Houston Race Report – August 28th, 2005

For the past two years, Columbia Multisport club has won the USA Triathlon Club Nationals. I had competed in 03’ and 04’, and 05’ wasn’t going to be an exception. The two previous years it had been Boulder Colorado, this year it was Houston, TX. Nothing against Texas, after all I happen to be Texan, but Houston isn’t quite the destination Boulder is…

CMC following 05′ Club Championships…

Todd Holdorf and I agreed to be the bike truck drivers, meaning he and I were responsible to drive a 24’ Ryder truck loaded with 70 tri bikes the 14 hour trip to Houston. Having un-fond memories of the previous year when Kentner and I had gotten stuck with out AC, this time I made sure to specify to Ryder that we wanted working AC. When I picked the truck up, the AC was working, however, at one am on Friday morning as Todd and I were leaving Columbia; we quickly realized that the AC was no longer functioning. Fourteen windy and sweaty hours later, we arrived in Houston. The following day was spent recovering from the drive, picking up our race packets, previewing the course, and doing a little carbo loading.

Sunday morning rolled around and it was race day. After a quick breakfast at the Waffle House, I met up with Todd and we took the truck to the race site. There was a brief scare when the truck wouldn’t stay running, but after multiple restarts and a few breathless moments, it seemed to recover and we made it without any further incidents. Unloading the bikes was scary as enough shifting had gone on to cause several of the bikes to fall through to the bottom layer. I was worried there might be some damage, but I never heard of anyone’s bike being damaged, at least not significantly.

It just so happened that I was the perfect age for this race, not only did I have one of the best racks in the transition area, our age group was also the first one to leave. After preparing my transition area, I relaxed and went through the typical pre-race ritual which always involves several trips to visit with PJ, the porta-john that is…

One of the unique aspects of Club Nationals is that Columbia Multisport athletes show up in mass, on this trip there were 70+ CMCers. The majority of CMC was sporting the new pink club clothing. I however was going to be racing in the “US Half Championship” tri-suit. I was a little disappointed not to be wearing the noticeable pink. Fortunately, I ran into a cute triathlete who just happened to have a pink magic marker. She agreed to write CMC in big letters on my legs, too bad I didn’t think to get her number…

Before I knew it, race time had arrived. While our wave wasn’t all that big, the swim was narrow and it seemed a little crowded. When I finally finished the swim, I was rather disappointed with my time of 16:55. For an 800 meter swim, this came out to be over 2 minutes per 100m. However, what most everyone decided was that the swim was long, 1000 meters seemed to be the agreed upon distance. Anyways, my swim time put me out of the water in 14th place in my age group.

Once out on the bike, I knew I had a lot of time to make up on the front runners. While I was fairly certain I wouldn’t catch up to Ted Zderic or Steve Taylor, I was still hoping for a top 5 finish so I had at least 9 guys to catch and pass on the bike or the run. After the previous weekend’s miserable performances on the bike, I was hoping for a little redemption. While I didn’t blow the course away like I had hoped I would, I ended up with a 23.2 average for the 4th fastest time in my age group, respectable but with room to improve. Coming off the bike, I knew I still had several more people to catch to make the top 5, so I concentrated on not wasting any time and was rewarded with the fastest T2 of all racers!

It didn’t take long for the suffering to start out on the run. Within the first mile I had caught several runners and knew I was getting close to the top 5 of my age group, but couldn’t tell for sure where I was, so I kept on pushing it as hard as I could. There were several out and back sections, but the front runners apparently had to big a lead on me as I wasn’t catching any glimpses of Ted or Steve, both of whom I knew were ahead of me. Finally, after catching and passing one more runner, I heard the news I was waiting for, one of the spectators told me I was in 5th place. This was a relief as the only person I could see ahead of me wasn’t slowing down and I was at least a minute down on him with less than a mile to go. At this point I relaxed and concentrated on maintaining my current rhythm, maintaining 5th place… My run pace for the 5 miles ended up at 6:22 per mile.

For the next several hours I enjoyed cheering on multiple CMC finishers while I chowed down on post race food and drank a few brewskies… Eventually award time came around. The award ceremony seemed to be a CMC dominated event, but when it came time to announce the club champions, the whole crowd was shocked when it was announced that the Houston Racing Club had won, especially when only two of their members were there to collect the trophy. It was a disappointed club that left, which was a shame since we had truly dominated. As it turns out, Houston Racing Club just happened to have more members show up and race, each earning half a point and beating us by the shear number of their finishers.

Amy and Mark Livesay in their US Half Trisuits…

Shandra chapman in her US Half Trisuit, Trish Field on the run…

CMC’ers are hardy folk so by the time evening rolled around, we were ready to party! I think everyone forgot the injustices of the club championship and really enjoyed themselves. I know I did, look for my new website www.karaokeguru.com

Oh, and that cute triathlete who had the pink magic marker when I needed it, I finally did get her name and number… Nikki Reed, I plan on seeing a lot more of her in the future.

Houston, what a great trip…

posted at 22:25:11 on 10/18/05 by Tony Rigdon – Category: Race Reports


Scott in Ohio wrote:

Tony, you are a total web geek! :-)

Nice tri webpage.

See ya,

10/20/05 10:38:37

Trish wrote:

can’t say enough about that trip… it was such a TIME… it was great being your “date” and “wrestling” and “WW”ing in the van with you… your painted toes were lovely, as were all the other studs of CMC… you are a true rockstar rapper- have never seen anyone “bust a move” like you did…i am so glad that we will always have Houston…
10/22/05 05:23:11

Add Comments

This item is closed, it’s not possible to add new comments to it or to vote on it