XTERRA Camp Eagle - TriathlonOther

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Rock Springs, Texas
United States
Race Revolutions
91F / 33C
Total Time = 2h 36m 52s
Overall Rank = 45/83
Age Group = 35-39
Age Group Rank = 5/11
Pre-race routine:

Woke up at 6. Normal daily routine. Breakfast this morning was a Banana, Carnation instant breakfast, and a 20oz bottle of gatorade. Race start times for Xterra's are late as compared to road tri's. Race started 9 a.m.
Event warmup:

None. Talked story with friends. Pre-race meeting was a good way from the swim start. Did not want to miss meeting so I skipped the w.u.
  • 25m 54s
  • 1094 yards
  • 02m 22s / 100 yards

The swim course is unique. It is split into two segments. 1st segment is in the lower the river, at a bit more than midway you climb up a ladder on the dam spillway and hop into the upper portion of the lake.
The 1st segment is shallow and has lots of vegetation. In this segment of the river there is so much vegetation in places that you scrape through it as you swim. This is a good course for beginners or someone who is intimidated with an open water swim because you can stand up in about 90% of this portion. I’m 5’10” and it was only chest deep through half of the 1st segment, the other half was in waist deep water.
I made the poor decision of lining up towards the center and middle of the mass men's start. As one may guess it was a pretty physical start. I was kicked in the face about 100 yrds into the swim almost immediately after being kicked I got “clawed” and off came my goggles. Since it was shallow I stood up and reset my goggles. My breathing was short and shallow and my stroke shortened as well after this incident. Traffic built up again at the 1st turn buoy marking our swim back and so the bumping and jostling started up again, off came the goggles . It was my fault I was swimming for the inside line. Surprisingly I had to tread water here to reset the goggles. About 30 yrds after the turn buoy it became shallow and thick with hydrilla. I stood up here and dolphin dived / waded/ ran for about 20 yrds. Once the water weeds thinned out I started swimming again. About 25 yards from the dam with the ladder climb to the upper portion it became very shallow – about thigh deep. At this point it was a slow slippery slog to the ladders. The river bottom was limestone (most likely since the river walls are all limestone around these parts). This was an exercise in balance. Those of us who were walking were constantly falling over . You had to walk with your hands outstretched to catch yourself just in case you fell and it also helped with balance. From the shore I bet we looked like a bunch of rubber suited zombies.
The climb up the dam was uneventful as the 2nd portion of the swim. I FINALLY found my rhythm here and easily swam the last 300-400 meters to the swim exit. The swim exit was “fun” . Usually there is a nice beach or shallow water exit . Not here. The exit was in about 9’ of water with a 18” thick, smooth, rounded, limestone shelf. Unlike a deepwater exit in a pool you could not get your body close to your hands and push out. The rounding made you reach forward . You could not put a foot on it to push yourself out unless you are flexible enough to put your foot next to your armpit and execute a single leg squat. You had to lever and press yourself out. I did a dolphin kick to help myself up and a bit out. I got my torso on the shelf and flopped myself up like a spastic beached whale or walrus the rest of the way. Not pretty and definitely not at all graceful. If I were a sea lion trying to escape a killer whale by seeking shelter on dry land I would have most certainly been eaten.

What would you do differently?:

Line up on the outside. Try to stay in "clean" water and not get drawn into the fray. Do a swim warm up to take the edge off of race day nerves. Do more crossfit muscle ups to prepare myself for the swim exit at this venue
Transition 1
  • 02m 15s

T1 at this race is unlike any I have ever experienced. It is a good ways from the water exit, that itself is not so bad except you 1st have to run up 100 steps from the water exit and once up the cliffs you have to jog about 200yrds to the transition area. I suppose I should not complain, scaling the cliffs would have been difficult. It would make a good adventure race obstacle though.
What would you do differently?:

do things quicker
  • 1h 11m 48s
  • 10 miles
  • 8.36 mile/hr

The bike portion for me went smoothly for the most part up till the very end. The course was a great sampling of central Texas mountain bike single track. There was plenty of elevation changes to keep things challenging the entire time. Loose rocks and sharp limestone were abundant on the trails. Tire pressure and suspension set up were critical to help mitigate the trail chatter and keep things under control. Coming out of the water my legs were somewhat uncooperative at the very start of the ride. Thankfully we had about a mile of dry river bed, albeit rough and littered with small chunky ledges, before we got into the single track where you started lots of continuous climbing. I saw the customary handful of people dealing with flats or other bike mechanicals that seem to plague any racer in the Texas hill country. About a mile or two from the finish the trail dumps you out onto a dry creek bed for a not so smooth ride. You have to do some sharp point and shoot through this section to negotiate the boulders, drop-offs, and closely set trees. It was here I managed to vault myself over the bars. I am not sure how, I think I ran smack into a bowling ball sized rock riding off a slight downhill. I lost a bit of skin and my right hamstring and calf cramped up in mid-flight and thank goodness for helmets. I got back on the bike almost immediately but it took several minutes for me to get my head back on straight.
What would you do differently?:

try harder not to crash. Push on the pedals harder and faster.
Transition 2
  • 01m 23s

