Monday, August 18, 2008

Timberman 2008

This past weekend was Janda's third 70.3 race of the year and his third time racing at Timberman. Timberman is becoming quite a tradition with us and unfortunately it is now becoming the event that signals the winding down of summer for us-especially me since I have to go back to school in 10 days!

As with RI 70.3, almost all of Janda's New England athletes were racing, so there were plenty of people to catch up with at the race starting on Saturday at the race expo. When we got to the expo we heard a rumor that the swim might be wetsuit illegal, so that was a concern. Then Janda did his pre-race swim in the lake in his skinsuit and came out shivering so we figured that it would all work out in the morning.

After the swim and bike racking, we met up with Janda's brother and his girlfriend who were staying with us and we headed out for dinner. Maybe not the ideal restaurant (Papa Ginos's), but we got some pizza (Janda's staple pre-race dinner) and some other food and headed back to watch the Olympics before bed. We had to get up early, but not nearly as early as RI, so in comparison it felt great. We got down to the park a little before 6 and the fun began.

The sun is just creeping up as Janda heads into transition.

Janda got his bike ready and did his warmup run, after which we all headed down to the beach. Janda told me on the way down that his legs felt pretty dead, but he always feels something before the race, so I dismissed it. After a parachuting national anthem (the flag not the singer), the race finally got underway. Janda got in with a good group this race and had a pretty good swim by his standards- but he still had about 5 minutes to make it up to the podium.

Practically still dark when we hit the beach!

Janda on the run-out.

Corey, Cameran and I talked to some people, cheered on some people and eventually headed up to the road to wait for the guys to start coming back in on the bike. The local pro that Janda coaches, Nick Dufresne, had an awesome bike (and swim as usual) and came in around 6th or 7th. A couple more people come in and then I see Chrissie Wellington. This makes me nervous because there is no way that she would out-bike Janda. She did have a lead coming out of the water, but I expected Janda to erase that before the end of the bike. Thankfully he came in shortly thereafter, but he had blood all over his face and arm, so we were all worried about what had happened.

Janda zooming into transition.

When he ran back by us around mile 6 he had moved into 7th and was gaining on Nick. When he came out from the turnaround, he had passed Nick and was closing in on 5th place. We went back to the finish to wait and see what would happen. In came Andy Potts, with a 10 minute lead! Then Fraser Cartmell, Simon Lessing and Michael Lovato came through the chute. Before we can see anything we hear the commentator announcing that Janda was coming through. He had made it into 5th place.

Out on the run course.

Coming down the chute.

We finally get to Janda and he tells us that he threw up everything he tried to take down on the bike and that ended up being the "blood" that was all over him- Powergel and red sport drink! It looked exactly like blood until you wiped it with a towel and the dye got everywhere. Thank goodness. All that had happened was that Janda's legs were a bit dead from the Ironman training, so the bike was slower than we expected and apparently, torturous. Again, thank goodness it wasn't a crash or anything serious. Janda is used to being rested and recovered for races, so he was not pleased with the residual fatigue, but (somewhat) pleased nonetheless with the performance and times all things considered. Personally I think that there are a lot of good things to be seen from this performance.

In addition to Janda kicking butt and doing awesome, everyone else had a pretty good day, with a couple of podium finishers (Craig and Amanda) a couple of Clearwater slots (John and Evan) and all the guys in the top 75 (out of ~2200 starters) and 3 in top 40 (not including Janda)- Nick 12th, Craig 21st and John 36th! And his lone female was top 25, somewhere around 21st! I know that not everyone had the exact performance that they were hoping for, including Janda himself (unfortunately that happens very rarely), but everyone had a pretty good day and posted pretty impressive performances on a challenging course. It's a lot of fun now to hang out after the race, talk to everybody and see so many people we know kicking butt and/or taking home the hardware/Clearwater slots!

On the podium with Lovato, Lessing, Cartmell and Potts.

After the awards we headed back to the camper, ate the leftovers and cleaned up before heading home to watch some Olympics and then hit the sack early.


amanda russell said...

Ha! We ate at Papa Gino's too. Must have just missed you guys.

I love that you write these reports. It's fun to hear the "other side" of the race.

Michelle C said...

Hope yours was better than ours. Ours was kind of a mixed bag!

We were waited on by a young triathlete though, maybe it was good luck.