wetsuit or no wetsuit? I decided to go with the wetsuit despite the relatively warm water temperatures, around 84 degrees.

After an uneventful start, I settled in to the swim. It seemed as if I was swimming fast and yet the swim seemed to drag on and on. When I finally got out, my watch said 26:10, my best Olympic swim time ever

I’m a little upset at myself for waiting so long to write some of these race reports, I’ve forgotten a lot of the details. I don’t remember if I heard John Beyers name called out by the announcer as he exited the water or I just happened to see him, but as I left the transition with my bike I knew he was right behind me. Rodney Adkison had beaten me out of the water but I made it out on the bike ahead of him. But it wasn’t long before both John and Rodney had passed me on the bike.

After getting passed by John and Rodney, I tried to keep them both in site. But they just slowly pulled away and I didn’t want to go anaerobic trying to stay with them. The bike course had an out and back section with a turn around that we did twice, so I was able to judge how far back I was at two different points. I had stopped losing any significant time to either of them. I would end up biking a minute slower than John and twenty three seconds slower than Rodney.

I mentioned the cape in my NEMO race report, Lake St. Louis was actually the race where the cape made its debut. As I flew into the second transition, I heard Diana Adkison tell me that Rodney was just ahead of me. After as quick a transition as I could do with the only wasted time being the second it took me to grab the cape, I was out on the run. Once running it took me a second or two to get the cape in place and then I settled into my stride. I felt really good on the run, especially since I had held back a little on the bike. After several miles I had passed a few people and figured I had to have worked my way up to at least the top 10. With probably around 2 miles to go, I saw Tim Sandfort a little ways ahead of me. He seemed to be struggling a little, so while it felt good to pass him,

I knew he wasn’t running his best. Even further ahead, probably around 20 seconds or so, I could see John Beyer. With probably only a mile or less to go, I wasn’t to sure that I could catch him, but I knew he was in my age group so I decided to give it everything I had. Finally, less than a quarter of a mile to go I passed him.

I ended up 7th overall and first in my age group with a total time of 2:15:34… Not my best time for an Olympic distance race, I really think the bike course might have been a little long. But I did have my fastest Olympic distance swim and averaged 5:59 per mile on the run, a great run for me.

posted at 20:14:59 on 12/10/05 by Tony Rigdon – Category: Race Reports

NEMO Race Report, September 11th, 2005 (three months late…)

Ahh, sometimes I hate computers… I just spent about an hour writing and typing my NEMO race report, only to lose it when I tried posting it… So, now I’m going to type it in Word so I don’t lose it and it is going to be a much shorter condensed version…

NEMO triathlon got me back into the sport after having done 1 triathlon 12 years earlier. So NEMO is a special race to me and one I always enjoy doing.

The swim this year was not wetsuit legal, so I knew I would be slower than last year. After drafting Rodney Adkison for the first few minutes, I went out on my own when it seemed as if Rodney and others were following the buoys too closely. I decided I could save some time by swimming straight to the point. But alas, as I finally got to the end, I saw Rodney getting out 10 or so seconds ahead of me.

After a quick transition, I got out on the bike ahead of Rodney, and briefly thought that maybe this was finally the race I could reclaim my winning ways against him. But he passed me shortly into the bike and quickly pulled away and out of sight. So I settled into my own race. After losing a minute or so to him by the turn around, he stopped pulling away and by the second transition, I was right behind him.

Once again, thanks to a fast transition, I was out on the run ahead of him. But I had no delusions of beating Rodney in the run; so on my way out of the transition, I grabbed my latest running accessory, my cape. The cape has its origins from the Houston trip and a comment someone had made about my US Half Triathlon Skin suit looking like a superhero costume. I decided since most superhero’s have capes, I needed a cape too. Alas, I didn’t pay close enough attention to “the Incredibles” and the pitfalls of capes…

Sure enough, Rodney passed me on the run before I had even finished putting on the cape… I knew I wouldn’t catch back up, so I just concentrated on catching anyone I could and otherwise just enjoying myself on a nice Sunday run. Since I was running through the campground and right past our campsite, I considered ditching the cape, especially since it had been wrapping around my ankles some with the wind at my back. However, the volunteers and fellow competitors seemed to enjoy seeing me with it on, so I decided to leave it be. After leaving the campground and heading back to the finish, we were running into the wind and the cape whipped and billowed behind me. That was the look I wanted, but the drag was a little less desired…

NEMO once again was a great race in 2005. While I was 47 seconds slower and a year older than the year before, I had a great time and had gotten to run 5 miles dressed as a super hero with people cheering me on. Life is grand…

posted at 21:58:23 on 12/08/05 by Tony Rigdon – Category: Race Reports


trish wrote:

you will always be my super hero Tony!
12/20/05 04:26:57