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Mountain Man Triathlon - Half Iron Distance - Triathlon1/2 Ironman

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Flagstaff, Arizona
United States
Mountain Man Events
65F / 18C
Total Time = 4h 33m 43s
Overall Rank = 3/169
Age Group = M4-44
Age Group Rank = 1/19
Pre-race routine:

Jamie, the dog's, and I drove up early Saturday afternoon to Flagstaff and it was POURING. It was raining so hard, especially when we hit the high country and it was COLD, like 50's. Race day forecast was for potentially more rain and start time temps in the high 40's. I wasn't very happy about the prospects. We had a great dinner with a big group of friends and I went to bed by 8:15...or at least tried to. Just like at Show Low, I couldn't fall asleep. Again, it might be the altitude, but I was awake until at least 12:00 when I did finally fall asleep only to get up at 4:15am, which is mor eusual weeday wake up time and I felt ok depite only getting 4 hours of sleep. Jamie dropped me off at the race site and went back to the hotel to get the dogs..and sleep a bit more. :)
Event warmup:

I set up my transition on the second rack before the moutn line and chatted with friends. The morning was overcast, but it looked like it was going to clear and it was comfortable in the low 50's. The lake was covered by a blanket of fog and I couldn't see any of the markers. This was going to be interesting. I walked over tot he swim start and had a chance to talk to Ryan, the guy who was 2nd to me in Show Low. My friend Shawn was righ next to me and I knew he was a strng swimmer and decided I would stick to him.
  • 32m 55s
  • 2112 yards
  • 01m 34s / 100 yards

When the horn sounded, Shawn and I were in a perfect spot on the front and went hard for a 100 yards or so. We were quickly clear with one person just ahead of us. Immediatley I felt the elevation in my respiration. As soon as you put your face back down from a breath you feel like you need another. I knew it was coming and I also knew it owuld pass as I settled down. We rounded the first bouy in a line of 3 and began the long up downward leg. We had a kyaker to the left and could see maybe 100 yards in front. I had to assume that the lead swimmer was sighting well and if not the kayaker would let us know if we went off course. I was wrong on both counts.

I was swimming so well, felt great, had a high turnover, that I lost track of time, but eventually was thinking we should be able to at least see the turn marker. I kept looking in the middle of the lake for it but saw nothing. It had been so foggy in Transition, I couldn't see where it was but just assumed it would be there. It wasn't. It was way over by the far shore and by the time I stopped to look for it, I was way to the right and could see a line of swimmers making a beeline towards. I had to hammer over there and was able to rejoin back in 3rd place of this group. I likely would have been about 1:00 faster had I sighted the marker way earlier and the course was a tad long. The first swimmer went 30:50. But it was ok, I was till well up there and in the race.
What would you do differently?:

I should have looked for the Olympic markers and swam right along them but man, it was hard to see!
Transition 1
  • 01m 25s

I had a good Transition, 3rd fastest OA, and got out onto the bike only to relaize I had neglected to open the straps on my shoes, so i had to fuss with those a bit to get into them. One guy went by me but I caught him a few moments later.
What would you do differently?:

Open my straps.
  • 2h 19m 19s
  • 56 miles
  • 24.12 mile/hr

As I settled down I could see two guys in front of me but first place was a bit further up the road. Within the first few miles, I moved into 2nd and could see first when I was unexpectedly joined by Brian Folts, a young local fellow who seems to be obssesed with beating me. :) He's good kid. I found out from my friend Steve Rink, who let Brian stay with him the night before the race, that his plan was to try and hang with me on the bike as he's a very solid runner. He passed by and we went back and forth as we caught first place who turned out to be another friend and very fast guy, Brad Hendron. Brad was 4th at Show Low but was coming off an injury and when healthy is a sub 35 10K guy. I was suprised he beat me out of the water but found out later he had been right behind me and saw the marker before I did. So Brian and I continued to trade places and make small talk as we began the first loop. My bike was much faster on the downhills but he would ride hard to catch-up on the flats and climbs. I felt pretty sure he couldn't do this for 56 miles and was right. Eventually he dropped back to a legal draft and I began to pull away.

I didn't feel super for the first 20 miles. My HR was low, in the high 140's, which happens whenever I race at this elevation. This course has 2552 feet of climbing ranging between 7000-7200 feet above sea level. I attcaked the hills, jumping out of the saddle when climbing, and on one huge descent, I must have been going almost 50mph down on the aero bars, it was fun..and scary! Temps were cool and I had one water bottle with me and a gel flask which is all I used for the ride. There was one out and back and I could see that Brian had been passed by another rider who I didn't know and looked very strong. I just put my head down, went to work, and never looked behind me. There was a great tailwind on the long ride back to transition and I was passing the very BOP of the Olympic race which started 30min after the Half. As I approached Transition, I realized I had company. That tall rider had manged to stay with me and he entered T2 right behind me.
What would you do differently?:

Nothing, that was a 2:05 improvement over last year.
Transition 2
  • 01m 17s

So me and my tall new friend acknowledged eachother as we headed to the racks. He was in the rack in front of mine and I could see him getting his gear. We both were putting on sock, which I normally don't do but I have a blister on my left heel. I grabbed my race belt, visor, and full gel flask and hit the run first.
What would you do differently?:

Nothing, I had the fastest T2.
  • 1h 38m 49s
  • 13.1 miles
  • 07m 32s  min/mile

As we began the run, this guy, his name was Dan, immediatlety passed me and was motoring. I wasn't even remotley ready to run that fast this early. He opened up a gap of maybe 50 yards by the time we hit the big climb. I knew at the top, around the 5K mark, there was a turnaround and I could see where everyone else was. Brad and moved ahead of Brian and was on a complete scorcher. Brian was suffering from trying to stay with me 2 hours before. I came down the hill and headed out Lake Mary Rd. to the far turnaround. I actually felt pretty good and ran within myself. Dan was still in sight, but now at least 1:30 up the long road. I worked through my gel flask and got some water at ever aid station.

