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242 Colour Run – Hope Town, Abaco


Hope Town – The third 242 Colour Run occurred in Hope Town, Abaco on December 28th. After having successful races in Nassau & Freeport, the response in Abaco still surpassed the organizers expectations. Over 150 people participated in the colourful fun run/walk, with scores of volunteers and spectators taking part as well.

The excitement started to build around 8am at the Firefly Sunset Resort, the host for the event. While most of the participants were staying in Hope Town, there were approximately 40 persons who came over on the special Albury’s Ferry trip, which brought them directly to and from Firefly. Persons hailed from various locations, including Nassau, Eleuthera, Canada, the US and the UK. A group, aptly named “I thought your said rum”, also participated in the Nassau 242 Colour Run in July, and made a special trip to Abaco for the event. Participants of all ages took part, from kids in strollers to grandparents and all stages of life in-between.


Just before 8:30, the runners and walkers gathered in the Firefly entryway for the “Colour Toss”, where racers took individual colour packets and tossed them in the air, creating a cloud of colour. The colour coated runners and walkers then started out on the 5k (3.1mile) course. The colourful fun continued on the race course where volunteers from Hope Town and the Rotary Club of Abaco manned colour stations. Each colour station had a unique colour – Flash Caribbean Breeze Blue, Sunburnt Orange, Flamingo Pink, Bahamian Yellow, or Key Lime Green. As the participants danced their way through the colour stations they were coated head-to-toe, leaving laughter and smiles throughout the Elbow Cay course.

The Hope Town Volunteer Fire & Rescue department was on hand to lend support to the water station, where persons could rehydrate on the course. The all-volunteer fire department was a beneficiary of the event, along with the Rotary Club of Abaco.

The 242 Colour Run is designed to be a fun, feel-good event. As such, no times are recorded, and no finish places are taken down. This didn’t stop serious runners from completing the 5km course at a fast pace; nor did it stop groups of people dressed in tutus, reindeer antlers, and other funky and colourful costumes from dancing their way to the finish.

As everyone past through the event and finished, they were greeted by ice cold water donated by The FoodStore Limited. At the finish area the Firefly grounds filled with the colour-coated participants and the festivities continued. Ensueno fabric softener beach balls entertained the kids while the adults settled into the restaurant area, enjoying Bahamian breakfasts served up by the Firefly Bar & Grill. The organizers then thanked the sponsors, participants, volunteers, spectators, and all those involved for helping to create such a wonderful feel-good event.

Last, but not least, a few great prizes were drawn at random from those entered into the event. Hope Town Canvas provided a unique beach-bag made from recycled Abaco Rage sails and Harbour’s Edge provided a gift certificate for dinner. The Great Abaco Family Fitness Weekend donated two entries into their events being held in March 2014. Abaco Buzz, who provided marketing for the event, also donated a months worth of their services.

The 242 Colour Run has now completed their 2013 Bahama islands tour, and is currently planning the 2014 events. The Hope Town race will tentatively return on December 27th, 2014. Other 242 Colour Runs are being planned for Nassau and Freeport. New to the 2014 schedule will be a race in Spanish Wells, Eleuthera. For more details and to learn about how to participate, visit their website or find them on Facebook.

After great success in Nassau, the organizers of the 242 Colour Run have now committed to hosting the event in Freeport and Abaco before the year’s end. On December 8th, the colourful race will be held in Freeport, and on December 28th the event will take place in Abaco.

The inaugural event in Nassau on July 13th drew 333 participants, along with dozens of volunteers and spectators. The five kilometre course started and finished at Montagu Foreshore and had five colour stations. As the participants ran and walked through the course, they were bombarded with food-grade powders in Flash Caribbean Breeze Blue, Flamingo Pink, Bahamian Yellow, Sun Burnt Orange and Key Lime Green.

The event was not timed, and participants were encouraged to have as much fun as they liked – ranging from outrageous costumes to body paint. All of the participants were covered in colour after the initial “colour toss”, a pre-race ritual where each participant throws a handful of coloured powder into the air, creating a giant cloud of colour.

