General Discussion Race Reports! » Fort Ritchie Triathlon Rss Feed  
Moderators: k9car363, alicefoeller Reply

Fort Ritchie Triathlon - TriathlonOlympic

View Member's Race Log View other race reports
Fort Ritchie, Maryland
United States
Racine Multisports
67F / 19C
Total Time = 2h 50m 6s
Overall Rank = 46/153
Age Group = M50-54
Age Group Rank = 5/9
Pre-race routine:

Sunday day morning, 3:55 AM – YAWN…Need coffee….Race time is at 7 and transition opens around 4:30. I figure I can get there by 5:30 and have enough time to prepare. Grab my usual bagel with raspberries and peanut butter, plus drink mix and head on down the road to the race site. Grab some more coffee at a gas station because it's just too darn early for me.
Event warmup:

Unfortunately, I didn't quite time things correctly not leaving much time to warmup like I usually do. I also gabbed too much with other club members as well. I think this was a contributing mistake to using different shoes on the run than I was used to. More on that later.
  • 36m 32s
  • 1640 yards
  • 02m 14s / 100 yards

After the Sprinters are mostly around, my wave watches the first Olympic wave take off and it's time to get in the water. I see club member Nancy Kady on the pier and ask if she's going to give me a 5 minute head start. She laughs about that. But, gee Nancy, I sure could use it! Darn, can't convince her ;-) Then Ken starts counting down and we all wish each other luck. Then, because this is male 40 and over, I yell "Old guys RULE!" and this gets everyone laughing. Still counting down…10 seconds….5, 4, 3, 2, 1,… AND WE'RE OFF AND SWIMMING on this inaugural event!

…well…at least the guys in front of me are doing a good job of swimming. Alas, I'm at my normal slow, steady pace, but I'm not letting this worry or trouble me. Just gotta get around the swim course a couple of times. With all the bodies in the water, seems a bit murkier than during practice swims. Just keep swimmin', swimmin', swimmin'… round the first buoy and seems like a good number of my wave are here, so that gives me a bit of confidence as I press on to the second. Hit the water tumbleweeds and let them roll off of me. Also seem to be bumping into a fair number of guys here too. Round the second buoy and now the long top stretch begins. During these long stretches on swim courses, it always seems like you're not getting anywhere. But, before I know it, the sighting buoy comes up on my left. Now just to get to the turn buoy….keep pressing, relax, breathe, don't forget to breathe, very important… Round the last turn buoy and head to the flags on the shore. Sun's a bit in my eyes as I sight but I'm able to stay on course. Finally, hit the shallows and jog out onto the shore. A few people are walking here but I jog over the pier and jump back in the water for the second lap. I actually like the idea of having a short break here as it gave my arms a nice break. Okay, second lap. Despite the break, my arms are complaining a bit and I'm also a bit tired. I'm also having a bit of problem staying straight on course and have to sight a bit more often to correct. But press on. Again round the first buoy. I tried to stay left to avoid the water tumbleweeds but still hit a bit of them. Before rounding the second buoy, I hear Tim Thompson saying "I recognize that jersey!" Tim saw my club jersey in the water and decided to see who it was. I think I quickly said "Hi Tim" but got back at it. If Tim's here, that means the wave behind has caught me. I don't remember seeing Tim later here as I started the long stretch again. Hit a few water tumbleweeds here before the sighting buoy. Now there are an assortment of colored caps in the water around me from all the Olympic waves. I wasn't sure if this was good or bad at the time and just continued to press. Finally round the last turn buoy and head to shore to complete the swim. I'm actually able to pick up my stroke rate to a comfortable pace and will have to remember this when I get back to consistent swim practices. This may be a reason why my swims are so slow – slow stroke rate. Anyway, I'm FINALLY in the shallows, jog out of the water, and then to T1. YEA!

What would you do differently?:

Due to early season shoulder injury, I wasn't concentrating on swimming this season. My mind was also on the ultramarathon I'll be doing in Nov. So, I kinda knew the swim would suffer. Next season, I need to spend a few weeks ramping up my swim and maybe getting with a coach for help.
Transition 1
  • 01m 43s

T1 is uneventful and I moved along fairly smoothly to get my stuff on. I thought I saw a good number of bikes gone already much to my dismay, but perhaps I can catch the fast swimmers on the bike which is my second strongest part. I keep saying this but I really should practice my shoes on the bike and seeing if I can jump on the bike and get in them. But, again, decided best to just get them on in transition. With a good amount of gear to put on, didn't do socks just yet and decided to put them on in T2 for the run. So, got everything on and jog with my bike to the mount area. Club member Laura Cathers is there, cheers me on, and I think snaps a picture as I'm mounting my bike ( at least I think it was Laura…Sue Erickson says she took pics too. Tough to tell sometimes when you're trying to move quickly in a race). Out of T1 on the bike.
What would you do differently?:

