Rev3 Knoxville & the JumboTron
Rev3 put on a good show at Knoxville Olympic Distance Triathlon May 9th (.9 mile swim, 25.8 mile ride, 6.2 mile run). I drove down Saturday and got there just before packet pickup and the transition area closed. Having visited the Worlds Fair way back when I immediately recognized the park downtown, very nice place. Liked having all the personalization like your name on your race number and your transition spot.
Race morning I stayed in the room till the last minute so as to not be cold hanging around for the start. Got my stuff set, put on the wetsuit and still had to wait a long time for the last wave to go. The swim was 400 meters or so back into the current in the Tennessee River, take a right turn around a large buoy then a straight shot to the dock at the end. All went smooth till the end where I tried to pull myself out of the water without any steps. A volunteer grabbed my arm and pulled me straight up onto the dock. It was like the hand of God reaching down. Needless to say, the volunteers were awesome!
Made the quick transition to the bike in a hurry and took off for what was one challenging course. Didn't preview it or anything so it was all on the job training so to speak. Not a mile into the course we were headed up a big hill when I saw Chris Lieto screaming down for the finish. Just after that my left contact folded up and eventually few out. For the next 24 twisting turning miles on the bike course I could only see well out of 1 eye. Nothing like blurry vision and flying downhill at 40+ MPH. Felt good, but not that quick on the serious climbs. Just before I made it back to transition they had a very confusing mix of runners headed both directions while the bikes sharing the road with them. I first thought I had made a wrong turn and ended up on the run course. However, they was just the way it was planned out. Didn't like that part at all.
The run went good from the start. Had no idea what pace I was running, but I tried to stay conservative thinking it would get into some serious hills. We never did which turned out to be a mistake on my part. The last mile had lots of curves so I had no idea who was in front of me. Coming into the finish at Worlds Fair Park I was taking in all the sights and watching the Jumbo Tron screen at the finish line. My other big mistake, for there right a the finish line I saw a guy looking like he was about to collapse. Turned out he finished 1.9 seconds in front of me and won my age group. I was second because I spent too much time looking for myself on the Jumbo Tron. What a numskull! Well you just have to laugh. Best thing was I felt great and could have easily run faster than the 7:30 pace I did. Likely now that I'm in my 50's how often will I be able to say that. God was good to me. Well I headed home in a big hurry for the 6 hour 30 minute drive to see my wife on Mother's Day. Made it back in time for the evening together which was well worth the effort. All in all, it was a quick trip but very fulfilling.