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Bluff Creek Triathlon - Sprint - TriathlonSprint

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Ogden, Iowa
United States
70F / 21C
Total Time = 1h 14m 53s
Overall Rank = 9/225
Age Group = 25-29
Age Group Rank = 4/21
Pre-race routine:

Thankfully the race wasn't too far away so I was able to sleep in until 5. Ate some breakfast and was out the door by 5:30. I got to the race site and there was a bug infestation! As soon as I got out of my car I was swarmed. No amount of swatting kept them away so I got my bike ready as quick as I could and speedwalked to transition. Note to self: bug repellent in the transition bag would be a key addition.

I snagged a decent spot in transition, got set up, and then proceeded to chat the rest of the time away with some friends until it was time to board the bus to the beach
Event warmup:

I got into the water beforehand and swam a few hundred yards. They said the water was 60 that morning, but I don't believe them. 65 probably. Everything felt pretty good so I didn't do too much more than that. I swam back in and found a few more friends from our training group to chat with before the start
  • 08m 36s
  • 547 yards
  • 01m 34s / 100 yards

Oh Billy, here we go! Run in, couple of dolphin dives, and I'm on my way. A little crowded, lots of contact, but for the most part I feel like I'm swimming real well. Took a pretty good straight line alongside the buoys. I didn't have to sight too much. I figured as long as the water was still frothing all around me from all of the other swimmers I couldn't be too far off. Just before the turn in to the boat ramp I got stuck behind a couple of guys moving a little slower but we were so close to the end that I just hung back and drafted on in. No sense trying to pass in the last 50 yards.

I hit the boat ramp and it was a little slick. Luckily there were a couple of volunteers there helping pull people out. Thanks for the lift, dude! Time for the loooong run to transition. Seriously, it was a good 30-40s worth of running. I passed a couple of people along the way too!
What would you do differently?:

Nothing, I don't think. I was more than pleased with that effort. Shaved over 2 whole freaking minutes off of last year's time!!! It's great to see all that off season swim work pay off.
Transition 1
  • 01m 15s

That was the most my wetsuit has ever stuck to my ankles. What a pisser! I struggled out of it and it cost me quite a bit of time.
What would you do differently?:

Hmmmm....not get stuck maybe?
  • 42m 50s
  • 15 miles
  • 21.01 mile/hr

To sum up the ride in one word: Wind. From some accounts you would have thought that a tornado had rolled through, but in reality we faced a steady wind in the low 20s with gusts near 30 mph. Sucky for sure, but it was compounded by the fact it was an out and back course with a pure tailwind to start and an epic 7.5 miles back into it to end things.

Heading out of the park I passed about 3 people struggling to get into their shoes. That always makes me smile. After that I settled in and enjoyed the speedy wind-aided trip out to the turn around. Before I got there I counted about 6 people ahead of me which is right where I expected to be. The 180 turn was interesting. I took it a little fast, skidded the rear wheel a little, but managed to stay on the road.

Holy effin mother of God! That's a stiff wind! I thought I could stay in the big ring, but quickly reassessed that decision. Things absolutely slowed to a crawl. I'm glad I don't have a bike computer because if I had known my speed it would have been even more demoralizing.

But I fought through. I kept my eyes on the guys ahead of me and tried to catch up. One of the guys I had passed earlier repassed me. A few minutes later I retook him. We did the leapfrog thing all the way back, each of us taking a 2-3 minute legal pull at the front, before the other would take over. It was a long haul back, but I made it eventually even though I think I lost a spot or two during that stretch.

With the exception of the Pigman long course last year, this may have been the most relieved I have ever been to get off my bike so transition was a welcome sight.
What would you do differently?:

It was a good ride all things considered. My split was 3 minutes slower than last year, but I think times were down all across the board for everyone.
Transition 2
  • 00m 38s

Had a nice flying dismount and was in and out of transition quickly.
What would you do differently?:

Glasses came off when I pulled my helmet off so I lost a few seconds there putting them back on
  • 21m 33s
  • 3.11 miles
  • 06m 56s  min/mile

The legs did not want to turn over right away. They're usually not that cranky coming off the bike but it took me over half the run to get settled and into a groove. Starting out, I just set my sights on the guys ahead of me and and ran as best I could. Unfortunately I wasn't gaining any ground. Hit the turnaround and kept moving. I had a pretty good lead on the guy behind me so I wasn't too worried. Was a split second away from dumping a cup of gatorade on my head at the aid station. That could have been ugly. Maybe I need to yell "water" a little louder. The rest of the run was uneventful back to the finish.
What would you do differently?:

Push a little hard. I didn't really have that extra gear I needed today to close the gap on anyone.
Post race
Warm down:

Walking and food! Chatted with the rents for a bit and then waited around for the awards. My friend John took 2nd overall so third in AG rolled down to me.

