Wildflower Triathlon - Mountain Bike Course - Triathlon

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Bradley, California
United States
Tri-California Events, Inc.
70F / 21C
Total Time = 1h 27m 45s
Overall Rank = 153/384
Age Group = M 40-44
Age Group Rank = 23/42
Pre-race routine:

Due to the severe drought conditions Lake San Antonio was at a meager 5% capacity. From the main festival / transition area there was no water to be seen, just a dry lake bed so swim was moved 2 miles down to where there was actually water. For the on-road courses (olympic / long) the racers had to run the 2 miles from the swim mini-transition (T.5) to the main transition area (T1) then start the bike segment. Their run segment was 2 miles shorter to keep the race distance. The mountain bike short course had the T1 right near the swim and T2 at the main festival area.

With the split transition for the short course I was only able to set up my T2 area on Friday after packet pickup. Afterwards we browsed through the vendors then found some shade and waited for the race meeting to find out any other details regarding the alternate course. The race directory said this years bike course was going to be a fun challenge and "apologized" for the tough first 3 miles.

After the race meeting shuttled back up to the camping area, set up camp, then tried to get an early nights sleep.
Event warmup:

Woke up early so my wife could catch the shuttle down to the festival area then I broke camp so I wouldn't need to do it later in the heat of the day. Biked down to the swim start / T1 and set up my swim-to-bike transition. Once I was set up I watched the long course swim waves and chatted with a couple racers. This was going to be the first race for one of them so we gave her some friendly advice and helped settle her nerves a bit.

With the race start nearing I walked down the long ramp to the water and lined up for the swim.
  • 08m 38s
  • 440 yards
  • 01m 58s / 100 yards

I lined up near the back and to the left of the wave, hoping to find some clear water with other swimmers around my pace. The horn sounded and we were off! At the end of the ramp was a drop off so we all dove in as we passed the buoys designating the start. As expected, there was contact in the pack so I made my way to the outside edge to get clear of it. It took me a little bit to get my breathing and sighting into rhythm as each time I made contact it would throw me off a bit.

As we got near the turnaround buoy I was swimming a bit wide and almost ran into one of the support kayaks. Once I adjusted course I made a wide turn and set my sights on the buoy marking the finish. My rhythm settled in as my arms warmed up and I sped up a bit, catching up with the slower swimmers of the first wave. Navigating around them as the they back/breast/side stroked made the last 150y a bit challenging.
What would you do differently?:

Get more comfortable with contact during the swim.
Transition 1
  • 06m 27s

Out of the water and up a .25 mile 13% grade boat ramp! I left sandals on the side so my feet were protected however I only managed a brisk walk up the long ramp. Even those jogging up the ramp were not going much faster. Once I was up the ramp I jogged into the transition area. After a quick rinse of fresh water I put my bike gear on and jogged to the bike out. After the mount line I had momentum going and jumped on to my bike for my first ever flying mount. While suspended in mid air and trying to land safely on my bike I realized "this could end badly!" but somehow managed to pull it off.
What would you do differently?:

A bit more effort up the boat ramp could have shaved some time off. Don't attempt a flying mount without practice, it could have been bad.
  • 51m 29s
  • 8.6 miles
  • 10.02 mile/hr

I heard the first 3 miles of the bike course were "brutal and hilly" so I was expecting it to be challenging. The first 2 miles were not so bad, the trail was wide enough for passing however the dirt was a little loose making for some crazy turns. The hill for mile 3 started steep so I had to dismount, as I don't do enough actual mountain biking and I didn't trust my climbing abilities on trail conditions. I wasn't alone, looking back there were a bunch of us walking up the side of the trail. There were short stretches that were not as steep however I knew I would be right back off my bike almost as soon as I would get on. Finally the hill crested (after a couple false crests) and I was back on the saddle and treated to a very steep and fast downhill which made me wish I had disk brakes!

At the bottom of the steep hill I barely made the sharp corner and kept some speed into the somewhat flat stretch before heading up a long gentle hill for the next couple of miles. The top of this hill led into the campgrounds for some fun fast terrain with spectators cheering from their camp sites.

After racing through the campgrounds it was time for one last long gentle hill to the top of the "infamous" Lynch Hill. Fortunately the mountain bike course didn't have to ride up it (the road courses tackle this beast of a hill right out of T1) just the pleasure of racing down it. It was fast and just enough curves that I was afraid to see how fast I was going. At the bottom awaited the main transition and festival area.
What would you do differently?:

Get better at technical hill climbing.
Transition 2
  • 02m 18s

Smooth transition on wobbly legs
What would you do differently?:

Not much.
  • 18m 53s
  • 2 miles
  • 09m 26s  min/mile

As expected, my legs were a bit wobbly off the bike. They didn't really settle into "run" mode until after the turnaround. The last mile was steady as the route worked it's way back through the festival area and cheering spectators. When I rounded the last corner into the finish chute I kicked in and pushed myself with all I had left. In the last 30 yards I passed another runner he decided to give me a run for my money and we raced neck and neck to the finish line and celebrated with a big high five.
What would you do differently?:

More speed training so I can go faster for the short run instead of my slow and steady long run pace.
Post race
Warm down:

Water and strawberries in the finishers cafe then enjoyed a complimentary massage with a focus on my legs. Enjoyed food and beer in the sunny afternoon while listening to music in the festival area.

What limited your ability to perform faster:

Technical hill climbing on trails and slow running.

Event comments:

Great race despite the adverse lake conditions.

Profile Album

Last updated: 2014-01-08 12:00 AM
00:08:38 | 440 yards | 01m 58s / 100yards
Age Group: 21/42
Overall: 115/384
Performance: Good
Suit: Orca tri-suit
Course: Out to buoy and back
Start type: Wade Plus: Waves
Water temp: 68F / 20C Current: Low
200M Perf. Average Remainder: Good
Breathing: Good Drafting: Below average
Waves: Navigation: Good
Rounding: Average
Time: 06:27
Performance: Average
Cap removal: Good Helmet on/
Suit off:
Wetsuit stuck? Run with bike: Yes
Jump on bike: Yes
Getting up to speed:
00:51:29 | 08.6 miles | 10.02 mile/hr
Age Group: 28/42
Overall: 172/384
Performance: Average
Wind: None
Course: Hilly trail riding
Road: Rough Dry Cadence:
Turns: Average Cornering: Average
Gear changes: Average Hills: Below average
Race pace: Comfortable Drinks: Just right
Time: 02:18
Overall: Good
Riding w/ feet on shoes
Jumping off bike
Running with bike Average
Racking bike Average
Shoe and helmet removal Good
00:18:53 | 02 miles | 09m 26s  min/mile
Age Group: 21/42
Overall: 170/384
Performance: Average
Course: Small rolling hills.
Keeping cool Average Drinking Just right
Post race
Weight change: %
Overall: Good
Mental exertion [1-5] 4
Physical exertion [1-5] 3
Good race? Yes
Course challenge Just right
Organized? Yes
Events on-time? Yes
Lots of volunteers? Yes
Plenty of drinks? Yes
Post race activities: Good
Race evaluation [1-5] 4