Maine: life like it should be. The state motto could not have been more precise. As Gina and I drove up on Friday morning, the stress of NY seemed to leave us at an ease for the weekend. We checked in at Freeport and walked around the outlet to do some shopping and shake out the legs from driving. Weather was a bit breezy but comfortable.

We headed into Portland where we stayed with our ever gracious hosts (and relatives) Anjie and Andrew. Certainly a trip to Beals for some Wow-Cow was in order to comlete the night and prep for the race early in the morning. Nothing like falling asleep to the sound of crickets.

Race morning started off chilly in the 50′s, but once the sun comes up, it warms nicely into the mid 60′s and 70′s in a few hours. Not a cloud in the sky. Hyped up by some GWIZ cd music, I made my way to the swim start after setting my gear up in the transition. Gina, who is a pro at this by now, knew exactly how to handle the race day conditions. She had company today by someone who is a pro spectator at this event: Anjie. Together they had to break in the rookie brother-in-law Andrew who was watching his first triathlon (but he did bring the big urn of coffee for them).

Water temp was 62 degrees! AHHH.

After a smack on the wetsuit butt from Anjie, a high-five from Andrew, and a kiss from G, I walked the plank towards the freezing water as my wave prepared to jump in. This is what makes this race special: you gotta swim 150 yards to “warm-up” before you actually start.

Ever jump into a big ice bucket? Whoooooo!! After a few strokes you kinda forget the cold – that and some other “warming up” tricks only wetsuit wearers will relate too and waited for the horn. Yes, they make you tread for a few minutes.

I swam quickly since I positioned myself in front of the pack. Keeping an eye solely on the bouys in order not to stray off course, I wiped some seaweed off my face and drank some “fresh” salt water over the mile course. I made up ground on the wave in front of me which gave me confidence that I was gaining time and leading my particular wave.

Once you get out, you have to transition without the aid of someone peeling off your wetsuit so it took a bit to gain the senses and not trip and fall. Onto the bike towards the hilly but scenic 40k course of the park we were in. Here I charged and with not much in terms of racers around me, just stayed focused and kept it over 20 mph. The race was going by quickly for me.

Though I felt some of the effects of the 100 mile ride to Port Jervis this past Sunday (visiting friends) I was pushing it, but comfortable. Back into the transition area and now I was off to play pac-man. I felt strong. I split the run miles in descending order: from 6:25 per mile to under 6 for the final one. I caught ALOT of folks. With a surge I finished in 2:26, my fastest by 4 minutes in this event. Elation indeed! To finish with three others at the finish line made it even more enjoyable.

Since we couldn’t leave the park until the race was over, we soaked up the beautiful day and watched the other finishers come in. And yes, my sister did use a port-o-san!

It is a great race and the organizers/volunteers do a great job making the event one to continue doing.

Gina and I did so much the rest of the day around Portland, including dinner with our hosts, that it seemed to last more than 24 hours. Did we ever get the most out a weekend!

Race medal went to Anjie and Andrew to add to their collection, race long-sleeve shirt to Gina , and Lobsterman hat to G’s young niece Victoria.

A special thanks goes to Scot Willingham of Shank Productions for assisting me as a bike coach during the past few months.

Race stats: 56th out of 460+ racers overall

9th fastest run split overall

There were 11 ELITE athletes who finished ahead of me. But I was the FIRST non-elite from the State of NY to finish (from Brooklyn too).

7th out of 57 in my age group category.

Go to

www.lobstermantriathlon.com for event details.

Next up, a week of “easy” training before I begin a program for my season finale: Laguna Phuket Triathlon in THAILAND!

Thanks TEAMMC!


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