It seemed like a good plan but one should really always listen to James Spann. When he says it is going to be really cold and rain, he is generally right. This race was not on my plan but I was really looking for an opportunity to get in a good open swim. Due to the weather forecast, I had decided that if all I did was the swim, I would be fine with that.
I arrived at Lake Guntersville on Friday afternoon. The rain had not yet started and I was hoping that maybe it would hold off. I talked to the Race Director who said the swim would now start at the boat launch instead of the dock. It turned out to start from the dock though on Saturday morning. I’m not sure what changed. I drove the bike course and tried to drive the run course but I think the run course might be partially on a trail. The first three miles of the bike course are in the state park and are fairly hilly. There were some sections of flat road outside the park but also some more hills. In the rain I knew the course would be treacherous. Krista Schultz called me on Friday evening and we chatted about the options. It was good to talk to her about the race and other things.
I checked into the Lodge and had dinner. My room overlooked the lake and had a balcony. I got all my gear together and tried to figure out how much I needed. I had gone home to pick up a few more cold weather pieces but I wondered how much good they would be in the rain? The rain finally started and it rained all night.
At 5:15 am I woke up, stepped out on the balcony, listened to the constant downpour and felt the 40 degree cold and wind. I went back inside, texted two friends who were also planning on racing and said I was going back to bed. I have nothing to prove here and I don’t want to get sick or injured just to do a race. I sent an e-mail to the race director so he would know I was not coming. Then I went back to bed. I heard from both friends. Neither one raced. Both went and set up and then also decided it was not worth it to be out in the cold and rain. Later I saw another friend who also decided not to race. And when I arrived home I heard from a friend who was the USAT official for the race who said several people either stopped or dropped out on the bike course. It just was not a good day for racing. I know there were people who finished. Good for them. I had to decide the best course of action for myself and that course was not to put myself in a situation where I might face injury. The roads were pretty wet and slick and there were puddles all over. It would not have been a good ride for me.
Raleigh 70.3 is June 2, less than a month away, and that is where my energy will be focused for the next few weeks. As Sam told me months ago, all the races leading to Raleigh would just be training days. I’m looking foward to the trip and the challenge of the race.