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TriAmerica Sprint - TriathlonSprint

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Michigan city, Indiana
United States
Sommer Sports
70F / 21C
Total Time = 2h 03m 49s
Overall Rank = 19/95
Age Group = 35-39
Age Group Rank = 1/8
Pre-race routine:

DOH! So for some reason, I thought Michigan City was in ET. So we woke up at 3am to make certain we got there on time. Did the regular stuff of packing the car, making coffee, downing a builder bar and just generally getting ready.

It is about a 1 hour drive from the house. We get there and pull into the parking lot, expecting it to be teeming with people getting ready. The place is deserted. We walk over to the event pavillion, go to the bathroom, and start to walk back to the car. I see an event security person and ask what time it was. 4:50 am!!!!!

So of course I'm getting grief (and rightly so) from Beth and Dan (Sprint_DA). So we go back to the car, hop in and take a little 1/2 nap 1/2 relax until about 6. Yeah. I wasn't happy.
Event warmup:

Not much really. After we set up transition, we put on our wetsuits to stay warm (it was pretty chilly without the sun up yet) and then when they finally opened the beach up, we got in for some warm ups.

That was nice as the water was warmer than the air. But we weren't going off till 7:30 or later, so it was going to be awhile. Glad I got in, too, to get used to the waves as there was some fairly significant chop for the day.
  • 25m 27s
  • 1094 yards
  • 02m 20s / 100 yards

Tough. Very tough. Only swim I've had that was tougher was Spirit of Racine last year. You can see, by my time, that this was not an easy swim. Normally I'm well below 2:00 pace. Not this time.

Got out to the first buoy and hung the hard right and found some feet and tried to get into a groove. And I found out quickly that the chop wasn't going to allow it. It was so random that one stroke would cut short, right into the water, almost right next to my head, and then the next one would miss water all together and I wouldn't get it into water till it was almost 1/3 of the way through the pull stroke.

But this time, compared to SoR, I didn't change strokes. I kept plugging away. Swimming is easily my best event now, and with that confidence I just kept going. And so I did.

Made it to the back end of the rectangle, close to the Coast Guard boat and started to taste diesel. YUCK! Knew it wouldn't last long so I just churned away.

I was also finding sighting very, VERY difficult. Until I figured out how to wait till I was at the top of a wave and then pull my head up. I did zig-zag a few times, one of them pretty bad. So I'll need to work on that. I just don't have too many opportunities to get into big chop OWS.

Finally made the turn back to shore, passed a few more folks from my wave, and beach headed. This, too, was tough. It was almost waist high water out almost 50 yards into the water. And with the size of the chop, it made it very difficult. I swam till I couldn't swim anymore, stood up and high stepped it all the way in, up the steep beach and over the timing mat.

Beth was at the top and as I passed told me my time. Oof. That took LOTs longer than I was expecting. I was originally shooting for well under 20:00. Ok, you've got too more legs to do and you are behind the eight ball. Only good thing is that at least everyone else had to deal with it too.

Let's go.
What would you do differently?:

More OWS practice in big chop.
Transition 1
  • 02m 28s

The time included the run up the beach and into transition. I think I was concentrating too much on just how long the swim took and not enough on what I needed to do. This should have been a sub 2:00 T1. Even though I was 11th overall and 2nd in my AG in it, I know I can do faster.
What would you do differently?:

Be like a MLB closer and forget my bad outing. Dwelling on what went wrong won't get me to improve. Forgetting about it and focusing on the task at hand will.
  • 56m 29s
  • 18.69 miles
  • 19.85 mile/hr

This would have been a really nice course except for two things. First the wind. But there is no controllilng that. Second, was the condition of the roads. Rough doesn't begin to describ just how rough the roads were going out to Beverly Shores. It was consistantly rough. The bumps weren't as jarring as Lake Shore Drive was at Accenture, but you had to deal with it much more often.

So combo those two problems and it was very difficult to get into a decent groove going out. Make the turn right into Beverly Shores and there are a few, very small rollers, but then coming down one, to turn left along the shore line, there are folks there with signs saying Take It Slow, Steep Hill, Sharp Turn. They weren't kidding. Even feathering the brakes going down that hill (the pavement here hadn't dried out yet from the overnight rain) I was skidding a little. And there was a huge sand bar at the bottom. YIKES!

