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GoldenGate Triathlon - TriathlonOlympic

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San Francisco, California
United States
Total Time = 2h 52m 27s
Overall Rank = 47/111
Age Group = 45-49
Age Group Rank = 4/7
Pre-race routine:

Woke up at 4:45, showered, then had a yogurt, a granola bar and a banana. Washed it down with a glass of chocolate milk.
Event warmup:

Got to the venue at 6:15 and set up my TA by 6:30. Rachel and I went for a nice walk on a gorgeous morning along the Bay. The day before had been extremely foggy and windy, and today's forecast was for much of the same. Thankfully, the weather folks got it wrong.. it was sunny and < 10 mph winds!!

On our walk a needle punctured through the bottom of one of my crocs and implanted itself in my left foot. Thankfully, it was a sewing needle and not another type... still, it sucked!

Returned to the car, donned the wetsuit, and headed to the beach for the pre-race announcements.
  • 32m 33s
  • 1640 yards
  • 01m 59s / 100 yards

I knew there was a current, but being new to OWS I had no clue how strong. I was about to find out. I started in the back on the outside left (course was clockwise) and went slowly to get my breathing correct. This worked well for me and I did the crawl non-stop for the entire race. I reached the turn-around point in just under 12 minutes and thought, "wow, this isn't so bad". I had no idea were I was within the pack, but I kept getting run into, and cralwed on, and kicked... I dug it!! Everyone should go through it at least once. It forces you to regain composure quickly after the rythm has been broken.

Well, the return leg took over 20 minutes, but I was swimming smartly, if not well, by keeping my breath under control and allowing it to dictate pace. Yes, I was slow (near the back of the pack), but I had much more energy left than in my first tri last month (a shorter swim in much easier conditions). Ran onto the beach and headed to T1 in good spirits, and in decent shape.
What would you do differently?:

Not much... more time in the water. I've only been at this since January, so I've got tons of room for improvement in the months and years ahead, should I continue on the triathlon route.
Transition 1
  • 03m 42s

Better than the first time, but still need a bit of work. 74/111 is not good.
What would you do differently?:

Have more urgency in the transition area. I was very relaxed and almost non-chalant about it all.
  • 1h 25m 9s
  • 24.85 miles
  • 17.51 mile/hr

I took it very easy on the ride so as not to blow up on the run. There was ~2600 ft. of overall climbing with very little flat terrain. In hindsight, I should've pushed much harder, but "live and learn".

Speaking with other competitors after the race, all said this was a very tough bike course. Virtually no flat terrain (perhaps 1 mile out of 6) separated the contenders from the pretenders. I wasn't with the contenders! ;-)

What would you do differently?:

Train more on the bike. I don't spend nearly enough time in the saddle, at least not enough to improve much. Also, my bike is a Trek 1500, which is basically a step up from an introductory road bike (it's quite heavy), but it's what I'll be using for quite some time, so my only option is to improve the engine... me.
Transition 2
  • 01m 38s

uneventful. sucked down a Hammer gel, took in some water, and off I went running on a pair of 2X4's. 76/111 sucks!
  • 49m 24s
  • 6.21 miles
  • 07m 57s  min/mile

Once again the run started with my legs feeling like logs. The first mile was flat, but now the winds were kicking in pretty good along Crissy Field and we were running into the teeth of it. Oh Goody!! As if that weren't enough, after about 1 flat mile the course took a cruel turn up the stairs leading to the Golden Gate Bridge. Climb, climb, climb... get off the stairs and climb some more. Hell ya, this is fun! For those who haven't been to the GGB, it's about a 200 ft. climb up to the bridge in a very short distance. Then, when on the bridge, it's still a climb as the bridge is not flat. It took the first 2 miles at about a 9:15 pace before my logs became limber (not lumber) enough to feel like I was actually running. I passed a number of folks on the bridge and decided to kick it up a notch and hold on best I could. Suprsingly, my legs were now working well and I was able to dodge the picture taking tourists who were oblivious to any athletes running on the bridge. It's hard to be nice when you're struggling to maintain pace and a camera wielding linebacker steps into your area, but I did my best... only a couple of small swear words! ;-)

Back down the damn stairs and onto the Crissy Field flats for the final fast mile to the finish. Wind at my back and legs hanging in there led to a strong finish, at least for me.

What would you do differently?:

MORE BRICKS! This is my second tri and both times I've had nothing starting the run. I eventually work through it, but I'd like to improve on the first couple of miles.
Post race
Warm down:

Grabbed some water and recovery drink, and took a nice walk with Rachel to keep the legs loose. Got back to the finish area and grabbed some food while watching other competitors finish.

What limited your ability to perform faster:

Swimming skills (lack thereof) and lack of saddle time.

Event comments:

This was a well run race, especially so as it was the inagural event. I'm hoping to make this a yearly "must do".

