The race organizers put on a time trial start in lieu of a swim. All athletes just got in a line down by the waterway. Then they did a time trial start, releasing one person off every 3 seconds to run to our bikes as if we were running off of the swim. From a smoothness and controlling bottlenecks of bikers point of view, that worked great. From a competition point of view it sucked not racing side by side with my age group peers. I don’t race as hard if I don’t know where I stand, and don’t have to hold off fast runner girls. For another thing, I started an hour after some folks, and the wind increased on the bike; and it definitely got hotter for the run. So, it really was not a fair race.
The wind on the bike course was brutal. 12.7 miles per hour sustained winds. Half of it a tailwind. I was flying at 24+mph for half the distance. That was fun, and allowed some rest, but I did not ever slack off. The other half was a head wind. And I struggled at 16 mph. Since I was going slower for that half, it took a lot longer, so I actually was fighting the wind more than half the time. And when there was a tailwind, there was also alot of false flat ups. I pushed hard on the bike and came off with about an average speed of 20mph. That was too hard, and I had toasty legs coming off the bike. I knew I was going too hard, but I was having fun and wanted to see how good of a run I could pull off with toasty legs.
I headed out on the run and did the first two miles at a pace of 9. Not too bad. Then there was a slight uphill grade, and my pace slowed to 10 something. That sucked, as I wanted to run a pace of 9 and get a 2 hour run split. I stopped looking at my watch at that point, and just ran hard and stayed focused. I was doing well. At about mile 4, I was running with a tall girl named Jo Beth with a ’37' on her leg. We were about evenly paced. We both stopped for water at an aid station, then I thought I had lost her. I glanced over my shoulder and she was there, and said “Oh good, there’s my running buddy”. She smiled and said I was helping her stay on pace. We were helping each other. We’d pick someone ahead and say “Let’s pick off purple bra girl”. Then we “Caught braid chick”. It was fun. At mile 5, we passed a sign saying mile 12 – that sign was for those on their 2nd lap. She said “Oh Good, just one more mile”. Dang, she was on her 2nd lap. We ran hard one more mile together, then wished each other luck. I missed her alot and had trouble picked off runners after that.
The 2nd lap of the run was harder. It started to get hot. My feet hurt. I was suffering. At about mile 8 I got a big bubbly blister on my left foot. I stopped at an aid station for water and e-caps. I didn’t really need that, but wanted an excuse to stop running. I took my time there. Then I sucked it up and started going again. I limp-ran for one mile in pain. I found myself wishing I had a safety pin so I could take my shoe off and stab the blister. I know, ewww, gross. Then the blister must have popped because it felt better after that and I was able to get into a good running groove.
I was in the pain cave, running as hard as I could. At the double dog leg part of the race course, volunteers were asking lap1 or lap2. By that they meant if you were on the first or second lap of the dog leg on that leg of the course. We were supposed to do that dog leg a total of 4 times. But on lap 2 of the run, I was not thinking clearly in my pain cave, and thought “okay, I’m on lap 2, so I go this way”. Which was wrong, because I was only on lap 1 of lap 2. See, I’m confused now just trying to explain it. It was a really dumb run course, and I was dumb and made a mistake.
When I stopped my Garmin, it said 1:46 for the run split. I didn’t believe that time, but figured I must have screwed up hitting my Garmin. It wasn’t until I went home and looked at the Garmin data, that I realized I missed part of the run. So I have emailed the race organizers to disqualify myself. That was the suckiest of all. Garmin shows my run pace at 9:47 min/mile which would have given me a run split of 2:08. Not the pace I was hoping for, but not too shabby considering toasty legs and sore feet.
Bike leg: http://connect.garm...om/activity/51595894
Run leg: http://connect.garm...om/activity/51595901
The race directors did a good job managing the swim issue. That’s the only good thing I have to say about the race organization. Overall, I felt the race was not very well organized and not worth the money I spent in race fees and travel and taking time off work. I will not do another Ultramax Tri race. Some of that is sour grapes, I know. But the race just wasn’t that well organized. There was not much crowd enthusiasm. The aid stations on the run were lacking food. They were supposed to have orange slices, but did not. The race schwagg was nothing to write home about. And the post race food was lacking. This race was hyped up as a “National Championship event”. I expected this race to be spectacular, and it was a disappointment.
Last updated: 2009-12-29 12:00 AM
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Race report here:
Well, the Ultramax Halfmax National Championship race was a big disappointment on many levels. They had to cancel the swim after heavy rains the week prior increased e-coli levels in the waterway. That sucked. Everybody was disappointed about that. The wind on the bike was relentless. That sucked, too. The biggest disappointment of the day was that I screwed up on the run. They had made a last minute change in the run course, adding a stupid little double dog leg section that you had to do twice per lap. That section was very confusing – and I don’t think very well when I am in the pain cave – so I got mixed up and skipped part of the run course. My Garmin data shows I just ran 11 miles, so I had to disqualify myself. That really sucked.
But I still had fun and learned lots.
I had lots of fun with Ginger. It was also fun meeting friends Kathy and Teresa from a local tri club, and hanging with some BT buddies.
I learned that I need to figure out how to think while I am in the pain cave. And that I can pull off a decent run on toasty legs. But, I cannot pull off a great run on toasty legs, no surprise there, really!