Sunday, August 31, 2008

Outlaw Month

August was a good month for the NM Outlaws.

The NM Club Championship was held on August 9th at the Socorro Chile Harvest Triathlon. We were back trying for a three-peat. I wouldn't say that any of us are what you would consider "elite triathletes". However, for the Club Championship it's important to have a lot of people there. If you can get enough podium spots in enough age groups, you'll do OK.

The Outlaws had 27 members show up for the race. I'm pretty sure none of the other clubs matched this. Although our best overall male, Paul Gutierrez, only finished "13th overall male" and our best overall female, Maria Ladd, only finished "4th overall female", we had a lot of folks finish on the podium in their age groups. The three-peat was in the bag.

Maria, Miguel Sanchez, John Leroy, Karen Williams, and I all won our respective groups. Neil Galvez, Jamie Prochno, Mark McKenzie, Hartley Wess, Carole Cook, and Misty Pilgrim all came in second. Paul Zetocha picked up a third place finish. And the rest of the Outlaws, Jon Pilgrim, Courtney Benefiel, Michael Loiselle, Nick Pena, Paul Gutierrez, Michael Montoya, Tim Chavez, Brian Pilgrim, Roger Senn, Orlando Dow, Debby Casson, Guido Kemp, Greg Southard, Naomi Finson, and Debi Wess all finished the race. I'm not sure how the scoring system works, but it does make a difference whether you finish the race or not. And it's always pretty neat to see how much support the Outlaws give each other, whether it's a training ride, a sprint triathlon, or an Ironman.

Last Saturday, Aug 23rd, ten Outlaws showed up at Bottomless State park for the F-1 Triathlon. This is a really neat race. It's the only "draft legal" triathlon that I ever do. I hate it when I see people drafting in a race where drafting isn't allowed. But it's cool to get into a paceline at a race where it's perfectly legal.
(I guess it's a little like driving a car. I hate to see people driving 50 mph in a residential area, but I don't have any problems driving 75 mph on an interstate highway as long as the speed limit is posted at 75 mph.) At this race, drafting is not always a big deal for most of the participants. You do two 400 meter swims to start the race. Then, after you jump on your bike, you have a pretty good hill to climb to get on top of the mesa. And the field at this race is usually pretty small. They normally have less than 50 people there, and this year there were only 34 participants. This is a shame because the race director puts on such a good event and it's one of the better venues for triathlon in the West Texas/Eastern NM area. Anyway, between the swim, the first hill, and the small field, a lot of people end up riding the bike legs by themselves. This year, I managed to catch up to Mark McKenzie on the first bike loop. He and I managed to do some work together, along with a couple of random guys who really didn't take many pulls. It probably saved us a little time, but not much.

After the first bike loop, you go through transition and head out on a 4 km run. I always try to save something during this run, because you have another bike loop and another 4 km run to go. I actually managed a reasonably fast run this year. Then it's back on the bike for the second bike loop. This time, Mark and I got together pretty quickly. We worked pretty well together and managed to catch fellow Outlaw Miguel. Off in the distance in front of us, we could see yet another Outlaw, the uber biker Mark Trejtnar. It took a fair amount of work, but we managed to catch Mark. We were really flying the last few miles on the bike. I wouldn't say it was a textbook example of a team time trial, but we worked pretty well together. I'm sure it saved me at least a minute on the second bike leg, and all of us gained at least some time.

The final run leg is always a real slog for me. I'm always pretty toasted by then, and it's hard to go fast at all. I had a pretty good run this year, and overall it was my fastest ever race at this event. I was 6th overall, right behind Mark T, and just ahead of Mark M and Miguel. Outlaw Naomi Finson was the overall female winner. Paul Zetocha finished in the top 10, Michael Giudicissi and Greg Southard were in the top 20, and Hartley Wess and Orlando Dow rounded out the field for the Outlaws. As much fun as the race was the post-race lunch at Farley's. It was great to hang out with everyone over a burger and brew.

I would be remiss if I didn't mention that on the same day we were doing the F-1 Tri, the fearless leader of the Outlaws, Brian Pilgrim did a 100 mile run at the Lean Horse Race up in South Dakota. (And it actually takes more than one day to do this run.) This is an event/distance that I can positively say I will never attempt. A 100 mile month is a big deal for me. Kudos to Brian for finishing this race!

Tomorrow I'm off to the Turtle Marathon in Roswell. I get in a "long run" every week as part of my Silverman training, and I figure at this race I won't have to carry my own water and food. Then I get to do two more fun races, the Cotton Country Sprint tri and the Elephant Man tri at the end of September.

Wow, is this a fun life or what!