Deer Creek Fall Challenge Half Iron Triathlon - Triathlon

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Mt. Sterling, Ohio
United States
HFP Racing
70'sF / 0C
Total Time = 4h 23m 20s
Overall Rank = 2/105
Age Group = 35-39
Age Group Rank = 2/16
Pre-race routine:

After my hamstring cramping issue on the run at Muncie this year, I really wanted to take 1 more shot at the 70.3 distance, specifically looking for a good run. This race was my first-ever HIM two years ago and I thought the flat run course could set me up for this. I also thought it would be a good way to finish a great season of racing. The only issue could be that I haven't done any long runs over 5-6 miles since July and only had a handful of long rides in that same time!

The race didn't start until 9:15am so we all got a good night's sleep at a nice new Holiday Inn Express in Washington Court House. Race morning I felt very relaxed, with less than the usual pre-race jitters. HFP puts on a good race with a nice transition and loudspeaker system pumping out some motivational tunes. The HIM waves started last behind the mini, sprint, and oly racers, so I got to watch some of the mini racers coming into transition before I even headed down to the beach.
Event warmup:

Before the start I floated around a bit to fill my suit with water, then did some easy swimming for a couple minutes.
  • 26m 59s
  • 2112 yards
  • 01m 17s / 100 yards

I registered for the elite open wave for this race and did a little research on the others signed up. Apparently there was 1 guy with a pro license (who happened to be in my AG) and some pretty quick AG'ers too. I spotted the pro before the start as we both lined up on the first row.

The race started on the water's edge, and this was my first time with a running start. I ran about until the water was knee deep and dove in. As I began swimming I realized that there were still guys running next to me at around knee depth for quite a while more. Oh well.

I went out pretty quickly since the first turn was only about 100y out. Somehow I got the hole shot and made the turn in 1st. Shortly afterwards the pro went past and I made an attempt to draft for a bit... not happening.

The following 25 minutes were mostly uneventful aside from getting smacked hard in the face as I went past a group of Oly racers from the previous waves. I looked at my garmin on the way to T1 and was surprised by my time; I was hoping for a 28-29 minute swim if we had good conditions, so I will take a guess that the course was a little short.

Official results have the pro as 2nd OA swim and I came in 3rd but I know there wasn't anyone in front of us. I believe the way the Oly course turned 1 buoy short of the HIM, there may have been some people accidentally turning early.
Transition 1
  • 01m 8s

T1 went well. I cut the legs on my suit by about an inch before this race and it came off a little better; might cut another inch.
  • 2h 23m 43s
  • 56 miles
  • 23.38 mile/hr

Based on the elevation you would think that this course should be blazing fast. And, it is pretty fast. However, there are a lot of 90 degree turns with gravel in the road, sections of pretty rough road, and you have to ride back into the transition area parking lot on every lap.

I started out the ride with nobody but Oly racers in sight. My plan was to settle down from the swim and try to ride an average HR of 157-158. The first lap went well and as I headed out the out-and-back I saw that I was around 5 minutes behind the pro. After the turnaround I estimated that I had around 3-4 minutes on the chasing pack of 3 riders, who were all within probably 30 seconds of each other.

The 2nd time through the turnaround the pro had pulled another couple minutes on me, and the chase pack was less than 2 minutes behind. At this point, the wind had picked up and I was resisting the urge to push the pace, and kept my HR steady as my pace slowed a bit.

The 3rd time through, the pro was probably 10 minutes ahead, and the chase pack was right behind me as I made the turnaround. I stuck with my pace and decided if they passed me I would just have to try and get them on the run.

Surprisingly nobody passed until the last hill before transition, when 1 guy came past. Afterwards, he slowed down just a bit and I was content to cruise into T2 behind him as I prepared for the upcoming run.
What would you do differently?:

I did a century and a couple longer rides since Muncie, but should have done more 50+ milers during that time.
Transition 2
  • 01m 10s

T2 went well. I passed the guy that I followed in.
  • 1h 30m 17s
  • 13.1 miles
  • 06m 53s  min/mile

After finishing the bike on my HR target I knew I had set myself up for a good run. Leaving T2 I really had to hold the pace back, but knew if I didn't there was a good possibility I would blow up later on.

I took a glance back at the first 90 degree turn and realized the guy who had left T2 with me had dropped back. This was a good sign. I settled into my pace and concentrated on my first destination of the turnaround point at mile 3.3. I alternated grabbing water, gatorade, and coke, but didn't slow down for any of the aid stations. At the turnaround I saw that I had at least 30 seconds on 3rd place.

I kept the same routine for the "back" section of the course, but made the decision that after the turnaround I was going to take a gel on the run. Just before the halfway point I saw my wife and kids, and the kids ran out and gave me a high five; that was really nice!

The past few HIM I have done I have skipped the gel and haven't had a great run. I momentarily slowed to a walk at the halfway point just long enough to swallow both a coke and a water. After that I grabbed my gel out of my tri suit pocket in preparation for the next aid station. As I ran back out I was able to get another high five from the kids!

From this point on I just tried to maintain pace, but I did notice it was starting to creep upwards. Hitting the turnaround just before mile 10 was a nice mental boost for me as I knew from there I just had to run back to the finish. I had a good lead on 3rd place, but still wanted to finish with a strong run split so I kept pushing.

As I ran into the finishing area I saw the kids on the side. When I got a little closer they both came running out towards me, and since there weren't any other racers nearby I thought what the heck. We ran across the line together. That was fun.
What would you do differently?:

A couple long runs would have been good.
Post race
Event comments:

This is my second time doing this race and I enjoy it. Since the HIM distance starts last pretty much all the other racers have cleared out by the time we finish. This doesn't lend itself to many post race activities, but i'm OK with that. Plus, $100 entry is a deal compared to what WTC and others charge. Overall it's a great way to close out the season!

Last updated: 2013-07-16 12:00 AM
00:26:59 | 2112 yards | 01m 17s / 100yards
Age Group: 2/16
Overall: 2/105
Performance: Good
Suit: Xterra Vortex
Course: Rectangular, 2 loops.
Start type: Run Plus: Waves
Water temp: 70F / 21C Current: Low
200M Perf. Remainder:
Breathing: Drafting:
Waves: Navigation:
Time: 01:08
Cap removal: Helmet on/
Suit off:
Wetsuit stuck? Run with bike:
Jump on bike:
Getting up to speed:
02:23:43 | 56 miles | 23.38 mile/hr
Age Group: 3/16
Overall: 3/105
Wind: Some
Course: 3 loops, each with a lollipop stick out-and-back. Mostly flat for the first half, then a few hills on the back half. Light wind as we started the ride, but it built throughout. Course was a little short.
Road: Rough Dry Cadence:
Turns: Cornering:
Gear changes: Hills:
Race pace: Drinks:
Time: 01:10
Riding w/ feet on shoes Good
Jumping off bike Good
Running with bike
Racking bike
Shoe and helmet removal
01:30:17 | 13.1 miles | 06m 53s  min/mile
Age Group: 2/16
Overall: 2/105
Course: Out and back course of 6.55 miles; two loops. Pretty flat, some grass.
Keeping cool Drinking
Post race
Weight change: %
Mental exertion [1-5]
Physical exertion [1-5]
Good race?
Course challenge
Events on-time?
Lots of volunteers?
Plenty of drinks?
Post race activities:
Race evaluation [1-5]