Los Angeles Triathlon Club
Race Report
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Club Member: Jim Lubinski
Race: Breath of Life- Olympic Distance
Distance: Olympic
Race Date: 06/28/09
Submit Date: 06/29/09

Breath of Life Olympic Distance Triathlon

Race Report


What a day at the RACES! And I emphasize races. It was overcast and cool at the start of the race, ideal conditions. The water was murky, but fairly calm. A lot of friends came out to take part in or watch the race. I love local races, there is always a huge contingent of LA Tri Clubbers and great volunteers supporting the athletes throughout the race. My swim wave was second to go, about 5 minutes behind the 35-45 men’s’ age group. I toed the start line ready to attack the ocean as I had been practicing hundreds of times at Coach Gerry Rodriguez’s Friday morning ocean workouts. The gun went off and I sprinted as hard as possible into the water. I know my swim is weak, so I need to make up any time I can, where ever I can. I was first into the water. It got hectic, as usual, but I eventually jumped on a faster simmers toes. I stayed there, relatively comfortable for the entire swim, letting him do the sighting, just following. I came out of the water extremely fresh in 20 minutes and ready the hammer the bike. I had not tapered at all for this race, so I was curious to see if my body would respond when I pushed it beyond the comfort zone. The first loop of the bike was uncomfortable and when traveling North (which we had to do 4 times) there was a pretty nice headwind, but I didn’t have to think that much, so I could just focus on pushing it. On the second loop, all of the sprint racers were on the course, along with the age groupers, which was chaos. I had to weave through bikers, cones, cars, police, dogs, etc. This messed with my focus a little bit, but I tried to put my head down and continue to hammer. I came in from the bike in 59 minutes. This was a flat course, but, to be honest I prefer slightly hilly courses. On flat courses there is no opportunity to push the down hills and hit speed of 40 mph. It is just a consistent effort that hurts, a lot. In T2, I had to put a sock on my right foot due to the abundance of scrapes and cuts endured during Boise 70.3 two weeks ago. This slowed my T2 down a bit, but as I ran out, I was cut off by this dude who was set on beating me out of transition. Turns out it was Brian Llamar, another newly crowned pro triathlete. He stayed in front of me until the first aid station, then I jumped a head of him. He stayed right on my tail. I kept increasing my pace and he stayed right there. Now, I had never been in a triathlon in which I had been involved in a neck and neck race like this. Every time I surged, he was right there. At the first turn around, he was so close to me I didn’t even see him. He had turned before I caught a glimpse. I was really happy with my fitness. I could keep pushing it, and although it really hurt, my body said, “Gimmie more, I love the pain.” At the start of the second loop, I heard Brian’s coach say the leaders were about a minute ahead of us. This was inspiring to me. I turned it up another notch, and dug really deep. All of a sudden, I was alone. I had dropped my tail and was on my own. I was pushing hard. Passing hundreds of athletes, with no idea where these “leaders” were. I remember Oceanside 70.3 last year and seeing Potts and Alexander fly by me, focused, determined, and racing as if their life depended on it. Watching these athletes inspired me to work hard and one day be that guy, flying through the run course, digging deep, and fighting for the overall title. This was that day, I was out there with thousands of athletes, but I may have well just been alone. I was flying, and, hopefully, inspiring others to do their best. As I passed the 6 mile mark, I opened up into a full out sprit. I always sprint the last few tenths, just incase I am separated in the overall category by a few seconds, and to practice for that day I am shoulder to shoulder with Potts, Alexander, McCormick. Etc. At the finish two guys had just crossed the line. I knew I ran a great race, 32 minute run, 1:53 overall, but figured I was third. Little did I know these two athletes had started 5 minutes before me. I went for a 7 mile “cool down” post race thinking I was third. When I got back to the post race party, I was informed through several sources (Mr. Borrelli, Holger, and Cortney) that I had WON! I was psyched. My 1st overall victory. I like this taste, and it is something I am going to get used to. Congats to all of the finishers, especially the first timers (Megan). Thanks for the props Konrad, you rule. Keep racing hard.

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