Top Notch and Wildman

Every year that I have been in NH in early August, I have raced the Top Notch Triathlon.  It is a unique event that starts with a six mile MT bike hill climb, transitions to a 1/2 mile swim across Echo Lake and finishes after a 2 mile run up Cannon Mountain.  Last year I wrote about a great duel that I had with Ryan Kelly who is one of the best triathletes in NE.  We pushed each other hard and I had to set a new course record to beat him.  I was looking forward to another good race with Ryan but he informed via Facebook the day before the race that he had thrown his back out and would not be competing.  I knew that it was unlikely that I could challenge my course record without being able to trade drafts in the bike and swim.

Top 1

It rained hard for a few days before the race which made the MT bike Muddy and slow.  It was foggy and overcast on race morning.

Top 3

This picture was taken right after the bike exchange.  I already have my goggles on and I entered the water about 10 seconds later.

Top 2

There was a nasty headwind for the first two-thirds of the swim and I felt like I had been pummeled as I got out of the water.

Top 5

I put my running shoes on just before this arrow and began my ascent of Cannon Mountain.

Top 6

It was so foggy at the top that I couldn’t see the finish until it was right in front of me.  I am crossing the finish matts in the picture.  The run was slightly rerouted due to trail maintenance which added a little length to the course.  The last half mile had also just been re-seaded so I had to contend with calve deep hay for the last several minutes of the race.  Not surprisingly, I was no where near my record pace, but I still won the event by just over 10 minutes.

My glucose was 180 right before the start.  I raced on my current basal insulin dose of .5 units per hour.  At the start of the run I consumed 12 ounces of Gatorade and finished with a blood glucose of 126.

This year I decided to race again only one week later in another unique event called the Wildman Biathlon.  The Wildman consists of a relatively flat 10k road run, followed by a 23 mile bike from Shelburne NH to Gorham and then up the Mt Washington Valley to the base of WildCat Mountain.  The race concludes with a 3 mile run to the top of WildCat.  All told the race climbs well over 3000 ft.   I don’t believe anyone has ever won both races and definitely not in the same calendar year.  I wanted to be the first.

Wild 1

Front and center at the start.  Starting glucose was 165.  I once again raced on my current basal insulin rate of .5 units of insulin per hour.

Wild 2

Finishing the 10k run in the lead.

Wild 3

Transitioning to the bike.

Wild 5

Finishing the bike at the base of WildCat.  About halfway through the bike I was caught by two riders.  One was competing in a team and the other was a fellow “ironman” racer.  When the terrain got steeper I pulled away from the “ironman” racer but the team rider gapped me by about 45 seconds.  I believe that his Mountain runner was his daughter who has type 1 diabetes.   I thought that was pretty cool and I am psyched to see more diabetics out racing.

Wild 6

While I was on my bike I consumed two twenty four ounce bottles of my custom feed, which is 8 ounces of caffeinated energy drink mixed with 16 ounces of Gatorade.  I had about 6 ounces of Gatorade at the final transition and consumed a single PowerGel with one mile to go.  The Gel was overkill as I finished the race with a glucose of 250.  This is too high for ideal performance but I am confident that I was only that high for about 15 minutes.

Wild 7

All alone at the top.

Wild 8

I was first to the top by about 6 minutes.  I was tired.

Wild 9

Amber and She-Ra were my support crew.  I took this picture while we took the Gondola back to the bottom of the mountain.  Mt Washington is in the background.  It was an awesome view.

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