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Wildflower Triathlon - Olympic Distance - TriathlonOlympic

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Lake San Antonio, California
United States
78F / 26C
Total Time = 2h 45m 3s
Overall Rank = 356/2604
Age Group = M40-44
Age Group Rank = 31/194
Pre-race routine:

See my race report from the Wildflower Long Course -

You can either call the long course race my last workout with a very short taper before this Oly, or maybe the Oly is an active recovery workout after the long course ;)

THe morning of the race, I woke up with the morning light once again at about 6am even though the race didn't start until 9am and my wave at 9:45am. First order of business was the bathroom. No surprise, but there was a line (albeit relatively short) already.

I followed the same morning ritual as yesterday - coffee (Ethiopia Organic Wet-Process Kebado), almond butter and raw unfiltered honey on Vital Vittles 3-seed bread.

I prepped my race numbers (bike, helmet, race belt). Got dressed (tri club shorts and top). Other racers are a bit incredulous that I'm racing again. Double checked with other racers to find out what time we need to be racked (9:00am). It was weird to have so much extra time before a race and i just hung around in camp. At about 8:40, I headed over to transition.

On the way over, it looks like I'm the only one I can see riding a disk wheel, so I must look pretty hardcore to the other racers. It does look like a different group, a bit more casual about tris, than the racers yesterday. i guess that's somewhat to be expected on a shorter course, but I'm sure there are plenty of speedsters too.

I get to transition and it's pretty well packed already. All of the racks are numbered, but they gave us numbers that don't match the first digit of our race numbers (I assume so that numbers didn't overlap with the other races).

At my rack space, there's someone racked who's hogging his space and my space so I need to nudge his stuff over just a bit to make room for my stuff. He has a Zipp 999 wheelset too. He also has a balloon tied to the rack, so that'll make it easy to find. I do some initial setup and head for the bathroom line. It takes about 15 minutes to get to the bathrooms and I spend most of that time chatting to a woman who is doing this as her first tri.

Afterward, I walk around transition a bit to see who I know. I see a guy who I met at the Y and at Big Kahuna a couple years ago and said hi to him. I wished a bunch of the other GGTCers good luck on their races.

Soon enough, it's time to suit up and head to the swim start. When I walk over, a bunch of other folks from my tri club are getting a quick rundown on the swim course which I listen in on. One of the guys asks how I'm feeling and I say "tired." I have someone zip me up. The wave before us goes and we get a few minutes to warm up in the water. Then they call us out again and it's soon time to start. I line up pretty much the same place I did yesterday, to the outside left and about midway.
  • 28m 25s
  • 1500 meters
  • 01m 53s / 100 meters

The horn goes off and I slosh through the shallow water and then dive in. The usual incidental contact. I stay to the outside and then eventually head in towards the first turn buoy. So far so good. We have a the back stretch now and I'm zigzagging all over the place. I'd almost collide with someone on the inside, then head back out and find that I was coming back into him again (yeah, I was that guy this time). I try to just keep my stroke relaxed, but I can't help zigzagging.

I make the turn buoys without incident. I want to try to cut the corner short again, but I start too early and one of the kayakers tells me to get back to the buoy line...oops. I'm moving along, but I'm feeling sluggish and the zigzagging doesn't help. I see the dock and I know I can safely cut the corner from here. I see the balloons for the race finish and head towards that. At least I'm not zigzagging so much now. As I get 50m out, I start kicking a bit more to wake up my legs. I swim until my fingers touch the bottom and then I stand up.
Transition 1
  • 03m 29s

My legs feel leaden and I can't even muster much of a jog. Some of my tri club is here (I'm passing them in the photo below) cheering and calling out to me by name so I try to muster a bit more effort.

