Boston Triathlon – July 30, 2017
Zabeth’s Race Report:
I was really excited to compete in the Boston Tri this year. I’d heard good things about the event, and was looking forward to racing on closed roads along the Southie waterfront with Team Envision.
We had a fantastic energetic Team Envision turnout with Melaney Bouthillette, Bee Sullivan, Margaret Randle, Julia Rissmiller, Nathalie Apchin, Nathalie Kylander, Sara Doggett, and Sharon Perth-Olshvang all racing and Sandra O’Connor and M-H Bourduas cheering us on.
A few training swims at Carson Beach had been superb preparation for the variety of conditions encountered on race day. Several of us racing enjoyed a TE open-water ocean swimming clinic there with Coach Becky. The water temp on race morning was about 10 degrees lower than it had been the week before — not bad, but I was glad to have my wetsuit!
Transition was set up the night before, and though I was initially suspicious, good security was provided for the bikes, and there weren’t any problems.
The swim course at Boston Tri is three sides of a rectangle in a protected bay with a running start on a nice flat sandy beach. Swimming out and along the top of the rectangle, the water was calm, but on the return it became choppy – according to Bee Sullivan, “the mermaids were definitely having fun with us!”
We ran along the beach to T1 and headed out on the loop course for our bike leg. As an Olympic Aquabiker, I had 4 laps to complete. The course was completely flat, but upwind heading out and downwind heading back. Most of the course was on the closed William J. Day Blvd, and at times it was hard to avoid drafting due to the number of other bikes on the road. In several places we had to navigate much narrower sections of pavement going on and off the side walk out to the causeway before making a tight turn around the pavilion at the far end. Good bike handling in the corners and turnarounds, seeing the big picture at all times, and efficient passing technique were critical to a strong cycling split. I did see several crashes – cyclists not paying enough attention and colliding with others or with curbs. Worried I’d forget to count my laps, I had stuck 4 small pieces of white tape to my handle bars and removed one each time I completed a lap. This worked great!
My favorite memory of this race were the loud cheers of Sandra and M-H at the end of each lap. Their voices spurred me to pick up the pace a little at each successive turnaround.
As I didn’t have to run afterwards, I could afford to floor it on the final lap – really fun on the last straight section of road! Running the bike into T2 to get my finish time, I enjoyed a drink and snack before making my way to the finish chute to get one of the weirdest race photos I’ve ever had taken. I may look cartoonish, but I do look determined and happy!
I joined the others near the end of the run to cheer on our racers. Sara Doggett and I also took the opportunity to keep Bee company on the final hot mile of her run.
The Boston Triathlon is one of the most expensive races locally, but it is really something special to compete along the Boston waterfront with your teammates. There is plenty of parking and you do save money and time by racing locally.
There is free beer for all racers — probably why the race was so expensive! (Remember to hydrate well first and don’t forget to apply sunscreen – I saw a few folks suffering the effects too much sun and beer while dehydrated.)
My main criticism of the event was that post-race lunch had to be purchased from a few undersupplied food trucks with long lines.
TE did great with 9 participants and 3 podium places: Julia earned 2nd in the Sprint, Margaret earned 2nd in the Olympic and I earned 2nd in the Olympic Aquabike.
It felt wonderful to be on the podium again after a two-year hiatus dealing with a torn rotator cuff.
I highly recommend the Boston Triathlon and hope to continue to see a big Team Envision presence there in years to come!