The Nassau event had individuals and groups as large as 25 participate in the event. Friends of all ages, as well as families, corporations, service groups, church groups and many more organizations took part. The Rotary Club of East Nassau and the Rotaract Club of East Nassau, as well as BAARK, a non-profit organization dedicated to dog and cat spay/neuter programs and education projects, were all beneficiaries of the event.

The Freeport event will take place at the Garden of the Groves. The trails and roads in the area will provide a unique course and a great staging area for the race. The event will take place in the early morning and a post-event gala will be held at the Garden of the Groves.

The Abaco event, the third and final 242 Colour Run in 2013, will take place in Hope Town. The atmosphere is set for a colourful race, with participants already excited about the event. Local Rotary clubs are set to benefit from and assist with both races.

Participants in the 242 Colour Run events are encouraged to walk, run, skip, hop or jump through the course –the race is not competitive and persons are encouraged to come out and enjoy the camaraderie and fun that ensues.

Participants can follow the event on Facebook or on the website,, for further details as they are released. Registration for both events will open soon, both online and at local venues to be announced.

2013 Potcakeman Triathlon

The 2013 Potcakeman Triathlon timing was sponsored by Purina pet foods, produced by BAARK!,  a non-profit organization dedicated to providing a better life for dogs (and cats) throughout the Bahamas.


We provided the RFID timing services for around 200 athletes in the Triathlons – ranging from kids to adults.  The 750m swim, 21km bike, and 5km run was challenging enough – but mother nature threw a curve ball in with some wet weather, and choppy seas.  A couple of athletes withdrew from the swim, but the majority managed to finish the swim and the course despite the weather.

We used the Chronotrack RFID tri-tag, coupled with the Chronotrack disposable tri-strap.  The relays utilised an exchangeable neoprene strap, allowing them to pass off and reattach the tri tag to each member of the relay.  We had

We had over a 96% read rate, the majority of misses were at the swim exit, where the entrance to the transition area was a bit wider and didn’t force athletes over our line.  This is where the most misses occur in triathlons – we have new side-mounted readers, Chronotrack Flashpoints, coming in which will virtually eliminate these missed reads.

Using the rest of the data collected, we were able to estimate the few missed times for the swim and ended up with a 99.5% read-rate.  The 4 missed times left were due to a relay team not reading at the swim exit – and then the cyclist holding the chip in his hand vs attaching to his ankle.  We were unable to recover any of their splits – once the run was started and the tag properly fixed, we were able to read their run and overall time.

Please contact us if you would like to use our race services at your event!  [email protected]

242 Colour Run

Nassau, Bahamas – The 242 Colour Run added a blast of colour to Nassau on an otherwise cloudy Saturday morning, July 13th. Over 400 participants, volunteers, and spectators gathered at Montagu foreshore to partake in the first ever colour run in The Bahamas. The 5km (3.1 miles) course led the runners and walkers from Fort Montagu, over the bridges and back to return to Montagu. The unique twist of the added colour was enough to bring smiles to all those that participated and supported the race, and even those that were encountered along the way.

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The weather turned out to be a perfect day for the mid-July road race, with Tropical Storm Chantal dissipating and leaving welcomed cloud cover for the morning. The 8am start was delayed a few minutes, but just before the start, individual colour packets were tossed into the air, creating a fantastically blended cloud of colour around the start area. Two Royal Bahamas Police Force motorcycles then led the runners through a colour-blast of Flash Caribbean Breeze Blue, the first of 5 colour stations along the course. The second staging point on the course added Sun Burnt Orange, while the Paradise Island colour station added Key Lime Green and the last Nassau stop had Flamingo Pink. The final colour station immediately before the finish doused the contestants in Bahamian Yellow, a fitting finish to the most colourful race The Bahamas has ever seen as it celebrates 40 years of independence.

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The participants in the fun-loving group varied from children pushed in strollers, to walkers who only did a part of the course, to elite athletes. The race was not timed, there were no official race winners, and the atmosphere was one of fun, not competition. The 242 Colour Run was designed to bring people together to have fun – friends, families, coworkers, neighbours, Bahamians and foreigners alike. The last minute entries at The Sports Center in the days before the race brought the total number of registered entries to 333. The majority of the colour-runners were Nassau natives, with others from Abaco and Freeport, and a few international registrants from the UK, Canada, and the USA. The unofficial fastest person on the course was Marathon Bahamas winner Angela Cobb, who came over to run a fun race in a beautiful and scenic location.

