Monday, August 27, 2007

JCB Biathlon Relay Team

You would think with so many competitors at this event that warming up on a trainer wouldnt seem too odd, but I suppose in the world of multi-sport thats an odd thing to see. So there i am sweating my butt off warming up for longer than my actual event as I keep an eye out for when my runner Chris Martino (some of you will know him, hes a manager at Bike Authority) will arrive in the transition area of the Bellefaire school.

The first runner comes in and hes blown everyone away. Soon after some extremely fit looking guys come in like Jack Sutte and get on there bikes and roll out. I also see the first woman come in who sort of related is the fiancee of Mike Vanucci also of BA. Mike rolls in then a bit later Chris comes in. Chris has gone at his own record pace and on a hilly course so thats sweet.

I wait to get his attention which in retrospect was dumb as this is again a game of seconds, but thats ok. We roll out down some side streets and riders are everywhere and I am literally weaving down Milton, Landon, Green and Shaker to go around them. We hit Brainard and they bring us to one lane and there are so many riders in front of me. I check up and then realize the single lane lasts till Gates Mills so I start (using a nice tone of voice-mind you) yelling for a clear lane and reaccelerate. The rollers on Gates Mills arent too much of a problem, but it seems there is some odd winds because my speed donw the rollers is not nearly as fast as I know it can be. Not a straight on headwind for sure, but annoyingly not helpful. In the back of my mind I hope its tailwind home.

We hit the turnaround in a housing complex and when I enter the ~1 mile section I see the leader Jack Sutte coming the other way. This has me hopeful that I am setting one of the fastest bike legs (which is a goal btw) because he left the transition area way ahead of me.

The leg home is difficult as I cannot seem to get my heart rate to move. Its stuck at Threshold and I want it to move up 5 to 8 beats higher and it wont. Its also hard to mantain wattage and of course speed. Very annoying and the wind is still definately not helpful. But on the brightside I am passing very few riders now and its a blast going through every single stop sign and stop light at speed. These roads are my usual roads so its fun to get to do them like this.

I hit my marker for when its time to hammer it home and as I cross I think Sulgrave John Ehrlinger is telling me I am 4th!! Wow-I dont know how many cyclists I have passed, but it felt like a 100 so being up to 4th is awesome. At Green Rd I hear my wife shout so that gives me more speed. Brents instruction to me today was pass every single rider you see so in the last mile I see a rider and I am pushing hard to catch him.

Turns out it is Jack Sutte who had been lead off course by the lead vehicle-how absurd!! I dont have any idea how far he had to go before coming back on course, but my wife said he was cursing like a madman!! I dont blame him.

So in th end I fly inot the finsh area and completely miss the lane to slow down to hand in your number slip-rookie!! Chris and I win the relay team by a huge margin and for what its worth we get 4th overall. My time in the TT was 29:17 I think at 26.4mph. I really thought I could go faster and I think with better legs and less crazy wind its possible, but all in all a fun and very challenging (and bumpy at times too) course.

Will I do it as a true biathlon next year??? I doubt it, but you never know. I dont know how I would fit in 25 to 30 miles a week of running is the biggest problem. Thanks to Chris Martino for being my Relay teammate!!


JC Sell said...

Ray -

Do you remember the exact course? I'm doing this on 8/24/08. I ride these roads, so it should be fun. You doing it again this year?


Ray Huang said...

Sure do, but not by name. Let me Mpa my ride it and get it to you. shoot me an email at I am probably doing it. I am starting to run this week.