So when the Team announced that Crawfishman Triathlon (1000m swim, 18 mile bike, and 4 mile run) was going to be on the circuit this year I was excited remembering the race as a lot of fun. My wife and I raced it in 2007 and 2008 when she was stationed in New Orleans . The big thing I remembered was the margaritas post-race (hell, some of the folks I think were drinking them before the race but who knows). Being a Gulf Cost Tri Team race is great because you get to hang out with the Team, the bad news is all your fellow team heavy hitters show up, many of them in my age group. So the Gulf Coast Triathlon Team; Caleb, Brian, Tyson, Allen, Evan, Scott, Matt, Lance, Johnny, Terry and myself descended on the race to fight for the team competition award.
Starting Wednesday before the race we started receiving ominous e-mails to the effect of, “we are in contact with the National Weather Service…..might shorten the race or cancel the swim…..or we may cancel the whole race….”. Not giving a warm feeling the race is going to go off without a hitch. I felt pretty confident that I would be fine if we got hit with a thunderstorm, I’m pretty sure there are a couple people further up on God’s “lipstick list” if he is going to strike someone down. Maybe not as confident if Knerl (a.k.a. public enemy #1) was still on the team, but still.
So race morning arrives and it is actually fairly cool for Louisiana and the roads are mostly dry, morale soars! We arrive at the race site (very cool people host the race on the lake on their private property) and the race announcer says they are shortening the course to a super sprint to fit a window of good weather, morale plummets. The race was shortened to 400m swim, 8 mile bike, and 2 mile run. The race now favored poor swimmers and fast runners but a race is a race and people look at you odd if you start drinking beer at 0900 without doing one so we are committed. Besides, a race this short decreases the odds dramatically of Johnny, starting in a later wave, catching me during the race.
Warming up in the coffee colored water you find yourself thinking this is a perfect alligator environment. Mindi asked, “do you think there are alligators?” to which a group of us replied, “oh yes, and probably snakes too!” I’m here to help set folks’ mind at ease. We are all trying to figure out the best strategy for the race which is really just go as fast as you possibly can. In a lot of ways, a super sprint is actually more painful than a longer race since you have to race anaerobicly the whole way and your ability to recover from a mistake is limited.
The race was fast and furious with a few minor rolling hills on the bike and run. Ominous clouds were building but there was no rain during the actual race. Each Gulf Coast Tri Team member was pushing it hard, chasing or chased it was full on from the sound of cannon. For the team event, the men’s Gulf Coast Tri Team won handedly with plenty of depth after the first five scoring guys. Unfortunately the women’s Gulf Coast Tri Team was a couple ladies short or they would have most likely won as well….next year.
As we all waited for the transition area to open to grab our stuff, the dark clouds started rolling in. We just finished stowing our gear when the skies opened up and it was an absolutely downpour. Luckily it was shorted lived and we were back at the post race party and awards.
Louisiana takes post race parties seriously. The jambalaya, smoked sausage, and vegetables were not to be missed along with a serve yourself beer trailer. While it was disappointing to have a short race, the festivities afterwards kept the disenchantment short lived. Highly recommend making the trip for the race next year.
Complete results link here: