Hy-Vee Triathlon - TriathlonOlympic

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Des Moines, Iowa
United States
Premier Event Management
75F / 24C
Total Time = 1h 57m 46s
Overall Rank = 1325/1581
Age Group = 40-44
Age Group Rank = 152/152
Pre-race routine:

It was a busy couple of days before the event becasue Hy-Vee is truly a two day Tri where you have to go to a briefing on the day before and drop of your bike that evening, and then show up the next day to race. My daughter was scheduled to race on saturday, but it was cancelled so after we dropped her bike off on Friday we had to go back on Saturday and pick it up. Then I had to go get final clearance from the doctor to race since my finger surgery was only 2 weeks past and he was very concerned. I did a 1000 yard swim on Thursday with the finger taped to another one and it felt OK if I swam slow (2:30s) but any faster and it was hurting. We (the Doc and I - decided to go ahead since the organization was getting a lot of really good publicity from a news story that was running on every newscast for four days on one channel and an article that Hy-Vee did on their race website about the organization and donor awareness.
Anyhow, I went to drop off my bike on Saturday evening with my neighbor and met up with Sprint_DA there, and we came over to my house since Dan was staying here for the night. My neighbors were having a cookout party deal, so we stopped by there and chatted with all of them for a bit and had some food and a beer and then went home. Must have got to bed right around 10, then up again at 3:30. Got a banana and a snickers marathon bar while Dan had a PB & Honey sammich. Met Andrew - my neighbor - out by the car around 10 after 4 and off we went. I called race HQ before we left to see if the grass lot was open down by the course. They said that it was. We decided to just ride the shuttle that they told us would pick us up at Valley Southwoods High School. Got there, and no busses. Talked to a volunteer and he said that the busses were running from Valley West Mall (huge difference folks). So, we decided that we couldn't head all the way back to Valley West Mall and headed to the grass lot., We got in line and peoiple were parking in the lot. Awesome-ness. The lot is about a 5 minute walk to transition. Two cars ahead of us the cars start flipping u turns. We get there and the guy tells us that they have just closed the lot and we have to park at Valley West Mall and ride the shuttle. I was pretty mad. It was already 4:40 and transition closed at 5:45. If we drove back to the mall and got on a shuttle, we wouldn't get to transition until 5:30 at the soonest. Bad call on someone's part. If you opened the lot - you needed to keep it open so people didn;t make the voyage. Andrew called a friend of his that had a VIP pass and was shuttling folks to the race, so we parked in a lot with all of them and waited our turn. Got to transition at somewhere in the 5:10 range.
Event warmup:

There was absolutley no time to warm-up for anything. You couldn't take your bike out to ride and you had to be out of transition at 5:45, which would have been fine except that they dropped the switching from a Oly to a Sprint bomb along with the TT start bomb on us with about 20 minutes left to transition closing. I had to make a decision on whether to race or not and I decided that I should after considering everything. I forgot one thing though and it was about to make itself painfully apparent.
  • 18m 3s
  • 400 meters
  • 04m 31s / 100 meters

So - the thing I didn't consider was the Time Trial start. In a wave start my plan was to get outside and stay there until all of the wash went by and then just swim as I felt comfortable with the finger. Going in, we all knew that I was not going to have a fast race. It was a given with the nedical issues I had had over the last 4 weeks. Just do it was the theme. Well, it wasn't more than 100 yards before I got kicked for the first time in the broken finger. It hurt bad enough for me to almost drown cussing. I tried to get outside and let the wave pass, but it just kept coming and the swim was especially brutal because of the way that it happened and that it was a sprint and people were trying to tear into it instead of getting into a rythm and settling in. After the third time my finger got kicked I stopped and regrouped. I started swimming again and it just kept coming. There were times when people were actually grabbing other peoples legs (heard lots of stories about that ) or just swimming over the top of people after more than 200 meters. No call for it. Got kicked a few more times in the hand and finally I started to draft a guy and got into a flow. He switches to breast stroke and "wham - an incredibly hard kick to my face and my hand. Goggles fill up with water, finger feels like it is broken again and I stop and regroup one more time, this time considering whether or not to go on. Emptied the water from my goggles and started back again, except this time I went way inside the line and drew a line towards the finish and went that way. All of the people swimming full bore were doing a straight line from last bouy to finish and I was coming at a different angle. Finally did 150 meters without getting kicked or hit in the hand, but I decided that as soon as I was out of the water I was done. I knew that my finger had been damaged and I was worried about the screws staying in place.
What would you do differently?:

Wear body armor?? I don;t know. I had to take advantage of the publicity and race this one and I probably wouldn;t change that decision, but there was a reason that the doc said that the hand was supposed to be in a cast for 6 weeks.
Transition 1
  • 03m 29s

So - here's the thing. Once I touched sand with my hand I stood up and started running into the beach. Not sure why as I was going to stop, but I ran towards transition and started to take my suit off. Unfortunatley, I needed some help from my left hand for suit removal and it was taking a TO. Took me almost the full run into transition to unzip and get the suit to my waist. Then I got to transition and stepped out of the suit, put on my glasses and helmet and then took the extra time to put on the splint thingy that the therapist had made to protect my finger on the bike. Get that - we thought the danger to my finger was on the bike. Silly people. Took about a minute longer than normal, but it was important to have it on.
What would you do differently?:

Stop, you idiot. You decided that it wasn't smart to go on. Sheesh I'm a hard guy to get along with.
  • 51m 16s
  • 12.42 miles
  • 14.54 mile/hr

So - I had abandoned any thoughts of flying mount since I broke the finger and I just ran out and got on the bike, started pedaling. A couple of things. Standing to climb hills with a very sore broken finger is a no-no. I sat back down immediately. Also - there was very little wind. There were a group of roadies sitting at the top of the only real hill and they were hollering things and having a good time, offering riders beef jerky, and telling us the rain was coming so get out the rain gear. They made me laugh. Then I got onto Raccoon River Road and the bumps started. At first it was just a minor annopance then, increasingly, it became painful and more painful and more painful. I was never so happy to see that curve back over onto Grand Avenue as I was on this day. The pains slowed me down a lot. I would try and take my weight off of my left side at every crack and it just made for bad cycling technique. My Garmin showed this bike at almost 13 miles, so they missed that a little bit in the rush as well, but everyone raced the same lengths, so it only affects your split and rate, not your placement.
What would you do differently?:

Stop when I decided to stop.
Transition 2
  • 02m 44s

Heres another thing I didn't think about. Getting my shoes on when my feet were stiull wet and a sore finger (it's amazing how much you use your pinky finger). It was a trick and I had to actually sit down to do it. Took some extra time.
What would you do differently?:

Velcro shoes??
  • 42m 16s
  • 3.11 miles
  • 13m 35s  min/mile

Keeping cool? That's funny. Just as I get my shoe on and staart to run out of transition, the PA guy tells people that we are less than 5 minutes from the storm hitting and they should take cover. I keep running, trying to hold my left hand kind of pointed up by my side becasue it hurt so bad to let it swing. About two minutes later it starts to rain. In another minute it's a freaking monsoon and the lightning starts, I fully expect the next volunteer I see to pull me off the course. Nope, run right by them, they are cheering me on telling me to keep it up. Get to the exit of the park and we are running in water that is ankle deep, almost over the curb as all the water runs towards the lake and this is one of the middle points. Kind of have to change my gait to take shorter steps and lift my knees higher.
About a mile in adn my back is starting to hurt, I am guessing from trying to hold my arm still while moving the rest of my body. Plus, the wind has started blowing directly in my face and I am going uphill. I am having a great time (what, no sarc font on race reports?)
I get to the cornwer and I turn to start ttowards the turnaround point and there are 20 plus people at the water station in the pouring rain to make sure I get a cup of water (which most likely filled themselves). I got a little pissed at myself for whining (in my head, of course) about the rain and went back to my regular running gait. I told Vanesa to help me out and we picked it up and started really going at it, which was helped by the fact that it was pretty much all downhill.
What would you do differently?:

Just HTFU and run the damn thing. Faster you run it, faster it is over.
Post race
Warm down:

Walked behind the stadium and got a water and a couple of bananas. The field was absolutrly soaking wet, like over the top oif my shoes. Went and found my wife and kids - whoi were wet as all get out.