Made it past that and tucked in (I really need to cut my aero bar straws down, they keep me too high in the tuck) and kept pushing it. Trying to maintain at least 18 and possibly 19 mph (with the wind it was hard).

Turned left, went up a small hill and thought, good, now I'll start to get the wind at my back. Turned back onto Beverly to start heading back into town and had a tail wind, but the road was even rougher. I was in and out of aero so much to avoid the holes, I was barely able to get anything above 22! Grrrr.

Back into town and now had to head South, past the prison (yes, prison!), and up a small hill to turn left. There was a guy that was just slowly rolling along. Had to sit up and wait to get through the turn before I was able to pass him safely. Especially with the Course Marshall right on my tail.

Anyway, finally made it to the park (the one part we didn't drive through on Saturday to get a lay of the course), and it was flat, but fairly hard. Mainly because of the turnes (big rectangle with tight corners) and again with the wind.

Popped out of the park, and there is a cop on a motor bike (there were about 2-3 of them that day all over the course), and what do you know, I get an escort almost the entire rest of the way back into town! That was kind of cool. I knew I wasn't in the lead, but it was fun to have anyway. As I was coming back I hear "Go Crowny". It was Dan, "Go get 'em Danno!" I hollered back.

Oh, after I turned back by the prison, going back into town, I could see that some of the racers got stalled at a rail road crossing. South Shore Electric Line. Oops. But the RD was prepared for this and subtracted their time wasted there based on the volunteers at that intersection taking down bib numbers and the amount of time they were stopped there.

Finally made the last few turns into the park, got the feet out of the shoes and on top, came up onto the dismount line "Hi Darlin" to the wife, and into the Transition.

Little longer than I wanted to spend on the ride. Dang. This day is not turning out how I had planned.
What would you do differently?:

Cut the straws on my bottle to let me tuck in a little more. And T.I.T.S. There is no reason at all I should be below 20mph, even on a relatively technical course like this with quite a few turns (25+?).
Transition 2
  • 00m 56s

Since this was a longer run, I had socks, so I rolled them up my feet, threw on the shoes, threw on the visor (love that visor), grabbed the belt and big and was off.

Not a bad time, considering I threw on socks. 19th OA and 1st AG and I probably could have been faster.

Beth was behind me saying "56 on the bike so you have to bust it on the run". Yeah, no kidding. Sub 2:00 is going to be harder than I thought.

Oh, forgot to mention earlier, the RD was also standing in the transition area, with a huge piece of cardboard with all the race numbers on it and the racers names. When they would pass him, he would call out there name and their time. So I got to hear my name called at least 3 times today. That was kind of cool. Kind of made it feel like a big time race, even though it was so tiny.
What would you do differently?:

Continue to build up the callouses on my feet so I don't need shoes. Could have saved another 10-15 seconds without the socks.
  • 38m 32s
  • 4.66 miles
  • 08m 16s  min/mile

I didn't do a run through of the run course the day before so I had no idea what to expect.

Hitting that first hill I was a little nervous. Please don't let this course be like this all the way through. Fortunately it wasn't.

Once we turned along the road with all the lake houses, it was flat. Looking up, I could see quite a distance down the course. I hit the 1.2 mile mark when the first place finisher passed me going the opposite direction. Mercy, he was flying. 1/4 of a mile down the road comes the 2nd place finisher. And then, not to far behind him was the womens overall finisher. Who started 5 minutes behind my wave. She must have blown by me on the bike and I never saw it. At least I don't remember it. Anyway, I realize that I might be in the top 20, at this point. So now my goal is to pass and try not to get passed.

Pass by one guy and then see another one ahead of me, about 150 yds. Ok rabbit, get ready to get caught. So I spent the rest of the time, going out, to get him. At each water station he would slow down and sometimes walk, while I would grab it and keep up the same pace, or wouldn't take water at all. It was cool enough out that I didn't really need it too much.

We hit the turn around and 50yds later, I caught him and passed him. Ok, one rabbit down, where is the next one. Oh boy. He is about 1/4 mile ahead of me. And only 2+ miles to go. I also realize that I've been running down hill this entire time. Only slightly, but it is still a down hill. So now I'm running into the wind and up hill.