I keep saying I've got to practice getting in my shoes while on the bike. I will next season!
  • 1h 19m 17s
  • 23.8 miles
  • 18.01 mile/hr

Note that road surface went from rough to smooth. On the bike now and there are a good number of folks ahead of me here on this first uphill section to the first turn. So, I'm not moving too quick until I turn the corner and drop down in the aero position for this first nice short downhill. Passing a good number of folks here, hopefully the fast swimmers. This is short lived, though, as there's a hill at the next turn. I have to stand in my low gear and the heart rate and breathing are pretty high up there at present! Finally get away from this short hill and get into this downhill to the next turn. Gotta watch the speed here though as the next turn is sharp. I see Margaret Northam telling folks to slow down ahead and basically say "HI!" as I pass by. Thank the volunteer and the turn and get up another short hill. At this point, Tim Thompson passes me and I attempt to keep up with him here. Cresting this hill, we're now on the long downhill of Raven Rock road and it's time to pour on the SPEED! Down in aero I go and bring up the cadence to 85-90 rpm in high gear! I pass Tim once here and really zoom past a few other folks! Then Tim catches me as well as another guy. We are flying here and passing other folks as we're now up above 90 rpm cadence! YEE HAW!!! Actually, since I only have the 12 on the cassette, I spin out along the way at a few points. Now, it's still the three of us and we all pass this one guy who's moving quite well himself. I get by him barely, but he doesn't exactly give up his position. So, I'm forced to pedal like mad to get by him. Zoom! Still the three of us as we come to the sharp right turn leading into the valley portion of the course. As I come up to Tim again, he's having difficulty and turns out, his chain popped off. I go on past and try to catch this other guy who's ahead of me… which I do! But, this is short-lived as he again catches me coming up to a hill. A gal also passes me here and this guy as well. Looks like she's just lighter and able to go up the hills a lot better. Going down the next hill, my momentum allows me again to catch this guy and I set my sites on the gal ahead. But, the guy catches me again and I do the same after the next turn, passing another gal who's also rounding the corner. As I pass this guy again, I finally say "Are we just going to keep trading places here?" And as he passes me for the last time says "I guess so". (chuckle) For some reason though, I think he decided to turn up his effort a notch and leaves me behind. Well, pretty much alone now trying to catch back up but thinking of the 10K ahead of me. Coming out of the valley is a steady light uphill effort. There are a few folks ahead of me as I get near to the turn on Raven Rock and I pass by as I make the first turn to the upcoming turn. Get on Raven Rock and pick up the speed again downhill. A bit of an uphill and then another down, zooming past another cyclist! Make the turn around and again fly down the hill back to the intersection just before starting the steady uphill climb. Speed is now decreasing and with my momentum gone, I'm down in my lowest gear attempting to spin the best I can up this long hill. I see a good number of folks ahead of me too, which is a little encouraging for maybe I can catch some of them on the run, my strongest area (usually). I do pass a few folks still here and offer words of encouragement. There's also a guy behind me who's matching my pace and I say about that there's this portion with a small respite and then continued climb to Hell's Delight (which as I've said before is a real road and is a REAL climb!). He says "sweet" and I press on. Once past Hell's Delight, I switch up into higher gears here and increase my speed as much as I dare. Still going uphill and still need to save something for the run. Somewhere here, the guy I passed going downhill that wouldn't yield his position after I passed, passes me! He's a bit larger guy than myself and I was kinda shocked that he did this. Not sure if he was the one talking to me or not. But, I couldn't let that challenge go! So, I spun a bit harder and finally at the top of the hill coming back downhill, I let loose and zoomed by him. Momentum carried me along to get to the next uphill and I was not challenged again. Finally done with Raven Rock, I turn downhill and zoom to the final turn to the transition area. After making that turn, get out of my shoes being careful NOT to pedal without my feet on my shoes (ref, the near disaster at Rocky Gap with shoe making me skid). They're out and I bring my leg over as I near the dismount area, balance on one pedal, and hit the ground running into T2!
What would you do differently?:

Not much, really. Gotta lose weight to get better climbing.
Transition 2
  • 00m 57s

