With the season in full swing, I knew that there would be some short turnarounds. As a case in point, I was in Indiana (Hammond) on Sunday and then headed back again (to Indy) less than 5 days later.
While in Texas, I had connected with a guide (Nelson) that I hope to work with on a consistant, long-term basis. The Indy Sprint Tri was our first race on that journey.
When we met at Eagle Creek Park on Friday afternoon, the main focus was to get the bike adjusted and get in a quick course preview. There were a couple of close calls early on, but no crashes. As we did the park portion of the loop, there seemed to be a bit of wobble with the bike and gear issues. When we got back to the car, we saw that the shifting cable had frayed. This meant that we were without the three lowest climbing gears for a bike course that’s full of hills. While we weren’t able to get it repaired prior to the race, Carmel Bicycles was able to help stretch it so that we got back 1 or 2 of those gears.
For most every race, the game is ‘what will James forget to pack’. Usually, it’s something insignficat that I can easily buy or borrow. However, this time it almost cost me… I unintentionally left my race bib on the hotel desk. I didn’t realize this until we were getting everything set up and it was too late to go back for it. Thankfully our support crew (Linda) was able to get a replacement one for me from the race staff (hand written on the back of another bib).
For the swim, you were seeded by bib number and could drop back if needed. To help minimize people running into us, we dropped back towards the end. While people didn’t run into us, we did have a couple of unexpected tangles. The tether got caught up on the sighting buoys a few different times, with the most severe being before the first turn.
As we headed out onto the bike, I cut the corner too tight and tripped over the cones. Everything was OK, and we headed into ‘hill fun’. With the missing gears, there were challenges at several points of the bike. I also know that I had to push it a lot harder, as we were at least 2 gears higher than we should have been.
When the run started, we walked up the big hill and then started running. The first mile wasn’t bad, but by the second, my back was really starting to tighten up. Because of this, mile 3 was mostly a walk/run. Even with those challenges, the run in Indy was far better than the prior 2.
It was great to see the TriLoco guys post-race. TriLoco helped with guides in prior years. I am grateful to everyone who helped make the weekend possible, and look forward to working more with Nelson in the future.