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Le Tear Off Nassau 2012

On November 17th, the 2012 Le Tear Off Nassau was organized by Calvin Lockhart and company.

Here are the results, with more details and photos to follow:

Le Tear Off Nassau 2012

Congratulations to race winner Mark Holowesko and all the participants!

For more information on timing and race services offered in the Bahamas and throughout the Caribbean, please contact Lee McCoy.

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!

I’ve been so busy organizing this event that I have forgot to link to it from here!  Not like anyone reads it but hey it adds google points and stuff.

Join us March 23-25th 2012

1 Mile Open Water Swim
Sprint/Olympic Triathlons
Kids 1-Mile Fun Run
5k/10k Fun Run/Walk

Treasure Cay, Abaco, Bahamas


2011 10K Marathon Warm-Up Race


December 17th 2011

The 2011 10k Marathon Warm-Up Race (2nd of a hopefully annual event) took place from scenic Montagu, Nassau, Bahamas.  We had a total of 5 “official” entrants, two “unofficial” entrants (who left a bit early to get their day started!), and a dog!  Jason and I were excited to get to test some of our new Chronotrack systems available for races throughout the Bahamas.

The Official Unofficial Results

Place Name Age Sex Time (min/km) (min/mile)
1 ALEC PACKINGTON 29 M 45:42 04:35 07:22
2 GREG LOWE 57 M 46:10 04:37 07:27
3 JOHN PROCTOR 34 M 54:48 05:29 08:50
4 JEN MARBURY 36 F 58:00 05:48 09:21
5 DANIELLE VAN WYNEN 42 F 1:02:26 06:15 10:04
6 BRIT HOOD 41 F 1:02:28 06:15 10:05
7 ANNA PROCTOR 32 F 1:05:00 06:30 10:29

Alec and Greg fought it out on the race course, with Alec being quite surprised at the pace he was being challenged to!  Greg is the father of Simon Lowe, infamous triathlete who overslept (or otherwise missed) the event. We had a smaller turnout than expected, but with the short notice and lack of advertising what else can we expect!

The Chronotrack system worked perfectly and we look forward to using it on future events.  Our next major events are the  Marathon Bahamas weekend on January 14/15th and the Great Abaco Family Fitness Weekend on March 23-25th.

I look forward to seeing everyone out on the course, and thanks for your participation in this and other events!  If you would like to volunteer for any events please let me know, the more the merrier!  Have a great 2012!

Photos by Chrystonia Robertson

I don’t normally blog about much else these days except races, but this is quite an exciting upgrade!  If you read the Miami Man report, you’d know I purchased a nice 2006 Felt S32 from a fellow BTer in Miami.  So here’s all the details!

I was previously on a Jamis Satellite entry level racing bike with tri-bars.  No offense to the bike or the company, but it is an entry level bike, and steel nonetheless.  Steel is strong, but it is heavy.  The Jamis also has Shimano Tiagra components, the very entry level.  I always had problems shifting in and out…not that I really noticed until I rode bikes with better components!

The new bike, as stated, is a 2006 Felt S32.  You can read a review of the bike from back in 2006 here.  If you peruse the article and the photos, you’ll see the bike looks a bit different.  The previous owners (2 I think) have performed the following upgrades along the way:

  • New cockpit with a Pro Synop HF TT Basebar and Profile T2+ Aerobars
  • TTR2 Wheelset
  • Look Pedals
The T2+ aerobars are on my old Jamis also so it adds a level of familiarity to the upgrade.  Many people ask what the difference between a racing bike and a tri-bike is, and while I’m no expert, I can tell you the differences that I have noticed so far.  First, the bike is lighter.  Going from steel to aluminum makes a big difference!   I’d say in the 3-5lbs range or so (20% lighter).   Second, yet most importantly I think for triathlons, is the geometry.  The tri configuration moves the main muscle group from the quads to the glutes and hamstrings, saving your quads for the run portion of your race.  Third, aerodynamics.  The bike itself is much more aerodynamic (even compare the new bikes to 2006 and you can see the changes in the past few years).  The configuration also allows for a much cleaner aero position for the rider also, and a bit more comfortable in holding that position for the duration of the ride.  Fourth, the components.  While shared between racing and tri bikes, the upgrade for me from the Tiagra to the Ultegra/105 has made a much smoother ride and easier shifting.   This bike seems to glide forever compared to the Jamis, I’d assume because of the TTR2 wheelset.
I also managed to find a second hand (but never used) travel case for a bargain!  Overall, the cost of the Felt will be about the same as the cost of my old Jamis.  I definitely would recommend buying used for a first bike, obviously with some research and consideration.   Finding a used bike in the Bahamas is difficult, and I got really lucky with the bike and case that week!
Anyways, enough with the comparison, now to put it to good use!  I hope to be able to get in more rides with this one; having a nicer bike is a bit more motivating!  Sarah will be commandeering the Jamis for rides when she is in town, and others are welcome to use it if they care to join me! And finally, the gallery.  I know you want bike porn, so here it is!

