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Breakwater Triathlon - Triathlon1/2 Ironman

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Petoskey, Michigan
United States
Element Events
50F / 10C
Total Time = 4h 55m
Overall Rank = 3/100
Age Group = 25-29
Age Group Rank = 1/11
Pre-race routine:

Two great friends came in from San Diego to race with us. It's probably not fair that they went from 80 and sunny to miserable in 2 days, but hey, this is Michigan, the place that knows exactly how much weather damage it wants to inflict. Packet pickup the day before the race was conducted in a torrential downpour, with hellacious winds and freezing cold temperatures. Lake Michigan was white capping and angrier than Poseidon after Odysseus maimed his son and taunted his manhood when the RD told us he'd changed the course to laps along the indefatiguable breakwall. I then looked at the breakwall. Waves were crashing against it like seagulls being shot with a 12 gauge. *gulp*
Event warmup:

Shiver me timbers! The wind blasted us that morning with 40 degree gusts of 25mph, and the swim course had been changed again to be alcoved inside the boat docks. Couldn't wait to jump in my wetsuit and heat that sucker up.
  • 28m 27s
  • 2112 yards
  • 01m 21s / 100 yards

No bones about it, the swim was short. Not sure how much, but not the right distance. Not much the RD could do about that after having to change the course 2x before race start. I sure didn't mind. Regardless, I had my best swim ever for a HIM, so I'm proud of that. I got out in front, sighted well, breathed very well, and stayed strong throughout. Even drafted for the first time ever.

Spectators (all four of them) could actually follow along the swim course since it went along the docks, so there was actually some cheering in the water. Which sounded like this: bubleblublebubbble...yaaaaaaah...bublbeblble...gooooooo, etc. Only had one collision with some chica who must've been part cyclops because she was way off course when we met.
What would you do differently?:

Swim 5 days a week every week leading up to the race.
Transition 1
  • 01m 49s

Couldn't get my arm warmers or gloves on because my hands were freezie pops and my arms mucky otters. This would devour me later.
What would you do differently?:

Bring my ski parka. And mittens. And some hand warmer packets for inside the mittens.
  • 2h 48m 41s
  • 56 miles
  • 19.92 mile/hr

What can be said? This course was silly hard. Stoopid hard. A touring course, not a racing course. I rarely felt like I was racing, what with going so slowly all the time. That noted, beautiful course. Will return before winter comes and again in spring to train this as much as possible in prep for Lake Placid.

You come out of transition and run with your bike up ~40 stairs. Good warmup for the first climb, which begins as soon as you clip in and will annihilate any hopes you had of a PR today. But at first it wasn't the hills that hurt, it was the numb toes and frozen fingers. The sun was just beginning to rise as I set out -- pretty, yes -- though the light was misleading if you thought it would bring warmth, 'cuz there wasn't none to be had. At one point I went to adjust the package and thought the entire unit fell off. Everything was numb. Everything.

Biggest problem was fueling. My plan was to fuel early and often. But no matter how much I tried to warm up my hands, they couldn't function well enough to squeeze a water bottle or hold a GU, let alone tear the top off. At around mile 40 I was finally able to take down some nutrition. Normally I sweat more than a sumo wrestler wrapped in garbage bags in Death Valley, but since it was cold I didn't lose much water, so the lack of nutrition wasn't too bad.

I'd like to describe the hills here, but there's no point. Before the start of the race the RD had a course map and elevation profile out. 3300 feet of elevation change. Kansas had ~2500 feet of change, and even the pros consider that a challenging course. One of the biggest hills is at mile 46, a 3 mile climb in the weenie ring at best. The whole thing was comical at this point.

No stairs at the end this time, because the race organizers made you run your bike down the wheelie ramp. Ran without shoes, pounding on the frosty toes.
What would you do differently?:

Train on nothing but 5%+ hills all day every day.
Transition 2
  • 01m 20s

Was ready to rock the run course. Definitely ready to be done with the bike.
  • 1h 34m 57s
  • 13.1 miles
  • 07m 15s  min/mile

Started out 6th overall on the run, and was pretty content with that. I ran w/ a IM Moo finisher at the start and we chatted it up a bit. This was supposed to be a fun race and an adventurous weekend with friends we haven't seen in a long time, so my main focus was having fun.

