Monday, August 25, 2008

"You're Going the Wrong Way Bro!": My Cranberry Tri Race Report

Yesterday I arose at 4:15 AM so that my mom could drive me down to Lakeville, MA for the Cranberry Triathlon - it's about an 80 minute drive. After a light breakfast and a giant mug of coffee we took off.

It was extremely foggy that morning, but luckily it began to lift as the start time neared, and the temperature warmed up as well. The distances were a .9 mile swim in Long Pond, 24.8 mile bike, and 6.2 run, however, I didn't quite make it that far...

So the horn blasts and I'm off to a fast start. I am clearly in the lead by the first buoy and continue to pull away. At some points the pond got so shallow that I actually stood up and ran a few steps. Overall, I felt very strong. I exited that water with over an 80 second lead, and extended that to well over 90 seconds after a quick t1.

Next, I got out on my BMC TT bike and continued to hammer. I start to find my rhythm. There is a lead motorcycle that I am following. A little over 2 miles into the bike course we approach a set of lights and the motorcycle turns right. I follow. This road is flat and I'm flying down it. I continue for another couple of miles. All of a sudden the lead motorcycle guy in front of me starts making these hand signals. He pulls over to the side and lets me go by. Some cars pass me, and I assume that he was just motioning for the cars to go by. But then he speeds back up next to me and yells "You're going in the wrong direction!" "Are you serious?" I shout back. But he was. This dude had led me like 2.5-3 miles down the wrong road.

Complete demoralization set in. I was so pissed. After I turned around and slowly started going back he pulled up next to me again. "You just lost me 250 bucks!" I shouted at him. And then he sped off and I never saw him again. Given my plantar fasciitis it wasn't worth getting back on course and running a hard 6 miles in racing flats to come in the top-5. So I just called it a day. I went back to transition and spoke to the race organizers and went for a training run. [Then later that day I went for another 60 minute bike with a 4 mile brick run.]

The race directors were extremely apologetic, everybody was. But it didn't make me feel much better. I mean this was a club championship race, it was competitive - you can't have people that don't know what they're doing out on the course directing the racers, especially elites. I do this for a living, I'm losing out on a whole bunch of bonus money for DNF'ing! It's inexcusable. I made all these points to the RD, and he completely understood. He even gave me some prize money anyway as a gesture of goodwill. I really appreciate this, but I just hope he takes all the necessary steps to make sure something like this never happens again.

As long as it fits into my racing schedule, I will be back next year to finally get across that finish line, except this time I'll have a course map inked onto my hand...

1 comment:

That Runner Chick said...

lets focus on the bright side: you didnt even have to RUN and you made money. its kind of like they just paid you to show up. youre in the big time now!!