Columbus Challenge Sprint Triathlon
In my continuing quest to not sit still I participated I the 16th annual Columbus Challenge Sprint Triathlon this past weekend. This is my second time I’ve entered this event, but the last time was years ago. Had the company of Ethan Page so nice to have someone to talk to for the two hour trip over. About 5 am I headed out the door, picked up Ethan and off we went. Got there a bit late and the transition area was really full near the front so we had to settle for a spot near the back corner.
They switched the swim start to a time-trail, (one at a time start) from a wave start so that actually turned out very well. Liked running into the water from the beach and no big group to deal with at the start. Just by signing up earlier than Ethan I started 74th and he started 100th. The swim is roughly a half mile triangle in Tipton Lake which is a very nice neighborhood. The only down side was the course was not marked very well and navigation was a bit rough, but no big deal really. Didn’t have a very good swim, but got through it and headed up the path to the first transition.
I remembered they have a nice long downhill on the start of the ride so that was fun to fly down that at full tilt. The bike course is 17.5 miles with a mix of rolling hills and flats so all in all a nice course. Didn’t ride all that great early on, but got it going much better on the second half of the course. Was looking to see if I could get a glimpse of Ethan, but he was a lot faster in the swim and had a good lead on me. Got up the last long hill and made it back to transition to start the run. Came into transition just catching a girl in front of me at the dismount line and she fell on the timing mat just as we entered. Ouch! Thankfully she landed on the rubber mat and not the pavement. I looked up to see Ethan heading out for the run as I was headed to rack the bike. Manage to average 22.4 on the bike.
The run is a 5k (3.1 miles) in the Tipton Lakes neighborhood, nice and flat with a couple of turns to make it one big loop. Felt good out on the run, but nowhere near Ethan speed. He ended up running the second fastest split in 17:30. Mine was more like 22:14 or a 7:10 pace per mile. Finish the race feeling really good. If only every race I felt like that when it was all said and done. Ethan finished 7th overall out of 222 finishers on a standard road bike with no aero nothing. I was 20th overall, and 3rd in the 50 + age group.
Totally enjoyed the day and appreciated all the volunteers who put the event together. It’s a fund raiser for Foundation for Youth which makes it all that much better. On the way home Ethan twisted my arm and we stopped at the Nike and Adidas outlet store in Edinburgh. Man could drop a lot of money in places like that …