After a while that guy dropped back and I could see the 4th place male up ahead, and the OA bug crept into my stomach. I can catch that guy. His arms are flailing a little too much. He must be hurting. Go get him. Now I was feeling pretty good and not slowing like I usually do at mile 4, and look at that, there's the 3rd place guy within sight. At mile 6 I knew I could take him, but maybe not hold him off if he gains strength. When I passed him, he said "you're in 3rd!" Wow, now that's some sportsmanship. I would've cursed something fierce. Saw my friend visnyake coming the other way looking strong, and hi-fives were in order. Good times.

After I got into 3rd, I put it on cruise control, just taking gatorade at each station and not eating any gels. Many people coming the other way on the course gave me words of support, which felt great. Looking behind me I saw no one, so at mile 10, I slowed down, just taking in the good scenery and enjoying the day. I wasn't going to PR, and had a good place OA.

Crossing the finish line I heard, "And here comes the 3rd place male, Ryan Case from Ann Arbor." So cool. So happy. No injuries, no pain (well, maybe), just smiles.
What would you do differently?:

Post race
Warm down:

Talked to the male winner and runner up, congratulating them on a great race.

What limited your ability to perform faster:

Unprepared for the cold and severity of hills on the bike course.

Event comments:

A good first year race in a beautiful setting. RD had backup plans ready for the weather, and results were ready for printout immediately after you crossed the finish line. Bike aid stations were underserved with no water bottles or bottle drops, and volunteers were sparse, though extremely helpful the ones that were there. Overall, definitely recommended.

Last updated: 2009-03-13 12:00 AM
00:28:27 | 2112 yards | 01m 21s / 100yards
Age Group: 4/11
Overall: 25/100
Performance: Good
Course: 2 horseshoe shaped loops around the docks.
Start type: Wade Plus:
Water temp: 0F / 0C Current: Medium
200M Perf. Good Remainder: Good
Breathing: Good Drafting: Good
Waves: Navigation: Average
Rounding: Below average
Time: 01:49
Performance: Average
Cap removal: Helmet on/
Suit off:
Wetsuit stuck? Run with bike: Yes
Jump on bike: No
Getting up to speed:
02:48:41 | 56 miles | 19.92 mile/hr
Age Group: 1/11
Overall: 5/100
Performance: Below average
Wind: Some
Course: From Petoskey --> Wolverine with some out-n-backs on wild northern MI roads.
Road: Smooth Dry Cadence: 85
Turns: Average Cornering:
Gear changes: Average Hills: Bad
Race pace: Hard Drinks: Not enough
Time: 01:20
Overall: Average
Riding w/ feet on shoes
Jumping off bike Below average
Running with bike Average
Racking bike Below average
Shoe and helmet removal
01:34:57 | 13.1 miles | 07m 15s  min/mile
Age Group: 2/11
Overall: 7/100
Performance: Good
Course: Gorgeous out-n-back on a paved bike path along Lake Michigan. I could run this course every day all year long. 180 degree view of the lake much of the time.
Keeping cool Good Drinking Just right
Post race
Weight change: %
Mental exertion [1-5] 4
Physical exertion [1-5] 4
Good race? Yes
Course challenge Too hard
Organized? Yes
Events on-time? Yes
Lots of volunteers? No
Plenty of drinks? No
Post race activities: Below average
Race evaluation [1-5] 4

2009-09-12 10:56 AM

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Ann Arbor, MI
Subject: Breakwater Triathlon

2009-09-13 9:19 AM
in reply to: #2402175

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Ann Arbor, MI
Subject: RE: Breakwater Triathlon
Hehe. Funniest race report ever. I'm going to hire you to write mine from now on

Amazing race- you really kicked butt out there on an extremely hard course. Awesome, awesome job
2009-09-13 7:10 PM
in reply to: #2402175

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Subject: RE: Breakwater Triathlon
I agree with your better half!  Best race report yet!  But, um, I would prefer your next one leave out the um, frozen man parts update! Surprised  Way too much information!

Congrats on a great race in poopy conditions! Well done sir!
2009-09-13 7:20 PM
in reply to: #2402175

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Canton, Michigan
Subject: RE: Breakwater Triathlon

Your great with words Ryan!  Nice job on a terrible day.  K and I knew you guys had to be suffering with the bad weather and are glad you both survived.

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