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Monday, July 7, 2014

ITU World Triathlon - Chicago - Age Group Olympic Race - June 29, 2014

Last Sunday the ITU World Triathlon for professional triathletes held their first race in Chicago. As a special promotion for their first race in Chicago they held an age-group competition before the pro race –so us age groupers could experience what it would be like to compete on a pro-style course.

It was a great day if you were old and lucky enough to get an early wave assignment like I did.  The 60-64 age group went in the water at 6:15 a.m. and our race was done before 9 a.m.  Later in the day the sun rose and the clouds disappeared and it got HOT and HUMID.

We swam south from Buckingham Fountain towards the Shedd Aquarium and then ran across Lake Shore Drive to the transition area.  For the bike course we rode north on Columbus Drive to Wacker and then went west and south on Wacker, then turned around and rode back. We did that four times. Portions of Wacker were the underground segments which are always being used for films like Batman Returns and the Blues Brothers.  It was a flat and very fast bike course. I averaged over 21 mph and I was passed by a bunch of riders who were riding MUCH faster.

The run was also a loop course. We ran along Columbus Drive and adjacent to Lake Shore Drive for three and half loops finishing next to Buckingham Fountain. 

My coach (Heather Collins of Precision Multisport) and I had outlined a strategy for this race, which is my last race before the Nationals next month in Milwaukee.  The ITU course was flat and fast and similar in that respect to the course in Milwaukee. So this was a good preparation for my last triathlon of the season. 

The plan was to swim easy and straight (not something I always do),  not blow up on the bike (i.e. keep my heart rate at around 140) so I would have legs left for the run.  Last race in Elkhart I pushed too hard on the hilly bike course and that resulted in a run time of 55 minutes. 

This race I got off the bike with fresh legs (it helped of course not having any hills) and I ran the fastest 10K leg of my triathlon career, finishing with a time of 47:48, which is 7:42 pace. 

Finished 18th out of 40 in the age group and 624th out of 1209 overall in the Men’s division.  My overall time was 2:37:29, which included 10 minutes of transition time due to the distance between segments.  Compensating for that was a bike course that wasn’t quite 25 miles long.

My faithful photographer, Suzanne had a great location near Buckingham Fountain and I was confident she would have some great photos each time I passed by. But her camera broke so I had to buy the race photos, which are displayed below.  (I know they all sort of look the same, but I paid for them so I am going to get my money's worth.)

No heel strike

See I can ride in Aero

Finished before it got HOT

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