By Brian Reynolds, Team OAM Now Triathlete
Typically in a triathlon athletes are only suppose to be soaked during the swim leg. However, May 30th, at the Double Time Triathlon, I was soaked during the bike and part of the run as well. It was my first rainy triathlon experience.
On the morning of the race, the weather forecast showed a 60% chance of rain which made me think more about the rain than the race. I did not prepare any special equipment for rain beside a rain coat, which obviously I did not wear during the race. When I got to the race I saw several familiar faces from Team OAM Now, my Kalamazoo Masters swim group, and past participants I’ve encountered at other races. There were over 40 competitors in the triathlon.
Ten minutes before the swim, the rain started to come down hard, though it did not phase me much since I was already wet and in race mode. When the horn went off, I sprinted to the front of the pack. About 50 yards into the swim, I could spot on my left the one and only Raquel Torres. I knew Raquel was a strong swimmer in the field, so I got behind her to draft. Isn’t that what teammates are for? Teammate Paul Raynes thought the swim was interesting with the sound of heavy rain. After the swim, it was a long transition to the bike. The rain was still coming down hard, so I had to be very cautious on the bike. The bike was a 11.3 mile, one-loop course which was mostly flat with several potholes within the first few miles. Unfortunately, Michelle Dalton’s husband James crashed in the early miles of the bike leg after hitting a deep pothole which was covered with water. Michelle stopped her race to help James. Several OAM teammates and I encountered potholes, but thankfully there were no crashes. While the rain gradually let up during the bike leg, I credit it with taking my mind off the race and helping me relax.
I felt pretty good on the run and receiving encouragement from both competitors and spectators along the out and back course felt great. Paul (Raynes) was happy to have dry feet during the run because he remembered to cover his running shoes with a plastic bag. Paul see-sawed back and forth with Matt Gunderson on the bike (no drafting) and they were able to pace together for about half of the run. Whenever you can stick with teammate for that much of the race, it’s great to have the support and encouragement.
Brian Reynolds – Overall Tri Winner
Cricket Howard – Overall AB Winner
Matt Gunderson- Overall DU Winner
Paul Raynes – 1st AG
Mark Olson – 3rd AG
I would just like to thank Jim Mishler and Spirit Racing for putting on a great grassroots race. For a small event, it was well-supported and organized. It’s not too often to have a police squad cars at every major turn during a bike course. Mishler’s next big event is the Gull Lake Triathlon on June 27th which, once upon a time, was the first triathlon I ever did.
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