Rev3 Knoxville Olympic Distance Triathlon

Sunday, May 6th was my second go around with the Rev3 Knoxville Olympic distance triathlon.  Long drive, but lots of good things at this race makes it worth the trip.  First, Knoxville is an excellent host city and offers a scenic and challenging course.  Having hotels within walking distance of the start and adjacent to the finish really make it convenient.  If possible I would like to make this race every year.  Here is how it went for me:

We drove down Saturday with my wife Sherrie, my youngest son Jacob and his friend Brett.  Got in just in time for the pre-race meeting on the lawn at World’s Fair Park, love this place.  Got checked in and drove down a mile or two to drop off the bike in transition which is the ground floor of a parking garage.  Downtown that night just a few blocks from the hotel was a big party of some kind so we walked around and listened to the band a bit.  Ended up getting pizza for dinner and off to bed in a reasonable hour.  Only I hardly slept all night.  Have no idea why I was so keyed up and also had to make numerous trips to the bathroom.  Of all the race nights I’ve had, this was the worst.  No reason for it, but just the pits.  I ended up walking down to transition at 5:30 AM that morning to drop off my last bits of gear.  I got to see Daniel Bretscher and many of the other pros riding down to the elite transition area.  Their race started at 7 AM, mine not till 8 AM.  Wished Daniel good luck and headed out.

Back at the hotel to collect the family and we all walked down to the swim start.  Got in line shortly afterwards and with 5 minutes to go we walked out on a floating dock for our wave to start.  The swim is in the Tennessee River which doesn’t sound that great, but it really works out well.  Had a little over 150 start in my wave and I seeded myself about in the middle on the left side.  At the gun I was swimming in a sea of arms and legs till I finally moved right and out of the crowd.  Made it around the turn buoy and started the long stretch toward the exit dock.  Had a wide open area to swim in since it is so wide and long on this stretch.  Had a reasonable rhythm going and exited the 1500 meter swim (.9 mile) in about 28 minutes flat.  The run to the transition area is several blocks so you have plenty of time before you get there.  Made it fairly quick and found my bike right away in the plethora of machines.   A quick ditch of the wetsuit and out I went onto one hilly bike course.  Several times you are cranking up a long hill in my lowest gear and then back down the other side in top gear.  Taking no prisoners I made the ride 40k (24.3 mile) ride in 1 hour 10 minutes. 

Back to transition again and went to rack my bike in the slot, but it was covered with wetsuits and I had to dig them out of the way to find my spot.  Kind of crazy doing that and holding the bike at the same time.  Anyway I made it out of the garage and onto the run course.  About 10 steps outside I could tell my legs didn’t have it for the run.  Too bad, I had high hopes.  Nevertheless I ran the really scenic course which is nice and flat at a slow but steady pace.  Got to about 5.5 miles of the 6.2 (10k) and really started coming apart at the seams.  Maybe the bad night, maybe something else, but the last section was not so easy, I thing suffering is the word.  Made it into the World’s Fair Park for the finish and was greeted by Sherrie and the boys.  So glad to see their smiling faces, really awesome having them there.  Sherrie handed me a cold Gatorade and the finish workers was handing out Gatorade towels which was a welcomed sight.  I was pretty trashed from the effort, but really pleased considering the tough early part of the year I’ve been having.   Can’t say enough about the great volunteers on the course and how friendly they were.  The race organization is always top notch at Rev3 and another fine effort from them.

Ended up 5th out of 19 in my age group, but noticed that if I were a year older I would have easily won the 55-59 age group.  Who knows, maybe next year?   Was 100th out of 410, but that includes about 50 pros.  God willing I will be back.  And maybe a bit better … 

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