Individuals and groups participated in the event, with groups as large as 25 entering in the 242 Colour Run. Some walked together, some ran together, and all had fun together. As the colour-coated runners crossed the finish line, they were greeted with cold Aquapure and Arizona iced teas. In the staging area there was an after-race party, where participants were encouraged to try the new Tropi-Pop drink sensation, as well as Edy’s Fruit Bars. The adult entrants were greeted with ice-cold Sands beer. Music and festivities enhanced the atmosphere, all leading up to the big giveaway – five G-Shock watches provided by John Bull. The watches were given away to those that stuck around and had fun, and were drawn by random number. Any and all participants had the same chance to win, and 5 lucky persons walked away with a new colourful G-Shock watch. Additional numbers were called to give away the remaining cases of Arizona iced teas and Sands beer.

Linzi Knowles-Benton was recognized with a case of Sands beer for being the first to register and for assembling a large group of enthusiastic runners, also know as “Conch Salad”. Registration opened a few months before, and the price increased as the event got closer – in spite of this, almost 20% of the entrants took advantage of the extended full-price registration at The Sports Center. Registration included a reusable shopping bag, a bottle of Flash multi-cleaner, product samples, event flyers, a 242 Colour Run dryblend shirt and custom bib, funky wayfairer sunglasses, 40th Independence and Bahamas flag tattoos, and a packet of throwable colour.

Each colour station had volunteers from the Rotary Club of East Nassau, the Rotaract Club of East Nassau, and the QC Interact club throwing a food-grade, washable, colour powder on the participants. These volunteers were from the clubs that also benefited from the event. The Rotary Club of East Nassau recently celebrated 50 years of service and changed over to a new Rotary year with new leadership on July 1st. Since its inception, the Rotary Club of East Nassau has raised over 5 million dollars for community project and local charities, and has contributed significantly to the Rotary International Foundation. The Rotaract Club of East Nassau is for younger members aged 18 to 30; they are young professionals banding together to help the community both locally and internationally. Both groups support was necessary, as over 30 volunteers assisted in the 242 Colour Run. The director of community service for the Rotaract club, Raschard McKinney, had kind words to add, noting that the “242 Colour Run was a grand success. Congratulations to you and your team for hosting the event. It was fun and inspiring at the same time. I look forward to working with you and the 242 Colour Run in the future.”

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Bahamas Waste greatly assisted in logistics and cleanup, providing portable toilets, trash receptacles, and a mobile pressure washer to wash down the roads after the event. As the colour is a water-soluble, non-toxic substance, any colour left on the course washes away with the rain and biodegrades rapidly.

The multi-coloured finishers all had huge smiles and nothing but kind words for the organizers and volunteers. The photos from the event are posted online at and on the event Facebook page. Comments from the Facebook page reflected the excitement and enjoyment at the 242 Colour Run, and everyone is excited to do it again. Ann Marie Henson posted “Great time. Thanks to all for their hard work. It was a blast! See you next year.” Dominic Seymour added “Had an awesome time today!! Hope it comes again next year!”

As participants have requested, the organizers of the 242 Colour Run do intend to hold the race again in Nassau. They also plan to have additional races, starting with locations in Freeport and Abaco. For more information, visit the 242 Colour Run Facebook page or visit

The success of the inaugural 242 Colour Run was overwhelming, and the support from all of those involved was and is greatly appreciated. The organizers would like to thank the sponsors, volunteers, the Royal Bahamas Police Force, The Bridge Authority, The Ministry of Tourism and the Ministry of Finance, and of course, all of the wonderful participants who helped ensure a successful, safe, fun and colourful event.

