About Me

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Austin, Texas, United States
I'll make you laugh, or break my neck trying. This is usually accomplished with daily bouts of swimming, biking and running. A former "chub-a-holic," I got fit and healthy the good old fashioned way and went from a mid-pack athlete to top age group runner and triathlete. I'm a Writer and USAT Level 1 Certified Triathlon Coach. I guess that makes me part Tina Fey and part Jillian Michaels. Visit my coaching site at www.fomotraining.com

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Couples Triathlon: Team Barrett

(photo courtesy of Scott Wedge)


For Immediate Release

July 15, 2007

(Austin, Texas) The Austin Triathlon scene will never be the same with the arrival of Team Barrett. Led by superstuds Carrie and Shawn Barrett, this dyamic duo has flashed on the racing scene leaving other age groupers to wonder, "Who are these two and where did they come from?" Even others were heard saying, "I'm just going to go ahead and retire from the sport of triathlon now. These two are unstoppable."

Such was the case on the morning of Sunday, July 15th. The sun rose in Austin over the start of the 2007 Couples Triathlon. They were seen visiting with several of their wonderful friends--Kim, Tom, Michelle, Cindy, Scott and others. It was a picturesque start to the day. With their transition areas meticulously arranged, the Barretts made their way to the swim start to discuss strategy and tactics. Their secret? "Just get out of the hell out of water as fast as you can and don't panic." Not exactly the strategy of the pros, but it seemed to work for this couple. After their farewell kiss, it was off to the races and a sea of white swim caps. They weren't spotted together for another hour and 34 minutes after Shawn crossed the finish line with arms extended over the finish line tape held by Jill Gainer and her fiancee Dick Beardsley. Carrie, of course, was at the Finish Line awaiting his arrival.

It was a good race by both even though Carrie charged ahead after her usual middle of the pack swim performance. "It's as if I do it on purpose these days," she said. "I kinda like the chase on the bike and run." Apparently she must because after emerging 37th out 0f 75 on the swim, (20:36) she went to work on the rest of the race. Her bike performance was strong enough to place her 7th out of 75 with an overall pace of 18.9 mph (35:37). This was definitely a personal best for Carrie on this course. "I haven't done the Danskin Tri in a few years which has the same course. I remember HATING these hills. In fact, we named the last two hills 'the bitch' and 'the bastard.' Today, they were more like 'the pest' and 'the jerk.' They got on my nerves, but weren't nearly as bad as I remember."

Feeling good as she was dismounting the bike, Carrie did get a little flustered when she lost time in transition because she couldn't find her running shoes. All was well and she started on the run course with the intention of knocking down as many as she could. About 100 yards into the run, she realized that in her moment of panic, she forgot to put on her running belt with her number. "Oh well...I'm not turning around now. I've got my chip and that's good enough. I just started counting the number of women I could pass. There weren't mile markers on the run course so I couldn't take accurate splits. I had no idea how slow or fast I was running, but I was only passed by one guy the entire time and I passed 12 women and several dudes. I took that as a good sign." Always relieved to be on the run, Carrie took advantage and continued to gain time on her competitors. "I knew there were so many fast women ahead of me. Austin's finest and most elite triathletes were out in full force today. My only goal was not to embarrass myself or my husband. Afterall, we have a reputation to uphold." She finished strong up the big hill at the end and sprinted towards the finish. Her 5k run of 22:40 (7:19 pace) was good enough for 3rd place out of 75 women and judging by the official results, she can celebrate a Top 10 age group finish with an overall time of 1:22:50. Right now, she's at number 9, but there is a suspicious person by the name of "Eric Moon" in the #2 slot. If it's determined that "Eric Moon" is not a F30-34 age grouper, Carrie could move up to the #8 slot out of 75. Regardless, she is incredibly happy with the results of her race escpecially with such a competitive field of athletes.

Shawn's personal race went in a similar fashion after emerging from the warm waters in 36th place out of 49 in his age group. "I never felt like I had space at all. It's as if people were blocking me from winnning the swim leg," said Shawn. "After this, it's no more Mr. Nice Guy. Now I know how Lance feels when all of the other riders try to attack him on the mountains." It was indeed a crowded "couples" wave of over 200 men and women lobbying for position from the start. Who knew married couples could be so feisty? (FYI-Barrett tested negative for performance enhancing substances)
Barrett's bike time was a solid 17mph effort on a rolling course. "I was hoping to catch Carrie on the bike because I knew she had a lead coming off the swim. I didn't want to beat her necessarily. I just wanted to ride up beside her and tell her how much I love her." Unfortunately, Shawn was never able to catch his wife although he swears he caught a glimpse of her on the run course as he was finishing the bike. "I thought it was an angel," he said. "But, I think I was just getting a little dehydrated." His run through the fields was also a very consistent effort even as the heat was kicking in. He ran the 5k in 27:14 (8:47 pace) and his overall time was 1:34:15. We later learned that Shawn also forgot to attach his running race belt. Was the couple just trying to remain incognito?
"No way," they say. "We love seeing people out here and we love being seen!" After attempting to eat a slice of pizza and a Clif bar unsuccessfully, the couple visited and compared stories with friends Tom, Michelle, another Tom, Susan and others. All could be heard proclaiming the glory of triathlon racing.
While they both had good individual performances, the real score was learned later when official results were posted and the "Couples Rankings" were announced. With their cumulative ages totaling 75, the Barretts were in the Couples aged 60-79 category. They placed 12th out of 56 Teams in that Cumulative Age Group!! (Combined Time: 2:57:06)

The couple recently took a break from the DVD production of their wedding. "We just needed to take a breather," said Shawn. "I'm kinda sick of looking at Carrie in her white gown. I much prefer the spandex. I'm so glad we did this race together. It's our second race as husband and wife and we make the perfect team...even though she beat me again."

Undisclosed sources have unconfirmed reports that they may be seen at the Marble Falls Triathlon next week. The couple and their agent refused comment. The couple hasn't decided if they are going to donate their race earnings to charity or to their new iphone fund. Carrie also has her eyes set on a set of zipp 404 race wheels as well. They'll go great with her new Guru Crono bike that has been ordered.
Official Results:
Stay Tuned...


Anonymous said...

very nice! what's next? a book? j

1HappyAthlete said...

Great race...and a great race report....

Thanks and congrats