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Whirlpool Steelhead 70.3 Triathlon - DuathlonPowerman

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Benton Harbor, Michigan
United States
CAPRI Events
Total Time = 5h 23m 31s
Overall Rank = 1189/1890
Age Group = 25-29
Age Group Rank = 57/99
Pre-race routine:

Got up around 4:40, got ready, ate PBH waffle. Kirk drove us to the race site and we took the bus to transition. Set up transition and walked out to find the group/drop off our bags at our post-race area.
Event warmup:

Walked 1.2 miles down the beach in the sand to the "Swim Start". Arrived at swim start to find out it was cancelled - WHAT?!. Waited in long port-a-potty line while complaining about cancelled swim and then walked 1.2 miles back down the beach in the sand.

Back at transition, try to figure out how to do a run-bike-run - yikes! I decide to just wear my garmin and I guess I'll keep my socks on for the bike, ew (I always bike without socks). Racebelt will be on the whole race, this should be interesting. In transition - the announcer knew nothing about the new race course, we were supposed to start walking down the road back to toward the swim start, where someone should tell us more. Uh - ok.... Get down to the run start area and I hear a couple of things - run in 2 miles, no run is 1.6 miles, no run is 2.1 miles - all from the officials. Whatever.

Total walking pre-race - around 3 miles.
  • 18m 2s
  • 2.1 miles
  • 08m 35s  min/mile

Finally work my way up toward the my wave "group" after the pros go off. The start was mass chaos, but it worked out okay. The official distance was supposedly 2.1 miles, which I paced at around half-marathon pace (per Brett). I was thirsty and hungry almost from the start, I hadn't been drinking water as I should have throughout the morning mess. Tried to ignore the feeling and just run. I did a good job letting all the girls run right by me and keep my pace (I could hear Jonathan in my head: run YOUR race).

Grabbed water at the T1 stop and tried to run and drink - I'm so bad at this!
What would you do differently?:

Nothing - I think this worked pretty well. I wasn't really trained for a 15 mile run, so this strategy worked well.
Transition 1
  • 01m 25s

AG - 25/99

Funny, this is a big transition area and I was sure I was taking my time. I expected this over 2 minutes, so nice surprise.

Took off my visor, put on helmet; pulled off running shoes, put on bike shoes (ew, socks!!), grabbed bike off rack and jogged the long way out to the mount line.
What would you do differently?:

I think I paced this well, I was nervous I would forget something with the last minute format change.
  • 2h 45m 39s
  • 56 miles
  • 20.28 mile/hr

I was dying for some nutrition by the time I mounted the bike. I started my Infinit immediately (usually wait until 20 minutes in) and hoped I wouldn't run out (I didn't). Started downing water, knowing that I was behind there too.

The course was PACKED! Gulf Coast was crowded, but this was ridiculous! I don't think a single person can honestly say they never drafted in this mess, it was impossible for at least the first 30 miles. Generally, people were 4 wide, all passing at different speeds, just trying to find open space. There were a few people who refused to move to the right of the road when they had room, but mostly everyone was just trying to keep moving.

The roads were incredibly rough, similar to the bad stretch at Gulf Coast, but for a much longer period of time. I've never enjoyed freshly paved roads more than when we road back onto the new area toward the end of the ride! :) The course itself, however, was FANTASTIC!! This was my kind of terrain. Rolling hills, I think I got out of aero once or twice on a climb, otherwise very nice rollers. Down one side and momentum helped you up most of the other.

I actually worried I was going too fast around the middle, since I had only planned on 19mph avg, but was actually at 19.5. My effort level was good though, so I hoped it wasn't race day adrenaline keeping me going. Passed a TON of people on the course, which was fun. The aerohelmet felt perfect.

At about 35-40 I was ready to get off the bike. I wasn't prepared to be in aero as long as I was, so by neck started talking to me and my butt was hurting a little (not sure why that started so early). Whatever, I'm almost there. I finished my nutrition at about 2:25 into the ride, off the bike by 2:45, so no problems there.
What would you do differently?:

I think I could have actually pushed a little harder on this course, but I wanted to make sure I could run.
Transition 2
  • 01m 45s

AG - 25/99

I took my time here, as right foot had gone numb on the bike and I needed to get some feeling back (stupid socks!). I felt like I took my sweet time in transition again, so I'm happy to see this is still under 2 minutes.
What would you do differently?:

Nothing - this was fine
  • 2h 16m 42s
  • 13.1 miles
  • 10m 26s  min/mile

Brett caught up to me as we left T2 - cool, he didn't pass me on the bike!