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Additional comments from participants regarding the event:

“Well done, Lee McCoy for a very Successful and FUN 242 Colour Run this Morning. Thatcher and I had a BLAST throwing COLOUR on the participants.” – Tangerine Curry-Dinnick

“What a BLAST! Thanks so much to Lee McCoy and ALL the volunteers who put on a fantastic event! The Tutu Crew had a great time :)” – Jessica Robertson

“HAD A BLAST!!!! hope its an annual thing!” – Courtney Kemp

“Thank you to all the organizers and sponsors who put this event on – we had so much fun! already looking forward to next year!” – Laura Kimble

“Thank you to everyone who put today together…it was such fun!” – Tamsin Rogers

“THAT was one on the BEST experiences of my LIFE!!!!!! When i find the words, i will express them!!!! Thank you 242 Colour Run!!!!!!!!!” – Anna Murray

“Thank you to all involved in the 242 colour run! Awesome time. Can’t wait till the next one!” – Mary-Jane Sands

“We had such an amazing time!!” – Melissa Sands

“Great fun! Next year bigger and better!” – Teresa Roberts

The 2013 Great Abaco Family Fitness Weekend turned out even greater than I could have imagined!

About a week before the event I started getting nervous, as many participants were signing up at the last minute and three days before the event there was a surge of registrations.  We had enough spots for 200 persons, however the triathlon turned out to be insanely popular!  We ended up having to Fedex (from Hawaii) additional triathlon straps for the Chronotrack Tri Tags, but we managed to accommodate everyone!

DSCN1987For the 1-mile Open Water Swim, along the innately beautiful Treasure Cay beach, we grew from 5 participants to 30!  That’s a 6-fold increase!  The winner from 2012 was present to reclaim his title in 2013, and we hope to see Peta in 2014 again!

The next day we had the Sprint & Olympic triathlons – which grew from a combined total of 18 entrants (including 3 per relay) to 60 participants!  That’s a 333% increase!  We had to setup extra bike racks and manage transition a bit differently, but we now know how to handle the larger crowd at the Coco Beach Bar parking lot, and look forward to hosting an even bigger and more exciting 2014 triathlon event!  We even had a 10-year old girl complete the Sprint triathlon, finishing at the same time as our Olympic champion, Simon Lowe!DSC_0202

The kids’ race was AWESOME!  Toni managed to get the kids fired up with an impromptu dance/stretch/spaz session and we had 30 kids run a mile!  Some took it seriously while others had a ball and ran every which way, they all had fun!

The 5k/10k was the one that worried me the most in terms of the registrations – especially the late registrations on the morning of the race.  While we did have a few, we weren’t inundated and managed to have a respectable 70 persons enter the combined events.   We did not time the walkers last year, but in terms of runners we had 24, I’d say we doubled that.

Overall I was very pleased with the event – a bit more preparation in terms of speeches, courses, and volunteers and I think we will be a strong event.  Treasure Cay was SOLD OUT of rooms, and they have already booked us out 50 rooms for next year, as 45 were directly attributed to our event.  If you’re planning on visiting on March 21-23rd, 2014 – I’d recommend you book your room soon!

Thanks to everyone that came out and supported – volunteers, sponsors, spectators, staff, and of course participants!  A special thank you to Sabine, Ray, Avis, and the rest of the Treasure Cay Staff, as well as the TC Fire Department and the RBPF.   Thanks to Jason, Toni, and Jen for dealing with me and getting me through the event – I’m sure by the end of the event I had run my own marathon!




The 2013 Great Abaco Family Fitness Weekend is now open for registration. Registration details are available at the event website or by contacting the Ministry of Tourism in Marsh Harbour.

 The weekend-long event will be held from March 22-24th at the Treasure Cay Beach, Marina, & Golf Resort. The weekend starts off with a 1-mile open water swim on Friday, a Sprint & Olympic triathlon on Saturday followed by a kids’ 1-mile run, and a 5k/10k fun run/walk on Sunday.

 Planning for the second instance of the event has been taking place over the past year and the organizers look forward to having a larger, fun-filled, family oriented event.

 Last years event brought around 75 participants and dozens more volunteers and spectators. This year there has been keen interest both locally and abroad, with a large group from Freeport planning to compete as well as a good base of athletes out of Nassau. Abaconians are expected to provide strong competition yet again, as the inaugural event was successful and well-received throughout the archipelago.

