Topeka Tinman Triathlon - TriathlonSprint

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Topeka, Kansas
United States
Sherpa Sports/Ultramax Events
85F / 29C
Total Time = 1h 02m 13s
Overall Rank = 7/337
Age Group = M30-34
Age Group Rank = 2/24
Pre-race routine:

I really didn't know what to expect from myself for this race. I was two weeks removed from the KS 70.3 and since I had gone through a recovery week and then another easy, taper-ish type week. I wasn't approaching this race with a lot of intensity and I may have already begun to start thinking about training for my marathon.

Regardless, on race day I woke up at way-too-early O'clock (3:40ish) to get some food and drink in me. I forced myself to choke down a bagel and then wash it down with a cup of coffee before heading out on the road for the hour drive to Topeka. I arrived plenty early with enough time to get my packet picked-up, get things organized, and take care of my three separate trips to the bathroom (a new race day PR for me).

As race time approached a few of the bike racks were beginning to lean considerably, to the point of collapsing. Transition was set-up on a slight downhill and the bike racks were the same ones used for the KS 70.3 race; which apparently had been damaged and blown over for that race due to the high winds the night of that race (had no idea that had happened). Many people were getting nervous, particularly those with the high $$ bikes (not me). However, the staff there was on top of it. They brought out temporary bike racks (would hold maybe three bikes) and reinforced the busted up racks. They definitely avoided a potentially disastrous situation. Once I knew my bike was safe from being toppled I made my way down to the swim start.
Event warmup:

Short run on the run course to scope things out. I bottle of Gatorade, GU Chomps, and a GU gel before the race.
  • 09m 43s
  • 700 yards
  • 01m 23s / 100 yards

Was in the third wave to start. The announced water temp was conveniently 77.5 degrees. Despite this I opted to ditch the wet suit, I figured any time advantage that I would gain on a sprint would be lost from me trying to get the darn thing off of my ankles in transition. The race was originally planned as a dive start, but organizers backed off of that idea. I'm not sure of the reason they gave, if one was even given, so we started instead in the water and holding onto the dock. The horn went off and I immediately got out in front and managed to avoid any sort of body contact. For the first few hundred yards I was like a bat out of hell trying to make sure I was clear of everybody before eventually settling things down and falling into a nice rhythm.

I had a clear, straight shot to the first turn-around buoy and had only one companion from my age group swimming up front with me. For the first time ever I had the better position going into the buoy turns instead of being forced into my usual wide turn. After the first turn I found myself drafting off of my age group friend nicely. On the back stretch we caught up with the previous waves and I was relying on my drafting buddy to guide me through; however, he was taking too long and ultimately took a wide left swim route. I went with the zig-zag option through the other swimmers and made my way towards the swim finish.

Swim course was likely a little longer than advertised, even with the long transition run factored in. I based the distance off of my typical swim pace instead of the stated 500m swim.
What would you do differently?:

Nothing. Went perfectly. My swim continues to make up for my weak bike leg.
Transition 1
  • 00m 58s

Long uphill run out of the water and up to transition. Other than that it was pretty standard. 8th fastest overall.
What would you do differently?:

  • 30m 31s
  • 10.7 miles
  • 21.04 mile/hr

Got out on the bike and once I got up to speed I spent a little bit of time trying to get my heart rate and breathing to settle down. Each time out of transition I come out like a rocket and then spend the next few minutes bringing things down. This might be something to work on down the road but this didn't seem to hurt me today. Before I know it I was on the southward portion of the course. This part took forever to get through since it was on a false flat with a very small headwind. It didn't help that this portion of the road wasn't the smoothest. My mph's were way down on here but I made up for it on the home stretch by hammering the downhills.

I only got passed by one guy from my age group (and overall first place finisher) and judging by his familiar jersey this isn't the first time I've had to watch him blow by me in the early stages of the bike. One day I'll make him put a up a bigger fight. I only took in a little bit of GE, enough for a sprint. It was hot and humid today but I figured I was plenty hydrated before the race got under way. The course was advertised at 12 miles but I went off of my bike computer reading of 10.7.
What would you do differently?:

Transition 2
  • 00m 52s

30th fastest transition. Not the best but good enough I suppose. I had hard time getting my socks to slip on, I heard a few threads tearing as I was trying to pull a sock onto one of my feet.
What would you do differently?:

The first thing I did was take off my helmet and then put on my visor. Next time, wait to put my visor on as I'm running out of T2.
  • 20m 8s
  • 3.1 miles
  • 06m 29s  min/mile

Tore out of transition, again, and I felt good to start but eventually my heart rate and heavy breathing caught up to me. I didn't feel like I was moving very fast so I didn't want to let up, but once I neared the turn around point I hit another hill climb and I had to slow it down. I could feel my heart beating through ears. I walked the water station where a couple of teenage boys offered to toss water on me (yes, please) before making my way back home. I dialed things back a little bit to keep things from blowing up in the heat but was still able to manage a solid push to the finish line.
What would you do differently?:

Slow down, turbo. No need to be going out of transition at a sprinter's pace.
Post race
Warm down:

I crossed the finish line and walked around the post-race food area while I fought off my typical 30 seconds of feeling like I'm going to puke moments. Took in a lot of liquids, passed on the solids, and learned that even an hour after the race a post-race beer was not the most settling thing for my stomach.

What limited your ability to perform faster:

The heat and humidity. Not making this a race a priority on my schedule.

Event comments:

This race had a few hiccups along the way, but it's too be expected for an organization running the Tinman for the first time. In fact, they acknowledged some issues (transitions racks and course lengths) but they should have things cleared up come next year. The actual race went well, plenty of volunteers and support. Ultramax does a good job with their events. I talked with my uncle after the race, who works on the Shawnee County P&R board, and he said that so far they've been happy with what they've put together in comparison to KLM.

A lot of first timers at this event too. When asked, I think at least 80% of the F29&U wave raised their hands saying it was their first tri race.

Last updated: 2010-05-18 12:00 AM
00:09:43 | 700 yards | 01m 23s / 100yards
Age Group: 1/24
Overall: 2/337
Performance: Good
Suit: None
Course: Clockwise loop.
Start type: Wade Plus: Waves
Water temp: 78F / 25C Current: Low
200M Perf. Good Remainder: Good
Breathing: Good Drafting: Good
Waves: Navigation: Good
Rounding: Good
Time: 00:58
Performance: Average
Cap removal: Good Helmet on/
Suit off:
Wetsuit stuck? Run with bike: Yes
Jump on bike:
Getting up to speed: Average
00:30:31 | 10.7 miles | 21.04 mile/hr
Age Group: 2/24
Overall: 20/337
Performance: Good
Wind: Little
Course: I loop rectangular course. Some rollers.
Road: Smooth Dry Cadence:
Turns: Average Cornering: Average
Gear changes: Good Hills: Good
Race pace: Comfortable Drinks: Just right
Time: 00:52
Overall: Average
Riding w/ feet on shoes
Jumping off bike
Running with bike Good
Racking bike Good
Shoe and helmet removal Good
00:20:08 | 03.1 miles | 06m 29s  min/mile
Age Group: 2/24
Overall: 14/337
Performance: Average
Course: Out and back on paved park trail. Couple of rolling hills.
Keeping cool Average Drinking Just right
Post race
Weight change: %
Overall: Good
Mental exertion [1-5] 4
Physical exertion [1-5] 4
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] 5