Thursday, July 5, 2012

2012 Shawnee Mission Triathlon Preview

For those you you that didn't know, I signed up for a "last minute" triathlon for this weekend...
Maybe it was all of the talk on the BT forums, or just the itch that I have not raced since IMKS back in June, but something compelled me to sign up for the Shawnee Mission Triathlon this year that goes down this Sunday, July 8.

Maybe the specter of racing in 100 degree heat index?
Maybe riding and running up and down hills in a park?
Maybe riding and running the "Dam hill"?
Maybe I'm just an endurance junkie?

Normally I don't race this event very often.  In fact, this will only be the second time.  Usually I participate in the Kansas City Corporate Challenge triathlon that is basically the same course, so I get my fill of hills and heat in that race.

But, since I switched jobs, my current employer does not participate in KCCC, so no race at Shawnee Mission Park (SMP) this year that's free.

It was looking hot and now...
It looks like heat and possibly thunderstorms.

Sure, 90 looks suckie, but it was forecasted over 100 a few days ago with no rain for days.  Now, 90's and isolated t-storms.

Normally you just deal with it, but this race has had issues in the past with weather.  Before I raced it in 2010, it had been cancelled during the race or before it even started 3 years off and on.  When I raced in 2010, I was having a good outing when they called it for lightening when I was coming in for T2.  So, the forecast is not a good omen.

What's my goal in life?
Well, that's too deep for this post, but the goal for the race WAS to hydrate and give it all I had.  It's a shorter long course at 1000 meter swim, 18 mile bike and 4.5 mile run.  Something of a sprint / long course hybrid.

I knew it was going to be hot, and that's not the issue.  Now, I'm just hoping the race happens!  Mother Nature does not seem to like this race.

It has a few hills..
I've ridden in this park a lot over the years and it's a ball buster.  The only non-rolling hills portion is around a mile long.  Other than that, you are climbing up, coasting down and climbing up again.  It's been called the "Dam Hill" that the steepest incline on the course right after riding over the road on the dam.  After pretty much coming to a halt after the hill, you ride a nice grinding grade up to the peak of the climb and it's probably around 3/4 of a mile that just takes the wind out of your sails.  It kind of sucks, in a good way.

A few weeks ago I rode over and biked the course for a couple of laps to get used to it again.  I remember now, I hate that hill.

It should be a good time.  The park is about 6 miles from my house on back roads, it's closed to all traffic during the race and for the most part is well supported.

Just cross your fingers for no cancellations of the race!
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