Tri the Illini 2017

Martin’s report. The short: Nick, Scott and I represented the Wild Cards at the race. It was a 1st place age group sweep for Wild Card in M35-39, M45-49 and M50-54, although none of us had done any training for sprint triathlon this season.

The long: It was a nice day (5-8 mph S wind, 65-80 °F) for a sprint tri. Tri the Illini is organized by the U of I triathlon club, and starts with a 300 m swim in the ARC pool, followed by a 14.7 mile bike leg down to Old Church and over to Highcross, and finally a 5k to the Illini Union and back to ARC.
Nick, Scott and I did this as a “fun run.” We were training for totally different racing (marathons, 100 mile ultraruns, etc.), but given past experience with this race, we figured we’d do OK in our age groups. Nick’s wife Betsy was also on hand while we were setting up our transition areas because she also was going to race TTI for fun. At 7:45, they lined us up by race number, corresponding roughly to swim speed. Scott was in the water first (182), followed by Martin (200) and Nick (204). Nick took the swim in 5:50, Martin straggled in at 7:28, not surprising since he has been in the pool about 10 times since 2015. On the bike, we went Scott-Martin-Nick 36-37-37 minutes, and on the run we went Nick-Scott-Martin 19-20-21. You can tell who’s been training at 7:15 minute miles for marathons, and who’s been training at 8:30 minute miles for 100 mile runs!
Our performances of Nick-Scott-Martin 1h04-1h04-1h08 swept the age group 1st place podium spots in the M35-39, M45-49 and M50-54. Ryan Linne was on hand as the official Wild Card race photographer, taking the pictures in the collage above. Pizza and ice water were served at the finish line. Scott had to pick up Martin’s award because I headed off on my 20 mi. training run after the race (Ironman and 100 mile running races are coming up soon). All in all, a good day for the Wild Cards although this race was in the “fun run” category. The Fighting Illini Triathlon club always puts on a well-organized show, and 2017 was no exception!