I was still a bit dazed from my earlier spill. I did not move as fast as I should have and had to retie my right shoe several times, 1st attempt too loose, 2nd attempt too tight, 3rd good enough. Maybe I should try a speed lace system next time.
What would you do differently?:

remember how to tie my shoes. Do things quicker
  • 55m 30s
  • 4 miles
  • 13m 53s  min/mile

Not my favorite part of the race. It is hard enough having to run right off of the bike. It is harder to run right off of the bike when you have to cross a wobbly suspension bridge. Once off of the bridge I managed to get myself off -route. I was jacking with my watch trying to see what my split times were and ended up erasing it. I ran for about 15 minutes before I noticed I was on the bike portion again and did not remember seeing any red (run) trail markers nor any participants. I turned found my way back to correct route and carried on upset with myself for getting distracted. Despite my earlier mistakes the run was fun. The trail was very technical and had more rocks and loose stones to deal with than on the bike. We also had several places where you had to high step and press up and out. This was not making my quads and calf muscles happy. There were a couple of creek crossings thrown in for fun and again you finished up on the dry creek bed to end up near the swim exit cliffs. Here you had to scramble up a waist high limestone shelf and run up the set of stairs similar to the swim exit to transition. My legs were pretty much shot after the last shelf so the walk up the stairs to the finish was labored and clumsy. The good thing about getting to the top of the stairs, besides being only a few yards from the finish line, is you are in very close proximity to the grill, the food, and the post race refreshments. That site was enough to get me to pick up the pace for the short distance to the finish line.
What would you do differently?:

Not get lost. Follow the course markings. Do more bike to run transitions so my legs get used to the load.
Post race
Warm down:

None really. Walked to vehicle, dumped a jug of water on me to clean off since showers were full. Changed and headed for the chow line.

What limited your ability to perform faster:

poor decisions on the swim, crashing on the bike, going off-route on the run.

Event comments:

Despite falling short of my goals and sub par personal performance this was a FUN race. My less than stellar performance was mostly due to my poor decisions and for the most part under my control. I had a great time. Camp Eagle ranks in my top 5 mountain biking spots here in Texas. The race was very organized and well run. I am looking forward to racing this event next year with hopefully better results.

Profile Album

Last updated: 2011-03-11 12:00 AM
00:25:54 | 1094 yards | 02m 22s / 100yards
Age Group: 3/11
Overall: 46/83
Performance: Below average
Suit: Xterra Vortex 3 full suit
Course: Wade start. Segmented river swim in mostly shallow water with heavy vegitation in parts. 1st segment was an out and back on the lower river section. Racers had to climb up a ladder at the spill gate of the dam and jump into the upper portion of the river for 2nd segment. Out and back again in this segment with a slick limestone shelf exit.
Start type: Wade Plus: Shot
Water temp: 73F / 23C Current: Low
200M Perf. Bad Remainder: Below average
Breathing: Below average Drafting: Average
Waves: Navigation: Average
Rounding: Below average
Time: 02:15
Performance: Average
Cap removal: Good Helmet on/
Suit off:
Wetsuit stuck? No Run with bike: Yes
Jump on bike: Yes
Getting up to speed:
01:11:48 | 10 miles | 8.36 mile/hr
Age Group: 3/11
Overall: 32/83
Performance: Average
Wind: Some
Course: Rocky. Lots of sharp limestone and loose baby heads. Primo Texas Hill Country riding. 95% singltrack.
Road: Rough  Cadence:
Turns: Average Cornering: Good
Gear changes: Good Hills: Average
Race pace: Comfortable Drinks: Just right
Time: 01:23
Overall: Below average
Riding w/ feet on shoes
Jumping off bike Good
Running with bike Good
Racking bike Good
Shoe and helmet removal Average
00:55:30 | 04 miles | 13m 53s  min/mile
Age Group: 5/11
Overall: 64/83
Performance: Bad
Course: Rocky, loose, technical single track. Very few flat or rolling sections. Lots of elevation changes.
Keeping cool Good Drinking Just right
Post race
Weight change: %
Overall: Below average
Mental exertion [1-5] 3
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? No
Post race activities: Average
Race evaluation [1-5] 5