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Sportspectrum River Cities Triathlon - TriathlonSprint

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Benton, Louisiana
United States
Total Time = 1h 42m 4s
Overall Rank = 414/1012
Age Group = M 50-55
Age Group Rank = 28/55
Pre-race routine:

Drove up after lunch Saturday, got to packet pickup at 3pm and the skies opened up with rain. Goodies in the packet include a nice messenger bag, beach towel, long-sleeved dri-fit shirt, short-sleeved cotton shirt, nice running hat, socks, shot bloks and gel. Had to go to the sponsor's store to pick up bib numbers, which kind of sucked.

Went out to eat with a couple old friends, they picked barbeque, not a good choice. Still raining when we went to bed.

Woke at 4am with heartburn, ate Rolaids with my two bagels and coffee, not good. At kleast the weather was dry, skies clear, air a little less humid. Showered, dressed, drove the twenty ninutes to the race site. Got there before the gates opened, so there was a bit of a line and wait to get in. Still managed to park, unload, and ride my bike to transition in time to claim the first position on my rack. Sweet! Everything unpacked and ready to go by 6:30.
Event warmup:

I find River Cities a little too hectic to warm-up. Always scared to go out on the bike at the risk of losing my rack spot. Just jogged a little in between portapotties. Not sure warming up does much good as you have to sit around nearly an hour between the time transition closes and the time your wave goes off,
  • 21m 29s
  • 880 yards
  • 02m 26s / 100 yards

Decent enough start, a little bumping that is to be expected. About 200 yards in, some bozo shoves me and yells, "get out of my way." Uh, this is a group swim, not your individual race. Deal with it

Most of the swim went as well as expected, given my ability and training. But about 100 yards from shore, for some reason I decided to take a right turn and go about 50 yards off course. Great, not only do I suck at this, but now I have to do more of it.
What would you do differently?:

Train. Swim straight.
Transition 1
  • 02m 8s

Longish run from the water, of course I'm breathing hard from the start. Once I get to the rack, no problem with the helmet, grab the bike and go. Run past the congestion at the mount line and jump on. Pass about ten people struggling to get into their shoes as I get up to speed with my feet on top of my shoes. Once I get up to speed and in the clear, I get into my shoes with no problem and am ready to ride.
What would you do differently?:

Maybe be less winded coming out of the water so I can run faster? Otherwise, pretty clean transition.
  • 48m 40s
  • 18.2 miles
  • 22.44 mile/hr

Hit it hard from the start, passing dozens of those fast swimmers who have only a casual acquaintance with their bikes.

PEOPLE! Stay to the right please! Even if you're passing, there's no reason to get all the way to the left. Within the first five miles, I was forced over the center line twice by people passing others, despite my yelling "On your left," and "please get over."

Anyway, hit it pretty hard most of the way, on the flats I was 23, 24, 25 mph, over 33 on the downhills but down around 14 when hauling my big booty up those climbs. Still the miles clicked off pretty quicly.

Made the last big turn, which gives you about four miles to go, and saw my average was hovering at 22mph. Decided I needed to get it up, so I put everything I had left into the rest of the ride.

Race results have my average speed at 22.9mph, so that's what I'm sticking with. ;^)

What would you do differently?:

Nothing. Good ride, only a minute slower than my PR for the course, which was set in 2006 when I was at least 20 pounds lighter.
Transition 2
  • 01m 51s

Picture perfect dismount, again a longish run around the transition area to my rack. Parked the bike with no problem, got the helmet off, then for some reason my little toe didn't want to get in my running shoes. After a couple tries I got him in there, grabbed my race belt, and took off.
What would you do differently?:

Amputate? What purpose does a little toe serve, anyway?
  • 27m 59s
  • 3.11 miles
  • 08m  min/mile

Even with the drier, slightly cooler air in the morning, by the time I got to the run it was hot again, on its way to a high of 95. Found a comfortable-hard pace and stuck with it. Hardburn came back, tasting last night's BBQ and (TMI alert) too much gas on either end throughout the run. Other than that, pretty uneventful most of the way, enjoyed the ice-cold washcloths they handed out.