What limited your ability to perform faster:

Really - I think there is a time limit on how long this report can be.

Event comments:

Look - I kind of dog the race organization in thsi ranking, but not due to effort. They were really up against it and were not able to communicate with the whole group what to do. there were some issues with bike security at the end and there were some issues with the course, but they changed everything on the fly. IMO, they should have changed this either the night before or first thing in the AM, but they discussed it for too long instead of just making a decision. I feel for them and have no ill will about it.

Last updated: 2009-11-23 12:00 AM
00:18:03 | 400 meters | 04m 31s / 100meters
Age Group: 0/152
Overall: 0/1581
Performance: Bad
Suit: Wetsuit, full sleeve
Course: Clockwise out, right turn, right turn and back in. It was easily 500 meters, according to the guys I know that were on the planning committee. In the rush, someone miscalculated and they ended up with a bad design. You have to remember from the time they made the decision to the time they started the first swimmer was less than 40 minutes. The original course was not based on these bouys at all.
Start type: Run Plus: Time Trial
Water temp: 73F / 23C Current: Low
200M Perf. Below average Remainder: Below average
Breathing: Average Drafting: Bad
Waves: Navigation: Below average
Rounding: Average
Time: 03:29
Performance: Average
Cap removal: Below average Helmet on/
Suit off:
Wetsuit stuck? No Run with bike: Yes
Jump on bike: No
Getting up to speed: Average
00:51:16 | 12.42 miles | 14.54 mile/hr
Age Group: 0/152
Overall: 0/1581
Performance: Below average
Wind: Some with gusts
Course: I ahte this bike course on two levels. The first is that it is an almost all concrete course. In Iowa, the way you have to work with a concrete road is that you have to make cuts in it every 8 or 10 feet so that when the ground freezes and moves, it beaks at the cuts instead of wherever the concrete is the weakest. This course is mostly run on Raccoon REiver Road and it runs right along the Raccoon River (as you might expect). Take this usually moist ground and combine it with winters that get very cold and you get small heaves at the cracks. Small heaves are no big deal to an automobile or even motorcycle, but on a road bike you are bumping every couple of seconds and if you are in aero, you are sliding all around. The second reason I dislike it is becasue the return to transition is a bike path for the last 1/4 to 1/2 mile. The bike path is some 4 feet wide. No passing is supposed to be allowed on the bike path. Tired people go slow on the way in. People in a hurry would like to go faster. I sat behind three people that did nopt want to pedal hard on the bike path.
Road: Rough Dry Cadence: 87
Turns: Good Cornering: Good
Gear changes: Good Hills: Below average
Race pace: Comfortable Drinks: Not enough
Time: 02:44
Overall: Average
Riding w/ feet on shoes Good
Jumping off bike Good
Running with bike Good
Racking bike Good
Shoe and helmet removal Below average
00:42:16 | 03.11 miles | 13m 35s  min/mile
Age Group: 0/152
Overall: 0/1581
Performance: Below average
Course: Come out of tranistion, through the park and up a gradual hill that steepens as you go, turn around and come back.
Keeping cool Good Drinking Just right
Post race
Weight change: %
Overall: Bad
Mental exertion [1-5] 3
Physical exertion [1-5] 3
Good race? No
Course challenge Just right
Organized? No
Events on-time? Yes
Lots of volunteers? Yes
Plenty of drinks? Yes
Post race activities: Good
Race evaluation [1-5] 4