Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Gateway To The Bay Sprint 2010

Gateway Sprint 2010 092
Originally uploaded by shamacycles
This is a first year race, from a new group putting on races in the Houston area. Sure I own my own business but I can kinda control who I deal with and work with each person one on one to make sure that I served them well. In race promotion you open yourself up to 200 -2000 people who you might never see and who might have a bad day and blame the race directors or anyone. We all have either been at a race or ride and either had a friend who complained or we ourselves complained about something. Being the race director can be pretty tough and thankless. Well The On UR Mark Crew and On UR Left Coaching did an AMAZING JOB! WELL DONE! THANK YOU from Shama Cycles and all my athletes. Of all the people I talked to, heard from, saw or overheard I didn't hear anything bad at all. Amazinig. Sure, athletes complained about the water being rough, (um its an open water swim in the bay...hello) and the bridge on the course (again, its a race and this is what makes it great) but really that is just all part of racing a good course.

Kemah Boardwalk was a perfect place for a weekend of racing for the athletes and families. There are two races in two days and most any triathlete could very well race both days no problem. I had several Shama athletes race both days, some even placed better on the second day! For those traveling from out of town with a family I can not think of a better place for a race since the races are done fairly early you still have the day to hit the boardwalk and enjoy tons of rides and carnival type activities and some great food as its the restaurants that seem to anchor that place. Oh yes...and there is a Starbucks that opens at 7am there so if you are spectating...you can be sipping your caffeine crack fix while you watch your delirious racer pass by a couple times over the race.
I was down there to support my clients/athletes/friends. I got there before race start to set up the tent and then get some start pics. The race starts with the invitational wave and I have three in there. Trent Stephens and Andrew Strong both rode their Guru Merus tri bikes from Memorial Park (40ish miles) to the race as a warm up since they are a month out from Ironman St. George and then there is Diann Sweeney-Hjiusman who is racing on her new Guru Crono for the first time. Since they were the first out they were also the first to finish so their story is easy. Diann swam well, rode well and ran well, she came through so fast it would be something else to see if any other women out there can beat her....of course...no one did. Diann is just a great athlete and she killed it! Fastest chick of the day! Now back to Trent and Andrew....Andrew is not that great of a swimmer so he was way back in the swim and Trent is a great swimmer. They are both good on the bike so there was little ground made up there, but then came the run. I was out there riding around to get some shots of these two training buddies racing each other and Andrew caught up to Trent and they were running together. They told me they were going to Thelma and Louise it across the line which I thought was lame but I rode ahead to get the finishing shot and as I stopped at the line to grab my camera and get the shot these two guys were sprinting like mad on each other. I rushed to get a couple shots and saw Trent just barely get Andrew at the line by sticking his tongue out or something like that. They both got the same time but Trent came in 2nd and Andrew came in 3rd. For the rest of the day there was an amazing amount of trash talk as each gave a different version as to how the race played out. hahahaha LOVE IT! Their ride back was probably tougher than the race since they rode back with a very strong Cat 2 road racer and they both were still settling the score with each other. Trent said it was "aggressive". I guess when you are super strong athletes who are peaking for an Ironman I guess you can do such a thing. INSANE.
At the finish of those two crazies and Diann was Matt Reed and Andy Potts. WOW!!!!! They were in to race a charity relay the next day as well as be there to give medals to all the first timers of the weekend. Since there was no one else around we all got to meet them and talk a little. What two great guys. They were happy to be there, they were standing up in the sun hanging out, taking pics and signing what ever with genuine smiles the whole time. Even in talking to Matt Reed about parts and bikes and such he mentioned how he loves sprint tris and loves the speed of the race, but its not in his program so can't really do them. Funny...these guys love to race and happen to make some money at it...great to see such a love for the sport and support for it. Their presence added quite a bit to the event and that was great!
Everyone else seemed to have a good race and lots of fun. I had quite a few people I worked with as well as the usual suspects of FOPs. I helped many have better races and have PRs and podium, but quickly here are the podiums.
Diann Overall female (Crono)
Trent S 2nd Invitational (Merus)
Andrew S 3rd Invitational (Merus)
Kathleen W 3rd in AG (Magis)
Susan Wallace 2nd in AG (Merus)
Nigel W 1st in AG (Crono)
Frank Lee 3rd in AG

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