100 Triathlons...my next will be # 153!
Go to the early blogs to read how I got into triathlons. Click on any picture to enlarge it. I'm now in USA Triathlon's Century Club; go to
https://www.teamusa.org/USA-Triathlon/Membership-Services/Member-Recognition/Deca-and-Century-Club/Century-Club
"It is not the critic who counts, not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood...who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly." Theodore Roosevelt 1910

Friday, January 29, 2010

Never give up

I'll pass along to you a lesson I learned on September 13, 2008. I was competing in my 5th Downtown Orlando Triathlon. It's an interesting sprint tri since the finish line is 3.5 miles from the transition area. You swim in Lake Underhill (which is bisected by the 408/East-West expressway bridge), bike through downtown Orlando, and then run back to downtown, finishing in Wall Street Plaza. Since I work downtown, it's fun biking and running past my office.

I had a good swim and a great bike and was running along fairly steadily when at Mile 1 I was caught by a guy who, after a quick glance at his age on his calf, was in my age group. Steve and I chatted as we ran along for the next mile and discovered we lived about 2 miles from each other. At mile 2, he said he'd like to stretch his legs and pick up the pace a bit. I had earlier stated that I thought we were probably in 4th or 5th place and I let him lead out. I was feeling a bit tired as just a day earlier, I had a 8 hour flight back from a vacation in Ireland. Steve pulled ahead and I could still see him after the last turn down Orange Avenue to the finish. He finished about 21 seconds ahead of me. I probably could have stayed with him but just took it easy, figuring we were too far back.

You can probably guess the outcome; we were not in 4th or 5th. I was in 1st when he caught me and if I pushed it, I would have run with him for a big charge to the line. However, Steve's focus is mainly running (this was his second tri) and he may have just rocketed away from me. The point is I took it easy and defeated myself. I learned a valuable lesson that day in my second place finish.

The picture above is of Steve and I at the awards presentation.
A postscript occured at the first sprint tri in Clermont, Florida in 2009. I caught a fellow competitor on the run with about a 1/2 mile to go. I felt sure he would repass me if I went past him so I hung back while making sure no one else was catching us. He knew I was there and began picking up the pace as we neared the finish line. We were fairly flying when we crossed the first readout pad in the finishing chute. The announcer called his name first and I surged past him in the 20' to the finish, beating him for second place by one second. Lesson learned; never give up!
Footnote: This hasn't happened yet but I continue to push hard through the run now because though another competitor may finish 1:45 minutes ahead of me, the possibility of a post-race 2 minute penalty may put him 15 seconds behind me. Another reason to never give up!

1 comment:

  1. Your so modest. How many athletes would attempt or consider a tri after traveling 8 hours on an airliner the day before? From your tri buddy above, Steve

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