This weekend, this phenomenal weekend which I will surely be unable to forget for an incredibly long time, wouldn’t have been made possible if not for my sponsors. So to them, thank you very much. In alphabetical order,
Rabbi and Mrs. Dovid and Anita Fuld (my father’s parents)
My dear Parents, Yoel and Chayah Fuld
Daniel E. Green
Grandpa and Grandma Perlowitz (My mother’s parents)
Dovid and Gila Weinstein, my close aunt and uncle
And…2 anonymous donations. You know who you are 😉
The weekend started on Friday with a mandatory packet pickup and race expo in NYC’s beautiful Hilton hotel in the 50’s (59th?). In order to race, any given triathlete or relay team MUST be at the packet pick up, no exceptions. The expo went from Noon (12 PM) – 8 PM. Work went until 4:30, but I was able to get a ride with Janet Hod at 11 AM, and so I took it. Even though the expo did cost me $7.50 an hour in opportunity costs.
I was brought into the expo by my mother’s old friend, Janet, a third woman, and Mo Rice, whom I met earlier when I was dating his neighbor, but had no clue he was such an avid triathlete. The debriefing lasted a total of thirty minutes, and afterwards, we were free to walk around and explore the various companies at the expo. The Army gave me a nice transition-sized towel, I bought a gu packet, and some body glide from Jackrabbit sports, who gave me a set of tattoos to put on:
The bike drop-off was on Saturday from 2-9 PM, but, being Jewish, I wouldn’t be able to make it there on account of my sabbatical rest day. Not a problem, says John Korff, race director extraordinaire. He gave some of the observant Jews on the team permission to drop off the bikes Saturday night, up until 10:30/11. What a nice guy.
I get back home Saturday night, have the customary shells, sauce and cheese, and then got to bed for a nice 3 hour nap. Luckily, I took a 3 hour nap earlier in the day, and got a full night’s (10 hour) rest on Friday night.
3:30, I’m up and at ’em. I put together my stuff, going over the checklist Jackrabbit sports gave me, and was just about ready to go. Unfortunately, I forgot to pack any food other than one banana more than the one I ate at home. This proved moderately annoying as I ended up having some time to kill.
At 4:15 I leave the house, and get to the city at 4:40. Transition closes at 5:45, so I figured there’s no point looking for a spot. I may as well go to my dad’s lot (E104th) and take a cab over. Which worked perfectly. I got to Transition at something like 5 o’clock, with plenty of time to spare.
5:45, Yehuda calls and tells me that he’s already there, as opposed to his previous plans of waiting till 6 am to leave. So we meet. I lay myself with phylacteries and pray right there, in Riverside Park.
After I finished, Yehuda and I walked towards the swim start, seeing as how my wave (wave 39, the last wave) wasn’t scheduled to leave until 7:57.
The transition looked absolutely insane, with more bikes in it than I’ve ever seen before in one place in all of my very short career as a triathlete. And this is just one of the transitions (the red one). The other was the yellow transition.
The current was very strong on the swim, starting at .5 kts during the first waves (the pros and elites), and all the way up to 1.5 kts by my wave. At the end of the swim, there were an overly abundant amount of lifeguards helping the seal-like swimmers onto the ramp.
It was, as many people have said, the fastest mile I will ever swim.
We actually got into the water at 8:06, nine minutes behind schedule, and I was confident that with my weakest leg of the race upon me, I would be the last one out of the water. To my delight, I passed several swimmers from one, two, and even three waves before me, and was NOT the slowest in my age group. I was out of the water in 23:40, and was done with my first transition in 4:07. This doesn’t necessarily mean it was the slowest transition, once you take into account the fact that the swim is located 400 yards away from the transition area. The first place overall winner, Filip Ospaly, did his T1 in 2:59.
Once on the bike, I settled into a nice pace of an 18.8 MPH average pace. Faster than I should have been going with my amount of training. I haven’t done many, if any, 26 mile rides in that amount of time, and race day shouldn’t have been my first time. It definitely came back to haunt me in the run. It took me 1:19.21, and overall, i was the 877 fastest. Hopefully I’ll have trained enough by this point next year to significantly cut that number. Maybe if I had one of those fancy sets of deep-dish wheels…just kidding.
I would like to thank my grandfather and grandmother on my father’s side for sticking it to the man and managing to somehow end up alongside the (closed) west side highway. When he saw a downed triathlete, my grandfather crossed the treacherous bike path and lent her a helping hand.
And so the bike continues…with the slight rollers of NYC.
My second transition time was better than my first, as I was able to ride my bike right up the fence and dismount there. The T2 time was 1:30 on the nose.
Then came, what I thought to be, my high point of any race: the run. Little did I know, putting down six 7-minute miles on a day as hot as today (90*) was beyond my abilities. But I still tried. Since my hips had been cramping up on the bike, spliced by some cramps in my calves, my legs were already less than fully-cooperative. But I started out at a fine pace and made it into Central Park (1 mile mark) in just under 7:10, according to my Polar training computer, perched atop my left wrist.
But soon enough, it all turned downhill, if I would try and keep up the pace, I would be forced to slow down, or, in some cases, walk, due to cramping quads and hamstrings. And this happened EVEN THOUGH I took precautions and stretched out my legs during the last 2 minutes of the ride. Any suggestions?
So I took it easy. Or easier. For the last several miles (3?4?), I found a teammate and ran alongside him as we powered through 8:40 miles, according to my calculations. In the end, my run time was 52:05 with a 8:24 pace. My worst performance to date. 831 in the entire race.
I hope that as I do more olympic tris, I will be able to condition my body to take the beating, and put down personal bests each and every race, until I’m able to complete this race with a bike ride averaging in the twenty-mile-per hour range and a run averaging in the seven-minute-miles.
Some finish line sprint pics.
The post race reception was phenominal. As I crossed the finish line, a volunteer places a cold “Toyota” towel around my shoulders as another one asks if I’m doing ok. “Could be better,” came my reply. After I explained to him that my right hammie had, once again, cramped up on me, he led me to a tent full of forty or so similar-looking massage beds, and assigned me my very own. With my very own masseuse. And my very own selection of chilled waters, Cytomax’s, and muscle milks. Nice.
Post massage, happy as can be.
After collecting the clothes which I had dropped off at the swim start before the race, I made my way out of the village (to which I could not return) and located my two sets of grandparents, my uncle, four of my nine younger siblings, and my parents, who all came to watch. What a loving family.
And one last picture with Team OneFamily, for which we raised, in total, over $146,000, to date, to benefit Israel’s terror victims. An incredible amount for a truly incredible cause. I consider myself blessed to race on the same team as several terror victims who came in from Israel specifically to race with us in NYC.
My final result?
21st place AG.
853rd place Overall.
There was definitely a sufficient amount of porta-potties.
The sound system was adequately loud, and covered many areas.
The transition areas were neat.
The other racers were friendly.
The volunteers were friendly.
The rule about not being allowed back into the finisher’s village, even if it’s just to take a picture, should be abolished. The guy just wanted a picture with his medallion…
The post-race food looked awesome, although all I had was a water bottle, a muscle milk, and a cytomax.
John korff is a friend to the Jews.
I’m glad that I chose NYC Tri as my first Olympic distance triathlete, and am glad that I competed on behalf of Team OneFamily.
Any other constructive criticism I can think of will be filled in as I come up with it. Feel free to comment with any thoughts you may have.