And I missed the first race! By the time I decided to register it was full. I’m talking about the Paris Island Sprint Triathlon. I wasn’t really keen on doing this one in the first place because it’s really more like a Super-Sprint with just a 500 meter indoor pool swim (Lame-O!!) but then thought that any tri is better than no tri. By that time the thing was full.
Anyway, I was a little surprised to see that Stephen Shenal won our age group. I lost to him at my first tri ever (Langley Pond Sprint) last year by less than a minute but then was able to beat him at the Festival of Flowers and SC Half and although he race the Sprint at Hickory Knob and I raced the International, I think I outpaced him still on the longer distances. This is another testament to how screwed up the Setup Events “Series” scoring is because here’s another case where I was clearly the faster triathlete in 2007 but ended up scoring less series points because of the races I chose to race. Don’t get me started!
I have to give Stephen props because he’s obviously done a good bit of work in the off-season and it showed in his times at PI compared to last year. He shaved almost a minute off a 500 meter swim, about a minute off his 5k time and he was 5 minutes faster on the bike!! I don’t know if this was a fluke or what, but he even beat Radek Parnica who absolutely kills it in the Open (formerly Elite) division. I’m guessing that Radek’s 34 minute bike time was because of a flat, penalty, injury or something because the guy finished 4th in the Elite division last year.
Last year Stephen was someone I kept my eye on but didn’t worry about too much, but it looks like this year may be a different story … Stephen may be the one to beat in the 30-34 AG. However, I'm sure there’s more lurkers like me that haven’t shown their face yet. Another one to watch out for that came out strong at PI that I routinely beat last year is Matt Barker; he’s looking stronger this year than last. And of course there’s David; always a strong competitor who I know is not in a peak period right now (I follow his training here). He’s just started getting back in the pool after his off-season and his high intensity cycling and running has just begun as well. He’ll be coming on really strong in the coming races.
Hopefully everyone in the 30-34 AG comes out for Langley and races the International with their “A game” so we can see how things stack up for 2008. I’m already looking forward to 2009 when I don’t have the IM looming with all it’s zone 2 training and can focus on speed for these short course (with exception of the HIM) series races. For this year, I’ll just have to take it as it comes and hope for the best … but I still intend to be the one to beat in the 30-34 AG, so bring it!