Following the Chattanooga Waterfront Olympic Triathlon, I was encouraged by my level of fitness and an email blast to sign up for the 2011 MiamiMan (international distance). I thought I would have plenty of time to work on building up base and speed, and it would be a great time of year in a climate and course similar to the Bahamas.

As it turns out, life has a way of getting in the way.

I spent far less time training then I had planned, always thinking I have XX weeks left and it’s not an issue. At two weeks or so out, I decided to push the lackadaisical training into overdrive and began doing longer, faster, more frequent runs, and even threw in a few short bikes and a twenty-two mile bike. I wasn’t too worried about the swimming, although the event would prove that swimming would have helped a bit!

I went into the weekend very sinusoidal  in terms of nerves, one day I would be happy to just complete it, the next I was worried I wouldn’t complete it! Sarah was very helpful in keeping me sane through the week prior to the race. I scouted a bike to beg, borrow, or steal, and ended up finding two very helpful people through The first had signed up for the MiamiMan but had deferred due to lack of training (he sounds much smarter than me!) He was willing to lend me his Cervelo for the race. WOW! It was a 56cm and I ride a 54, but that’s what I did in Chattanooga with a race bike and it was OK. A few days later I received an email from another fabulous BTer in Miami who had a 2006 Felt S32 with TTR2 wheels and was willing to part with it for a price I couldn’t refuse! After some back and forth, checking reviews, talking with friends, I decided to buy it.

Saturday before the tri, at around 1pm, I had a bike. It was great to meet Yuset and he hooked me up with some cleats for the pedals and a bike computer as well! Registration and bike check-in closed at 4pm, so I literally spent 20 minutes adjusting and riding the bike. This may not seem that big of a deal, but I have NEVER ridden a tri bike! We made it to the Larry and Penny Thompson (no relation) Park and registered and checked in, and did some shopping at the expo. I found a tighter fitting tri-top that I could swim in but there was a question: red or grey? I chose grey; Sarah agreed until she had to find me in a sea of triathletes!

The next morning I was up early for a typical race day breakfast (bagel, peanut butter, banana, coffee). Sarah rolled out of bed and joined me and we were off to the race! We arrived, I hooked up the computer, and then transition closed 15 minutes early on me! I didn’t have time to figure out the computer which needed to be reset, so the computer was on but not functioning. Riding blind on a new bike, awesome! The half-iron competitor waves started first at 7am I think, with my wave being at 8:10am. We hung around for a bit, watched some swims, saw Hector Picard, and then mosied over to the race start. At this point Sarah had to leave for her (I am only assuming this part) exciting and fun-filled morning of watching people race! (She should write her own blog post about how to find a rented jeep at a triathlon!)

I slowly edged into the water…I knew it was going to be cold. Everyone was wearing wetsuits, in fact maybe 10% or less of us did not have such fancy gear. It turned out the water wasn’t as miserable as I was expecting, but definitely cold (think January at Rose Island). The course was in a freshwater lake, so not only did the wetsuits stave the cold, they also added extra buoyancy allowing for a faster swim. One day…

The swim went well, and as usual fighting to clear the masses took a while, but then I was off. At first I thought I was swimming crooked constantly, but then I realized people were zigzagging the course instead of sighting and swimming a straight line. I cleared the first set of light blue caps only to be surrounded by green sharks! These guys were at least the slower of the group in front and easier to maneuver around. It seemed people were scared and swam closer to the edges, a straight line around the bouys was the shortest and least busy. I was only breathing to the right and seemingly shorter breaths, probably because I haven’t done an open water swim in fresh water before and because I didn’t train for the swim…it was too cold! I cleared the water as the second light blue shark (beaten by a wetsuiter!).

I took my time in transition, as the 4+ minutes would indicate. I was looking for Sarah (as the pictures would indicate) and also wanted to be sure I had my bike setup right, at least enough to make it around the 22 mile course. This was essentially my test ride of the equipment! Once ready I started walking out and then realized I could run with the bike (duh) and off I went. The bike was fairly easy to mount, but clipping in took a bit longer than usual being new to me pedals and clips.