So now it is a matter of not getting caught by anyone else. Look down at the watch (8:15 pace). Come on, you can do better than that, so I increase the turn over just a bit. And just keep going. This hill is literally about 1-1.25 miles long. Look up at one point, it is Dan (Sprint-DA) again going the other way. "I'm dying" he says. "Keep it up!" I yell back. I continue to get something at every other water station (very well staffed, by the way) and finally make the turn, at the park, to come back in.

Less than a mile to go, with a large down hill to boot. Make the sharp left turn and do a quick look back. Crap, that skinny teen (15 YO) is behind me and starting to catch up.

I reach the hill and start to lengthen the stride. I can hear his foot falls behind me. Dangit, I do not want to get passed by him. Where is that turn. WHERE IS THAT TURN. And then he passes me.

Ok, don't let him lose you. Stay behind him. And he starts to let up. Pick up the turn over, Dave, pick it up. I stay about 20 ft behind him. Make the last turn, right, and keep him close by. I start to pick it up a little more and I think he hears me because all of a sudden, his turn over picks up too.

100 yds from the finish line and I know I'm not going to catch him, I'm giving it everything I have and I just can't do it. But I'm going to keep this turnover going into the end. Then, all of a sudden I've got someone on my right shoulder. CRAP, where did he come from?!?! He blows by me like I'm running through syrup. I look down and he has 52 on his calf!!! This guy also started 5 minutes behind my wave!!! DAYUM! He is fast.

Into the shoot, I hear my name called again, and for what I thought would be the last time of the day (I was wrong), and cross the finish line. Get a bottle of water and my finishers medal and here comes Beth grinning from ear to ear.

And my triathlon season comes to an end.
What would you do differently?:

Push it.
Post race
Warm down:

Downed the water bottle in a hurry. And then walked around and waited for Dan to come in. He does, and then we all walk around, eat, get more water, and then Dan rememberd about the massage tent. Oh hell yeah.

Got a massage and then waited for the results to start getting posted.

Walked over to the posting board and there it was. 1st in AG! WOOT! Hardware. I had a feeling I might get into top 3 AG, but 1st!!!! And the next guy behind me was 15 minutes slower.

Yeah, small even. Very small. But still, placing there, AND knowing I could have done better is a little encouraging.

So we waited. And waited. And waited. Finally they did the awards ceremony (1.5 hours late) and I got my placard. Cheesy picture on it, but I don't care. My first hardware from a Tri. And I thought I wouldn't get any this year. Heh. Awesome.

What limited your ability to perform faster:

Still learning. This was not a good mental toughness day for me. Don't know what it was. I KNOW I could have done better. I KNOW I could have done sub 2:00, even with the horrible swim. HTFU comes to mind.

Event comments:

This was their first year doing this event. I believe it is the first year for the series. And I over heard they are going to be back next year.

Overall a very well run race. They did a great job making a very small race feel like a big time race.

I had a few issues with the race in general.
1. The quality of the road for the bike. Now, that is a little out of their control, as they have to rely on the community for it. But the road was in very, very poor condition.
2. The timing of the events were off, by quite a bit. Especially the awards ceremony at the end. He continued to say "We will start the ceremony in about 10 minutes". He said that for almost 45 minutes. I think it had to do with the fact that they didn't have the ability for him to call the finish line AND do the ceremony at the same time. They need to figure that out for next year.
3. Finally, and what might be most concerning, is the significant lack of security at the end, in transition. Nobody was checking out bikes and numbers, leaving transition. THAT is very troubling. I have a feeling the volunteer for that position abandoned his/her post.

