Lytle Park Tri - reported by Martin
This little gem (300 m swim, 13 mi. bike, 3 mi. run) takes place in Mattoon every summer. I drove down early on July 1st, which was easy because I was still jet-lagged from my Italy trip. A few weeks back, I missed the podium by one spot at the Half (Iron) Classic in Effingham, so the goal was simple: podium! The plan was equally simple: Bike at 163±2 bpm (ca. 24.5 mph), run at 170±2 bpm to squeeze out the most just below my anaerobic threshold, and hope not too many sub-1 hour guys were going to show up! No PR was likely today, as the temp was already at 85 F at race start (8:30) and it was HUMID. But thanks to low fat levels (137 lb), I would suffer less from the heat than most participants.
The swim was in a huge round outdoor pool with buoys, and went routinely. The bike route from Mattoon to Cooks Mills will be familiar to Wild Cards such as Jay, Dis and John W., who frequently accompany me on the Mattoon 100 mile loop. With the fastest bike split of the day, I dashed past all the faster swimmers, and homed in on the front runner. Alas, this 19 year-old proved to be a blistering runner doing 5:20 miles (!), so despite my own fast 3 miler, I lost ground on the run. I finished on the podium (2nd place overall, in 57 minutes). Plan accomplished. NB: I lost my front skewer nut when I loaded the TT machine into my trusty Honda in the morning. I only was able to race thanks to a kind soul (Bob Zollmann, a fellow Ironman with a truck full of spare parts) who had an extra skewer nut! Photo: getting back into Mattoon on the black TT machine, the foot’s already half out of the shoe for dismount.