Thus far, my triathlon career has consisted of Sprint and Duathlon races. But last year, my goal was to do a pair of Olympic distance races. Weather, injury and illness intervened to keep me from racing at all in 2109.
2020 rolled along and we all know what’s going on with races. Most are cancelled or postponed until who-knows-when. But there is one race on our calendar that is going forward. It’s in Springfield, Illinois this weekend.
The number of competitors has been pared down to reduce transmission risks, and the race start and transition areas will be vastly different than the recent old days. Competitors are urged to self-supply nutrition and water, and not expect normal water stations at all. Bottled water will be available, but then you need to carry it on your own, and not toss bottles by the side of the road. That’s a big penalty.
Which means this race will be a bit like a homespun triathlon or a glorified training experience.
In anticipation of the race, my wife Sue gave me a Roka skinsuit in advance of my birthday this Sunday. I tried it out in the pool on Wednesday and while it’s not as buoyant as the Roka wetsuit shorts I own, or the sleeveless wetsuit I’ve typically worn in races, it is an interesting and sleek piece of gear.
The water temperatures are expected to be 73 degrees this Saturday, so we’ll probably be wetsuit legal. If that’s the case, I’ll wear one. But we’ve done a couple outdoor, open-water swim sessions up in Crystal Lake and I feel ready at last to swim a mile in competition. I’m not fast, swimming along between 1:55 to 2:00 per 100, but what I care about is getting to the Swim out, jumping on the bike and hustling through the run.
Training has gone really well of late. So we’re heading down to Springfield to see how this works and looking to get at least one race going in 2020. The piles of gear on our bed are classically triathlon. Goggles. Bike shoes. Helmets. Body Glide. Shorts. Tops. Nutrition. Sunscreen. You name it. This may be a simple sport in concept, but it takes a lot of gear to get it done.