Can you beat the FedEx Guy?

Can you beat the FedEx Guy?

This is the first question i get from Jill when i pull into transition at the triathlon this morning. The worse part about it was that she was serious. So, who is the FedEx guy and why does it matter?

Let’s rewind to 2004! Mark and i are doing a Duathlon Relay (he was running and i was biking). This consisted of him running first, then I bike and then he run’s again. As Mark is out doing his run I am walking around the transition checking out the other cyclists to see if there is anybody there that i will have to worry about. There were a few guys on trainers including this guy in a full skinsuit with the FedEx logo all over it. He was a Road cyclist, but looked like just some average guy. After sizing everyone up Im thinking Im going to pull off the fastest bike split and put some real pressure on Mark. This also is 2004 and Im in tip top shape heading into Lake Placid. But, Im still young (I was in my 30’s) and cocky as I stroll over to my bike and get ready to tear it up.

Mark runs in and we are just behind the FedEx team. But we transition faster and I took off and accelerated past the guy thinking I will never see him again. At about the half mile mark I start to hear the roar of a disc wheel. What the ! It’s the FedEx guy! He rolls by me in a gear that i don’t even think I could turn over. His front chainring looked like a party sized pizza and he was just mashing it at a low cadence. Now Im thinking, i will let him burn out and i can get him later. Or i will use him as a carrot and pull myself back to him. NOT, He pulled away and I couldn’t push hard enough to keep pace. Lap 2 comes and Im not seeing him. This is when I realized that i just got my ass kicked by the FedEx guy. He beat me by 41 seconds on a 17 mile flat course. Since then he has been known as the FedEx guy. He is at every race and he always does the bike leg for a team. We don’t hate the guy, we just want to beat him. Everyone has tried, but has yet been successful. I would even have these great races and think that i got him. Check the results and he still kicks my butt…….

Back to today:

So I tell Jill that i will do my best, and i tell her not to sweat it, I just biked 92 miles yesterday, the FedEx guy has never been beaten, my kidney’s hurt, Yada….Yada…Yada. Plus I don’t want all this pressure, Im just here to have fun? But Jill isn’t having any part of fun. She want’s to know where will i be waiting for her after the swim, which leg will the chip go on, how will Dave (our runner) get the chip from me, will I recognize her in her wetsuit. Now Im thinking if i don’t do well, Im going to be dealing with a serial killer. This girl is intense, I can see why see does so well. I on the other hand don’t get to geared up before the event, but something changes once the gun goes off (I think I have the Jeckyll and Hyde syndrome).

So the race starts and Jill is off on the swim. I warmed up by ridding up and down the hill by the swim start, plus i could get a feel of how much longer before it was my turn. As the swimmers were halfway around the lake, I rode up to the transition area and put on the new Giro aero helmet. It looks weird, but I thought I would try it out before Firmman. Now this will be my first race with the aero helmet and the new Cervelo Bike. Not sure how this combination will work, but Chicopee is a good place to find out.

The swimmers start to come into transition and Paulito is the first overall coming out of the swim (he is doing the complete race solo). Then the swimmer for Fedex comes out and he is off. A minute and a half later here comes Jill and Im off. I start off in about 8th overall and 2nd for the relays. Once i get out onto Burnett Road I feel good and Im able to push at a good clip. I can see bikers up the road and i try to pick them off, one by one. The hill by the prison i can see 2 bikers and one looks like a cyclonaut. As I get closer I notice that it is Paulito and I come by him giving him the peace sign and move on. He is doing aa much harder task and all i got to do is lay it out on the bike, so no trash talk was needed. I then pass an Elite guy and now im thinking it’s just the FedEx guy ahead of me. The second loop of the bike was tough because I was in no man’s land. I was caught between the lead guy and the rest of the race, but I saw none of them on the second lap. This is where you have to dig deep and keep the pace hot without burning up or dazing and starting to slow way down. During the second lap i do get to see all the girls battling for position and it looks like a good one. Kelly, Mandy, Amy and Kara where all within a quarter mile of each other. I finish the second loop and now it’s a fast and flat 2 miles back to the park. Everytime i would get on a straight away I would strain to see if fedEx guy was up the road, but I never saw him. This is not good. So I continue to push and I just give it my all to the transition area. Dave is waiting and he grabs my chip. He takes off like a bat out of hell and I take a moment to get my breath back. Dave is in 2nd starting the run and we head down to the finish to check it out. Dave ends up passing the other team and we end up winning the Relay. Now it’s a waiting game to see the results. How close did i get? Could I hire a Coach to give me some time trial pointers to someday beat this guy? Are the marshmallows in Lucky Charms good for you? All these things are going through my head. Then i see Wendy walking over with the lists in her hand. Im almost afraid to look. Is there a typo? Did i just! I Beat the FedEx guy by 31 seconds! It has been done, the monkey is off my back!

A great weekend all in all. Rode 92 in the heat on Saturday and felt great.