 Last year local triathletes Simon Lowe and his father Greg Lowe were slated to compete head-to-head in the Olympic triathlon, but due to an injury Simon had to watch from the sidelines. This year they both plan on returning and Greg will defend his title against his son and the other competitors.

 The first two online registrations were both women, one from Freeport and the other from South Carolina. The event is geared towards both locals and visitors alike. Treasure Cay has one of the most scenic ocean swims available and it was ranked one of the top ten beaches in the world by Caribbean Travel & Life.

 The Bahamas Ministry of Tourism, Treasure Cay Resort & Marina, and Damianos/Sotheby’s International Realty have again joined as the main sponsors. All of the sponsors’ support of the event is immensely appreciated, along with all the hard work and support of the volunteers, friends and family.

 This year Bahamas Ferries has a trip running from Nassau to Abaco for the event, leaving Friday morning and returning Sunday afternoon. Those interested are asked to contact Bahamas Ferries directly to book their transportation.

carlo milano tri updated

TMC Memorial Regatta 2012 – NOR

The Terry McCoy Memorial Regatta 2012 will take place on October 13th and 14th, 2012.

“We haven’t held this regatta at the Royal Nassau Sailing Club for many years (if ever) as it always seemed more convenient to sail out of the NYC as it is the “home” for Nassau’s Sunfish Fleet. However, seeing that Terry was a long time member of RNSC and had contributed so much to both the junior and senior sailing programs we thought it only fitting to host it each year now at RNSC.

To do it right we have planned a party Saturday evening to raise a glass a Terry and celebrate all he did for sailing, especially at RNSC. The party is from 6:30 to 10:30 and will be very casual. It will not only be attended by the sailors but is open to all and will be attended by many of Terry’s old friends. Dinner-wise there is a BBQ – steak and chicken, all being prepared by our junior sailors as a fundraiser for them; something Terry was always supportive of and helped with. It is bound to be a good night talking about the good old days and listening to a fun tale or two. And as a bonus there will be extravagant prizes auctioned off – more money for our junior sailors.”

You can find the Notice of Race (NOR) here.  NOR – TERRY McCOY 2012

The following pictures are a preview of what’s in stock, not necessarily of theTMC, and are posted courtesy of Robert Dunkley, visit his site at

The 2012 42nd Annual Bernie Butler Swim Race & Beach Party took place on August 18th.  Of course, Toni and I were there to support and to be a part of the classic “Nassau Contingent”!  This year we were joined by Jeff and Jessica as well as the ever-present Higgs clan.  Chrystonia and I flew up on the Friday, seeing Grouper and the Higgs party in the airport bound for Freeport.  We opted this year to stay at the Grand Lucayan as they were offering two specials, one for Bahamians and one for everyone, and we opted for the “everyone” as this gave us a nicer room at the same cost!

We – well, I – thought it would be a good idea to try the new Flying Fish restaurant.  The food was as expected, fancy with smaller portions and a bit pricey of course.  While I enjoyed our appetizer and main course, Toni found something off with her main course which was odd considering it was vegetarian.  Unfortunately she fell ill later that night and through the morning, so she stayed in bed for the actual race itself.

We had a great view of the start of the race, and judging by how it looked that morning it didn’t seem to be too bad!  Early Saturday morning I sauntered off to find a marker and I may have slightly confused  the girl working the gift store, as she had to write my race numbers on.  I headed out of the hotel in my speedo and googles to join the start just a few minutes walk down the beach.  I met up with our Nassau Contingent and we prepped for the race, which really didn’t consist of much but a brief swim and some stretching.  The water looked a bit choppy but it didn’t seem any worse than it has been in some of the previous years.

After a prayer by Bert we were off, and immediately I noticed the waves were a bit strong to head into.  The pack thinned quickly and I noticed a few people ahead and a few behind.  As the race dragged on it felt slow, but due to the chop and current it was hard to judge.  Barely did I have time to notice the bottom as breathing was limited to the right (inshore) side only, and even then a breath or two would have to be missed due to a rogue wave.  Spotting proved difficult, so I tried to pop up every few strokes to make sure I was on track.  Twice I ended up much further inshore than I expected, probably adding a minute or two at least to my overall time.