Last updated: 2008-02-09 12:00 AM
00:32:33 | 1640 yards | 01m 59s / 100yards
Age Group: 3/7
Overall: 61/111
Performance: Good
Suit: Orca Sonar
Course: The swim course was an out and back in SF Bay along Crissy Field.
Start type: Run Plus: Waves
Water temp: 54F / 12C Current: Medium
200M Perf. Good Remainder: Average
Breathing: Good Drafting: Average
Waves: Navigation: Good
Rounding: Average
Time: 03:42
Performance: Below average
Cap removal: Below average Helmet on/
Suit off:
Wetsuit stuck? No Run with bike: Yes
Jump on bike: No
Getting up to speed:
01:25:09 | 24.85 miles | 17.51 mile/hr
Age Group: 4/7
Overall: 49/111
Performance: Average
Wind: Some with gusts
Course: 4 laps of approx. 650 ft. climbing.
Road: Smooth Dry Cadence: 88
Turns: Good Cornering: Average
Gear changes: Good Hills: Average
Race pace: Comfortable Drinks: Just right
Time: 01:38
Overall: Below average
Riding w/ feet on shoes
Jumping off bike Average
Running with bike Good
Racking bike Below average
Shoe and helmet removal Average
00:49:24 | 06.21 miles | 07m 57s  min/mile
Age Group: 4/7
Overall: 32/111
Performance: Average
Course: out and back starting at Crissy Field, the over the GGB and back.
Keeping cool Good Drinking Just right
Post race
Weight change: %
Overall: Average
Mental exertion [1-5] 3
Physical exertion [1-5] 3
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] 4

2008-06-02 3:08 PM

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Subject: GoldenGate Triathlon

2008-06-02 6:34 PM
in reply to: #1439390

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Berkeley, Calif.
Bronze member
Subject: RE: GoldenGate Triathlon
Congrats on the first oly! I'm super impressed with (and envious of) your swim. And your bike. And your run. Way to nail it on the run, by the way -- I'm guessing familiarity with the course helped a bit there. I wish I could've come out and watched, but, yeah, sleeping won. Maybe next year I'll be racing it with you.
2008-06-03 2:52 PM
in reply to: #1439390

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Subject: RE: GoldenGate Triathlon

Congrats! Sounds like a great race! Seems like you learned the difference between swimming with the current and against it.


2008-06-04 9:07 AM
in reply to: #1439390

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Modesto, California
Subject: RE: GoldenGate Triathlon
Great race! You handled the Olympic distance easily, you should do well at Big Kahuna!
2008-06-04 1:01 PM
in reply to: #1439390

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Subject: RE: GoldenGate Triathlon
Thanks, all.... appreciate the nice replies.
2008-06-04 6:30 PM
in reply to: #1439390

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Carlsbad, California
Subject: RE: GoldenGate Triathlon

Very solid effort for your Olympic

The swim does sound tough with flukey currents  and such but it sounds like you were able to exit the water with plenty of breath to hit the bike hard. (No one ever won a Tri by being first out of the water)

That bike course does sound very technical. I bet you had a bit of an advantage being on a nimble road bike rather than a squirrelly Tri bike. (Not much chance to be in aero here)

For some reason, T1 always seems like it is going OK when I do it, but when I look back at my times I feel like I got screwed. (Like I missed out on the foot massage that it appears I had time for)

You cranked the run. I have done that same route in the SF Marathon and that was one of the toughest parts of the course. (Climbing up from Crissy Field to the Bridge and then over the Span which is uphill to the middle)

That is very cool that you got to run over the bridge. (Was my favorite part of the marathon) I really need to get back and do that race again someday.

Great job out there 

Edited by WaterDog66 2008-06-04 6:31 PM

2008-06-04 11:39 PM
in reply to: #1439390

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Subject: RE: GoldenGate Triathlon

Great job on your 1st oly!!

I'd kill for a slow swim like yours   Your going to do great at Big Kahuna

2008-06-04 11:45 PM
in reply to: #1439390

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Lafayette, CA
Subject: RE: GoldenGate Triathlon

Nice job!  Isn't it a great course. I didn't know about this race--it would have been fun!

You're very fast and put a quite the effort. You should be very proud! 

2008-06-05 1:04 AM
in reply to: #1439390

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Melon Presser
Subject: RE: GoldenGate Triathlon
Super job, OLY triathlete!!! Way to power through the cold, current, and wind. Very good taking 4th in your AG.
2008-06-05 8:45 AM
in reply to: #1439390

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San Francisco
Subject: RE: GoldenGate Triathlon
Jim, great job on your first Oly.  Sounds like you had some fun out there, learned some things, and kicked some butt too.  You're quickly ramping up at these tri distances and you'll have a blast at Big Kahuna.
2008-06-05 6:18 PM
in reply to: #1439390

New user

New York
Subject: RE: GoldenGate Triathlon
Congrats on the great race! And yes, it was definitely a fun course. I could have done without those stairs on the run... but otherwise, a blast.

2008-06-07 4:22 PM
in reply to: #1439390

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Subject: RE: GoldenGate Triathlon
Great job on the triathlon! Sounds like you had a nice race
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