I find my way to my transition area. Seems like some bikes are gone already (including Zipp 999 guy racked next to me), but many are still here. Usual routine here - goggles and cap off, sunglasses on, wetsuit stuck on ankles, shoes and socks on, one gu in my back pocket, helmet on, unrack my bike, and I clomp to the bike out. I continue clomping to the mount line, hop on, and I'm off.
  • 1h 21m 19s
  • 24.85 miles
  • 18.34 mile/hr

The bike ride starts immediately with a ride up Lynch Hill. My quads are a little sore and fatigued so I can't quite muster as much strength as I might otherwise have, but I don't hammer anyway so I make a deliberate, paced climb. I'm passing a good number of folks, but there are some really speedy guys passing me too. There are plenty of people cheering here, so that's cool.

Once I'm over Lynch Hill, it's the rolling hills on San Antonio Dr. For the Olympic course, it's an out and back that overlaps part of the Long course route, so I know this part (although I haven't ridden the return direction since the long course is a loop).

On one of the first hills, I'm just climbing at my regular pace and a guy on a specialized road bike passes me. He then seems to fade as we approach the top and I pass him (he groans as I do this(?)) and then I get in aero and take off.

The turn onto Interlake comes up. I'm generally able to pass most by going aero on the downhills and flats and just climbing steady on the climbs, but there are definitely some strong cyclists on road bikes and tri bikes. I am a bit surprised at how many I pass though because I expected to be slower because of the soreness and fatigue in my legs (which I primarily noticed on the climbs). Go figure.

Nothing much more to note on this ride since it was pretty much the same throughout. Turn around at the halfway point, return the way I came. Aero on the downhills and flats, steady climbing on the uphills.

Before getting to Lynch Hill again, there are a lot of crowds cheering all of us on. Banzai run down Lynch again, which is a little busy because cyclists are going up on their way out, we're coming down, and runners are also running down to finish their race.

I ride towards transition to the dismount line and unclip and discmount. All in all, this ride went better than I thought it would go.
Transition 2
  • 01m 34s

I briefly got lost in transition. I walked down the correct aisle, but didn't see my bike where I though it would be. I don't see my red hand towel (King Oscar Sardines). I look around and see the second set of racks further down the aisle and see the balloon that the guy racked to me had tied to the rack. Whew!

The rest of the transition went normally - rack the bike, helmet off, visor on, grab another gu, and I'm off.
  • 50m 13s
  • 6.21 miles
  • 08m 05s  min/mile

This course starts out the same as the long course. It's up some stairs, and then along the lake. DW and PBF are here cheering me on.

Legs are heavy, but that's to be expected. It's only 6 miles, so I hope my legs warm up quickly. I have to pee, but this time I know exactly where the porta potties are so I wait until then. It's the short little climb up to the first aid station. Ugh, my legs are heavy and I do a slow shuffle. At the aid station, I have a little bit of water, but mostly water on my head.

I'm pass my share of people, but there are a lot of speedy runners here who are passing me. I pass a white marker numbered "3" and I'm thinking, hey, this run is going pretty quickly, which I kinda expected since I don't normally do runs shorter than 6 miles.

We have an uphill stretch, which is a good opportunity to pass some people. After that, it's descending down into the pit but from the other side when I did it yesterday. My stride has loosened up and I'm relaxed and I'm feeling pretty good. I see the paint in the road that shows where the turnaround point was for the long course. Up, up, up. Then it's back down. Somewhere along the way, I pass sign marked with the number 6. Hmm, we still have a ways to go to the end, since I know we're not near Lynch Hill. Maybe there's a shortcut of some kind.

They route turns off of the road and onto some trails as we head back up. I'm still passing people and getting passed by people. After I pass a sign numbered 8, I'm puzzled so I ask the people around me how much further the race is and they say 2K. D'oh. The Olympic course is marked in kilometers and not in miles, just like the bike course.

Okay, 2K to go. I handle that. Half a mile further and I'm at the top of Lynch. Plenty of people cheering here. Cyclists are still on their way out and others are on their way back. I'm fatigued and can't quite muster full speed on the downhill on Lynch, so I keep it relaxed. When we hit the flats, I settle in to my pace and when I hit the final stretch, I pour it on. I pass a guy who cramps (picture below) just before I passed him.

