Bonus Results Rehash: Recent Away Races

Rob Reddy was just in California for Wildflower, and Kevin Krol and Anne Callahan went to New York for their annual pilgrimage to American Zofingen. These two events are amazing and unique, and we’re lucky to have first-hand accounts.

Read two great reports below, complete with several snakes and childbirth.

Edit! Now with Kevin’s AZ addition.

From Annie…

Zofingen is one of those races that I insist you MUST CONSIDER! It has been endorsed by Kevin Krol for 6 years…and you are going to hear my perspective from this year.

I completed the short course distance in 2007 and thought it was time to take my new bike and my limited training back to the brutal course for 2010. The race has only gotten better and better AND it is within driving distance. We stayed at Race Director, John McGovern and his wife Lucy’s HUGE house located in Kingston, NY within 20 min from the beautiful course known as AMERICAN ZOFINGEN. John is a fierce du/tri guy and his wife is a native New Yorker (cool and wonderful). They have two daughters Erin and Kaitlin that I have gotten to know. The whole family is out on the course providing aid, special needs help and much needed cheering.

Over the years racers have stayed around a few extra days to go into the city which is less than a 90 min drive. This year we met a couple from Denver who flew into Newark, rented a car and drove to the house. After the race they left the next day to return their rental car in Newark then took the train into the city to meet with friends for three days. How sweet is that?! Put this race on your MUST DO for 2011.

A race this difficult can only be rewarded with the beauty and splendor of The Catskills Mountains and the very best of anything and EVERYTHING you want just a short distance to THE CITY THAT NEVER SLEEPS! Forget the extra 40K people that show up for the NYC marathon…the race to be seen at and NEVER regret is American Zofingen. It is mirrored after a course in Zofingen , Switzerland. For that reason there are always a few fabulous folks from Europe who come over to race. They have cool clothes, great accents, sweet rides and speak enough english that you know or figure out how they train and what they endorse for nutrition…AND so good looking!!! Did I mention they are fast as hell and so damn strong! Hmmm, I digress…

This year I noticed a few more NYC kits from Manhattan and Long Island. There was an awesome active release chiro after the race who worked on me… The entire feeling of the race is very laid back, old school, there’s plenty of beer from a local micro brew and great food from Main Street Bistro, and as brutal as the course is there is a variety of races short, middle and long to choose from. Kevin and I like to hang out in the town of New Paltz before and after the race. It’s a groovy, hippie college town (SUNY)…that can only mean SWEET PEOPLE WATCHING! There’s a cool bistro, great shops and awesome fish tacos in more than one location.

Now that the race is being held in May makes it far less grueling than the dark start and shorten finish time due to darkness (long course) in October. I can honestly say that I am hooked on AZ and would like to add a trip out there this summer to train for a few extra days when Jane is away at camp.

Yes the course is tough. I liken the short course to childbirth. As grueling as it is, the beauty surrounding the climbs helps you literally forget the pain. I really mean that. This year while racing and throughout post race and awards I wished you were there to race with, laugh with, kick ass with and accomplish a one of a kind event together! Join us next year! Once you drink the AZ cool-aid you will return year after year…beer after beer!

There is so much more to tell…I just want you to join me in 2011!

Cheers!

Annie

Kevin’s Zofingen report:

Not bad. PR on this course by 20 minutes, but was a whopping 48 seconds shy of breaking the elusive 9 hour mark. In general, I felt pretty good despite a rearrangement in the schedule for the season, the nearly busted forearm, tons of stress, etc.

Weather was perfect the whole weekend, which made coming back to this late Monday a bummer.
Short course rewind first – Annie held her own and went about 10 mins faster than her previous attempt and held on for 3rd Overall in the women’s race. Sweet beer stein coming home to the household for the second year in a row!

I tried holding back on the first run again, but of course, that never happens. 42mins, which when you start telling yourself “that was too fast,” seems dumb, but I felt good. On the bike I just tried to settle in on the climbs, and as my bike is pretty much brand new (even though it is a frame 2 years newer than the old one, the dimensions are somehow slightly different,, so I am not entirely comfortable with position yet).

