4:30 or Bust: A Quest for Marathon Mediocrity

NYC Triathlon Staging

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Less than 6 days to the New York City Triathlon.  Yikes!  Yay!  Help!

I finally figured out what was bothering me about the way the race is staged.  Bear with me, as I don’t get to the point for a few paragraphs.

Last week, race officials released the Athlete Guide, which has the start times for the various waves.  I’m used to road races where people usually line up by ability, so that the fastest people are in front and the slower people behind.  In the Philadelphia Triathlon last year, I entered in the Clydesdale division, which was one of the last to go, and the triathlon I did earlier this year was so small that the fastest people were by me before the swim was over.  That is the way it should be!

This race kicks off Sunday at 5:50 AM, with the professional men, and then professional women, and then the age group elites.  So far, so good.  Then, the oldest men and women divisions, following by the rest of the women, youngest to oldest.  So far, so good as well.  Then, some of the older mens divisions.  At age 38, I’m in 35-39, which has 4 waves, starting from 7:21 AM to 7:30 AM.  I don’t yet know which of those 4 waves I’m in.  Men 35-39 is followed by men 30-34, then men 25-29 and then last wave is men 24 and under.

I know I’m going to be one of the slower people on the course.  Based on my training, and what I know of the event, I think I’ll finish in the 3:20-3:30 range, which is pretty far down the scale of finishing times.  While people of all age groups and ranges will surely finish faster than me, it is most certainly younger men that will beat me out.  The problem?  Most of the men that are younger than me will be starting AFTER me.  This means they will be passing me the entire race.  Lots of people will be blowing by me on the swim (to be expected), but even on the bike and run, where I will be relatively stronger, 20 and 30 something guys, especially the type running this race, will certainly still be blowing by me.

I think that will be hard to adjust to.  I don’t mind being passed by faster people, but, the faster people should be starting before me, not after me, and I’ll have to constantly remind myself not to try to keep up with them, for risk of bonking too early.  I wonder how they come up with the staging, and if it is the same each year, or if it changes from year to year, and if other triathlons are staged similarly…

Anway, still super excited about the race, and my taper this week.  Did an easy 4.6 miler last night, swam 1000 easy meters this morning.  Rest of the week includes an easy bike ride tomorrow, a run on Wednesday, and softball Thursday night.  Friday and Saturday will most likely be days of total rest!

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Written by SCL

July 20, 2009 at 4:38 pm

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