Culpeper Sprint Triathlon - Triathlon

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Culpeper, Virginia
United States
Set Up Events
Total Time = 1h 52m
Overall Rank = /
Age Group = 44-49
Age Group Rank = 5/9
Pre-race routine:

Got up at 4:30 and drove to race site, waited 15 minutes to get into the site and park because of cars backed up outside park entrance.
Event warmup:

Thought about warming up for the swim before the international started at 7:30, but my swim wave didn't start until 8:12 so I decided there was no point. Ate a bagel and then later sat in the water a bit until my wave started.
  • 18h 04m
  • 750 meters
  • 2h 24m 32s / 100 meters

My swim was several minutes slower than normal. No idea why. I felt tired and thought I must be swimming fast, but apparently not. No reason for a slow swim - smooth water and the field was pretty open and not crowded. No problems sighting. Even going around the buoys was pretty easy. Maybe I just suck at swimming. The pond is gross, though - the bottom is mucky and squishy and the water is very warm and murky and filled with sediment. No weeds, though. Overall not much different than Lake Anna, but warmer and yuckier on the feet. No wetsuits.
What would you do differently?:

Not suck at swimming.
Transition 1
  • 01m 35s

The swim to bike transition involves a very long run with the bike up a grassy hill. And I mean LONG, and the grass was kind of dewy and wet and freshly cut. I was worried about getting it stuck in my clips, plus I didn't want to have to run that far, up hill, in bike shoes, so I came up with the idea to put my bike shoes on my handle bars (I slid the aerobars through the opening in the shoe) and run up the hill barefoot and then put then on at the bike start. This actually worked great - I was number one T1 - woohoo I'm number 1! So I highly recommend this for those who can't master the art of getting onto the bike with shoes already clipped on. I had a small rag with me that I used to wipe off my feet a little before putting them on, and then I stuck it in my race belt. There's no sand or anything, so a big wash-off like at a beach is not necessary. Also, just fyi, thank god this race actually lets you start on a downhill, so no danger of falling over due to not clipping in fast enough.
What would you do differently?:

Nothing. I'm number one!!
  • 1h 04m
  • 17 miles
  • 15.94 mile/hr

I almost always ride on a trainer, so this course was hard for me. The hairpin turns caused me to slow too much, and I hadn't really prepared enough for the amount of steep hills. My bike segment wasn't awful - I think it was average - but the course was longer, slower and harder than others I've done. The extra mile is reflected in the race results - everyone's times were a bit slower than usual. Aerobars really helped - getting as much speed as possible on the downhills here is crucial. I passed a lot of people without them on the downhills.
What would you do differently?:

Ride my bike on an actual road once in a while. Practice hills.
Transition 2
  • 01m 35s

I took my shoes off at the top and put them on my handlebars for the jog down to the transition area. I wasn't number one this time, but I still think it was better than wearing them down the hill.
What would you do differently?:

Nothing. I think transitions are my best event:)
  • 28h 00m
  • 5 kms
  • 5h 36m  min/km

My run was OK, a little slow, which I attribute to the huge uphill at the beginning and the fact that I was seriously drained from the bike course. I made up a lot of time on the last mile, which is all downhill. Weirdly, my Garmin disagrees by 30 seconds with the official race time, although we have the same overall time.
What would you do differently?:

Post race
Warm down:

I ate Mike and Ikes and drove home.

What limited your ability to perform faster:

I don't know why my swim was so slow. Bike handling skills are poor, and I lost a minute or so because of some serious blocking on the bike course - some guy riding with his girlfriend maybe, or just unsuccessfully trying to pass her for miles, I don't know. I finally yelled at him to move over, and he did. My run was limited only by my slow running.

Event comments:

Not a bad race, not a great race. I'll probably do it again. Overall negatives for me are the technical bike course, poor directions on the course, and the gross water in the pond. Positives are the easy, uncrowded swim (even though I sucked in it), a challenging bike course (something to work on), and a pretty nice run. Good organization (minus the bike course turns) and overall setup, as always.

Last updated: 2015-08-02 12:00 AM
18:04:00 | 750 meters | 2h 24m 32s / 100meters
Age Group: 0/9
Overall: 0/
Performance: Below average
Suit: Soas tri kit
Course: The course was a triangle, with a very long straightaway in the middle and two shorter arms. It was pretty well-marked.
Start type: Wade Plus:
Water temp: 80F / 27C Current: Low
200M Perf. Remainder:
Breathing: Drafting:
Waves: Navigation:
Time: 01:35
Cap removal: Good Helmet on/
Suit off:
Wetsuit stuck? Run with bike:
Jump on bike:
Getting up to speed:
01:04:00 | 17 miles | 15.94 mile/hr
Age Group: 0/9
Overall: 0/
Wind: None
Course: This course kind of sucks for people who do most of their riding on a trainer. You actually have to go around turns and things. There are about four places where there are 90 degree turns, and I practically had to stop to go around them. A couple of those turns are immediately followed by huge hills, which you have no momentum to get up. Hills - there are many. Most of the course seems to be uphill, but I guess that's not possible. Less big hills than steep ones. It's a pretty tough bike course, and it's more than 16 miles - my Garmin clocked just over 17, and I totally believe it. If you do this race, practice HILLS. Also, the race course is not well-marked, contrary to what the race director insisted. I drove it the day before and still got really confused. There are a bunch of intersections with turns, and plenty of volunteers and police standing around. But at some of the intersections, standing around was all they were doing. I actually had to ask them which way to go before they would point and tell me. At one, the policeman was pointing in one direction, and the volunteers in the other. At another, the volunteers were waving their flags back and forth in a way that didn't clearly indicate one direction. The whole time I kept worrying that I was on the wrong course (the international course). There were things spray painted on the road, but they were hard to read (or I was too tired to read) and sometimes the "sprint" spraypaint didn't come until after the turn. Simple, large signs with the words Sprint or International and a big arrow would have been a lot better.
Road:   Cadence:
Turns: Below average Cornering: Below average
Gear changes: Below average Hills: Below average
Race pace: Hard Drinks:
Time: 01:35
Riding w/ feet on shoes
Jumping off bike
Running with bike
Racking bike
Shoe and helmet removal
28:00:00 | 05 kms | 5h 36m  min/km
Age Group: 0/9
Overall: 0/
Performance: Below average
Course: More hills. A huge uphill at the beginning - the whole first mile is mostly uphill. I had been worried about heat, but it was a nice day, not humid, was slightly overcast, and there was a decent amount of shade on about half the run. It starts and ends on a long grassy levee, which is a bit annoying since the terrain is uneven, but it wasn't too bad. Overall not a bad run course once you get past the first mile. The second mile has some ups and downs, and the third is all downhill.
Keeping cool Drinking
Post race
Weight change: %
Overall: Average
Mental exertion [1-5] 3
Physical exertion [1-5] 3
Good race? Ok
Course challenge Just right
Organized? Yes
Events on-time? Yes
Lots of volunteers? Yes
Plenty of drinks? Yes
Post race activities: Average
Race evaluation [1-5] 3