Huntington – the details

Yes, sssmst had a FANTASTIC showing at Huntington, but how did we all feel about our races?  Here are the details…

(Before I get to that I just wanted to add that while awards were being handed out, I happened to be standing apart from the mass of sssmst, in some older, less obvious team gear.  I overheard someone say (after the men grabbed so many awards), “look they all have matching clothes, they must be sponsored or something, they must train really hard for all this stuff.  hmpphhh.”  This made me smile… as if that is a bad thing, or somehow an unfair advantage.  We’re just regular people, too, who happen to really love to swim, bike and run.  And we love our sponsors!!! )

While this may not be as interesting as naked-running-Leah, we did still have a great time and make our presence known.  Read on for more…

There was a lot of hype leading up to this race.  After Greg Jackson mentioned the possibility of racing, the smack-talk started flying over who would come out and race their first triathlon and who would win using pure grit.  On race morning, it was the first triathlon for Mike Plank and Greg (of team Spin/RR Donnelley), for Aaron Rood, and the first in many years for Nacho (Anthony Davila).  Who would come out on top? 

In the end, Aaron took the win, and even won his age group!  Plank had the fastest bike split of the morning.  Impressive race boys!

And here’s what some team members had to say about the race.

Marty Mason:

Best day of the summer. Blue and green rolled on the shores of Lake Erie. The newbie excitement was something to behold on Sunday morning. I felt the friendly tension in the air due to the trash-talking the night before. Giving advice on how to properly lube one’s self before tri participation is PRICELESS (Nach applied his right between the cheeks as instructed).  I cannot congratulate those enough that ran into that big lake for their first leg of their first triathlon. Way to go! Rood, Greg, Plank– I salute you.
What beach will I see you at next?

Aussie Rob:

I love Huntington, the epitome of a fun local race that always draws a good local crowd. Any race i can ride my bike to is golden in my book. Enjoyed my race and was happy to finish as high as i did. Marty and Brian proved that old age and treachery (and years of fitness) trump whatever i brought to the table – hats off to them, and everyone else who raced; especially Jen who defended her title.

Was cool to see everyone, and to see some roadies step up and have a swing. Maybe now there will be a little less smack talk? Heh, somehow i doubt it. 😉

Tim Walsh (who just swam in the two-mile open water masters swim race the day before):

Special thanks to Brian Stern and Marty Mason for qualifying as Overall winners, allowing me to move up in my age group for a 3rd place finish.

Kevin Krol:

Winding up my longer training for the Cannonman half, did this race with a 4-hour brick session in my legs from the day before.

Race started fairly routinely, but about 50 yards into the swim, I see a guy sprint across in front of me and t-bone Joe Bush. Going into the first turn I think Ricky Bobby got three other guys hung up and somehow I managed to get to the swim exit first. I guess maybe that’s why my arms are so tired in the pool these days – cuz I’m so friggin fast!!
So I pulled a Bruce.

Felt the yesterday’s brick in my legs on the bike where I couldn’t hold a consistant speed on the way back from Avon Lake. It was good to see everyone on the team out on the run though. I was running scared from Stern and Marty, because I knew there was no way I was running as fast as they were. Brian caught me on the final ramp up to the finish line where I finally picked up the pace for about 12 steps.

Props to Rood, Macho Madness and Jackson for racing the tri. I can’t wait to see the re-match.

Brian Stern:

This race was my last tune up before Steelhead 70.3 and it was a good day for me and the Spin Second Sole Team. I got up late and drove like an idiot to get to the race. Picked my number, set up transition with time to get a short mile run in before heading down to the beach. Slide into my wetsuit and swam a bit of a warm up. The old guy wave lines up and then its race time. I exit the water with a decent swim, peel my suit, notice I beat Marty out of the water (he didn’t where a suit), and run up to T1. Ride hard catch Greg on the road and eventually get caught by Marty at mile 7. We go back and forth a few times before he gets the better of me and holds at twenty seconds (insight the remaining ride). Head out of T2 the wrong way (beep), turn around go correct way (beep) screw up timing chip and I’m chasing Marty. I finally catch him at 800 meters running 5:35 pace miles (if the course is accurate – maybe 5:40 pace not sure) and continue until finish. My finish time is 58:18 with 17:20 5K to finish ( think it was close to accurate). Someone needed to step up for the team and the entire team rose to the call, since gentleman Jim was not in attendance. The very best part was the Carbo reloading post race thanks to Mr. Rood.

Mike Schaefer:

So great to see team turnout and 1st-timers!!  My bike time was slower this year – probably due to the HARD wednesday nigh Spin ride (even though it was supposed to be a B+…) but I made up for it in the run – starting slower seemed to help, and had another PR (for the course)!  Really makes me optimistic for end-of season races coming up. Time to start resting..

And yours truly (Brandy Smith):

I’ll call this my first triathlon, too… I did two tris back in ’04 before I knew how to swim or had a decent racing bike… needless to say I was not going to tri anymore until I learned to swim.  All winter I trained in the pool in Reddy’s swim course, and debuted at the Lorain Summer Sprint two weeks ago, which was also a pretty poor performance (I tried to quit more than once but the woman in the kayak wouldn’t take me to shore… I finished the race but my swim took twice as long as anyone else’s due to my panic in the open water.  I bought a wetsuit right away!).  So I wore my wetsuit for the .25 mile swim and it was worth it.  I managed to swim alongside other swimmers and not panic in the 50-person wave start.  The run to T1 was so long though!  I got out of the water shortly behind my friend Jen P but she made it to T1 a whole minute before me – ouch).  I had a pretty strong bike and probably one of my best 5ks (maybe because as a triathlete I haven’t already run 5k in the beginning, both wearing out my legs and knowing the course?) leading me to a strong, smiley finish.  I may have been one of the only sssmst members without a medal at the end, but I was definitely more proud of this finish than most of the races I have received medals at!

Our next priority race will be at the Greater Cleveland Triathlon.  Can’t wait to see the team out in force again!

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