Offroad section was still wet, very muddy in some spots. Pretty good descent among the roots, followed by a climb out on a dirt (mud) road with crevices. Almost stopped at the top to catch my breath, but managed to keep going.

Near the finish, you turn off the road again and run the last 150 yards on sand, some of which is covered with grass, some of it that isn't. Had a guy I thought was in my AG fly by me, then start loafing. Found an extra gear and got by him about 20 yards from the finish. Turned out he was in the AG below.
What would you do differently?:

Just getting back into running shape after a month layoff with the Achilles. And of course I'm carrying too much weight.
Post race
Warm down:

Instead of medals, this year they handed out metal water bottles with "Finisher" printed on them. Different!

Found Angel and the boys, went eat (more BBQ! Yummy!), visited with a few friends. When they opened transition, I packed, but they wouldn't let us leave with the bikes until 11. Let Angel drive, passed out when we left Shreveport and didn't wake up until we were south of Alexandria.

What limited your ability to perform faster:

As usual, too much me and not enough training.

Event comments:

The biggest and one of the best races I do on a regular basis, fifth straight year for me. Always well run, always hot, always a fun and challenging course.

Last updated: 2009-05-27 12:00 AM
00:21:29 | 880 yards | 02m 26s / 100yards
Age Group: 42/55
Overall: 736/1012
Performance: Below average
Course: Triangular, buoys on the right.
Start type: Wade Plus: Waves
Water temp: 0F / 0C Current:
200M Perf. Good Remainder: Below average
Breathing: Below average Drafting:
Waves: Navigation: Below average
Rounding: Average
Time: 02:08
Performance: Good
Cap removal: Good Helmet on/
Suit off:
Wetsuit stuck? Run with bike: Yes
Jump on bike: Yes
Getting up to speed: Good
00:48:40 | 18.2 miles | 22.44 mile/hr
Age Group: 9/55
Overall: 138/1012
Performance: Good
Wind: Little
Course: Single loop around Cypress Lake, rolling hills to break up the ride.
Road: Smooth Dry Cadence:
Turns: Good Cornering: Good
Gear changes: Good Hills: Good
Race pace: Hard Drinks: Just right
Time: 01:51
Overall: Average
Riding w/ feet on shoes Good
Jumping off bike Good
Running with bike Good
Racking bike Good
Shoe and helmet removal Average
00:27:59 | 03.11 miles | 08m  min/mile
Age Group: 31/55
Overall: 555/1012
Performance: Average
Course: Squirrely out-and-back that featured several curly Qs and a half-mile or so off-road segment with treacherous roots and gullies.Plenty of small but bothersome hills throughout. Four or five water stations and two places to get cold, wet towels. Finish was also treacherous, as you ran the last 100 yards alternately through sand pits and harder grass surfaces.
Keeping cool Average 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: Good
Race evaluation [1-5] 4

2009-08-03 11:27 AM

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Resident Curmudgeon
The Road Back
Gold member
Subject: Sportspectrum River Cities Triathlon

2009-08-03 12:55 PM
in reply to: #2324058

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Carencro, Louisiana
Subject: RE: Sportspectrum River Cities Triathlon

You got some cool sunglasses, too! 
2009-08-03 1:58 PM
in reply to: #2324058

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Keller, Texas
Subject: RE: Sportspectrum River Cities Triathlon

Ummm...who was tending to your farm while you were out galavanting around Shreveport?

Good job!!


2009-08-03 2:22 PM
in reply to: #2324058

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Evergreen, CO
Subject: RE: Sportspectrum River Cities Triathlon
Great job Bear!!  I like the ice cold towel on the run idea --  I may have one waiting for me in T2 next weekend.
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