2009 Nautica NYC Triathlon Results!

Nick on his bikeIt’s been a week and I haven’t even posted an update to my race. Work has been super-busy but I have a moment now to reflect on what the race was like for me. In the end, 19 people raised over $50k from family and friends. Liquidnet matched this through it’s Double Down program, which pushed us over $100,000! Thank you everyone!

Pre-Race

My brother Tom and I and over a dozen other Liquidnetters with a few spouses thrown in the mix ran the NYC Triathlon on Sunday, July 26. This was a day I was preparing for since January and as I write this I find it hard to believe that it’s already past. Below is my race summary.

The day before the race, Tom and I got together before noon and brought our bikes to Brands for a final checkup. Tom had a tire puncture and decided to simply replace both tires with top-of-the-line items. My front bearings were loose and I thought for a second they needed replacement, but they just needed to be tightened. I’m really not sure how you “tighten” bearings, but they fixed the problem in any case.

We got into the city by 1:30pm and rode our bikes to the race hotel. There, we attended the mandatory briefing. Someone in the audience raised their hand when the presented asked if anyone in the room participated in all 9 NYC Triathlons. Holy cow!

After the briefing, we got our numbers and our race package and proceeded to pick u our bikes and drop them off at transition on 72nd street. Tom and I were both in yellow transition, there are two and the other is red. The only difference is yellow is further from swim exit, but closer to the run start. Red is closer to swim exit and further from race start. Since you run from swim exit, the transition placement more or less equals out. As long as you consider running barefoot equal to running in shoes ;-)

Running across 72nd Street ManhattanAfter dropping off the bikes, we went right to dinner at Carmines, a NYC institution of family-style italian cuisine. Dinner was fantastic and since no one was drinking, the bill came to only $150 for 11 adults! I ate too much, though, and realize that carb-loading still shouldn’t mean eating until you can’t breathe. I’ll make sure I adjust that next time. Luckily I had no problems the next morning.

Race morning saw us up at 3:30am. Tom and I shared a room and we gathered out bags and headed out to the shuttle busses. We arrived in plenty of time and it was still dark. There were thousands of participants and the pathways throughout Riverside Drive park were packed. Our way was lit with self-powered halogen worklights, which were turned off once the sun rose.

The whole race was delayed by precisely 20 minutes due to a storm which was closing in on the area. They had each age/sex group organized into waves. There were something like 27 total waves. Each was called in turn and we lined up at the doc and jumped in the water. They provided a rope so we could hold on and not get pulled toward the finish prematurely by the current. After I jumped in, someone jumped on top of me while I was still under. Anyway, my age group had 396 participants and these are the folks who I was more or less competing against.

The Race

  • The swim began with the boat horn and we were off. The swim took me 22:38 which put me in 322/396.
  • I got out of the water and ran toward yellow transition, must have been about a quarter mile run barefoot. My brother said he was passed by a girl in sneakers… not sure where she kept those things!
  • I pulled off my wetsuit at a park bench right outside of my transition and ran to my bike. Pulled on my Tri-Tighty with my race number and hopped on my bike.
  • Bike was the best part. I wasn’t speedy, but it was a fun ride. The hills were rough and slow-going. I kept wishing I had a lower gear!
  • The downward slopes were amazing as I reached speeds of 36.7 miles per hour, which is pretty fast.

  • I ate a gel pack about every 45 minutes, once when I started the bike, once in the middle, and once before I started the run
  • The bike took me 1:39:00, which put me 362/396.
  • I got back to yellow transition and loaded up with two more gel packs for the road.
  • I felt good at the beginning of the run, but kept up my snails pace of 12 minute miles.
  • People passed me and told me how good a job I was doing. That was encouraging… not.
  • We ran East on 72nd street, which was closed off. Cars were waiting at the traffic light, perhaps they didn’t see the signs. They would be waiting for quote a long time.
  • Mile 1 marked the entrance to central park and I was hating life. The run is definitely my weak point, bit I kept going because pain is only temporary as a friend once told me.
  • Each mile was like sticking bamboo needles between my fingernails. I walked for about 15-20 seconds at every water station so I could take a fill.
  • Finally, around mile 5, I saw my brother Johnny, wife Lisa and my sister-in-law Anne and her cousin nancy. Tom’s daughter Lia was also there. I smiled for the camera. That was awesome.
  • The final stretch saw me pouring it on a little early as the finishing tunnel was a lot longer than I expected. I had to slow back down and suck wind for a bit.
  • I crossed the finish line with a run time of 1:15:00, which put me in approximately 388/396. Yes, I was that slow.
  • Overall, I was 370/396.

