Monday, September 25, 2006

Disney Olympic Tri. Whew, glad that one is over!

Cigars, Wrecks, Mickey Ears, Twins and an IV cocktail . . .

September 25, 2006 will go down as a day of fun, fear and fatalities!!!

Disney World Olympic Triathlon 2006 in Orlando Florida was a tough day for me and a few others. I would like to start this post out with a sincere prayer for a few people who had horrible crashes; one in particular was med-evaced by helicopter. When I passed him he was still unconscious on the pavement.

There were many complaints about this race, the bike course in particular. It was a little challenging and tight. I was run off the road about mile 17 by a group of no less than 15 people drafting.

There were no marshals on the course. Disney would not allow them on the course without training on the motorcycles. So there were, and I am not exaggerating, at a minimum 4 groups of between 4 and 15 people drafting the entire bike course. How sad.

I feel judgmental when I address this, however this was such an outright abuse of the rules of triathlon that I feel I should say something. That something is;

How can you feel good about yourself and cheat? How?

So what if your 3rd in your age group OR if you happen to win your age group, YOU CHEATED! OK, Enough of that.

My friend Pat (aka rocketboy) was here at this race with his family too. He was flying until he too crashed and bit it pretty hard. He destroyed his bike cracking the top tube to the point that he won’t be able to ride it again. He is OK, minus some bad road rash and a busted up knee, but it could have been much worse. He crashed at about 24 MPH.

My day consisted of:

“You know it is race day, cause you have diary.”

That was the quote of the day from Amanda, as I ran to a port-a-potty just before the swim start. I don’t know what it is that causes my bowels to get so twisted, but almost every race morning I have the (sorry for the graphic) runs.

A pretty good swim, however I am sure the swim was more than 1500m.

The day before the race Amanda and I were coming back from downtown Disney and we saw an alligator in one of the lakes. This bothered my wife. I assured her that I could take on any gator less than eight feet, “anything else, and let’s just hope I’m not the slowest swimmer!!!” I passed quite a few folk who started off really fast and faded faster. Coming out of the water we had a nice little ½ mile run back to transition. I was whooped!

As I transitioned into my cycling wear I was beginning to dread the 10k run.

Off on the bike. The course was a bit odd. I was holding 19 MPH the first 12 or so miles, and then I began to stress out about the 3 or 4 wrecks I witnessed and the two that I saw the aftermath. It was an out and back course with the last 4 or so miles running along side the cyclist heading out on the course. We are talking about 2 feet between you and the oncoming bikers.

That is where Rocketboy wrecked.

The last mile you rode opposite of the runners heading out for the 10k. Again it was a really odd bike course.

I hit transition and began to wish this was a 5k and not a 10k. I did make a decision during this 10k. I am no longer going to wear my grey shorts on the run. I am going to run with my tri shorts and not worry about my big buttocks.

It was H O T, hot.

About mile two I stopped slogging (slow jogging) and walked. About mile 3, my bro Rocketboy found me on the run course and kept my spirits up. About mile 4 I really didn’t think I could finish. I told Rocket this, but about 100 yards later I told him not to let me quit. He promised he would get me to the finish, and he did.

It was amazing that he seemed to know when I was ready to give up. I am guessing he could see it in my face, and each time he would get on me or remind me how close we were.

We entered Epcot and the tour of the worlds and I began to feel confident that I would finish. There were not many patrons in Epcot at this time of day but there were a few and one was smoking the NASTIEST cigar. He decided he would walk ahead of us as much as he possibly could have.

Then I began to notice twins in Mini Mouse ears. There were more than two. There were a few. Wow? Cool. I saw like three sets of them?

Then I began to lose it, just about France. It must have been the French music? I only hope it is not a fore shadow of my trip to France in November?

Niagara Falls . . . Enough said. I lost all my fluids.

There was somewhere around a mile and a half left and I was not sure I would finish. I began to cramp EVERYWHERE. I cramped in my neck?????? What is that???? Rocketboy continued to push me and then I heard it.

Cheers coming from around the corner. I knew I was close. I wanted to try and slog in, but after three slog steps, I was done and my right calf was locked up tight in one of the most painful cramps I think I have ever had.

I saw the finish. I was wobbling in and I know it must have been the ugliest sight of the day!!!

A new friend of mine “doughboy” from was there at the finish and so was another woman who introduced herself to me on the run, I wish I was coherent enough to remember, but she was AWESOME. I think, I am not sure, but I think I tried to slap her hand as I headed into the finish.

OK, until this moment I had never experienced the finish line flop. The, cross the finish and lose control of your entire body movement. Today was my day.

The poor volunteers, having to witness this and some even having to hold up this 390 pound body.

I was taken into the medical tent and soon found myself hooked up to an IV pumping in wonderful fluids directly into my veins. I was a sight for sore eyes. Once I learn how to download pictures off of my camera I will post the beautiful picture Amanda took of me in this predicament. It is a keeper!

We caught the bus back to transition, loaded the bike and gear up and I proceeded to take a 2 hour nap trying to recuperate ANY energy for the festivities of the evening, Meadevil Times!!!!!

If you have seen The Cable Guy with Jim Carey, you know why I needed to regain my strength. Let’s just say Rocketboy, myself and our wives had one heck of a time watching OUR YELLOW Knight conquer the evil knight and save the kingdom!!!!

All in all it was a good day. I don’t plan on doing this race again, unless they make a few changes, but again, all in all it was a good day.

More than 1500 people started this race and less than 1200 finished. I really hopr the man they had to take away in the helecopter is doing well. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family. If anyone knows anything about his situation please post it on the blog.

I finished in 4:13:11. The two other Olympic size tri’s Memphis in May and Heatwave I finished in 4:45 and 4:06 respectively. I have a LONG way to go before the Ironstar ½ Ironman at the end of October. Keep positive thoughts coming my way for that race.

I ALMOST FORGOT!!! There was an 86 year young gentleman racing too! He finish about 15 minutes or so after my, Amanda said. HOW AWESOME!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Have a brilliant day and we’ll talk to you soon. Thanks for your support.


Sherri said...

I am so sorry that I wasn't there to meet you and Amanda. It sounds like it was a tough race for you but what strength you have to power through it! Way to go my friend!!

Anonymous said...

Hi Chris...I was there cheering for you at the finish line, and also out on the run course. I am Marcy...aka Dodgersmom...aka Doughboy's wife! You did try to slap my hand at the finish! I was so happy to see you cross the line. You did great! I do agree that there were some logistical "issues" with the race. I heard about someone getting hit by a car. I was surprised by that because as there was an obvoious lack of marshalls on the course, I thought every intersection was well manned with police. I hope they are OK. I was annoyed by the drafting too. On the bike out, it looked like a Tour de France paceline on the other side of the road. At least I know I can look at my times and know they are legitimate (taking into account of course the shorter bike course). Anyway, I am really proud of how you did. I hope we get a chance to meet again sometime when we can spend some time before the race. Great meeting you!

Marcy (dodgersmom)

Anonymous said...

Chris, I know I say it all the time but I am VERY proud of you. I don't think I could even do a 10k let alone biking AND swimming! You have the most willpower of anyone I know, and that's why i KNOW you are going to be successful in your journey to lose weight.

Love you,