At the turn, Dan was a steady 1:30 ahead and about 2:00 back was Brad and he had not slowed a bit. I called over to him and sid he still had plenty of time to catch me! He laughed but I knew it was true, we still had 5 miles to go. The pass came with 2.5 left and he looked great. What I didn't think he could do was catch Dan, which is exactly what he did within sight of the line and won the race! It was an amazing run, a 1:30, 6:00 faster than Dan and 8:00 faster than me. I cruised on in and took Chip and Dxter from Jamie to run across the line with me. :)
What would you do differently?:

Well, I was 1:27 better than last year but there was no way I could run as fast as Brad did.
Post race
Warm down:

Once I was relegated to 2nd and eventually 3rd, my biggest goal was to make sure I would be the top Masters finisher as this race only gives nice awards to 1st OA and then Men and Women Masters winners. We hung out with our friends and stayed for the awards.

Event comments:

This is a fun race and a beautiful, challenging course.

Last updated: 2010-03-23 12:00 AM
00:32:55 | 2112 yards | 01m 34s / 100yards
Age Group: 1/19
Overall: 3/169
Performance: Good
Suit: ZOOT Zenith 2.0
Course: Start at the boat ramp. out to a trun marker and then down the lake and back.
Start type: Wade Plus:
Water temp: 72F / 22C Current: Low
200M Perf. Good Remainder: Good
Breathing: Good Drafting: Good
Waves: Good Navigation: Below average
Rounding: Good
Time: 01:25
Performance: Good
Cap removal: Good Helmet on/
Suit off:
Wetsuit stuck? Yes Run with bike: Yes
Jump on bike: Yes
Getting up to speed: Average
02:19:19 | 56 miles | 24.12 mile/hr
Age Group: 1/19
Overall: 2/169
Performance: Good
Wind: Some
Course: Two laps around Lake Mary.
Road: Smooth  Cadence:
Turns: Good Cornering: Good
Gear changes: Good Hills: Good
Race pace: Comfortable Drinks: Just right
Time: 01:17
Overall: Good
Riding w/ feet on shoes Good
Jumping off bike Good
Running with bike Good
Racking bike Good
Shoe and helmet removal Good
01:38:49 | 13.1 miles | 07m 32s  min/mile
Age Group: 2/19
Overall: 5/169
Performance: Average
Course: A beautiful run along Lake mary Rd. with one vicious switch back 800+ foot climb and then a gradual ascent to the turnaround.
Keeping cool Good Drinking Just right
Post race
Weight change: %
Overall: Good
Mental exertion [1-5] 4
Physical exertion [1-5] 4
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] 4

2010-08-09 11:43 AM

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Fountain Hills, AZ
Subject: Mountain Man Triathlon - Half Iron Distance

2010-08-09 12:18 PM
in reply to: #3032145

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Phoenix, AZ
Subject: RE: Mountain Man Triathlon - Half Iron Distance
Exciting write up. I forget that there is a real race going on while the rest of us battle internally.

Those awards were awesome.  I'm not sure my wife would let me put one in the house, but they'd look good on my desk. Maybe when I'm over 50, I'll win the masters.
2010-08-09 12:26 PM
in reply to: #3032145

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Subject: RE: Mountain Man Triathlon - Half Iron Distance
I enjoyed the race report. Well done Bryan!
2010-08-09 12:29 PM
in reply to: #3032145

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Mechanicsburg, PA
Subject: RE: Mountain Man Triathlon - Half Iron Distance
WOW Bryan congratulations on the PR and 3rd OA.  You are definitely well rounded elite triathlete.




2010-08-09 1:22 PM
in reply to: #3032145

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Flagstaff and Phoenix, AZ
Subject: RE: Mountain Man Triathlon - Half Iron Distance
Congrats, Bryan! Fantastic race performance and, as always, a well-written RR. The second set of buoys was in a weird place, kinda in the middle of the lake rather than over towards the far shore where I expected them. Even without fog we might have had trouble sighting them early.
2010-08-09 4:16 PM
in reply to: #3032145

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, Arizona
Subject: RE: Mountain Man Triathlon - Half Iron Distance
I think I saw you whiz by coming back from the turnaround after the first loop, you were looking strong! Congrats on the masters win Bryan, pretty soon you will have a whole flock of owl trophys

2010-08-09 6:10 PM
in reply to: #3032145

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Goodyear, AZ
Subject: RE: Mountain Man Triathlon - Half Iron Distance

That was an exciting read! Well done on another great race. Seems like your Kona prep is going extremely well

2010-08-09 6:14 PM
in reply to: #3032145

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, Arizona
Subject: RE: Mountain Man Triathlon - Half Iron Distance
Awesome race!  I was one of those poor BOP olympic dudes you passed.  I was honored to be blow away by you out there!
2010-08-10 7:24 AM
in reply to: #3032145

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Payson, AZ
Subject: RE: Mountain Man Triathlon - Half Iron Distance
Nice race.  Your putting together a very solid season. 
2010-08-10 8:07 AM
in reply to: #3032145

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Alpharetta, GA
Subject: RE: Mountain Man Triathlon - Half Iron Distance
Congrats on an awesome race!
2010-08-10 3:18 PM
in reply to: #3032145

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Reston, VA
Subject: RE: Mountain Man Triathlon - Half Iron Distance
Great race! Your swim has come along very nicely and seems to be in line with your bike and run now. Looking forward to seeing what you do when you are tapered!

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