Race Coverage

Lycra, Dorky Helmets & Big Wins...



By David Koppel

Buffalo Olympic Race Report - Yesterday (June 6) was my first triathlon finish since Kona 2019. It was so long awaited and I was more excited than ever to line up next to plenty of talented MN triathletes and see where I stood. I wanted my first sub 2 hour Olympic distance race, but the weather gods laughed at that idea! It was 78° at 17-19mph winds at the start of the race. The goal was to be off the bike in striking distance of perennial powerhouse and retired pro triathlete, David Thompson (DKT).

.9 mile swim (11th/226): My swim was slow and I got rocked in the last .3 miles by some pretty big rollers. Apparently over 50 of the 600 racers were pulled out of the swim due to the conditions. I had two friends and my father-in-law to yell out how far back I was from front swimmers. 4:00 back out of the water from DKT (eek!) ...

24.2 mile bike (1st/226): After a quick transition, I was on my bike and ready to work in that gap to the front. Goal was 375W and 26+ mph. After the first of 2 laps, I heard the gap was somewhere in the 2 minute range. First lap was 26.4mph. With about 3 miles left in the second lap I knew I was close to the front. With 1.3 miles to go I saw “Thompson” on a Gear West kit and knew I had finally caught up. I came into bike dismount slightly ahead of DKT. Finished bike at 26.2mph and 375W.

6.2 mile run (2/226): I left T2 about :10 ahead of DKT and had no clue what my legs had left or what kind of run he would put together. So I attempted to deter any thoughts of bridging the gap with a 5:40 first mile. It was hot and the first 3 miles were directly into the 18mph south wind. I looked back every so often and began to lose sight of anyone behind me. At the turn around I clocked him about 2:15 back and figured if I put one more good mile together I’d be sure to win. The last 2 miles were a total mess and my mind was coming up with all kinds of ideas (like walking, stopping, etc). I hung on with a 6:11 pace and won my first triathlon with a 3:05 gap to 2nd.

So happy to be back racing and excited to keep working on my fitness. Also, thankful that Kelsie can hold down the house with our kids (5, 3, and newborn baby) while I race around in lycra and a dorky looking helmet.