Started out the run feeling I could run super-fast, as usual. Made myself start out slow, knowing that I have a hard time pacing off the bike and I still had 13 miles to run. Started to feel a little drained about 4 miles in and concentrated on taking my nutrition. I was feeling kind of hot, so I dumped ice water over my head at every water station. I think I was still catching up with my hydration from the morning here, but I kept running. I decided my plan would be to walk the uphills and water stations, which worked really well.

The miles kept ticking off and I was happy to still be running (no Gulf Coast repeat!). After the 10ish mile aid station, I got my energy back - yep, I think I finally caught up on my hydration. I picked it up to finish the race and brought my average time back down a bit. I found a girl to run with at the end and we took turns pulling each other. She even made me run fast over that aweful sand patch before the finish line (that was just MEAN!). :)
What would you do differently?:

Hydrate better pre-race, so I wasn't playing catch-up. I can really feel dehydration on the run (which is why I have a fuelbelt even on a 5K race), so I think that definately slowed me down. I shouldn't have had that amount of energy left at the end of such a long race. BUT - this was much faster than the run in my last two HIM races, so that's great! I'm marking this as a good run overall, based on that progress.
Post race
Warm down:

Sat down, drank more water, cheered for Kirk and Brian as they finished, ate food, drank Root Beer.

What limited your ability to perform faster:

Hydration and inexperience at the duathlon format

Event comments:

I almost want to give this race a 2, because it was the poorest organized race I've done in my 4 years of tris - BUT the actual course was great. I hope they learn from their mistakes this year and it improves in the future. I did learn that 70.3 races are not guaranteed to be well run races. The only reason I see to do one is to qualify for Clearwater.

Would I do this race again? Maybe, but not for a while.

Last updated: 2008-05-13 12:00 AM
00:18:02 | 02.1 miles | 08m 35s  min/mile
Age Group: 80/99
Overall: 0/1890
Performance: Good
Keeping cool Good Drinking Not enough
Time: 01:25
Overall: Good
Run with bike? Average
Jump on bike? Average
Getting up to speed and into shoes: Average
02:45:39 | 56 miles | 20.28 mile/hr
Age Group: 37/99
Overall: 0/1890
Performance: Good
Road: Rough Dry Cadence:
Turns: Good Cornering: Good
Gear changes: Good Hills: Good
Race pace: Comfortable Drinks: Just right
Time: 01:45
Overall: Average
Riding w/ feet on shoes Average
Jumping off bike Average
Running with bike Below average
Racking bike Below average
Shoe and helmet removal Good
02:16:42 | 13.1 miles | 10m 26s  min/mile
Age Group: 67/99
Overall: 0/1890
Performance: Good
Keeping cool Average Drinking Just right
Post race
Weight change: %
Overall: Good
Mental exertion [1-5] 4
Physical exertion [1-5] 4
Good race? Yes
Course challenge Just right
Organized? No
Events on-time? No
Lots of volunteers? Yes
Plenty of drinks? Yes
Post race activities: Average
Race evaluation [1-5] 3

2008-08-06 8:59 PM

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Marietta, GA
Subject: Whirlpool Steelhead 70.3 Triathlon

2008-08-06 9:06 PM
in reply to: #1586767

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Subject: RE: Whirlpool Steelhead 70.3 Triathlon
Great race H! You just keep getting faster and faster.
2008-08-07 7:43 AM
in reply to: #1586767

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Subject: RE: Whirlpool Steelhead 70.3 Triathlon
Ecxellent race! You really put togather a strong race all the way around. We enjoyed the house and the company too. Thanks for putting it all together. Congrats on an A+ season!
2008-08-07 9:19 AM
in reply to: #1586767

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Sugar Hill, GA
Subject: RE: Whirlpool Steelhead 70.3 Triathlon
Great race!  Impressive how you adapted and made up for the nutrition/hydration issues throughout the race.  Great job.
2008-08-07 12:53 PM
in reply to: #1586767

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Atlanta, GA
Subject: RE: Whirlpool Steelhead 70.3 Triathlon
Awesome race!  You've come so far in the past few years.  I'm scared about next year!!  Nice job dealing with all the unexpected things too- socks, race number, hydration....If I didn't know better, I'd never have guess it was an issue at all!  Way to go- I think I'm already excited about next year!

And where the heck did you guys get root beer?  I missed that!
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