Coming to the New York City Triathlon ended up being an excellent decision for me. However, making the commitment to come was a difficult decision. Numerous variables had to fall into place to make it worth while. There were 2 other national races (Vineman 70.3 and Racine 70.3) and a local race I thought about racing instead. Getting in two hard days of training would have been a good option too since I’ve raced for 4 consecutive weekends. The scale tipped in favor of New York because:
- I was able to find a cheap flight;
- I had a place to stay with family;
- NYC is part of the Toyota Cup Series;
- Being 2nd in the Toyota Cup Series Standings earned me a free entry, and
- Registering for a WTC (Ironman) pro race cost $775.
The New York City Triathlon course was actually a pleasant surprise. The swim is 1500 m in the Husdson aided by the current, so it favors me. I came out to the water only 30seconds down from the leaders and was able to pass everyone ahead of me expect Filip Ospaly and Kyle Leto right out of transition. The bike course is on the West Side Highway which sounds straight and flat, but I would describe it as winding with rolling hills. I caught Filip shortly after the first turn around on the North side of the course. Filip did a good job holding on for the 2nd half of the bike, and at the second turn around Filip was less than 10 second behind. Matty Reed was 60 seconds behind and Kyle Leto roughly 2 minutes behind. After passing Filip, my goal was to get 30 second going into the run.
As I ran up from the river and onto 72nd Street Filip surged passed me. The mile run on 72nd Street heading toward Central Park is the only flat section of the run. In Central Park, the course winds and rolling along the perimeter. At mile 2 Filip had 25 seconds on me. After my poor run last week at Life Time Fitness Triathlon, I was hoping to redeem myself. He ran 31:36 and I ran 32:21. At the finish line I managed to hold Filip’s lead at 34 seconds (1:46:28 to 1:47:02). Matt Reed dropped out after injuring himself in T2.
Overall, the race went well. The high temperature for the day was in the 90s and the humidity was stifling. When I stepped out onto the 34th Street at 4:15 AM to ride to transition, I was immediately perspiring. All ladies in night club dresses looked rather sticky too as they were heading home from an evening out. The bars and clubs close at 4 AM in New York. I would have like to seen a picture me riding a geeked-out tri bike by drunks try to flag down a cap in Midtown Manhattan. The other interesting photo optortunity of the day would have been me riding through Columbus Circle around noon in my tri suit, aero helmet, Felt DA, and Zipp 999s. The great thing about New York is that I actually fit right in. No one even gave me a second glance.