The Graeagle Triathlon

Posted by Ryan Jerz on Monday July 5, 2004.

I want to talk a bit about the race at Graeagle on Sunday. It was great. I had an amazing time, even though I put my body through hell. I want to start off by saying that over the last race I did, this was a completely different world. I learned how to swim, which makes the start totally different, and builds a little confidence. I got a real road bike, which is faster just by sitting on it. I have been training for the past four weeks pretty intensely, which makes me just a bit faster. I still am a weak runner, mainly because I am really tired and can’t figure out how to finish on the bike to allow for my legs to be more ready to run. Plus, I’m fat, which makes it harder to run anyway. With all that said, I’ll now tellt he story, which isn’t funny or anything, just a straightforward documentation of my race.

When I last did one of these things, I was scared shitless. I really wasn’t a good swimmer. By that I mean I knew I wasn’t going to be able to swim the entire length. I would just have to float along and try to push myself toward the buoys. This time I looked forward to the swim. I have worked on my swimming pretty hard the past several months, and I knew that I could now swim a long way without having to stop and catch my breath or relax or anything. So I looked at the water thinking I could make up a little time on guys who would smoke me later. Maybe I could gain a few minutes, enough to hold them off in my weaker legs, so I could actually beat people this time. As the swim got started there was some jostling, and I fell into place behind a big pack of the leaders. I was at the front of a pack for a while, but I kept getting off course, so I was passed by a few guys. I am the guy in the purple cap. When I finally got out of the water, I was stoked to see my swim time at under twenty minutes. It was around 17, so that was sweet. My last time was 30. There was a long jog to the transition area, but it gave me enough time to get the wetsuit off.

In transition, I quickly got dressed and was on my way. The bike was fun and fast. It was four loops of a course about 3.5 miles long. Doing multiple passes certainly makes it a bit faster, as you get a chance to see the course, then ride it better each time around. I am still very new to biking, but I averaged about 17.5 miles an hour, which was certainly slow to the guys who blew by me throughout the ride. But it was still far faster than I had ever ridden before. when I finished my third pass, I looked at my watch to see where I stood on time. I was pumped to see that I had a shot to finish the ride at around 50 minutes. That was faster than I had hoped. I finished it in around 51 minutes, so coupled with the faster swim, I was sitting pretty good. I cruised into transition and got set to run.

The run was an out and back with a finish around the small lake where we had done our swimming. It was also along the bike course, so I had seen it had some uphill in it. Luckily for me, there was another guy changing with me, so I would be able to guage my speed off of someone else. There was definitely some pain in the run. My legs were jello from the bike, and I went real slow for the first mile or so. I made it through the hilly part and headed back toward the lake. Unfortunately, there was no breeze going back so it got pretty freaking hot. I had a helper about a mile from the finish, so that helped a tad. I got passed by the guy I had been with earlier, and another guy before the lake. But when I hit the lake I picked it up after hearing someone say it was just a half mile around. So I got the second guy who passed me, but never saw the first again. Finishing, and hearing the time of 1:42:26 was a great feeling. It was a full 26 minutes faster than the last one, and I felt much better, too. Even the run, which was slow (at around 29 minutes) was faster than before. So I’ll take it.

The guy who put it on was a bit wacky. He just stood around and yelled stuff. He started calling out names of finishers in a seeminly random order to give us our medals. The kids liked it, and the town was having a parade for July 4th. we stuck around and had lunch in the park before heading back to the cabin for the day. At least everyone let me have a nap. Graeagle was a great place for the event. I definitely will return for the race next year, as long as I’m in some sort of shape for it. And for an entry fee of $25, how can you beat it?

Ryan JerzRyan Jerz is an all-around good guy who wants people to eventually refer to him as "that dude who climbs mountains."

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