What limited your ability to perform faster:

Aside from the wind? Well, I can always use my typical sprint excuse of not being well rested going in. In all reality it was planned that way though. HIM is in 3 weeks, baby! Can't start my taper yet!

Event comments:

Another good race put on by our local crew. I was hoping to move up a couple of spots in the overall from last year, but all in all I'm not too disappointed. I think regardless of whatever happened later in the race I'd have to consider this a personal victory based solely on the swim improvement. I'm still smiling about that.

Profile Album

Last updated: 2010-03-04 12:00 AM
00:08:36 | 547 yards | 01m 34s / 100yards
Age Group: 7/21
Overall: 26/225
Performance: Good
Suit: QR Ultrafull
Course: Straight across the lake, point to point
Start type: Run Plus: Waves
Water temp: 65F / 18C Current: Low
200M Perf. Good Remainder: Good
Breathing: Good Drafting: Average
Waves: Navigation: Good
Rounding: Average
Time: 01:15
Performance: Below average
Cap removal: Average Helmet on/
Suit off:
Wetsuit stuck? Yes Run with bike: Yes
Jump on bike: No
Getting up to speed:
00:42:50 | 15 miles | 21.01 mile/hr
Age Group: 4/21
Overall: 11/225
Performance: Average
Wind: Strong with gusts
Course: Out and back. Straight north with the wind and then straight south with the #$%&*@#$%^&*@#$%^^&@#$$%^^&*@#$%&*-ing headwind
Road: Smooth Dry Cadence:
Turns: Below average Cornering: Good
Gear changes: Good Hills: Good
Race pace: Hard Drinks: Just right
Time: 00:38
Overall: Average
Riding w/ feet on shoes Good
Jumping off bike Good
Running with bike Good
Racking bike Good
Shoe and helmet removal Good
00:21:33 | 03.11 miles | 06m 56s  min/mile
Age Group: 5/21
Overall: 21/225
Performance: Average
Course: Out and back with a little off road action at the start and finish.
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? No
Lots of volunteers? Yes
Plenty of drinks? Yes
Post race activities: Good
Race evaluation [1-5] 4

2010-05-24 8:21 PM

User image

Ames, IA
Subject: Bluff Creek Triathlon - Sprint

2010-05-25 6:54 AM
in reply to: #2879604

Subject: ...
This user's post has been ignored.
2010-05-25 7:07 AM
in reply to: #2879604

Hattiesburg, Mississippi
Subject: RE: Bluff Creek Triathlon - Sprint
Nice race. Really nice! You sure are a speedster and kicked butt! Keep up the great work!
2010-05-25 9:48 AM
in reply to: #2879604

West Grove, PA
Subject: RE: Bluff Creek Triathlon - Sprint
Great race, Neal.  Congrats on the podium finish.  Sounds like you're primed and pumped for your HIM in 3 weeks.  Best of luck in that race!
2010-05-25 10:51 AM
in reply to: #2879604

Subject: RE: Bluff Creek Triathlon - Sprint
Great race Neal! Not too shabby when you can have an "off" day and still place. All that volume you've been doing is sure paying off!
2010-05-25 2:17 PM
in reply to: #2880623

Omaha, NE
Subject: RE: Bluff Creek Triathlon - Sprint
Good race! You must must not have been affected by the wind toooo much to average 21mph. I thought the wind was a KILLER! The turn around was equivalent to a brick wall! Also, I agree with you on the gnats before the race, not fun at all! Great race!

2010-05-25 2:25 PM
in reply to: #2879604

Subject: RE: Bluff Creek Triathlon - Sprint
Nice effort out there!  Nothing will ever compare to the Pigman long course last year, but that was a massively sucky ride back to transition.  I thought that was you at the awards thing, see you in a few at Pigman, hopefully with better racing conditions...
2010-05-25 2:53 PM
in reply to: #2879604

South Suburb of Chicago, IL
Subject: RE: Bluff Creek Triathlon - Sprint
Awesome race Neal!!!
2010-05-25 3:13 PM
in reply to: #2879604

Subject: RE: Bluff Creek Triathlon - Sprint
Nice job, Neal! Congratulations on the big improvement on your swim time. You rock!
2010-05-25 3:59 PM
in reply to: #2879604

West Chester, Ohio
Subject: RE: Bluff Creek Triathlon - Sprint
Well you had a fantastic swim and fought the blasted wind pretty well!  Nice job out there!!!

Wind sucks.
2010-05-27 7:38 AM
in reply to: #2879604

Quebec, Canada
Subject: RE: Bluff Creek Triathlon - Sprint
Dammit Neal you are fast as always!!

Don't we all love the wind?

Good job man.  

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