French Linen

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Philly TriRock: Race. Celebrate. Sightsee.

RACE:  Cathy, Mike and Diane all had good races.
So which came first:  My parent’s 50th wedding anniversary party reservations or my triathlon registration?  Uh, well, yes, the triathlon registration came first followed by the realization that it was the same weekend of my parent’s 50th anniversary.  But seeing as how my Dad grew up in the Philly suburbs and I was born there, it seemed rationale to propose the party be in the same location as the triathlon.  And with an Aunt and Uncle flying in from Los Angeles, at least Philadelphia is a major airport.  Not to mention Barb and David know Philly well, as it’s David’s hometown.

Mike and I headed to Philly on Friday – he drove down and I had to fly from Toronto.  We once again stayed with our friends Diane and Eric who were doing the Sprint and Olympic, respectfully, and who live within 15 minutes of the race venue at Fairmont Park.  Eric holds VIP status as he is one of the few people who has done the race every year since it was started a decade ago.

Given it would be a busy weekend, we both opted for the Sprint on Saturday.  After the last race’s departure snafus, I insisted we plan on leaving 15 min. earlier than Mike’s suggested departure time.  I hate being rushed and having no wiggle room in the event something goes wrong.  In the morning, Eric helped us load up the car and came running in, “Mike, you have a flat tire!”.  Mike did a quick tire change and we all thanked our lucky stars for the 15 min. wiggle room.

Given the large number of participants in this race, there is always a little extra wiggle room with the wave starts, assuming you aren’t in one of the early waves.  I decided to wait to go to the bathroom, thinking the long line would subside, but it only got worse.  No time for that – as I overhead another participant, “well, the river is a big place.”

The night before I had declared that I would be happy with a 1 h 55 time.  I knew I would have to push it to make or beat that.  When I got out of the swim and was around 20 min, I thought I was blowing it as I expected to be faster than that based on last year’s Olympic distance swim.  I really pushed it on the bike – there are several hills so I was happy to break 1 hour at 57:48 (16.3 mph).  I grabbed my new Garmin watch for the run – I find it really helps me keep my pace.  I made it a goal to break 30 min for my run, which I’ve only ever done in one other Sprint Tri 5K but I did it at 29:32 (9:32 pace), and pleasantly surprised myself with a finish time of 1:51:39.

CELEBRATE: 50 years!
All that and the weekend was only beginning!  We met up with my family in the hotel later that afternoon, and had a great 50th anniversary party for Mom and Dad that evening.  

The next morning, Mike and I did a run/jog to see the Liberty Bell.

Let Cow Bells, Wedding Bells and Freedom Ring!

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