2008 Yam City Triathlon in Opelousas, LA
June 22, 2008
Hello, my name is Chad Soileau, and this is
my account of swimming, biking and running the Yam City
Triathlon in Opelousas, Louisiana on 22 June 2008. The
distances of this race were 150m swim, 14 mile bike and a 2 mile
run. Yam City was relatively short compared to my
other races but it was well organized and a blast to participate
My girlfriend and BR Tri's 'unofficial'
photographer Beth hurt her back earlier in the week so she
decided she wasn't gonna Yam it up in Opelousas Sunday morning.
Chris Boggs was nice enough to give me a ride to Opelousas
so I met at his house at 4:50AM. Chris, David Aguillard and
I left for the one hour drive to Opelousas just after 5AM.
We arrived at the race site just after 6AM.
Yawning, I slowly rolled my bike to the registration table to
get my race packet and get body marked. The race was set
to start at 7:30 AM but if this race were like all of my other
races that hour and a half would fly by seeming like only 15
minutes. I prepared my transition area and went out
for a short half mile jog. I felt good. I knew
before the race even started that it would be a good day.
At 7:20AM the race director called for
everyone to line up by number around the pool. Each
racer would have a 10 second delay from the racer in front of
him. My bib number was 75 so I would have to wait 12
minutes for my race to begin. It's weird because even
though this was a EXTREMELY short swim to what I have been
accustomed to over the past couple months I was more
apprehensive over this swim that I was for some of the longer
open water swims. I think it had to do with the
Chuck Norris roundhouse kick that I received in Athens that had
me a little nervous. I told the lady behind me that I was
slow and asked her to please just tap me on the foot and I would
get out of her way and let her pass.
As I was waiting for my start I noticed a
swimmer that was clearly struggling on his first lap of the
pool. He reminded me a lot of my struggle in Athens.
He probably put his 150m swim time down wrong (just like I did
for Athens) when registering because he was number 14 if I
remember correctly. He had already rolled on his
back on the second lap and was having some serious issues.
I felt for him but it was such a short swim that he would be out
of the water soon.
The water felt good as I walked down the
steps and prepared to start my race. The timer
counted down from 5 and motioned me to start. I
pushed hard off the steps and was officially on my way for the
Yam City Triathlon.
Any nervousness was gone as I headed to the
far side of the pool. I was calm and collected for
the entire swim and get this... I, slow ass swimmer Chad,
not only tapped the guy's foot that was in front of me to pass
but I ALSO tapped the guy that was in front of HIM.
Who'd have thought I would pass not one but TWO people in the
swim. Heh, I guess they were hella slow for me to pass
them. The lady behind me did pass me but I stayed in her
bubbles for the last two lengths of the pool and we exited at
the same time.
I ran to transition and slipped on my BR Tri
hot pantz, my bike shoes, my helmet and sun glasses and headed
out to the mount point. On my Saturday ride with a
group of BR Tri guys I heard something rattling on my bike.
Turns out that rattle was a loose spoke on my front wheel.
For the entire bike course I felt like a kid that wedged a
playing card in the spokes because that's exactly what I sounded
like. Every revolution of my wheel the loose spoke
hit the frame of my bike and made a clacking sound.
Within the first mile Boggs flew past me and I heard the
familiar 'whomp whomp whomp" as another guy with a rear disc
wheel passed me. Those two bikes were the only time
I was passed on the course. I know I passed at least
15 bikes and averaged 21 - 21.5 mph for the entire ride.
This was by far my best bike yet. It was only 14 miles but
I pushed myself hard for the entire route. The only
problem I had during the bike was a half mile stretch heading
back to T2 where the road absolutely sucked ass. We
were warned by the race director before the race about this
stretch of pavement but I wasn't prepared for it as it nearly
rattled the teeth out of my mouth. Any paved road
where you can spot patches of grass growing in it isn't a road
that you want to ride a road bike on. At around a quarter
mile from transition I unfastened my velcro from my right shoe
and slid my foot out. I had every intention to try to do a
flying dismount but I chickened out and ended up unclipping my
left foot right before dismount and going into transition with
one shoe attached to my bike and clopping around with my shoe
still on my other foot. I must have looked like an
idiot. As a side note, it turns out I was VERY
fortunate because after the race when I went to roll the bike
back to the truck the tire was flat. Apparently,
sometime after dismounting the spoke punctured my front tire.
I rushed out of T2 after slipping on my shoes
and putting on my Team 464 jersey. I can proudly say that
nobody passed me on the run. I passed plenty but I was not
passed. The course was flat and meandered through a
small neighborhood. When I reached the aid station
at mile 1 I dumped 4 cups of water on my head and upped my pace
as much as I could for the last mile. The sun was
blazing at this point and the ice cold water helped me for a
short time to increase my pace. I felt great for the
entire run and I finished in just over 17 minutes.
My finish time for the race was just over
1:03. I wanted to break an hour but I think my time in T1
dicking around with my broken spoke cost me that.
I'll take 1:03. That's respectable for me.
And what's even more respectable is I finished the race with
both socks. ANY race I finish with both my socks is
a GREAT race!
Thanks for reading my race report of the 2008
Yam City Triathlon. I hope you enjoyed reading it as much as I enjoyed writing (and
Best of luck on YOUR life journey!
May you reach all your goals and achieve all your dreams!