077 Great South Bay Triathlon – 1:11:28

…continued from Rev3 Quassy Olympic Triathlon.

Somewhere deep in what is known as Connecticut, we find our protagonists speeding along a dark and stormy highway in a white Mercedes Benz drinking coffee. Little did they knew what lay in store for them just 30 miles ahead…

Sunshine. Lots and lots of sunshine. It was as if there was some evil curse over Quassy spewing cold rain and wind all day. Not cool.

On our way to the second triathlon of the weekend, The Great South Bay Triathlon in Islip, Long Island we stopped in a town called Croton Falls searching for food. We ended up at a place called Primavera which was a pretty high class place! Good thing we were able to shower at the hotel after the race or we might not have been admitted. Primavera (Zagat rated in fact) made some of the best spinach ravioli. Jim and I quickly feasted before moving on.

In around 2 hours we were on the southern shore of Long Island checking into the tri. This race was a bit more home grown. The funniest part was when they went to body mark me and didn’t know what to do since I had my Rev3 tattoos still on! SIDENOTE: Dear Rev3, what is in those body marking tattoos? I was using a wash cloth (with soap) and they weren’t even fading! The women thought it was really cool that we did a triathlon that morning. “Jill, look at this guy, he already has body markings!” They put my new number under my Rev3 number. It was messy, but I’m not gonna lie, I felt pretty bad ass with 2 different tri markings on me. I already had my age practically tattooed on my calm so they didn’t have to worry about that.

We met Ed at his boat slip (Yes, Ed has a boat) and while waiting for him attempted to dry off our wet everything. Seriously, everything in our bags was wet from the race.

I dubbed this moment ‘Triathlete Refugee Camp.’

As we blasted across the sound Ed had noted that there were white caps. They were no joke! If you weren’t holding onto something, you were in the soup. Did I mention we were drinking beers on the boat?

Arriving in Ocean Bay Park a mere 20 minutes after setting sail, we checked into our rooms at the Fire Island Hotel. Ed owns it so he didn’t check in. He was launching the new website that night ( along with a series of new renovations and a music series so there was a party going on. Live music and a wine tasting from Barefoot Wines along with some sensational apps. It was pretty awesome!

Not to promo Ed’s place too much, but any of you city folk that haven’t gone out to the Fire Island Hotel for a weekend are missing out. It has a Margaritaville vibe, with a classy new look. From Manhattan you could be there using only public transportation in and hour and a half.

We had a really nice dinner at the Hotel’s restaurant. We all basically had these amazing fish tacos. Thank god all of us were exhausted because it meant we could sleep early! I think we went to bed at 9:45 which was desperately needed after the full day of racing and traveling.


Once again I woke up at 3AM and was tossing and turning until 5. Maybe I had too much sleep? Probably not.

The Hotel was quiet and peaceful. Jim and I met Ed at his house and then set off towards the boat. Aside from getting to drive by the swim course on a boat (way cool) we also go to see the sunrise across the sound.

Arriving at Transition I felt very sleepy. I was yawning and basically non-energetic. I was BIB 15 so my spot was right up front which was a first. I made friends with my neighbor Tosin (also a New Yorker who works in my hood actually) and we went down to the water together.

It was hot, it was sunny, the water was gorgeous. I loved all of it. It was like waking out of some triathlon nightmare. That nightmare was cold and rainy Quassy the day before! This was like a big fluffy triathlon cloud. If only the people complaining about the chilly ocean water knew what we endured. Maybe they did because I had a hug SEG on my face and was splashing around like a penguin.

I was in Wave 1 and we set off right on time. Unlike yesterday, I just put my head down and dug in hard. I was actually swimming over people for once! It was a triangular course and my sighting was dead on, until the end.

Everything was going so great, I was making smooth progress, hitting the buoys, and having a lot of fun. Then as we rounded the last buoy to head to shore I had nothing to aim at but the beach. I overshot the pier boundary and found myself making friends with kayakers telling me to, “Swim left!” Not nearly as scarey as the Alcatraz miscalculating, but still annoying since I lost some time.

On dry land once again I bolted to T1 with a fury. I bounded onto ‘The Morrighan’ and took off. Now that the back wheel was no longer rubbing against the frame it sliced silently through the course!

To give you a not so Apple-to-Apples example of how the wheel affected me… Rev3 = 16 MPH, GSB = 22 MPH

The course was really winding and very fun. My strategy was to ride as hard as I could. I didn’t get passed too much at all on the bike. In the beginning 2 guys in the most serious bike outfits for a local race overtook me. Like, it may as well have been Kona, disc wheels and all. For the bulk of the ride I rode neck and neck with is guy going my pace. Every time I went to pass him he sped up. That was until out of nowhere, Jim comes flying by yelling, “Heeeeey Baker!” I laughed out loud and yelled, “Wait up!” I shot my gears down and really cranked it, quads burning. We only had 1-2 miles to go so I figured I could hang onto Jim as he’s a pretty fast rider.

T2 was a blur. I threw on my Newtons and took off. One thing I noticed… Pre-race I was eating these Gu Chomps because I was a little hungry. When setting up Transition I left the bag in my shoe in case I needed them on the run. Guess what was stuck onto my big toe? Correct, a GU Chomp. In my mind I was like, “F-it, it’s only 3 miles.” Maybe I would need it at Mile 2 or something? Eeeeeeew.

I saw Tosin up ahead and he instructed me to chase down the 19 year old that had passed him. Aye aye.

I was running pretty hard but was feeling the fatigue from yesterday’s Olympic set in. Finally, at like Mile 2.5 I passed the 19 year old. Do you know what he said as I ran by? “I will let you go since you aren’t in my age group.” Oh to be young.

I saw DiGangi and his cousin Sal, then as I was finishing I saw Ed coming in on the bike!

I finished in 1:11:28 which is actually a PR by 2 minutes or something. I’ll take it.

T1 Bike
T2 Run
M34 6 54 19:52 1:12 30:17 0:55 19:12 1:11:28

After Jim finished, we went up to cheer Ed on. Turns out we are standing right next to Boomer Esiason! Small world.

Ed came in shortly after then we departed to have a victory breakfast! It was there Ed informed us of how some speedster took a turn too hot and T-boned him! Ed was bruised and cut, but the attacker went to the hospital in an ambulance.

What a weekend! ‘Tri Hopping!’ Even though these weren’t my best times and I didn’t place, I spent the weekend doing what I love most, racing. Sometimes you cant get too caught up in the big picture, you just need to enjoy where you are at that particular moment.