Monday, July 16, 2007

race weather

If there's one thing runners (and endurance athletes in general) love to talk about, it's the weather. We're especially preoccupied with it here on the North Coast, where the temp swings from searing hot to wicked cold on a weekly basis. There's always something to complain about. Lately it's the wind, usually it's the humidity, at Grandma's it was the face-melting heat, at the Bemidji Polar Challenge it's the skull-splitting cold.

But every now and then the stars align and we have perfect conditions on race day. That happened last Saturday at the Lifetime Fitness Triathlon in Minneapolis. The men's course record was crushed, I set a PR (finally got my 10K under 40 minutes!) and far fewer people visited the med tent compared to previous years.

Most people would attribute this to luck. Not me. I know the truth.

Lifetime's Peter Spencer (sometimes race director and all-around nice guy) has been developing a weather controlling machine since late 2003. He has a secret Skunkworks of sorts hidden 300 feet below the Metrodome. An elaborate tunnel system links it to Lifetime HQ, the U of M science building, and various NASA labs. Peter's crack team of scientists works around the clock in a tireless effort to control race day weather.

The cool water (Wetsuit legal swim! What?!) and air temps indicate that Peter has succeeded. Bravo! Hopefully he'll be nice enough to turn the weather controlling machine on again for the Twin Cities Marathon. I'm predicting a marathon morning temp of 48 degrees, with highs for the day in the low 50s, partly cloudy, wind out of the West at 4 mph, 25% humidity. PRs for everyone!

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