Upon finishing there weren’t that many people in front of me, maybe 4 or 5, so I know it was a decent swim.  The course was very challenging this year, and the finish times reflected it.  The top swimmer (Joshua Rigby, 15, Freeport) finished in 43:21 – compared to times in the low 30’s in previous years.  I’m glad I wasn’t wearing a watch; my time of 47:06 would have been demoralizing as I expected (with previous conditions) to be in the 35 minute zone.  My finish allowed for the top place in the 39 and under male category as well as 6th overall (I believe).  The full results, along with a brief article, can be found on The Bahamas Weekly.

I hung around the finish for a few minutes to see our fellow Nassuvians in before walking back the 1.8 miles or so to the hotel.  Toni had recovered for the most part, and we rested for a bit before joining the beach party in the afternoon.  As usual, the weather had calmed down making the morning’s swim seem like a walk on the beach!  The after-party was great of course, with the USCG having their demonstration along with BASRA.

We finished the weekend with lunch at Agave and a boat cruise with Miranda and Wayne, a beautiful side of Freeport which I had never seen before!

Overall another great event and weekend, and I was pleased with my race performance.  Thanks to the Freeport crew for the great event and I look forward to the Conchman in November and the Great Abaco Family Fitness Weekend in March 2013!

2012 Abaco Kayak Challenge

The official date for the 2012 Kayak Challenge being held at Little Harbour, Abaco, has been set for Saturday November 3, 2012.  Beneficiaries are the Rotary Club of Abaco and Friends of the Environment.

The Abaconian ran an article announcing the event, with none other than yours truly in the feature photo!

However, this poses a dilemma for myself and several other quadrathletes, as this is the same day as the 2012 Conchman Triathlon, being held in Freeport, Grand Bahama.  Time will tell, after the 2012 BASRA 1.8 Mile Swim on August 18th I should know which I will be doing!

If you are looking to start practising and are in the Abaco area, Abaco Eco will be organizing practice sessions and kayak rentals!

The facebook event is here:

I have some photos of the 2011 Kayak Challenge here, since I didn’t get around to writing a race report!

Chattanooga being my high school alma mater (Baylor 1999) makes a great excuse to go visit “old friends” and get a race in at the same time. Unfortunately, this race coincides with Regatta Time in Abaco (RTIA).  I decided that since I’ve done RTIA several (7?) years in a row I would skip this year all together (dehydration due in part to boozing after a partial regatta last year was the main reason for a total miss – see last years race report).  I flew into TN on the Tuesday before the race to get acclimatized to the extreme altitude and heat.  Ok it’s only 680 ft ASL but that’s still about 3 times higher than our largest hill in Cat Island.  The heat however was a factor, with record high temperatures being recorded the weeks before, with heat indexes in the 110’s.  Walking outdoors was like walking into a furnace – a blast of heat, albeit a bit dryer than our heat.  Still not fun – a warmup run, bike, and swim in the week before the event would prove how difficult it could get.

After seeing me and everyone else suffer last year, Kevin also decided to sign-up for this years event.  Seems logical!  It was great to have someone else in the race and I also stayed with him and Katie for the week I was there (many thanks!).

Traveling with a bike is not easy but it’s also not difficult. I had checked my bike through on AirTran – they were the same price as Delta to Atlanta but wanted $50 each way for the bike vs $150 each way on Delta! Proper packing of the bike is crucial, and one can even get things like shoes and a helmet in there to save on checked or carry-on luggage.  Upon checking into AirTran I had to explain to a few people what the case was and what I wanted to do with it.  They tried to stick me with the additional bag fee, the overweight fee, and the bicycle transportation fee but I was able to convince them it was a flat fee of $50 – so I purchased it round trip to prevent any further hassle upon return.  It then has to go down to oversize baggage, where the guy thought it had to be a unicycle because there was no way a bike could fit into the box.  After he scanned it he must have realized his error, because it showed up on the other end, hand delivered because it couldn’t fit on the baggage carousel.  Along the way several people asked me what was in the box – but surprisingly customs did not even open the box on my return, although I did have it pre-authorized to leave and return.  All in all not a bad experience and for $100 vs $50-100 for a rental, plus it was good to have my own bike there.  I also had it tuned and a basic fitting from HUB Endurance, a local bike tri-shop in North Chattanooga, while I was there.

