Winding Trails Off Road Tri

“It knocks me down and throws me around, and I can’t get enough. Yeah I like it, I like it more and more.” -Liz Phair

After Palmerton Spartan it was time to get back to my real job of triathlon and I have three tris in 11 days. The first is the summer classic Winding Trails. (Followed my the tuckahoe tri 7/31 and the Block island Tri 8/5).

Winding Trails is off road, which presented a problem as my off road bikes are all scattered to the winds due to staging my apartment for showings and sales. Thankfully the most awesome folks of Newington Bikes came through with a sick lender! I emailed there site and got a response in seconds. That’s exactly the kind of bike shop you should go to. Plus as they set me up on the bike the mechanic answered every question from suspension tension to tire pressure because he road the course that morning! For athletes by athletes!
I did my normal pre race BOOM gel and BOSTON COMMON COFFEE even though it was an evening race. (Fast > sleep) The lake swim saw former division 1 swim stud Ken Shultz take us around the two turns. He is what evolution would have made had we been meant to live in water. He is like a skinny ape, lean, long arms and hands like baseball mitts. I hoped on his flipper size feet and enjoyed the ride and we came out 1-2… and 3? Someone else way taking my swim über cab too!
Thanks to my super fast XTERRA WETSUIT I was in my RUDY PROJECT tree smasher/helmut and out of t1 first. Out on the bike Ken me and Scott the defending champ took to the course. Well they did, I made 3 wrong turns. Good news is that I didn’t crash which would have really set me back. I did however get a a branch into my eye and it’s still not working exactly right. It’s my own fault for having so much leadership tendencies! But seriously I should follow the people that know the damn course! The course is awesome. Fast and lush, I felt like k was in the speeder scene of Return of the Jedi flying through the Forrest trying to not hit a tree being chased by storm troopers. Ken had a sick bike and came into t2 with me. Nice work!
My bonus riding cost me 30 seconds or so and as we hit the run I told myself not to push too hard, too fast and reel Scott in slowly. My mind and my legs however don’t always get on the same page and seeing the lead I react like my dog does with a squirrel in the park, It’s go time. I think BROOKS ST RACERS (get them at BLOCK ISLAND SPORT SHOP) are built with some kind of crazy technology that forces the wearer to charge to the front! I took the first mile out in 5:50, which given the temps in the 90s, humidity and it being off road, was either impressive or really stupid.
Scott being a crafty racer later told me when I caught him he put in several surges to try to break me which was smart as it nearly did. It was kinda dramic of him, like Shakspeare drama “once more into the breach dear friends, once more.” But after that I just hung out with him in part to recovery and in part to not get lost again even though I have to say the course is very well marked. I am just very good at missing markings.
I wanted to leave it to the final k but before that was a steep downhill and I kind of rolled away from him and figured I would drive the gab. At this point it was hot and I was nicely spent so I ran hard enough to win but easy enough to my puke and crossed the line first. To Scotts credit and my disapproval he kept up the chase and I had to run hard at the end. Thanks for making it hurt! As I took off my kit And had my recovery PUREFIT Bar I realized this is its final race as my new stuff from CHAMPION SYSTEMS is coming this week. Glad I send this one out with a win.

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