Lytle Park 2021
I did this spring Tri first in 2007. The days of winning overall are past, but I came in 4th overall in 56 minutes, 1st in AG, with a run better than ever on this course, which is always the same (ca. 80 °F, 2.9 mi.) and a good calibration.
This little tri used to be my spring opener between 2007 and 2014 when I raced a lot of triathlons from sprint to Ironman. The race was pretty much the same as always, with the Mattoon Y having taken over race direction from ChampionChip since I last did it. I arrived a half hour early, registration was a snap with an ankle band, but then the weather ceased to cooperate: a major thunderstorm dropping several inches of rain came through, and the race start was delayed by 1h15m. To the credit of the organizers, they kept at it anyway, and only the swim was shortened to about half the usual distance.
I did the swim with my partly torn rotator cuff starting at the back of the field to avoid any ‘collisions,’ and ended up about as fast as any previous swims here. No complaint since I’ve only swum twice in the last 18 months. When I reached T1, everything was soaked, and it took about twice as long as usual to get socks and shoes on. The trusty Dimond superbike took me to first place overall on the bike; having a 30+ mph wind blowing due to the storm helped me, as I am pretty aerodynamic against the wind. Still, it was a painful ride south back to transition. I felt good for the run in my snappy Nike Alpha’s, and easily matched my best time with 6:12 miles. I missed 3d overall by 5 seconds when a kid doing 4:45 miles passed me on the run. Given that 14 years have passed since the first time I did Lytle Park and my run has gotten faster, I am in pretty good running shape from all that training for ultras.
I chatted with some racers I had not seen in a long while, like Bob Zollman (he rescued me in 2012 when I forgot to put a skewer on my front wheel!), collected the 1st place 50-60 trophy, and headed home. All in all, a nice trip down nostalgia lane.
I chatted with some racers I had not seen in a long while, like Bob Zollman (he rescued me in 2012 when I forgot to put a skewer on my front wheel!), collected the 1st place 50-60 trophy, and headed home. All in all, a nice trip down nostalgia lane!