Black Bear Triathlon - TriathlonSprint

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Beltsville, Pennsylvania
United States
CGI Racing
80F / 27C
Total Time = 1h 53m 9s
Overall Rank = 108/277
Age Group = Clydesdale
Age Group Rank = 4/12
Pre-race routine:

This was to be my "warm-up" race for the Philly Olympic as part of TNT in 3 weeks. Since this was my first tri my wife insisted on making this a family event - she's cool like that (I have 2 girls, 4 & 1). So we all went up the day before for the packet pickup & race meeting and spent the night nearby.

I was blown away by how perfect this venue was for a tri (in my inexperienced opinion, of course). It was on a gorgeous lake with a nice sandy beach with a mountainous backdrop. Nice shade on the bike and run. Great area for spectators to watch from and hang out.

The prerace meeting ended and a thunderstorm rolled in, so we got out of there pretty quick so with hit the supermarket for some grub and went back to the room.

Because we were sharing the room with the wee ones, we all ended up going to bed around 7pm. I was fine with that as I was going to get up around 5am and 10 hours of sleep before my first tri sounded awesome. That's a theory. Reality was that I was so amped i couldn't sleep. I sat in bed tossing for hours. Last time I looked at my watch it was 2:30am, so i figured I got about 2 hours sleep. Doh.

Wife dropped me off at the race site at 6 and i got my transition set up.
Got a spot on the far end end which was cool as I could spread out and figure out what I was doing. Plus it was near the fence where spectators could watch so the fam could be about 10 feet away while I was transitioning.

Got my appendages marked up, grabbed my stick of juicy fruit, and was ready to roll. But now I had an hour to kill. Wife showed up with some D&D coffee so I just drank that and played with the kids until the prerace meeting. Very mellow and relaxing.

Event warmup:

I swam for a bout 2 seconds befor the RD called us in for the pre-race meeting. Other than that, just going back and forth from the transition to the lake was warm up enough. It was a long haul up a hill from beach to transition.

  • 16m 44s
  • 820 yards
  • 02m 02s / 100 yards

I was in wave 4 which was the last Sprint wave. The Half guys were starting 15 minutes after us, so i definitely wanted to be out of the water and transition by the time those animals came barreling through.

While on the beach I was talking to a guy who would end up winning the swim for our wave. I told him it was my first and he gave me a high five and a bunch of pointers. He also saw me wave to my wife and kids and proceed to yell to them "we've got a virgin here!!!". It was great.

Luckily, my wave looked relatively small compared to the others. Probably about 40 of us. This was great as there was plenty of room and no jockeying. I didn't touch anyone the whole swim. Barely even got near anyone except one guy who crossed right in front of me about 20 yards before the first bouy. I had a pretty tight angle on the turn, so i don't know where he was going. Maybe he was in some other race :).

What a rush coming out of the water and running up the hill. It went from total silence with my head under water to cowbells and screaming.

The run from the beach to the transition must have been 1/8 mile or more up hill. Once out of site of the crowds I started walking to get my hr down. Then I heard my wife and daughter yelling for me to "GOOOOO!". They were running up the hill after me - wife had the baby in the backpack and the four year old was booking. At that point I had to say screw the hr and run for the girls.
What would you do differently?:

Not much. My sighting was good, and I felt very comfortable. Things will probably change when I get in with a bigger crowd and take a few kicks, but I was happy with my performance, especially for my first OWS.
Transition 1
  • 02m 54s

I thought the transition went smooth. Wetsuit came off fine with body-glide on the ankles. Put on socks and shirt. Bike shoes on (i'll try running mount next time). Tried sunglasses, but they fogged up instantly so just left them around neck. And I was off.

Looking back at the results, this is where i gave up a good amount of time. Gave up almost 2 minutes to the clyde leaders here. I must've looked like I was having a day at the beach, with my towel out, sitting down, taking my sweet time. I'll definitely work on this.

What would you do differently?:

try no socks. Get tri top to wear under wetsuit. No sit down. figure out sunglasses. get position closer to exit or entrance. Running mount with bike shoes already attached to bike.
  • 1h 05m 31s
  • 18 miles
  • 16.48 mile/hr

I have a feeling from what everyone was saying at this race that this bike course is going to go down as legendary. I look forward to hearing what the guys and gals that did the half-iron have to say. That must've been brutal.

Hilly is an understatement. My average speed was officially 16.2mph but I don't think i did 16.2 all that much during the race. It seemed like it was either 5mph or 40mph and in the end it just averaged out to 16.2.

I'm riding a mountain bike and I'm 6'5". I'm the opposite of aero. I'm like one of those tall ships with it's full sails out, catching every bit of wind near me. I still managed to hit a max speed of 42mph. I can't imagine what the aero guys did.

I felt strong on the bike. I passed alot of folks from earlier waves and really didn't get passed except for maybe 3 or 4 guys (mostly due to the fact i was in the last wave, i'm sure). I did alot of back and forth with a group of about 5 guys. I just didn't have gears to keep up on some of the flats, but i could catch them on the ups or the steep downs where I just tucked as much as I could and bombed. There were alot of white knuckles showing going down these hills around blind corners.

