Nation's Tri blog

Michael Morris small

One of our Triathletes Around Town, Michael Morris, took part in the Bath County (VA) Triathlon this past weekend as part of his training for The Events DC Nation’s Triathlon. We met Michael through our 50 States Campaign. It’s not too late to send in your entry! Here’s Michael’s race report:

Saturday morning I awoke to the pitter patter of rain. I had already decided to do this race as a training event.  I had not preregistered and the temptation to roll back over and go back to sleep was great.  The problem was that I had agreed to drive my friends to the event.  Up and at ‘em big boy!  Weather.com says that the rain is not at the race site 90 miles away and radar shows nothing coming at race time.  So I decide to take the tri-bike.  If it was raining I would take my road bike that has aero bars but not bar end shifters or deep dish wheels.

We left at 4:55 for the 8:00AM start.  The rain stopped along the way. The roads were nice and dry when we arrived.  Other than the dripping humidity this looked to be a great race.  Right as we started to gather at the water the sun broke through the clouds. I was in the second wave of the 750 meter swim.  I swam comfortably in my wetsuit although the water temp seemed a little warmer than 77 degrees.  Exited with the pack and got on the bike.  The bike is rolling with the high point at the turnaround of the 12.4 bike.  After the first major hill I flatted out!  I get off and with sweaty hands fumble through changing the rear deep dish wheel.  I usually can change a flat pretty quickly, but the sweaty hands made the tire feel like it was covered in oil.  It took me about 5 extra minutes to get it fixed.  Meanwhile it seems that the entire race is going by me.  Wheel fixed, back on the bike, now time to race.  Make my way through the field to the top of the hill and begin the long descent back to the transition area.  Put on the shoes, grab my hat and race belt, and off to run the big hill out of transition for the 5K.  At this point I am rethinking my strategy of training through this race.  I would have really liked something extra in the tank at this point but it is what it is. The run is out and back and I see the guys I am usually close to but they are on the way back and I am not yet at the turn around.  Damn flat!  Finally hit the last downhill and finish the race.  It was a small race so even with the flat I place second in my age group.  That is testimony to my prowess or my age.  Since there were only three old guys in my age group I am sure it is the latter rather than the former.

Long ago I realized that the race is not over until I find a shower to get off the sweat and change clothes.  They have some great showers at Bath County but you have to traverse the race course and it can’t be done until the last bike has finished.  Still we got cleaned up, race numbers banished from the various places and back for lunch and awards.   Great BBQ lunch with fixings and shortly the awards started.  It is always nice when all the people in the TRIBUS (my van) get hardware.  The ride home is so much more jovial.  Two firsts and a second did the trick.  Now we all swap tales and lies about the race and ride home.

This is what this sport is all about, camaraderie and the sharing of the race experience.  After thirty years the memories are more about the people and places than the great race performances.  Focus on having a great time and the exotic locales this sport can take you and it will be a most rewarding experience. Another race in the books and more training is needed to get ready for Age Group Nationals and The Nation’s Triathlon. See you in September if not sooner.

Michael Morris

Mike Morris is a 61 year old triathlete that started in the sport of triathlon in 1985. He lives in Roanoke in the Blue Ridge Mountains of VA. Roanoke is home to a strong triathlon community with many All American athletes, great training on the Blue Ridge Parkway and many races within driving distance. Morris started the Smith Mountain Lake Triathlon that is now in its 18th year. He has done almost 250 triathlons over the years competing in all 50 states and 4 continents. He is a married father of three children, and is self-employed as a CPA.