Marshman Triathlon - TriathlonSprint

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Downingtown, Pennsylvania
United States
Piranha Sports
50F / 10C
Total Time = 1h 23m 22s
Overall Rank = 338/656
Age Group = Clydesdale
Age Group Rank = 19/51
Pre-race routine:

Got up around 4am, had my two slices of toast with PB. Went to the BR...success! TSW didn't make this one with me; I wanted to get to the park early so as not to have to park 1.5 miles away, would've required her to get up and get ready way too early. I did get a spot way up at the top of the park, even though I took a wrong turn off the turnpike, went 100 South instead of 100 North. Worked out alright as that gave me a chance to stop at the Hampton Inn and use the BR as I was having some "percolating" going on.
Event warmup:

No warm-up other than walking from parking spot down to transition, picking up packet, setting up spot, etc. We couldn't get in the water ahead of time, which got me worried, but since it was a deep water start, I did at least get to swim out to the starting area.
  • 12m 7s
  • 437 yards
  • 02m 46s / 100 yards

Started in a fog clinging to the water, which was an awesome sight with all the red caps bobbing in the water beforehand. Did make seeing the buoys tough until you were getting close. Water was fairly warm compared to the air temp; my feet were cold from walking on the wet grass and getting into the water actually warmed them up. Another good swim for me, made better by fact I stuck fairly well with my group, I only got caught by the FOP swimmers in the women's wave behind me and, most surprising, I had what I figured was a mediocre swim for me and it still came out to around 12 minutes, which is pretty good for me. I kept getting caught up with two to three of the same guys - a case of me catching them (!!) - I finally gutted it out and swam past two of them, came out just behind the other one who must have done the same. My time was made better by the short run into transition.
What would you do differently?:

Breathe a little better. I really took my time on the breaths, which were mostly to the right side. Had I done a better job there I might not have had to take as many backstroke breaks to catch my breath and I might've beaten 12 minutes. This swim seemed really short as I remember it several hours later, which is another indication, I guess, that I'm making improvement.
Transition 1
  • 02m 41s

Very mediocre transition. Suit came off fairly well, just stuck on my left heel. Had to wriggle my feet into the shoes and work on one heel to get it situated, everything else went fairly quick. My sunglasses were totally fogged, though; had to wipe them off inside and out. We had to run out of transition up a fairly steep grassy hill to the road...not easy, although I suppose bike shoes gave me some "mud traction" given the mud and grass stuck to them when I packed up.
What would you do differently?:

Not much...wasn't overly concerned with the transitions here. Just move a little faster, I guess, but that hill climb to the mounting area probably slowed everybody down.
  • 47m 29s
  • 12.5 miles
  • 15.80 mile/hr

Moderately hilly? I thought this was a bitch and a half. I'd never seen the course, but I assumed it would be similar to what I ride near home or the Doylestown course from April, so I ratcheted back my expectations based on that, assumed I'd be 16.5 to 17.0. Wrong! Compared to what I normally ride, these were steep and medium to long hills. I got an early sense of what kind of day it would be when, on the first of the steeper hills - which ended up not being too bad by comparison with what came later - people were getting off their bikes and walking up. Couple of the inclines had me standing, most just had me grinding away in the lowest gear hoping I wasn't gonna fall over. At one point, probably 9-10 miles in, we came up on another hill, a long one, and I had a brief "mental" moment, my mind looking up the incline and saying, "Are you f'ing kidding me? This is just too much, that's it, I'm done." That was a real grinder too, although I did get past a couple of guys on mountain bikes. Most of the course is a blur, I don't remember much of it, just following the bikes in front of me, and some of the difficult hills. There was one cool scene, coming to the top of a hill and starting down, seeing a few bikes in front of me bombing down a black road winding through a hollow and across a bridge, a thin layer of fog hanging in the trees above us. Would've made a great picture, but then we had a sharp turn across the bridge, slowed way down to take it and, yep, started climbing again...pretty much the story of the ride for me. I didn't even crack 16! Played cat and mouse with a handful of people over the last half of the course...a couple of ladies that were climbing machines but I could get past on the downhills and flats (what few there were). Actually passed Ironman legend Ken Glah toward the end of the ride, I'm humping like hell with my HR beyond LT and he's out doing these hills as a recovery ride! I think he was doing this event with his daughter and maybe his wife. Pretty cool to say you raced with a guy like that. He blew past me early on the run.
What would you do differently?:

More hill climbing practice would help on a course like this.
Transition 2
  • 01m 37s

Didn't pull my feet out of my shoes on the way back in. Not sure why...think I was too tired, plus there were still some rollers on the way back into the park. For whatever reason, I just didn't do it.
What would you do differently?:

Not a lot. What took the longest was getting the Garmin on my wrist.
  • 19m 30s
  • 2 miles
  • 09m 45s  min/mile

This was a much tougher run than I expected. Most of it was "off road", on gravely paths and totally unmarked areas where we were running through leaves, tripping over tree roots, scrabbling through moss and rocks. Not what I was expecting at all. And after that bike, I came out of T2 a little unsteady, with a bit of a stomach thing working, and I was afraid I wouldn't even beat my goal of going faster than 20 minutes. Especially when, maybe a third of a mile in, we started heading uphill on fairly loose ground, and that hill lasted a while too, almost to the turnaround. There was one really steep part with an erosion gully running down the middle of the path where I was barely able to put one foot in front of the other to keep going. But when we headed downhill things got better. The footing made me nervous but once we got to level ground I was able to pick it up. The last 20 yards, though, were uphill on wet grass! My stretch was to beat 19; I didn't manage that but I did beat 20.
What would you do differently?:

Nothing...I'm good with this run considering the terrain and the ground.
Post race
Warm down:

Grabbed a bottle of water and just walked around until I felt a little better. Ate a banana, watched some of the other racers come in. This was unusual for me, to be wandering around in post-race la-la land and still seeing people coming in from the bike. Most were on mountain, hybrid or comfort-type bikes, so they had to have suffered out there. Some were still coming in as I was packing up transition. Weird to finish smack in the middle of the pack; I'd never experienced that before...pretty cool!

What limited your ability to perform faster:

Hill climbing, on both run and bike.

Event comments:

Very solid event; Piranha seems to have their stuff together. They handled pre-race packet pick-up very efficiently and I had plenty of time left over to set up transition. I like the way transition spots were assigned might not get that great a spot but it's very organized and everybody has plenty of room. They got the race off on time too; actually started before I even knew it had happened. Judging from the number of mountain and hybrid type bikes - and my finishing in the middle of the pack - this is very much a first-timers type race. Think that may be why it's so popular...people see two-mile run and think, "I can do that." And they can, but it was a challenge too. As I think back on my season, the eye-openers are that this "oddball" race (which I almost blew off because it was "only" a two mile run) and the duathlon in April were two of the hardest events I did all year; I wouldn't have expected that beforehand.

Last updated: 2009-08-08 12:00 AM
00:12:07 | 437 yards | 02m 46s / 100yards
Age Group: 0/51
Overall: 0/656
Performance: Good
Suit: Synergy Adrenaline
Course: In water start, straight shot to exit.
Start type: Deep Water Plus: Waves
Water temp: 70F / 21C Current: Low
200M Perf. Good Remainder: Good
Breathing: Below average Drafting:
Waves: Navigation: Average
Time: 02:41
Performance: Average
Cap removal: Average Helmet on/
Suit off:
Wetsuit stuck? Yes Run with bike: Yes
Jump on bike: No
Getting up to speed:
00:47:29 | 12.5 miles | 15.80 mile/hr
Age Group: 0/51
Overall: 0/656
Performance: Average
152 average, maxed at 169
Wind: None
Course: Loop around Marsh Creek State Park and its lake. Described as moderately hilly.
Road: Smooth Dry Cadence:
Turns: Good Cornering: Average
Gear changes: Good Hills: Average
Race pace: Hard Drinks: Not enough
Time: 01:37
Overall: Average
Riding w/ feet on shoes
Jumping off bike
Running with bike Average
Racking bike Good
Shoe and helmet removal Average
00:19:30 | 02 miles | 09m 45s  min/mile
Age Group: 0/51
Overall: 0/656
Performance: Good
Averaged 165, maxed at 177
Course: Out and back through Marsh Creek State Park, some on park roads, some gravely paths, some off road.
Keeping cool Drinking
Post race
Weight change: %
Overall: Average
Mental exertion [1-5] 4
Physical exertion [1-5] 5
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