The Aluminum Man Olympic Triathlon is a unique race, which is why I used quotes in the title. The distances are as follows: 1k swim versus the standard 1.5k swim, 50k bike versus the standard 40k bike, and the run was the standard 10k. Going into this race, located in The Dalles, I was determined to be competitive – that was my biggest goal. “Competitive” is very relative, specifically I knew that I wanted to win my age group (M25-29) and be within the top 10 like I had been at the Mid-Summer Tri just a few weeks ago.
The 1k Swim: 17:15
My goal for this swim was to be as close as I could to 15 minutes. When I came out of the water in 17:15 I was a bit disappointed, however I came out of the water in 14th place which is a huge improvement for me! My watch also said that the swim was closer to 1200m, so I was very pleased with my pace on this swim. Big step forward.
The 50k Bike: 1:23:59
After a slow 2:20 T1 (story below) I was off, the bike course was no joke. Over the first 16 miles of the race we climbed almost 2,000 feet – which is 3 times the amount of elevation I’ll face over the entire 56 mile course in Austin. I felt strong the entire climb up and held my position for the most part. I passed quite a few people on the climb up, but I did get passed by 3 guys on the downhills (need to work on my gearing for downhill racing). My placing was identical for the bike as it was for the swim overall, 14th place.
The 10k Run: 39:52
After a quick :59 T2, it was time to play catch up. The run portion of triathlon has been my strength, and something that I have been able to rely on – as I’m able to gain a lot of ground on the guys that beat me on the bike. With that said, a big goal for me going into next season is going to be making some big gains in the off-season on both the bike and swim. Instead of catching people on the run, I can seal some WINS with the run. My 10k time felt pretty slow, especially coming off of such a challenging bike course – thankfully, the rest of my competition had an ever harder time. My run was 2nd overall and I was able to run my way into 5th place overall, passing my main competitor in M25-29, which meant that I also got my 2nd AG win!
Although it was a pretty small race, outside of the big city, it was a big race for me. T1 was rough, my glasses fogged up really bad on me and I had to completely stop in the bike mount section to actually get into the pedals. Going into Austin, I want to be able to have my shoes clipped in so that I’ll have one less thing to think about during transition. I’ve gained confidence in getting out of my shoes on the bike going into T2 and my T2 times are now very competitive – time to do the same for T1. Time to get after it! Next up: Ironman Austin 70.3