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The Alternate Universe West Point Spring Fling Experience

7 Oct 2013
by Wendell Scott

By Wendell Scott

I’ve been racing triathlons for 28 years and normally, when you do the same races year to year, you can to expect similar experiences at the same events.   This is generally true, but not always.

So when I was driving to the Georgia Multisports Sprint Fling on April 28, things did feel a bit out of sorts.   I’ve made the drive down to LaGrange a number of times (six, I think) and this is the first time I can ever remember NOT thinking about the heat and humidity.  This year, it’s actually cool when I load my gear into the car.   So it seems very odd that I drive to LaGrange in COOL weather and expecting COLD water.

One thing I don’t like to mess around with is my race morning routine.   Some people call me a control freak, and they could be right.

I like to arrive early, get a good parking space, complete registration, get my gear in place on the best rack spot and test everything to make sure it’s working properly.   Always, I really feel a need to warm up, especially for the swim.   When the water is cold, the swim warm-up for me is even more critical.

I get my swim warm-up done and feel acclimated to the water by the time we’re called out so the first wave can go off.   My feet are cold standing on the dock waiting for my wave.  

The swim is cold and goes as planned and I exit pretty high up in my wave.  The bike goes quickly and I feel like I’m riding strongly as I pass several people.   By the time I enter T2 my feet are numb from being wet and exposed to the cool air. 

Wendell on the bike

I finish the bike feeling pretty good about where I am, but I know it’s gotta be heads down and focused on the run to keep my position.   My running has been even more limited than usual due to a torn calf muscle that set me back about two months.   It doesn’t help matters that I’m running on numb blocks of flesh at the end of my legs.

I lose one place just after the turnaround.   I know the guy and he’s a strong runner and biker, but always has to chase after the swim.   I’m happy I made him chase me this far.   I’m holding 7:30ish mile pace and I know that’s about the best I can hope for today.  

Bringing home the hardware

Seeing several Team Podium mates out on the course gives me a boost of energy.   Although I don’t know their names (and they probably don’t know mine), we exchange shouts or a simple thumbs up.  Dan Meyer and several of our team did well and as always, the Georgia Multisports organization ran a smooth and predictable event and that’s always a good thing, especially when other things get switched up on you!

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