There were a lot more people on the course this year on the bike due to the middle distance being a Formula-1 format (which is run-bike-run-bike-run), as well as the Ironman-distance bike time trial. Lots of people training for Lake Placid in July, doing the same bike distance as the race, but on a course that is 3x harder!
I just tried to keep an even tempo on the few flat and false flat spots and completely eased back on the climbs (and I mean such an easy effort up the big ones that you don’t even feel like you are working – no out of the saddle BS). I felt that was my best chance at getting far into the bike and not having any of the previous years’ muscle spasm issues. Got thru a few climbs chatting with other LC’rs, F1’rs and Iron TT’rs, who were cursing or delirious as to the amount of pain. Maybe both.

Whatever I did, it worked. I was off the bike around the 6 hour mark of the race and figured if I could work my game plan, I could finally be under 9 hours. Second run started real well – was able to run the rollers and flats and downhills, and hiked the ups. Got a few twinges of the quad spasms about halfway thru that first 5-mile loop, but nothing bad. First loop of the second run, took me 55 mins.

Second loop, little worse, and this is always the worst one, because it’s after the new-ness of being off the bike and you’re just happy to be not riding, and the last loop where you are excited because you are just about done. More cramping/spasming, had to jockey on a stretch of trail with a Sunday nature tour group (think of that old couple in Caddyshack who are golfing and don’t know what is going on) all of that cost me a couple more minutes. Second loop time 1:01. Ouch – that’s gonna hurt my chances.

Third loop – I was really tired and hungry most of that loop. Run in with a big-ass black snake on the trail. I didn’t get to drink my Irish Car Bomb at the start of the loop either. Knew I was up against it time wise, but spams got me good at one point and I couldn’t even walk. Hauled ass downhill the last two miles, ended up cramping in my calves with 300 yards to go on a little hill and came in at 9:00:48. Hurt every bit as much as every other one of these I’ve done.

Elite duathlete Josh Beck absolutely crushed the Long Course record. I have no idea how he can keep going faster on a course like this. Its really kind of inhuman. Lots of beer was drunk at the race pavilion. There was exposed flesh in the transition area. We got to harrass a guy who roots for that state up north.
Somehow though the whole thing went by a lot faster. I was in sort of a tunnel vision most of the race, aware of what was going on, but not distracted by anything.

This race is a must-do for anyone who wants to step up their game, no matter what distance you choose.

From Reddy’s addled mind…

WF is a fantastic experience – in all my yers racing it is BY FAR the most enjoyable tri race out there.

Durno and I hit San Fran on Wed then drove down to Lake San Antonio Thursday for three days of camping, triathlon and fun. Ultimately 10 more of our friends from around the country made it to our little camp site.

By far the HIM and Oly are the hardest races I have ever done. The hills are silly hard and endless. On Sat the HIM was on tap. Race went like this – swim, fine. Bike, hard but good. Run, suffer fest… actually LOTS of walking. When the highlight of your run is seeing a rattle snake on the trail you are on and discussing with some guy the merits of the idiot who was trying to pick said snake up with a big stick – well, that’s a pretty shitty run.

And NO naked girls on the run this year – Disappointing.

Durno did do a HUGE beer bong at mile 8 – ya that was a sight at mile 8.5 – ;-]

So then on Sun it was an Oly race – I crused the 30-34 age groupers on the swim, but thats another story. Bike was even harder than Sun. Bailed on the run due to some foot issues – but still very fun.

Few other highlights of the adventure in no particular order……..

Cake at 3 a.m.
Some drunk dude askin if i’d trade him my flip flops for his gweedo loaffers
setting a roof on fire in SF
drunk chick on my lap
bacon on the run
racing the 30-34 AG
a college girl askin me what school I was racin for
dancin in the wood
great band Sat & Sun afternoon
Durno gettin even more drunk in the car Sun
More stuff I cant even remember

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