Saturday, driving up early on race morning, I started to feel slightly nervous, which is okay because it happens before every race…except that this time I wasn’t racing. But seeing the arrows indicating the run course, the tables with water and Gatorade, and listening to other Yalies talking about race strategies, my body was fooled into thinking that it was time to getting ready, and my legs started to itch in anticipation for a great run. I was so jealous of all my friends getting to race! And that was legitimate, since it was such a great course, race, and in general a great weekend of fun… although our athletes in the Olympic race might not agree, given the heavy rain they had to fight especially on the bike. Well, we also got our share of water, while volunteering on the run course. Hosting the aid table at mile 5 of the run with all other Yale triathletes, who would race the HalfRev the following day, was fun, and we hope that our support helped our Olympic racers to push through the last mile and finish strong. It certainly appeared to be so! We were so proud to see Avik in the front of the pack (the only water pack I dropped in the whole day, I owe you one, Avik), Karlyn storming through our aid station and getting some water while passing 4 or 5 other runners at double speed, and Andy, Tamara, Chris and Alex still able to smile and looking really strong despite the hard effort. And how not to mention the spectacular Yale uniforms they were running in!
The half Rev was a whole different story. The weather was great, perfect for racing. The excitement even higher than the day before. Although somebody has to explain to me why I decided to get up at 4 to get there with the other racers, well, it was all worth it. The display of bikes in transition was impressive, and the swim course looked beautiful….and long. It was really nice to see the pros in T1, stopping for less than fifteen seconds and then leaving on their bikes. Colleen, despite the unmentionable (which, in fact, I don’t mention), was first out of the water, and started to bike in front of the pack. The two Jons followed, and then Danny, Adam, Dan and Francesc, all looking good after a fast swim. For the pros, it took less than two and a half hours to fly on their TT bikes over 56 miles of hills, and it was impressive to see the pace at which they went off for the 13.1 miles of the final run. Four men started the run really close and would fight for the rest of the race, whereas in the women race two athletes seem to be well ahead of the rest of the pack, but had some very good runners in the hunt some 3 to 4 minutes behind.
Adam went off really strong on the bike, and well under 3 hours later he was first in T2. Francesc, Dan and the two Jons also had an impressive sub 3h split. Ana and I tried to take pictures and videos of all our triathletes on the bike: with Jon Smith approaching T2 I was preparing my camera, when somebody said that Mirinda Carfrae was about to pass behind us on mile 9 of the run, and I had to face the tough decision of whether to watch Jon or Mirinda. After careful evaluation of the situation (about a millisecond), I decided “woah, screw Jon Smith, I am totally going to take a video of her running instead” …which I did. Sorry, Jon… I promise that if you run a 1:20 half marathon split in your next 70.3 event, I am going to film you instead J (actually no, I would film her no matter what, I think it may actually be love..)
All Yale triathletes did very well on a challenging run course, and I was truly impressed by their final times. Everybody went faster than the already challenging time goal they had set, but most important, they left everything on the course (in Colleen’s case, literally…). One special mention goes to Jon Smith, who ended his two years as Yale Tri Club captain with the fastest time of the day, finishing in 5:10:52. That would be well under 5 hours on a normal, less challenging course! Congratulations to him and to the rest of the team, very proud of you! Check out pictures and videos, HERE! More coming soon!