September 3, 2007

24 HOT Race Report


I should start by declaring that I love this race. The concept of completing as many swim/bike/run segments as you can or desire to in a fixed amount of time offers something for all triathletes.

If you want to race to win, you have your choice of 8 or 24 hour races. 24 hours of racing easily gives you more distance than any IM contest, and maybe close to a double iron contest. Or you could just be participating as part of your routine training, and you can go whatever distance you want and then just stop. If you need practice with transitions, what better place than a sprint triathlon repeated 5 or 6 times over the course of 8 hours? If you just want some sweet schwag, could it get better than a tech tee AND a pair of $155 running shoes? I think not...

So I arrived in Denver about 7 Friday night and was greeted by a hailstorm with lightning that necessitated a 30 minute sit-and-wait in the jet on the tarmac. Finally they freed us and I found Stronger and we found a carb-loading meal at Macaroni Grill. Lasagna - yummy!! I assembled my bike and organized my gear and made it to sleep shortly after midnight.


545 am arrived and I seriously did not want to get out of bed. After starting to feel guilty about no-showing for the 615 meetup with Bold, I finally got up and made the 5 minute trip to registration, only about 10 minutes late. We picked up our packets and Newtons, then started to assemble our transition area.

Then Stronger's bike pump ate my valve. Seriously. Ya know the piece of the presta valve that you loosen to inflate the tire? Well I loosened it, then started inflating. Nothing was happening so I unhooked the pump from the valve and the little screw on thing was gone. MIA. Not in the pump, not on the ground, not on the valve. Gone.

Luckily I had another tube, of course. So I changed the tube out and inflated, then went to hear the last 30 seconds of the mandatory meeting. I returned and - an effing flat tire. The new one. I removed it and found a huge hole in the brand new tube. So I used my last spare tube and changed it out for the 2nd time before the race even started. Thankfully I would have no more tire issues during the race.





We all assembled about a 100 yards from the water, and then it started. Bold and I walked to the water as if we were going for a mid January swim in 35 degree water. I think Stronger was already at the 2nd buoy before our feet were wet. Hey, we had 8 hours to finish this thing - no rush, right?

The swim was horribly marked and people were swimming opposite directions in the same line. Powerboats and jetskis were everywhere up to about 50 yards from the swim course. I would swim about 3 or 4 strokes, then pause to pull the seaweed off my head and goggles. Ugh... As I was getting out of the water after that 1st swim, I hit my (broken) foot on a boulder in the water and was left to hobble to the transition close to tears. It hurt.

But the bike got me feeling better. It was flat and fast with only 2 or 3 turns including the turnaround. It wasn't well marked and anyone who so desired could probably have cheated without anyone knowing. Of course I didn't. But I'm just saying, it wouldn't have been difficult to.

Now even up to race morning, I wasn't sure about my strategy. I was planning on walking the run, because I'm not supposed to run until October 1. But it's hard to walk when everyone around you is running. So... I ran. Jogged actually - slowly. As in about 9 or 10 minute pace slowly. As in so slow that it was hurting me mentally probably much more than it would have hurt my foot physically. But it felt good and I had little or no pain, so I kept running for 4 loops of the 2.6 mile course.

And then I biked a couple more times, and then I caught back up with Stronger and Bold who had just finished a couple of swim legs. At that point I had no more desire to swim, especially when I heard about Bold's head-on collision with another swimmer. Uhm, no thanks...



It was then that I changed my role from racer to supporter and cheerleader. I rode along with Stronger for a few more rides, ran a loop with her, made a little lunch for us, and watched her suffer for her final mile (of 3) swimming.

Finally 8 hours arrived, and I was done. Spent. We kicked back in the shade and waited on the awards. And waited... And waited... The awards finally started 3 hours after the race ended. How about a chic named Mader tied a dude for the most laps completed? I totally should have swapped to the duathlon, because I would have cashed in for 1st place in that division.

All in all, this race was a blast. Next year, I'm thinking a relay team for the whole 24 hours... Any takers?

Thanks for reading My Daily Spin...




12 comments:

Brent Buckner said...

Glad to read that a little jogging didn't totally mess you up - on-going healing wishes!

Bolder said...

great pics! great report!

too bad you're not joining us in the Mad, but, at least we had you for 8 hours!!

i'm confident they'll address the issues for next year, and i would be totally in for a relay for 24HOT -- how does a 20 person team sound to you???

Bike Chick said...

The photos were fun! I'm glad you had fun. I already knew you ran because bolder ratted you out. Good to know it worked out for you!

Sarah said...

okay so the craziest coincidences happened! I googled the 24HOT to see if the results were posted and I found your blog. I volunteered at the run transition and then at the bike turnaround but anyway, I read your blog and then found Stronger's and realized I know Bolder from my training group and am neighbor's and friend's with other people who are linked to your blogs, Everyman Tri, etc. Anyway, way to go at 24(8)HOT. Not sure I could have done it. I was exhausted after volunteering! :)

21stCenturyMom said...

What a brave man to do this race on a flatted foot after having 2 bad tires on the bike. You are amazing!

I hope your foot heals soon so it can keep up with the rest of you!

Megan said...

Very cool - I read Stronger's recap as well, and it sounds like a great race. I am glad to hear to hear you made it through, given your recent injuries. Great pictures!

Benson said...

Wow, what a great report and way to go managing your tire mishaps and sore foot issue. It sounds like a great race and something I think I'd like to do...later.

Lana said...

Wow! I am not surprised that you couldn't make yourself walk during the run...haha! That's pretty impressive on a broken foot. Glad you and Stronger had such a great time - congrats!

Michele said...

More tire issues?!?!?

Great race, sounds like it was fun.

Glad your foot didn't give you any trouble, now take it easy and heal.

IronJenny said...

Fun! And I'm so glad your foot is healing well. We'll miss you in Madison.
;-)
Jenny

Iron Eric said...

Great race report. Let me know if you need another teammate next year.

Robin said...

Wow, that looks like a fun race! Never heard of it before. Glad you had a good time and were able to soldier on with your foot. Good healing to you!