Our pre-race week consisted of a 3 mile or so run, a 10 mile bike ride after the bikes were tuned, and a 20 minute or so swim in the very warm (and cooler in patches) lake water by the Chickamauga Dam.  The weather was a constant factor – the week of was hot, but the Sunday was showing slightly cooler temperatures starting out in the high 70’s in the morning gaining to the mid 80’s by noon.  Eating healthy was an after-thought as the restaurants in Chattanooga are very good, especially the newer “trendier” ones.  Lupis, Crust, Urban Stack, Taco Mamacitas, Terminal Brewhouse, Bluewater Grille, The Blue Plate & of course Waffle House are just a few that come to mind.  If you want to hear more about the local restaurants, I recommend taking the Chattanooga Ducks tour as the guide knows just about every restaurant in the downtown area!  You should take it anyways because it was fun and informative, the kids (young and old) loved it, and Brecken and I got to drive a dukw!

After the tour we headed down to the expo to pickup our race numbers and check in etc.  There was a shirt and water bottle in the bag but not much else save for advertisements.  For the entry fee I was a little disappointed.  We walked around the expo for a bit and I purchased a $24 running hat (ouch), which would become priceless after Katie and I were done with it!  If you notice in the run I am sporting a Bahamian flag – this was my craft project for the night.  Katie also managed to sew up an awesome Bahamian flag!  Such great support this race has!

OK fast forward to race morning – Kevin and I woke up around 5:30 for our coffee and breakfast, mine consisting of a peanut butter, banana, and honey on an everything bagel.  We had prepared everything the night before and we biked the 2 miles or so, mainly downhill, across the bridge to the waterfront.  We had a great location for transition – due to an error on people’s time trial swim entries we were ranked 43 (Kevin) and 54th out of about 1100 people for the swim start!  We were in the first row after the swim which made our racks easy to locate.  We walked up to the start around 7am, where we met Hamish just out and about on a 6 mile run (he was not participating in the tri). I mosied over to the portapotties and waited in line there for a good while, even considering the number of them they had.

The swim start was delayed until around 7:45 and then was a bit confusing because people who had erroneously entered their swim times wanted to be boosted up, so they had combined them under certain numbers and given them pink swim caps or something, but I think I started in the right time slot!  Upon walking down the plank to the dock we ran into Zach of Fast Break Athletics, a fellow class of ’99 that was volunteering.  The actual in-water swim start was a difficult concept for some, as the people in front of me didn’t go so I just started around them.  The swim down river was pleasant – I made sure to take my time, breathe regularly and bilaterally, and to extend my stroke out as long as possible.  I knew I could go faster here, but I opted for comfort, long strokes, and decent speed in order to save my energy for the rest of the race.  Kevin admitted to going out a bit fast here and had a great swim but it hurt him on the rest of the race.  I ended up completing the 1500m swim with a time of 22:42 which beat my time from last year, not bad considering the lack of swim training recently!

The transition from the swim takes you out of the water and up some stairs to the park.  I heard the crowd yelling and recognized a few voices and saw a few people I knew, and heard someone calling my name that I didn’t know!  I think it was one of the parental units on Kevin’s side.  As I was running into my aisle for transition I saw Kevin headed out, and then back in again, much to the race officials dismay, but he had forgot his gu and headed back out.  I had a decent T1 time of 2:58 – while I think I could be faster, I tend to take my time and put on socks, and make sure I have everything to start out the bike leg.

The 26.1 mile bike leg started out well – always nice when a $5000+ bike is right in front of you and can’t perform a running mount.  Not to say mine was pretty – but I was off and clipped in long before him.  Of course he passed me – along with just about everyone else.  Having a strong swim and a good start time is great, but demotivating on the bike portion – a common occurrence.  The bike leg seemed to go by faster than last year, probably because I knew the course and what to expect.  There are about 6 or 7 long uphills with long downhills.  I tried to hold aero and remain in my seat as much as possible, utilizing the gearing to keep me in the 70-90 cadence range.  Depending on the inclination, I would be from 7-12 mph on the uphill, and from 28-38 on the downhills.  As I got more comfortable with the downhills I started pedaling hard down and passing people, again only to get passed on the uphill!  I managed to successfully use my new tri-bar mounted water bottle as well as to refill it from my secondary bottle.  This year I managed to get a gu down and both bottles, this helped out on my run.

I had no mishaps until the very end, when on the last hill in the city I dropped the chain on the way down.  I fixed it, and went off again, only to drop it on the final gentle downhill into the finish – I decided to ride it out and coast to the finish.  I think I neither gained nor lost time with that decision.  I did confuse Katie quite a bit as she was waiting with the camera, but I was so slow at that point I had time to explain it!  I dismounted at the line and ran the bike in.  My bike time was 1:34:12, about a minute faster than the previous year – but I felt much better coming off the bike and into transition.

T2 was 1:22, a fairly fast transition time especially for me!  Coming out of transition I heard the crowd roar – about 15 people had gathered to cheer on Kevin and I (who had passed through about 10 minutes before me).  While extremely motivating and an awesome sight, it pumped me up so much that I took off too fast.  I felt the Achilles tendon in my left leg tighten and then shoot pain all around the area, and realized it was going to be one of two things: run it out or fall over trying.

Luckily it only took about 4 miles to ignore the pain!  I wanted to hold 9 minute miles and to walk through the water stops.  The aching Achilles was not having the 9 minute mile pace and I dropped to about 10 minute miles to accommodate it, being careful not to put too much strain on my good right tendon.  By this time the run was HOT. It must have been in the mid 90’s.  I was drenched with sweat before I started drenching myself with ice water.  The girl with the hose was a nice touch too – the mister system on the way back was a bit of a let-down.  The water stations were well staffed with volunteers, water, ice water, and Powerade (basically high fructose corn syrup!).  I ate a gel at one of the first water stations.

The first mile of the 6.2 mile course is tough – immediately leaving transition you start up a long not-so-gentle hill, which then goes down and hits some stairs to come up and over the same road you were just on to continue going uphill for a while to a steep down to the first mile marker.  After that the course is relatively flat with some ups and downs, until you reach back to the last mile or so.  Then its brutally back up that steep hill (ran first half, walked second) – thankfully there is a station with iced towels to help you at the top of the hill.  Then its back down the stairs (painful again) and up the hill and down the long slope to the finish.

I drudged along at my 10 min mile pace into the finish picking up a bit towards the end – then saw my crowd cheering and hollering and got that wave of energy and took it up a notch – I glanced down and the watch was reading a 7 something pace, but this wasn’t very far to the finish, a couple hundred meters at most.  A cold water was handed over and the timing chip stripped, and I wandered around looking for everyone.  There was no finish time displayed, I assume due to the time trial start, so I really had no idea what time I had completed the course in.  My run ended up being 1:04:30, which is about a 10 minute mile if you factor in walking through the 5 or 6 water stations. My run time was about 9 minutes faster than last year, which I was happy with, although I could have gone faster without the tendon issue.

My results, and comparing them to 2011:

2011 2012 Difference
bib number: 139 54
age: 29 30
gender: M M
location: Nassau Nassau
division place: 54 out of 62 62 out of 92
gender place: 634 out of 783 379 out of 618
time: 03:18:27 03:05:42 00:12:45
pace: 00:00:00 00:00:00 00:00:00
swim: 23:50:00 22:42:00 01:08:00
t1: 03:59:00 02:58:00 01:01:00
bike: 01:35:11 01:34:12 00:00:59
t2: 02:03:00 01:22:00 00:41:00
run: 01:13:27 01:04:30 00:08:57

I moved from being in the 19th percentile to the 39th percentile of the gentleman, so I was happy with that increase.  I would have liked to have been under 3 hours – but I guess that leaves me with a goal for 2013!

Overall a great race, well organized and supported.  The weather seems to be a consistent factor and it is a very tough course.  I overheard a guy on the run talking about how he had done a half-ironman a few weeks before, and because it was cooler and flatter, the Chattanooga Waterfront Triathlon was more difficult!  I look forward to next year, and to a freak bout of cool weather.  Perhaps next year we can convince Hamish and some others to get out there with us!