I really enjoyed this bike course. I found myself hootin and hollering like a kid on some of those downhills. The only thing I worried about was how my legs would hold up for the run, because they were really burning at times.
What would you do differently?:

Hire a sherpa.
Get a road bike.
Bring a second bottle of fluids for such a hilly course. I was 3/4 through mine by mile 10 and had to slow my intake down.
Transition 2
  • 01m 45s

Gave up another minute to the others here. Call me molasses man.
What would you do differently?:

dismount out of shoes.
Get some yankz laces.
don't chit chat with family!
  • 26m 15s
  • 3.3 miles
  • 07m 57s  min/mile

As soon as we peeled out of transition we were on a shaded trail. There was one steep hill, but the rest was rolling. The highlight of the run was crossing over two huge dams. Very intense.

I felt great in the beginning of the run. I think I passed about ten people early. Then i hit that hill and realized I better calm it down a little. I continued to pass a few more and was not passed by anyone. I was wearing my TNT shirt and got a bunch of folks cheering me on for that which was nice.

At about the 2.25 mile mark i saw two guys that i recognized from the swim start that were in my wave way ahead. I made it my goal to pass them which I did just before the 3 mile mark. That was a great goal because it gave me something to focus on other than the discomfort that was setting in. After I passed them I had about a 1/2 mile to go and it was the first time I actually considered walking as I started to feel really fatigued.

Then I started to hear the finish line announcer and the crowd and that was all I needed. One really loud guy was at the turn right before the 75 yard finish chute and he was basically yelling "suck it up and give it all you have" so that's what I did.

The finish chute was all up hill, and there was one guy ahead of me that I decided I was going to pass. I hear the announcer say "We've got a pass going on..." just as I was about to take this guy. We'll he wanted nothing of it and turned on the jets. We had an all out sprint for about 40 yards, neck and neck, and went over the line side by side. As soon as we crossed the line we both turned to each other with huge smiles and gave the biggest high five we could. All ticker for both of us and a great finish.
What would you do differently?:

Wouldn't take the opportunity to taste test HEED for the first time during a race. Too sweet for me and i missed my mouth with half of it getting muy sticky.

Had the fastest run time out of the big boy class so that was a real positive.
Post race
Warm down:

Immediately after the race my daughter was so excited to see me she wanted to go play at the playground, go down to the beach, do "fun kid stuff". I was like "honey, Daddy's got to rest just a little bit before he plays". So I convinced her to let me cheer on a few finishers and rest. Then I got some of the free buffet food and walked around in a bit of a daze.

I definitely need to drink more during the race. My pee was the color of a Vegas casino sign when i was done. I probably wouldn't have made it if the run was too much longer.

What limited your ability to perform faster:

Transitions!! I felt fast but when i look at the results it shows i was a snail compared to the others. If i had the same transition splits as the 2nd place clyde I would have had 2nd myself. I missed 3rd by just 21 seconds. Gotta work the transitions! I'm not beating myself up over it, though, as it was a great learning experience and an absolute BLAST.

And, i have to think a road bike would shave a bunch of time, but who knows on those hills. Gotta convince the wife to let me go shopping.

Event comments:

Loved this race. CGI was great. I predict this will sell out next year when the word gets out.

Wish they had a little more for the kids to do while moms and dads are racing. A moon bounce would have gone a long way!

Lastly, a special thanks to everyone at BT who contributes content to this site. Four months ago I couldn't run 3 miles without walking and whining about shin splints. I also couldn't swim more than four laps in a pool without an oxygen tank. So much of your input helped me prepare for this race and make it a huge success in my mind. And the sense of community both on this board and at the races only makes me more drawn to this incredible sport. Cheers to you all and good racing.

Last updated: 2007-05-24 12:00 AM
00:16:44 | 820 yards | 02m 02s / 100yards
Age Group: 5/12
Overall: 117/277
Performance: Good
this time includes a long run to the transition. my watch says I was out of the water in 15 min
Suit: sleeveles rental, 2XU, SC1, XXL
Course: triangular down and back in a beautiful mountain lake.
Start type: Wade Plus: Waves
Water temp: 70F / 21C Current: Low
200M Perf. Good Remainder: Good
Breathing: Good Drafting:
Waves: Navigation: Good
Rounding: Good
Time: 02:54
Performance: Bad
Cap removal: Good Helmet on/
Suit off:
Wetsuit stuck? No Run with bike: Yes
Jump on bike: No
Getting up to speed:
01:05:31 | 18 miles | 16.48 mile/hr
Age Group: 5/12
Overall: 123/277
Performance: Good
Course: Very hilly. Nice shade. Some descents were hairy - winding through the woods. Exhilerating.
Road: Smooth Dry Cadence:
Turns: Good Cornering: Good
Gear changes: Good Hills: Average
Race pace: Hard Drinks: Not enough
Time: 01:45
Overall: Bad
Riding w/ feet on shoes
Jumping off bike
Running with bike Average
Racking bike Good
Shoe and helmet removal Good
00:26:15 | 03.3 miles | 07m 57s  min/mile
Age Group: 1/12
Overall: 77/277
Performance: Good
Course: shaded trail run. gravel, dirt, grass, rocks.
Keeping cool Average Drinking Not enough
Post race
Weight change: %
Overall: 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? Yes
Post race activities: Average
Race evaluation [1-5] 5