|Posted by kevinhosea on May 18, 2009 at 5:54 PM|
So the competitions of the weekend have ended. As I said in my last post, Friday and Saturday were the Ohio Wheelchair Games and Sunday was the Tri for Joe duathlon at Coney Island in Cincinnati. Long story short, It was a long and tiring weekend. I'll appologize in advance because this is probably going to be a bit long...
Now for more detail...I woke up Friday morning, packed a bag and left our house around 10 in the morning to head up to Columbus. I got to the hotel a little after noon to register and find out the locations of the different events. They had a list of addresses for the different venues so I just used that and put them in my Garmin. I arrived at the field events location around 12:20 and put together my field chair (a tall step ladder that we had slightly modified) before carrying it to where they were doing the field events. The field events were schedules to be from 12-4pm and when I got over there around 12:40ish, they were just starting to call peoples names for the pit I was assigned. The claimed that they did not have enough implements (shotputs, javelins, and discuses) for everyone which I thought was a pretty lame excuse because you can buy used implements for fairly cheap. Since there was a shortage of implements, we started with the javelin instead of starting with the shotput like normal. This didn't really bug me though since I do not take field seriously and hadn't done it in 5 years. The pit I was in was for the adult males which made it one of the biggest pits with around 10 people in it. This made things go very slow because it took time for each person to set up their field chairs how they needed them, transfer into them, throw 1 practice and 6 competition throws, transfer back into their wheelchairs, and to have their throws measured. Some people had to throw the club after the javelin so they did that before moving to the discus and shotput for everyone else. At this point they realized how late it was so they let some people go to other pits if they were the only people their in their classification. Luckily I was one of those people. I had been the first person to throw the javelin at around 12:45. The next time a threw anything was my discus at 3:45 but since I got moved to another pit, I was able to do my discus and shotput very fast and was headed back to my car shortly after 4. All my throws were not my personal bests but I was happy with them because they were still pretty good considering I hadn't practiced or anything in 5 years.
After I loaded my field chair I headed back to the hotel because the track warm-up did not start until 6:30pm. I noticed when I got back to the hotel that a different place was listed for the track than what the original paperwork said so I stopped by the registration table to double check the correct location. It was the new definitely at the new location which annoyed me because I knew where the other place was but had no clue where this place was. I asked them how long it would take to get there and they said around 30 mins normally but it would be around rush hour so to leave more time. I left the hotel in what I thought was plenty of time to get there. I put the address in my Garmin and was on my way. The traffic as soon as I turned out of the hotel parking lot was RIDICULOUS. The hotel was less than a mile from the highway and it took me about 20 mins to get to the on ramp. Then the fun started....I knew I would be pushing it to make it by 6:30 since it had taken so long to get to the highway. I followed my Garmin and when I got close to where it said the school was I thought I had a few extra minutes so I stopped at a UDF to get a gatorade. I got back in my car and continued on and then I heard arriving at destination. I looked around and there was no school in sight so I continued up a little bit until I saw another road sign. When I had entered in the address I had specified South Hamilton Ave. I did not notice that my Garmin had apparently switched it to North Hamilton Ave so I stopped at a gas station to ask how far away I actually was from the school. The people that worked there had no clue where the school was but luckily one of the guys in line did. He was like, "wow you aren't even close. its like 10-15 miles down the road" and he told me what he thought was the fastest way to get there. He had told me to go East on the next highway I came to but when I passed the signs for it, my choices were north or south. I decided I would just continue down the road I was on since I would eventually get to the school. Luckily I did not hit a whole lot of traffic and it only took like 20 mins to get there. I pulled into the parking lot of the school at 6:45 and was freaking out cause I still had to put my wheels on my racing chair so I thought I wouldn't get a warm up. I got over to the track as fast as I could and saw that there was barely anyone warming up yet. I did a warm-up and then found out that they were running behind schedule. I was happy about this because since I had been worried about being late I was not focused at all on racing because I was still trying to relax. When they finally got going on the track events things really did not speed up because they were taking lots of time between each heat. I finally left the track at 11:45pm. I had not been very opptimistic about the track meet because my training has been very sporadic and was basically there to have fun and use the meet as a gauge of how in/out of shape I was for the rest of my season. My times were not the best but I did much better than I thought I would do which was a nice surprise. I got back to the hotel and was not tired so I watched stuff on tv and didn't fall asleep until around 3 AM.
Saturday was the swimming and they scheduled the start of the events much later than they had in previous years. This was nice since I didn't get to sleep until very late but annoying because it meant I would be up in Columbus that much longer. The warm-ups started at 11:30 and the first race started at noon. Swimming was very organized and moved very fast. The wasted very little time between heats and combined some heats that were back to back if they could. When I got there I had thought I remembered signing up for the 100 breaststroke, 50 fly, 50 free, 100 free, and 500 free. I got the heat sheet and saw that I had actually signed up for the 200 free and not the 50 free. I was a bit nervous about having to swim all those since they were close toghether but things went very well. The last race of the day was the 500 free which I had never done in competition before but I decided to register for since I am doing triathlons now that have longer swimming legs. I finished the 500 free in a time of 8:22 which is a pretty respectable time considering it was in a 25 yard pool so I had to do lots of turns. I think I might have been able to go quicker but I had been worried about going out to fast and wearing myself out so I went out a little slower than I should have. Overall just like with my events on friday, my times were not PRs but they were still pretty good so I was happy.
As soon as I finished swimming, I changed and got on the road back to Loveland. I had hoped to get back in town early enough to pick up my registration for the duathlon but because the swimming started so late I was not able to do that. I spent the rest of the day relaxing and recovering in preparation for the duathlon. Before I went to sleep, I loaded my bike into my car so I would have to do less in the morning.
The morning came way to fast and I got up and was out the door by 6:05. I got to Coney Island by 6:30 so I had plenty of time to pick up my race number/timing chip, put my bike and racing chair together, and get them over to the transition area. I had a little time to check out how the transition area would work during the race and to look at the start of the run leg. The race was a 3.1 mile run, 18.6 mile bike, and 5K run. The race started at 8 and they started me 1 min before the runners so I would not have to weave my way around the runners since I start out slower than them. The run course was on the paths through Coney Island. They were all paved but some were very curvy and a bit narrow which at times made it difficult passing the runners after the turn around (it was an out and back course). I entered the T1 (the first transition) first overall for the duathlon and was out of the transition area before any of the runners had entered. The bike course was very fast since it was fairly flat with a few small gradual climbs and decents. I knew this would be my weakest leg compared to the other people but since the course was pretty flat, I was able to hold my own fairly well. I was passed by people but not as many people as I had expected. I am not sure what place I was when I entered T2 but I made the switch back to my racing chair pretty fast and was on my way again. I push quicker than the runners so I was constantly passing people (I couldn't tell who was in the triathlon and who was in the duathlon). I felt strong on the last leg and actually think my time for it was a little faster than I had done the first leg. My final official time was 1hr 39 mins 30 sec which put me 22nd overall and first place for my age group by 27 minutes. The final results do not have the break down of my time for each leg for some reason. It has my time for the first leg but that is all until the overall time. Estimating about how long I took for the transitions and my last leg, I finished the bike leg in around 1 hour or possibly a little less. This means I averaged between 18.5-19+ mph for the bike which is awesome for me because I usually average closer to 16 mph when I am on my bike. For those of you who always ask for them (aka Erika), I might be getting a few new pictures posted to my picture album from the duathlon as long as they are emailed to me but I am not sure exactly when that will happen.