I see 3 more runners ahead of me and I'm closing fast. I pass one. We're getting closer to the finish and the other two are bunched up. I pass them both and cross the finish line. I hear the announcer call my name out and say "long course for him next year!" Funny...if he only knew...
Post race
Warm down:

Same routine as yesterday. Chip is removed. I get some water, a medal, a wet towel for my neck/shoulders. This time, I know where all the post race food is so I chow down on a bunch of that. I see some others from my tri club and congratulate them. I see DW and PBF. More food and drink and then I head out to see them.

We gather my stuff and walk back to camp.


My race report wouldn't be complete without another story about food.

We hang out in camp awhile and pack up. We leave at about 3pm, but the cars are all backed up to exit the park. By the time we're out of the park, we're all hungry. So we stop off at one of the first exits on the freeway that looks like it will have food.

There's a Burger King here, but we also see a mexican restaurant here, actually two. One is very prominent with excellent location and the second is tucked away in the back of the plaza. We're afraid of the latter so we go for the big one. It's called El Molcajete Restaurant. it looks authentic and they are doing very brisk business. We place a take out order (since one of us is at the open bed truck with all of our gear in the parking lot). I order a carnitas burrito, DW orders a carne asada super burrito, and PBF orders a couple different soft tacos and the shrimp cocktail (like he did at the gringo mexican restaurant we ate in Gilroy on the way down). It takes forever (at least 30 minutes) to get our food because so many others have called in take out orders as well, but they serve us some chips while we are waiting. At least it was worth the wait. Food was tasty definitely recommended!


so I survived this two races in one weekend experiment. Going into the races, I was thinking that it would be quite a bit easier than an IM since the distances were shorter and I had time to rest overnight. However, it was tough, esp. mentally. I think it's easier to do all of the racing all at once than to start a (second) race knowing you are sore and fatigued already and having to deal with that at each segment during the race. In an IM, you know you're going to be tired and fatigued, but if you've trained correctly, you only feel that all at the end rather than all race long.

I'm glad I did it and even more so at Wildflower (for the additional challenge). I have to admit I enjoy the disbelieving looks and the "you're crazy" comments from fellow triathletes. I have this internal impetus to push myself to my limits and this was just one more step along that path. Who knows what's next?

Last updated: 2008-12-08 12:00 AM
00:28:25 | 1500 meters | 01m 53s / 100meters
Age Group: 65/194
Overall: 874/2604
Course: The 1.5k (.93 mile) swim course will begin at the Lynch Ramp. There will be more than 20 wave starts at 5 minute intervals beginning with Collegiate Men, Collegiate Women, Age Group Men, Team In Training Men, Age Group Women, Team In Training Women and Relay Teams. Swimmers will swim in a clockwise direction on the triangular course. The course will have sailboats, clearly marked, at the corners and there will be course marker buoys and lifeguards on long boards every 100 yards. The swimmers will exit the water, go through the timing area, up the ramp and into the transition area.
Start type: Plus:
Water temp: 65F / 18C Current:
200M Perf. Remainder:
Breathing: Drafting:
Waves: Navigation:
Time: 03:29
Cap removal: Helmet on/
Suit off:
Wetsuit stuck? Run with bike:
Jump on bike:
Getting up to speed:
01:21:19 | 24.85 miles | 18.34 mile/hr
Age Group: 29/194
Overall: 274/2604
Course: The bike course is 40K (24.8 miles) long and should be considered relatively difficult. The bike portion of the course will be marked by Large Green Diamonds. Cyclist will leave the transition area to the north and proceed directly up "Lynch Hill" (a very steep climb.) Turn right on San Antonio Drive and head out of the park to Interlake Road. Turn right on Interlake Road and proceed over rolling hills to the turn-around point at mile 12.4. Triathletes will return to the park on the same roads. As they re-enter the park, riders turn left and head down Lynch Hill and back to the transition area.
Road:   Cadence:
Turns: Cornering:
Gear changes: Hills:
Race pace: Drinks:
Time: 01:34
Riding w/ feet on shoes
Jumping off bike
Running with bike
Racking bike
Shoe and helmet removal
00:50:13 | 06.21 miles | 08m 05s  min/mile
Age Group: 39/194
Overall: 483/2604
Course: The 10k (6.2 mile) run course is a combination of road and trails through campgrounds and challenging hills. The run portion of the course will be marked by Small Green Diamonds.
Keeping cool Drinking
Post race
Weight change: %
Mental exertion [1-5]
Physical exertion [1-5]
Good race?
Course challenge
Events on-time?
Lots of volunteers?
Plenty of drinks?
Post race activities:
Race evaluation [1-5]