However, over all, this was their first year doing it. I'm guessing these are first year issues, and if they do it again next year, I will probably do it. I had fun, and I would like to do it again as it is just a bit longer than a Sprint, but not so much that it kills me. :)

Profile Album

Last updated: 2008-08-07 12:00 AM
00:25:27 | 1094 yards | 02m 20s / 100yards
Age Group: 2/8
Overall: 20/95
Performance: Below average
Suit: Sleeveless
Course: Out about 50 yards right turn and then parallel to the shore for about 1/3 of the course, then left turn and straight out about 500 feet. Turn left and then another 1/3 of the course, to another left turn and back in. Basically a very large rectangle.
Start type: Run Plus: Waves
Water temp: 68F / 20C Current: High
200M Perf. Average Remainder: Average
Breathing: Average Drafting: Below average
Waves: Below average Navigation: Below average
Rounding: Average
Time: 02:28
Performance: Below average
Cap removal: Good Helmet on/
Suit off:
Wetsuit stuck? No Run with bike: Yes
Jump on bike: No
Getting up to speed: Average
00:56:29 | 18.69 miles | 19.85 mile/hr
Age Group: 1/8
Overall: 21/95
Performance: Below average
Wind: Some
Course: Ride out to Beverly Shores, back in, up past the prison (yes, past a prison), around a small park, back past the prison, and then back in.
Road: Rough Dry Cadence:
Turns: Average Cornering: Average
Gear changes: Good Hills: Average
Race pace: Hard Drinks: Just right
Time: 00:56
Overall: Good
Riding w/ feet on shoes Good
Jumping off bike Good
Running with bike Good
Racking bike Good
Shoe and helmet removal Good
00:38:32 | 04.66 miles | 08m 16s  min/mile
Age Group: 3/8
Overall: 27/95
Performance: Average
Course: Out of transition, up a hill, around a park, and then down along the shoreline houses about 2+ miles out, turn around and come back.
Keeping cool Good Drinking Just right
Post race
Weight change: %
Overall: Average
Mental exertion [1-5] 4
Physical exertion [1-5] 3
Good race? Yes
Course challenge Just right
Organized? Yes
Events on-time? No
Lots of volunteers? Yes
Plenty of drinks? Yes
Post race activities: Below average
Race evaluation [1-5] 3

2008-09-08 9:16 AM

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Southern Chicago Suburbs, IL
Silver member
Subject: TriAmerica Sprint

2008-09-08 9:28 AM
in reply to: #1657662

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Davenport, IA
Subject: RE: TriAmerica Sprint
Hey Crowny, congrats on the sweet race again.  I enjoyed my 10 hours of sleep last night, and waking up knowing that no matter which direction I drive for the next few days I don't have to worry about time zones.  Thanks for letting me crash at your place.  I'm going to plan on doing this one again next year (when I hopefully won't suck as much at swimming).  Next year it will be time for you to defend your title.
2008-09-08 9:43 AM
in reply to: #1657662

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Extreme Veteran
Russiaville, IN
Subject: RE: TriAmerica Sprint
Congrats on your Age Group win, sorry we didn't meet up, I guess we didn't do a very good job of setting a meeting place. I really hope the do something with the bike course because this could be an awesome course. I was not happy with the awards, I asked the guy at 11:45 when they were going to do them and he said in 10 minutes, I had to send the wife back to check out of the hotel before we got charged another day.

Anyway great job maybe we will meet up at another race.

2008-09-08 10:06 AM
in reply to: #1657752

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Slower Than You
Subject: RE: TriAmerica Sprint
Congrats on the win!
2008-09-08 10:45 AM
in reply to: #1657662

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Science Nerd
Redwood City, California
Subject: RE: TriAmerica Sprint
Congratulations on the AG win!!  Nice way to end the tri season.  No pressure or anything for next year. 
2008-09-09 8:04 AM
in reply to: #1657662

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Washington Court House, Ohio
Subject: RE: TriAmerica Sprint

Good job.  I think your placement in the bike showed how tough the course was.

I got pee'd off one time for being the first participant to show up to a race (5:30 for a 7:00 start).  However, the next participants were only 5 minutes behind.    4:50 AM must have hurt!  I hope the start was 7 not 8.

(Thank you for the nice comments left for my son, he will read them).


2008-09-09 10:13 AM
in reply to: #1657662

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Subject: RE: TriAmerica Sprint


Seriously, great report...and look at how all your hard work has paid off this year...I am so very happy for you!!  Good work!

I sure am going to miss you and beth if we don't see each other all winter...maybe we should plan a fall BT dinner or something for all the peeps in the area??? Just a thought! 

2008-09-10 8:40 AM
in reply to: #1657662

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London, UK
Subject: RE: TriAmerica Sprint
Great race! And hardware. Excellent. Your association with Liverpool FC is probably as close as they'll get to hardware this year
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