It’s Over!

The athlete recovery area was a lot of fun. I got to see my teammates and we swapped stories. I felt good. My company threw an after-party at the Boat Basin Cafe, which is a cafe on the water right next to where the swim start was. It was a good time. People brought their families and had a good time swapping stories.

I did this at about 190lbs, which is about 30 lbs over what I should be doing it at. Next year I’d like to get down to at least 170lbs and I should see a big improvement in my overall time. My detailed results, as collected by my Garmin GPS watch, can be found here.

My Progress
My Progress

Thank you everyone for your support. Enjoy the rest of your summer!

Tomorrow is my Race4Rwanda, the NYC Triathlon!

All,

Thank you so much for your support over the past week. Your kind words and pledges have meant a lot to me.

In about two hours, I head to the city to prepare for the triathlon tomorrow. I have to park my bike, check into the race hotel, listen to an orientation, and get my race packet. Most of the participants from Liquidnet are getting together for dinner in the early evening before we head to bed early.

Wake up is 3:30-4am tomorrow morning, where I’ll make final preparations and head down to the race area. I jump in the Hudson river a little after 6am. I expect to be a bit slow during the race, so I’ll finish somewhere between 9:30 and 10am. At 12:30, my company is hosting a celebration after-party at the Boat Basin Cafe – 79th Street @ The Hudson River, NYC, from 12:30 to 3:30pm. All participants, their families and, most importantly, all donors are welcome to celebrate with us!

I hope to see you there!

Please consider a donation, I have a little bit more to go toward my goal: http://www.active.com/donate/race4rwanda/nickcodignotto

This is an entry I wrote about the village as I prepared to leave the village:

“To have built the Agahozo-Shalom Youth Village in a little over 3 years is an epic accomplishment. The achievement goes beyond the physical construction of this gorgeous retreat on a hilltop overlooking a picturesque valley. In my mind, crafting the philosophy of the village, the school, the learning programs, and the homes for the kids is an even greater feat. The Agahozo-Shalom Youth Village is brimming with love. I see in the eyes of these kids, a wisdom I am not accustomed to seeing in people their age. A wisdom, perhaps, that can only come from their tragic circumstances. I saw a skit yesterday at the dedication ceremony that depicted their pain and their fear. It was heart-wrenching to watch. Then, I witnessed the turning point, where the students, through a wonderfully emotional performance, showed us that their fear was fading. That the village is real to them, that thay are indeed safeā€¦ and that they are loved. They showed us that they are not afraid to start taking small steps forward and in many cases they are leaping forward with bold strides. They showed us that they are no longer willing to live in the past. This is the Agahozo-Shalom Youth Village.”

You can learn more about the ASYV project by visiting http://asyv.org

Best wishes and health,
Nick

Getting real

I spammed most of you again yesterday with respect to my Race4Rwanda fundraising efforts, apologies! It’s 3 days before the main event and I’m basically doing my best to take it easy, eat well, and resist the urge for a nice Belgian beer!

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Here is a picture of me when I was a kid, probably in 2nd grade. I ran track back then before I switched to playing goalie in soccer. I was mostly non-athletic until 8th grade when I went back to my track roots and was on the track team as a hurdler. That was fun but I only did it for a year before I got a job and went back to non-athleticism. In 1995 when I was 26 I started doing Tae Kwon Do. In 2000, I got my black belt. However, I still wouldn’t consider myself athletic… more like someone who liked to jump around, tumble, and act like an idiot more that run or compete in any way. I competed in only two tournaments as a black belt and won gold medals both times, but competition was scarce and opponents were huge mostly due to my oversized mid-section.

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So now I’m running in a freaking Triathlon. I would be thrilled if you can support me or just wish me luck. Please consider making a pledge here:

http://www.active.com/donate/race4rwanda/nickcodignotto

Thank you!