The first half of the bike went well. I took it easy knowing how the 22-mile practice had gone a few weeks before (ask Simon or Alec…not well is the easiest answer). I could feel the slight tailwind pushing, and the bike was a fairly simple course around the farmlands of South Florida. I had no computer and had to estimate how far I had traveled; I had seen the map but not studied it. There were plenty of volunteers and police to direct traffic and other than the odd car the course was well closed down. At the half way point I was still feeling good and was waiting for my body to fail. The tailwind turned to a headwind up on the way back, seemingly picking up and a bit gusty through the trees and buildings. Having a tri-bike and being able to hold aero for about 80% of the time was advantageous over my entry-level road bike, and I managed to complete the bike averaging 18mph in a bit over an hour. Dismount and transition 2 were a lot smoother than T1 and as I exited T2 I saw Sarah and walked for a photo-op.



Well, that and I had previously decided it would be smart to walk the water stations to get hydrated and cool off a bit. Of course there’s one right after transition and in the middle of the crowd – but a race plan is a race plan! After Chattanooga I did not want to dehydrate or overheat, neither is a good feeling! The beginning of the run was great! There were gazelle, antelopes, elephants, and a host of other animals I forgot (I did try to remember them!). After the first third or so, it was less exciting and just a run through the parking lot/roads of the Miami Zoo, and then a small section back through the zoo where there were some hogs and birds and wild children, and then back through the camping area. There was a guy tailgating on the run path. Seriously. I almost stopped for a beer – yes I did ask and he had a cooler full on ice! One of the run stations was manned by the Miami Zoo Rotary Club, and now I have a makeup since I had to miss an East Nassau meeting! They were very excited to hear from a Rotarian in the race! I managed to hold around 9 minute miles, and on the last few miles managed to pass people which is quite abnormal for me. I stupidly skipped the last water stop thinking the finish line was closer, while we still had a mile and half to go. I paid for it slightly, but still kept the pace. I finally heard the draw of the crowd and finished the race in 2 hours 37 minutes, catching Sarah off guard all along the way!

I had gone in expecting 15-16mph on the bike, and 10-11 minute miles on the run to put me around 3 hours total. To have an 18mph bike and 9 minute miles was very surprising! A lot of post race stretching and relaxing was done before packing up and heading out. Racers were still coming in from the half-iron bike when we left around noon – they were in for a long day as the sun was coming out from behind the clouds. Maybe in 2012 I will try out a 70.3!

Many thanks to Ian and my Florida family for helping out with accommodations (Sam), bike boxes (Brian and Sage) and support (all). Special thanks to Sarah who tagged along all weekend and got up early for another race, and was my personal photographer!

Total Time: 02:37:30.56
Swim Time: 17:29
T1 Time: 4:14
Bike Time: 1:13:26
T2 Time: 2:37
Run Time: 59:45
Overall Place: 209 out of 588
Overall Percentile: 65
Gender Place: 156 out of 312
Gender Percentile: 50
Category Place: 18 out of 24
Category Percentile: 26

Official photos can be seen here:

Abaco Open Water Swim 2011

Saturday, October 1st was the 2011 Abaco Open Water Swim. This event has been around for 7 years now I think, and continues to be a great event. I tried three years ago to race this, and dropped a door on my toe a few days before, so I had to let Mike compete alone after we both trained for it! Last year I had to fly in the night before and fly out immediately after for Alec’s wedding! This year, the event coincided with my nephew Frye’s birthday party! So between Sarah, Frye, and a great event, I had no choice but to head up to Abaco! Add in the part where I learned to wakeboard, and it was a superb weekend!

In the days leading up to the swim, my brother decided to do the 5k with minimal training! In the day before, we managed to convince Rhiannon, Sarah A., and Lindsey to form a relay and compete!

We headed over early in the morning from Hope Town (after loading up a kayak), and made for the Crossings in Marsh Harbour. It was a beautiful morning and there were flat seas just as there have been the past few years. We arrived at the public dock, registered, and after a very quick warmup swim we lined up for the race. I think there were about 20 of us on the line, and about 50 swimmers total with the relays.

The first leg was going well and the current was minimal. What a relief, I thought, as that leg was the hardest last year! Rounding the bouy and heading to the second marker, the current picked up; even more so on the final leg of the first lap. And, just to add some difficulty to the race, this head-on current got stronger with each lap! However, we all seemed to persevere and make it to the finish line!

1:20:39 Overall
0:26:40 First mile
0:26:48 Second mile
0:27:11 Third mile

Matthew and I took first and second place in the male 18-35 category! OK, we were the only ones in the category.

I didn’t have much training leading into this one; I had been swimming a bit for the UWC but that was all short distance. Overall I was pleased with my swim. I didn’t go out to drown myself but ended up with a consistent swim. I felt like I could have kept swimming, maybe next year they can organize a 10k swim!

Many thanks to Sara, Brent, the Abaco Swim Club, Swift Swimming, and all those involved in organizing and participating in such a great event! I look forward to this event every year now, and I hope to see it grow in size and stature! See everyone there in 2012!