2009-05-13 6:40 PM

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San Francisco
Subject: Wildflower Triathlon - Olympic Distance

2009-05-13 8:55 PM
in reply to: #2149368

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Los Angeles
Subject: RE: Wildflower Triathlon - Olympic Distance
Congrats on the double double!! You are the most amazing triathlete ever! Your second day splits are ridiculously fast...
2009-05-14 11:44 AM
in reply to: #2149368

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Subject: RE: Wildflower Triathlon - Olympic Distance
Just so you know, yes, you are crazy (in a good way). Again, well done, Donato!
2009-05-14 2:58 PM
in reply to: #2149368

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Extreme Veteran
Subject: RE: Wildflower Triathlon - Olympic Distance
You're awesomely crazy!  Great job on both races!
2009-05-14 3:47 PM
in reply to: #2149368

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Subject: RE: Wildflower Triathlon - Olympic Distance
Great job!

Tough races and doing them back to back amazing!

I look forward to meeting you at IM Canada!
2009-05-15 11:18 AM
in reply to: #2149368

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Goodyear, AZ
Subject: RE: Wildflower Triathlon - Olympic Distance

Well, you are a little bit crazy, no, a LOT crazy to do both races but you did awesome in both!!!


2009-05-15 2:21 PM
in reply to: #2149368

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Subject: RE: Wildflower Triathlon - Olympic Distance
The best thing is we get TWO race reports!!   Great follow up race out there Donato
2009-05-15 6:05 PM
in reply to: #2149368

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Berkeley, Calif.
Bronze member
Subject: RE: Wildflower Triathlon - Olympic Distance
Crazy, maybe, but also a total rock star. You are so awesome!! I love reading your race reports too (even if this one was a little short on the food...).
2009-05-16 11:00 AM
in reply to: #2149368

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The Redlands, FL
Subject: RE: Wildflower Triathlon - Olympic Distance

Congrats on your double amazing Races...!!!

Excellent RR like usual...that made me feel like I'm there racing....and....eating all the food with your guys...LOL

Again....AWESOME RACE...!!!!

2009-05-16 9:50 PM
in reply to: #2149368

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Dodge County, MN (out in the corn)
Subject: RE: Wildflower Triathlon - Olympic Distance
Dude!  That's hardcore.  Great race reports, as usual. Cool
2009-05-21 8:50 PM
in reply to: #2149368

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Subject: RE: Wildflower Triathlon - Olympic Distance
I have this internal impetus to push myself to my limits and this was just one more step along that path. Who knows what's next?

BADWATER!!! Gurr....why do you keep forgetting

Awesome race superstar!! great pick of you passing the cramping guy. Mine was done backwards OLY first and then the 1/2. I was so sore when I woke up on day two didn't know how i was gonna do it. The swim helped, but it was a long 1/2 Ironman and ....not near as fast as yours.

You Rock!!

Maybe I need to get you a gift certificate for that nice mexican place you first stopped at....HA!!

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