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Assateague Assault Triathlon - TriathlonSprint

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Ocean City, Maryland
United States
Assateague Assault Triathlon
74F / 23C
Total Time = 1h 40m 33s
Overall Rank = 136/307
Age Group = W45-49
Age Group Rank = 1/10
Pre-race routine:

Bowl of cheerios and skim milk, plus skim milk with ovaltine. Black coffee. Too nervous to eat anything else.
Event warmup:

The 1/2 mile walk to the swim start.
  • 26m 52s
  • 875 yards
  • 03m 04s / 100 yards
Comments: nightmare scenario. An open ocean swim - pretty good waves until you reached the first buoy...I felt the strength drain out of me as I'm watching the waves in front of me fight and struggle to the first guy wasn't even there yet and had started backstroking. I knew it was going to be a fight. And fight it was. About 100 yards of fear and panic making my way to that time I got there, the asthma had kicked in and I was exhausted. But there, like a tanned, chiseled angel on a surfboard, was Jason, the lifeguard I met the day before when I was checking out the beach. I held onto his surfboard for a good 5 minutes it seemed before I started the swim. The straight line swim wasn't terribly bad since you were out past the just seemed so much longer in a straight line...buoys were a little hard to sight since they were so far apart. Another sweet surfer girl pretty much stayed with me the whole way since I was having trouble getting my breathing under control. Just knowing she was there helped me not panic and swim. Though I needed a little surfboard help, I managed to do the whole swim without flipping over on my back or side.
What would you do differently?:

Not sign up for a triathlon with an ocean swim...or just practice in the ocean. It was the biggest challenge I've had to face to date, and I'm glad I did it. Kudos to those wonderful people on surfboards. There were many of us who needed their assistance.
Transition 1
  • 03m 13s

A good minute of the transition was running from the beach to the bike area. My girlfriend who came to cheer said hardly anyone was "running" to transition. We were all pretty much trudging. I felt no need to further pummel myself just yet after the water. Walking was fine. They had showers going into the transition area to wash the sand off our feet and get the salt water off our faces - that was nice.
What would you do differently?:

Nothing - once I got in the area, I was able to quickly get ready for the bike.
  • 44m 15s
  • 14 miles
  • 18.98 mile/hr

The course weaved us through residental housing, had us looping around a cul-de-sac...I couldn't understand why they didn't do a loop out and back.
Transition 2
  • 01m 10s

Felt strong coming off the bike...easily changed out of bike shoes into running shoes, then off to my strongest leg.
  • 25m 5s
  • 3.2 miles
  • 07m 50s  min/mile

Felt good on the run - no shade, but that's O.K. since it was overcast. VERY windy on the return leg - blew my hat off - I didn't stop, and some nice spectator retrieved it on his bike and brought it to me.
Added Bonus: Four Assateague ponies walking down the middle of the road. They were not interested in us at all.
Post race
Warm down:

Some stretches - gazing longingly at the Big Boy Tri bikes in the transition zone.

What limited your ability to perform faster:

The Ocean swim. Need to continue to strengthen my swimming ability.

Event comments:

This is my 5th Sprint to date, and by far the toughest. The swim was daunting. They called this Sprint "The Equalizer" of the Eastern Shore Tri series, and that it was. I was very disappointed since I ended up first in my age group (again, after they took out the overall winners who also were in my age group), but the awards were to be given two hours later in Ocean City to wrap up their "Beachfest" weekend. Since I still had to retrieve my dog and drive another 3 hours home, I opted not to stay. I had a friend pick up the medal, and he said very few people were there to get their award, probably for the same reason. I hope next year they choose to give out awards after the race.

Though I loved saying I conquered the ocean (with some help), and had a pretty decent finish, I'll have to really think hard whether I'll do this one again next year. If I feel my swimming has improved, then I might go for it. For the first year though, this event was very well organized. The volunteers did a great job.

Last updated: 2009-01-10 12:00 AM
00:26:52 | 875 yards | 03m 04s / 100yards
Age Group: 0/10
Overall: 238/307
Performance: Bad
Suit: Sleeveless John Wetsuit
Course: Open ocean swim...about 100yds to the first buoy, then 1/2 straight-line swim, turn at the last buoy, then to shore.
Start type: Plus:
Water temp: 70F / 21C Current: High
200M Perf. Bad Remainder: Average
Breathing: Below average Drafting:
Waves: Below average Navigation: Average
Time: 03:13
Performance: Average
Cap removal: Average Helmet on/
Suit off:
Wetsuit stuck? Run with bike:
Jump on bike:
Getting up to speed:
00:44:15 | 14 miles | 18.98 mile/hr
Age Group: 0/10
Overall: 126/307
Performance: Good
Wind: Strong
Course: Though the course was flat, it started in a strong headwind (I was going 13 MPH, when I normally average 18-19 MPH without wind), AND, over a good-sized bridge. It was actually fun...after that swim, nothing seemed daunting.
Road: Smooth Dry Cadence:
Turns: Average Cornering: Average
Gear changes: Hills:
Race pace: Comfortable Drinks: Just right
Time: 01:10
Overall: Good
Riding w/ feet on shoes
Jumping off bike
Running with bike
Racking bike
Shoe and helmet removal
00:25:05 | 03.2 miles | 07m 50s  min/mile
Age Group: 0/10
Overall: 69/307
Performance: Good
Course: Flat, out and back loop.
Keeping cool Good Drinking Just right
Post race
Weight change: %
Mental exertion [1-5] 3
Physical exertion [1-5] 5
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] 3

2009-06-22 9:57 AM

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New user

Subject: Assateague Assault Triathlon

2009-06-22 11:18 AM
in reply to: #2233668

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West Chester, Ohio
Subject: RE: Assateague Assault Triathlon

Assateague is one of myfavorite places to vacation at.  I have attempted to swim from those beaches and never make it past the breakers.  Awesome job hanging in there and following through with a good race!

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