My 5th New York City Triathlon and the last thing I was expecting was rain. That's mostly because it hasn't rained or even been close to raining during the last 4 years I've done the race. The rain continued while we set up our gear in the transition zone, but started to clear up about an hour before race start. It was going to be a great race day.
We watched as a bottle flew down the river while we waited for our wave to go off. The current was moving and we were all looking forward to a fast swim time. Another athlete on my team who usually beats me out of the water got out just after me. She's a friend on and off the course, but it still felt good to have beaten her for once. Not that it was about beating her. It just meant that my training had been worthwhile. I was getting faster.
With a sub-20 minute 1500 meter swim and I was back on land moving to the transition zone. I noted that a lot of bikes were still racked when I got back into the red transition area. A good sign that I was somewhere in the front of the pack. I switched out my running leg for my bike leg and grabbed my bike to start the 25 mile course down the Westside Highway.
A few drops of rain sprinkled down during the bike, but for the most part the roads had dried up, leaving the course fairly safe. I gunned it as soon as I hit the highway and just kept moving, passing scores of people who had gone off in the waves before me. The course was pretty much an out-and-back with only a couple technical turns, but with so many people on such a narrow course, bike handling skills were imperative.
The bike was relatively uneventful for me. I just put my head down and pumped my legs. It felt good to pull back into the transition zone. My dad and sister were there cheering me on and my boyfriend had managed to snag a PC handler credential so he was right there with me as I switched out my run leg for my bike leg. Usually at this point during the NYCT my energy has been sapped by the sun and I feel like I just have to survive the run. But not this year. Thanks to the cloud cover it was much cooler than usual and I was still feeling full of energy.
Running up 72nd from Riverside Park to Central Park is usually the hottest part of the run, but also the most supported by excited fans who gather on both sides of the road. Mile 1 brings you to the entrance of Central Park and the 3rd aid station and the first shaded part of the run. Then it's just another 5.2 miles up and down around the park to Dead End Rd and the finish line. I found a comfortable, yet challenging pace and held it, finally passing the one other female PC athlete who was in front of me. I didn't even know it until I finished that I was the champion. The ribbon was pulled out in front of me at the finish line and I put my hands up. A personal best by 7 minutes, 2009 PC National Champion, and first female PC overall finisher. And I would have finished 3rd in my old age group and was top 20 of 270 athletes in my latest 25-30 age group.