Sunday, April 25, 2010

SEL vs. Mother Nature: Battle of the Bronx Biathlon

After two weeks of skipping/modifying my training regimen due to ridiculously cold weather and freezing rain, Mother Nature tried to pay me back by sending a monsoon on the morning of the Bronx Biathlon. I woke up just before my alarm went off this morning at 4:45am and went right to the window. Besides being pitch black, it was also raining. Maybe raining isn't the right word. Pouring. Coming down cats and dogs. I had two choices: tiptoe into my guest room where Paigie was sleeping, turn off her alarm and go back to bed. Or push through my own hesitations, help Paige get through hers and get us to the subway. I went with Choice #2 and we packed up and made it to the subway in record time. We hopped off at 96th Street, met up with Angel and continued uptown to the Bronx.

We arrived in the Bronx around 6:30 and biked the three miles to the starting block at Orchard Beach. There were three little tents set up and some cones. We set our bikes up in the transition area and then got our supplies: bib, bike number and t-shirts. Just walking to and from the registration area, we had to wade through ankle-deep puddles and were soaked all the way up to our knees. We killed some time sitting in a friend's car, put on our electronic monitoring devices (aka timing chips) and took our places in the starting block.

The three of us started together. Angel quickly pulled ahead, Paigie dropped back and I was sandwiched between them. The first leg was a 3 mile run around the parking lot and along the Orchard Beach boardwalk. We ran through the pouring rain and deep puddles.

Yup, that's the running path. NOT part of the ocean. From the boardwalk, we ran back to the transition area, grabbed our bikes and started the 20 mile ride along the Hutchinson River Parkway. We biked back to the transition area, parked and started off on another 3 mile run around the parking lot to the boardwalk and back. I was able to gain some momentum and sprint the last 1/4 mile.

Click here for a map of the course. On the top left, click "Play."

Here I am crossing the finish like with my new friend whose name I've already forgotten. He's 60-some years-old and decided last year that he wanted to start racing. And below that, is me and my friend Angel.

I was the last female to finish but the first place finisher for the Womens 25-29 group. OK, fine. The ONLY finisher for that age group. And Paigie was the first place (only) finisher for the Womens 18-24 age group. Results are here.

We couldn't even begin to fathom riding our bikes back to the train station so I approached the nearest person with a pick-up truck and begged him to give us and our bikes a ride. Unfortunately, hitchhiking is illegal and he was an off-duty cop. Fortunately for us, he just laughed about it. The train ride back to Manhattan was the worst part of the day. We were soaked to the bone, the AC was on high and the train was getting crowded. But we put on our game faces and finished strong.

So, Mother Nature, you may have halted my training efforts with your behavior earlier this spring but today I completed the Bronx Biathlon. I won this battle.

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