Sunday, August 2, 2009

Another Attempt, Another DNF

But I am actually calling this a NAF - Not Allowed to Finish.

Here's the story...

We had a great dinner last night at Dolce. Some carbs, a few glasses of wine, and really great conversations with amazing friends.

The alarm went off at 5 and we all started to crawl out of bed and get ready for the day. I was still convinced it would be a du, but hoping for the full tri. We got the cars packed, quick group picture with our shirts, and head to Fairmount Park. Oh, and did I mention that it started raining as soon as we got out of the car?

After we made our way through painful body marking (Sharpies and wet skin don't go well together) we set up transition, and started to wait. And wait. Tri, du, du, tri. More rain, more waiting wondering...

FINALLY it was announced - a duathlon. There was too much junk in the river. GGGRRREEEAAATTT... I then argue with my self about what to do. I am not supposed to run, and haven't ran since ITU in mid-June. 1.5 miles, 15.5 mile bike, 3.1 mile run... Smart, stupid, choices, what to do...

45 minutes later, they started the race. I decide to start in my 13th wave, do the bike, and play it by ear for the last run. After standing around for about 3 hours, the first 1.5 miles were fine. I saw Karen and Diane come back before I even took off. Fianlly, I start. I saw Brooke and Mary Elizabeth on my way out - with them on the way back in. Everyone in my wave was long gone and I was moving along - and my nice slow pace. It was a bit tough - I hate being last and it's never an easy feeling no matter how many times it happens. But the 1.5 miles was over soon enough and Carlos and I are off.

The roads were wet. Very wet. A lot of the bikers were new to biking because they wouldn't stay to the right. On a U turn, I saw a girl spin out. I saw another spin out on a 90 degree right turn. I saw an ambulance with 3 bikes down. And this was all within the first 5 miles, and it only got worse. I saw Mary Elizabeth twice, and that was it. I couldn't take advantage of the down hills and the rain started up again. About mile 12, I saw lightening in the distance and heard thunder. Overall I saw about 6 spin outs/crashes. 4 ambulances. A dozen or so flats. Not good, especially for a race catered toward first time triathletes.

As I got back into T2 - I decided to head out on the run, just walk it, and look for the ladies. However, Mother Nature and the Race Director had a different idea. I heard women saying they are shutting down the course - no one was allowed out on the run and they are bringing all the women back to transition. I went over to the finish, turned in my chip and grabbed 5 medals - as I wanted everyone to have one. We all completed the race they held and deserved the medals.

I got to back to my stuff and the sky's opened up. I have never seen rain like this - let alone be caught in it with an aluminum bike and a bunch of metal bike racks. And then the lightening came. And a lot of it, on all sides. I was stuck in a valley, no idea where anyone was (other than on the course) and I decided to head back to the car.

Walking through the river that was once a street, I made it to a field and heard a "Crack, Smash". I saw a tree brach fall and smash a car. More lightening. More children crying. More women running. Sheets and sheets of rain. Again, I hear "Crack, Smash"! Another tree branch fell on another car.

I eventually make it to Marcus, who was under a tree. I threw Carlos into the back, and moved about 5 spots down. I really didn't Marcus to be smashed by a tree. After a quick call to the parents, I finally saw the ladies.

Karen made it about 3 cones from the turn around before having to turn around.
Brooke and Diane made it in about mile.
Mary Elizabeth made it about a half mile in to the 5K.

Overall, not a good day for anyone. However we all made it home sefly - just a little wet. Hopefully this has not turned Karen and Diane against triathlon. They really aren't all like this - just the ones this year that I have signed up for this year.

So, in some ways a DNF, but the official results say "Ranks not available due to course closure caused by weather." Better luck next time!

1 comment:

Charles said...

That totally doesn't count as a DNF. If they close the course before time was up then it's not your (or anyone else's) fault. As dangerous as it was (and with a lot of first-timers) it sounds like they should have closed the race sooner than they did. Even though no race director wants to cut a race short, everyone's safety has to be a primary consideration.

Glad you all got out of there safely!