My random meandering - stream of consciousness thoughts, ideas, and feelings

Monday, March 28, 2011

25th Anniversary March Madness Biathlon Centrak Park NYC

March Madness Biathlon 2011

Since I ended my Blog last year with a race report, I should start this season with a race report. Yesterday was the Multi-Sport Season Opener for us on the the East Coast. Although I raced the Desert Triathlon out in Palm Springs earlier this month, it still felt like the first race of the year. This was also my first time acting as the Director Sportif my newly formed multisport team: TEAM Tao Tri - Avalon Chemists. Tao Tri is the name of my coaching business and Avalon Chemists is our title sponsor this year - a Pharmacy on the LES (lower east side) of Manhattan owned and operated my friend and tao triathlete Calvin Moy.

One of the duties of being a team manager esp in the early stages is getting uniforms and distributing them. I have been inundated with several uniform requests for my other club team - Fil Am Tri over the past month and now had to deal with similar issues with TaoTri/Avalon Rx - in a last minute effort to get uniforms for this race we used a combination of our trisuits from Epic Sports based in Manila Philippines, Verge Sport based in Poland via New York and Under Armour based our of Baltimore Maryland where my marathon PR was set last October. UA makes pretty nice form fitting shirts which are nice for multisport because you can swim, bike and run in them. It's pretty much like a rash guard for surfing, a skinsuit without the shorts for cycling and form fitting for running with sleeves so you don't chafe when you swing your arms - I think myself and other triathletes have this problem form the bigger lats we develop from swimming.

UA Women's short sleeve T

Ok so enough about uniforms and back to race. So prior to the race I did my normal pre race routine of taking friday off/easy and then some light activity saturday. I also started my regimen of supplementing Optygen HP back into my diet as well as ground Chia Seeds A La Born to Run. I had my normal pre race breaky of 1 slice of toast with butter and I munched on an energy bar en-route to NYC about a 30 minute drive. I put fruit punch EFS in bottle and for the 2nd time I'm experimenting with keep the bottle between my aero bars. I've been told it actually makes me more aero since it seals the gap between my forearms and it removes the drag on the frame and it's an easier reach. The only issue now is where to put the bike computer!!

into t2 - notice bottle placement between bars

Ok so now back to the race. After getting into NY, I met my team in transition. This was the difficult part as everyone arrived at different times and I needed to hand out uniforms to everyone. So note to self is to get this all out of the way before race day! So my initial plan was to ride 1 lap of the 10K bike course. Normally, I ride my bike trainer beside the car, then jog, then swim(if triathlon) but because of logistics of central park, it makes bringing the trainer into transition difficult. I also forgot to mention that it was a balmy 27 degrees Fahrenheit (for friends who are use to centigrade negative 2.7 - that's cold!!) So warming up was very hard!! I had maybe 5 minutes to do anything after all was set with my athletes. So I new the race start would be tough.

Run 1
When the gun went off it was a mad rush to the turn around. I tried to keep up with the lead group and the pace felt fine - but what held me back was this phenomenon that has been bothering ever since 2005 where my left leg completely locks up when running hard and fast without adequate warm up. So I actually had to stop, squat and stretch it out about 3x before being able to run again. There were periods where I had to walk also since the leg could not relax. If anyone knows what this could be PLEASE contact me or if someone out there has any solution for it!! So finally I was able to jog again back to T1. I lost over a minute to the lead group by this point.

welcome to the jungle... of bikes known as transition

The central park boathouse is fairly small. I think we had over 500 bikes in the small lot beside it. So we were pretty much jammed packed. What's nice about these small races is that you will see a $10,000 specialized shiv with Di2 right next to a $100 toys R us mountain bike. I actually think there was one guy who raced on a fixie!! Dan Honig the race director of NYTC actually has a seperate Fat-tire division for those who race on mountain bikes. Lamar Brown, a blind athlete from the Achilles track club actually placed 3rd overall in that division being guided by my friend Dave Sempier. I first met Lamar when I guided him 2 years ago in a duathlon in the pouring rain where he placed in his age group! - I'm glad my shoes have been filled with an even better pilot.

Lamar and Dave into T2

ok ad rem in Latin that means back to the point. So in that super crowed transition area you lose some valuable seconds getting your bike in and out and then add cold numb feet and navigating through rocks, you have a very interesting transition.

The Bike

During the week I have been riding the central park course several times on the Computrainer. The only problem on race day is that now add in the obstacles of slower bikes, joggers, roller bladers, baby strollers, and dogs into the equation while you are pedalling over 25 mph and it makes for a pretty dangerous slalom. Thankfully I exited T2 with one of my training partners Christoffel Prinsloo who is a good runner but an excellent cyclist. He was choosing pretty good lines around the traffic so I was able to follow his lead for about a lap. 12 miles isn't a whole lot of time to get a rhythm going but at least my legs were warmed up now for the 2nd run.

Run 2

The 2nd run of a duathlon is the hardest, in triathlon it's an arms, legs, legs event. But duathlon is legs, legs, legs so by the time you start that last run the legs feel quite heavy even if the distances are short. Thankfully, now I was warm, I was able to run the entire leg and not surprisingly I was able to outsplit my first run. The runner was over a minute ahead but I had 2nd and 3rd in sight. I tried closing the gap but just didn't have enough turnover to get them so I settled for 4th overall which is the worst spot - just ask Steve Prefontaine. Also in the last race - the Desert Tri, I missed getting hardware by 2 seconds so I didn't do my patented handstand finish.

run to finish - no time for handstand today

Team Tao Tri - Avalon Chemists

The newly formed team Tao Tri - Avalon Chemists - came about when one of my former athletes athletes Calvin Moy approached me about team sponsorship near the end of last season. With the sponsorship we have been able to make uniforms, and recruit more athletes, and hopefully develop a sports system in which we can grow the sport and athletes can flourish.

Calvin Moy of Avalon Chemists

Now I must say I am really proud of how the team performed. We haven't really had all that much time to train together as a team but Lynn Frampton won the womens division with Dana Miscia taking 3rd. Lamar too 3rd overall in the Fat Tire Division with the help of Dave. Will Reagan was 2nd in the 25-29 division and Marco Cammayo like me was 4th in the 30-34 division missing out by just 15 seconds!

Lynn takes the win!

Congrats from the coach

Even though the rest of the team didn't get on the podium, there were still a lot of strong performances and I do like how we established a presence in the park. I'm trying to grow the squad concept here in the US. It is a system that has flourished in Australia and the commonwealth countries for decades that has produces hundreds of world championship and olympic caliber athletes. But for some reason it hasn't taken off in the US - perhaps cause the US is a country where the importance of the individual is so often praised. But that being said I shall end this entry with a quote from Kipling:

"NOW this is the law of the jungle, as old and as true as the sky,
And the wolf that shall keep it may prosper, but the wolf that shall break it must die.

As the creeper that girdles the tree trunk, the law runneth forward and back;
For the strength of the pack is the wolf, and the strength of the wolf is the pack."

Team Tao Tri - Avalon Rx 2011

for more race pictures please visit Mike Alavarez's website:

thanks for reading everyone - til next time.....

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