Everyone lives for the weekend and where do I jet off to for a Sat night/ Sunday adventure? Non other than lovely Hammond IN. Surely that is at the top of your bucket list of travel destinations! I had a date with Leon. Even though Hammond might not be paradise or at the top of the list for places to travel, it does host an amazing local race drawing some of the fastest age groupers around the Midwest. It is fast, fiercely competitive, close to home and this year the team competition made for an even more exciting race.
My date began with an amazing dinner at the lovely Horseshoe Casino. We were highly out of place and ended up eating sub sandwiches and pizza in the food court because some of our team members are practically children. For the record, in a pinch Uno Pizza works wonders.
My good friend Joe Lotus (he is basically Jerry Mcguire) put his heart into forming male and female “ TBC/ Bike Shop GE” teams. The team aspect of this race made for another dimension of competition. Racing with other team members as fast as you can to score points for an overall team placing was a blast. Even though everyone was out for blood, we kept it fun by wearing crazy goofy glasses on the run. We scored these shades at the Hammond Walmart!. Nothing like spending part of Sat. night at Walmart in Hammond! My selection was pink Barbie rockstar with a splash of glitter on the side.
Anyone who paid any attention has already heard the men’s team took first, with the super fast amazing TBC guys, but whats new! HOWEVER I don’t think many heard that our ladeez team finished a close 2nd in the female division. We only had 5 members (the minimum) which included our alternate , because we lost one with an ankle fracture the week of the race. I think this is frickin awesome! Everyone raced so fast and so well, it was so fun to see everyone step up and do their best. Top performances on our women’s team go to Sara Szeffi and Jenn Howland. They finished 3rd and 5th OA and are so young, barely past puberty I think, but the pieces are all coming together for them which is so exciting to see.
My race went as I expected. I thought I might die at the beginning of the swim as the start was so fast. I considered my start good as my goggles didn’t get kicked off like last year. I finally started feeling smooth after the last turn into the last leg of the swim,…...when everyone was well on the way with their bikes. Once, I was finally rolling with Scotty P, I tried to kick into high gear to chase down as many girls as I could.
Usually this is my weapon, but my legs werent all there. I didn’t feel great on the bike until the 2nd lap. I’m not sure if this was a function of not tapering, being old, or not racing OLY in so long. Maybe all of the above! On the run I just went as hard as I could. It did not feel good either until mile 3, but I was running good splits. I did much of the race in no man’s land with no one to see to chase down. I finished 12th elite which is pretty gross, but I am mostly happy with splits and the effort I could do coming off some good IM Kansas training. I still like putting myself up against the top competition and would rather finish lower in the elite, than top of the AG. Congrats to All the women who raced! So much great competition!
The post race party makes Sunday afternoon in Hammond worthwhile. Leon knows how to throw a good party and this was an awesome way to finish the date. It was so fun seeing fun friends I hadn’t seen for awhile and meeting up with fellow Wattie friend Karin Langer. I still rocked my Wattie kit while racing for team TBC! It’s a killer combo I think.
Up next, a road trip to the land of Oz, Kansas 70.3.