Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Mountaineer Race Report - Pre-Race

While writing my race report I have found that I get quite verbose. Of course this is my personal journal of the race and I like to get the details down for when I read them later.

Yet, I don't really like long blog posts. Write something of interest and move on. I feel this helps people do some reading and move on to another blog or surfing for bike porn. So I begin with my first installment for the Mountaineer Half Iron Distance Tri. I hope you enjoy it.

Let's get this party started.......

Aimee and I headed down to Morgantown, WV on Saturday the 24th. We left home around 11:30AM and had a nice drive down to Morgantown. We took turns driving so the other could nap. We had an active morning with Aimee running 10 miles in the early morning and a quick trip to the Brecksville Homedays Dog Jog. This was my “easy” morning run to turn the legs over. Snickers and I won the event last year and were there to see if we could defend our title without wasting too much energy. It’s interesting how I felt during the jog. Two guys were in front of me and I knew I wouldn’t be able to catch them because I’m not training for speed this year, it’s all about the Ironman. So this year Snickers pulled me through the two loop, one mile run. We had fun then had to get home and finally leave for Morgantown.

After we checked into our hotel room we hit the expo to get my race packet. We had to check in my bike Saturday night and I found a good spot on a rack. The transition area was on the first level of a parking garage which would provide cover from the elements on race day. I grabbed the end of a rack next to the garage wall. The chain link fence provided me with a spot to hang my transition bag from so that it was out of the way yet easily accessible if I needed anything.

We walked the transition and finish area to make sure I knew the flow for the race. Once I was happy with how things were going to work we made our way back to the hotel for some dinner. The hotel restaurant was not very busy. The weather outside was nice enough to eat on the patio overlooking the river. We picked a table between the common area where some wedding guests were sitting and the serving area. For the majority of our dinner we were alone enjoying each others company, watching some people swimming, running on the course and heading to transition. The menu for the restaurant looked great. Aimee had some mushroom stuffed ravioli in a seafood cream sauce. New to the menu was a create your own pasta meal. Pick your pasta, pick your sauce, pick some protein and also some sides. I went with penne pasta, marinara sauce, meatballs, salad and a glass of pinot noir. We finished out meal before the 6:30PM cutoff time coach had in the race plan.

After dinner we hopped in the car for a drive on the bike and run course. Scott Erdman who is the voice of HFP Racing and a CTC member had posted a bike course recap on the club message board. With that in hand we drove the course and were able to relate his version of the course to where we were on the course. The hills were nothing extreme and resembled some of the stuff I had been training on. We saw where the rough spots were and one nasty dip that I had trouble handling during the race, but more on that later.

The beginning of the run course is flat on a path the runs along the river so we focused on the second half of the two loop half marathon run, especially Devil’s Hill. Turning off the paved bike path and heading into town the run immediately starts to go up. The hill goes up to an intersecting street, is flat for 20 feet then climbs again. At the top of this second climb is a right turn and a gradual climb toward the campus of WVU. From here on in to the finish area the roads roll up and down, some rather sharply, with the final mile going all downhill.

We made our way back to the hotel to call it a night. I got the rest of my gear ready for morning, chatted with a couple of CTC members and finally turned off the TV. It was around 10:30PM when I finally settled down enough to fall asleep.

I'll try to post every day so you don't have to wait until August for my race report to end.

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