The blue painter's tape comes through and I find the rack place pretty easily. Going to have to remember that trick. Anyway, I get to my rack and Geoff Irwin cheers me on here as he's done with the Sprint. And I move pretty smoothly through T2, putting on socks easily, then shoes. Grab the rest of what I need and I'm outta there!
What would you do differently?:

Really not much. I've gotten decent at T2 now.
  • 51m 41s
  • 6.21 miles
  • 08m 19s  min/mile

Now for the 10K run. Legs are taking their time waking up but I'm feeling okay as I start the run. One guy ahead of me kinda zoomed on though which didn't do much for my mental state. Still, pressed on to get up the first small hill to the long flat with a downhill ahead. Once I turn onto that, I'm moving a bit better and a small downhill to the next flat really helps me to get going here. Make the next turn onto another short hill and legs are definitely starting to wake up. As I make the turn onto the next flat with a gradual downhill, I'm moving pretty well and am passing folks too! I think here I see Brett Richmond from Frederick who's I've cycled with after the OWS practices. We exchange words of encouragement and I move on ahead. I'm using my hydration belt for carbohydrate drink and water at the aid stations to mostly cool me down but I decided to take a bit of Heed at the first station instead. Then pretty much fly down the short downhill here and try to catch folks ahead. After the next flat, hit the first steep hill and move up okay on it. Then I fly downhill, passing the aid station and taking some water to cool me down. Just before the next hill, Jason Senuta passes by with a pat on the back for some encouragement. Thanks for that, Jason! Okay, get up the next hill and again fly down the hill on the other side. Round the lake to complete the first lap. Linda Cronise cheers me on as I head out for lap number 2. Well, now it feels like I'm slowing down a bit as I head of the short hill for the second time. But, get back onto the flat with the downhill and I'm still motivating myself along okay. Even with the next uphill, spirits are high. On the next flat, I pass Bernie Sellars and offer words to encourage him. Up ahead, I see a guy who passed me on the bike and I start to make an effort to catch him. But, somewhere here, my left calf starts to complain. It's not really a cramp, but a steady soreness that's slowly increasing. And my speed is definitely dropping here. So, decide to switch my gait making shorter strides while increasing my cadence. This seems to help but the soreness is getting worse as I'm starting to tackle this steep hill again. Gosh, this is just not good! Still able to get some speed downhill but moving along is getting difficult. I still see the guy I was chasing down, but there's really not any hope here as I'm doing all I can to keep moving at a decent pace. On the next flat, my gait has gone into a run on the right, limp on the left type of look. Shuffle running up the final hill and use my funny gait to come down the last hill to the flat around the lake. Amazingly, I pass a few people here in the last little distance before the finish! And I'm actually able to put on a sprint to the finish where Nancy Kady cheers me on. As I'm coming in I hear Lisa Racine announce over the loudspeaker (basically) "Here's comes Mister Dave Miller across the finish line!" Never had "Mister" said before I crossed the line before. But, it was an unexpected occurrence that I'll remember for a while. After I cross the finish, Ken's there to congratulate me and I get a nice finisher's towel soaked in very nice cold water. Timing chip comes off with some difficulty, but then I take my nice cold water bottle and move out of the finishing area to grab some food. Hmm, make that LIMP over to the food area. Yeah, damage is definitely done and I'm starting hobble now that I'm not trying to run anymore.
What would you do differently?:

Well, perhaps I shouldn't have switched shoes this close to the race. At a minimum, I should've run in them one more time prior to the race to get used to them and also break them in a bit more. The run wasn't overly difficult and I was feeling pretty good after my legs woke up on the first lap. But, the calf injury really hampered my performance.
Post race
Warm down:

Ate the post race food and water. Cooled down with the nice cold Finisher's towel.

What limited your ability to perform faster:

Definitely the calf problem. Plus, I still need to lose weight if I'm going to be a good climber. The swim was a big limiter as usual but I hadn't been training enough this season to do better, primarily due to the early season shoulder problem.

Event comments:

After the race, I talk with a good number of folks about the race and the fact that I'm not doing too good unfortunately. Found out Geoff Irwin took the Sprint overall and I find I'm not really surprised. Some good food here and I partake of the yummy turkey sandwiches, cookies, and fruit. There was pasta salad too but I'm afraid I couldn't stomach that at the time. I thank the nice volunteers at the food tent as well. Really, quite a good spread after the race and I really appreciate when races provide something other than pizza (which I REALLY can't stomach after a race) and also a variety to choose from. I take the time to congratulate others I recognized on the race, from the gal I passed near the end of the race to the guy I was trying to catch on the run. Then take my stuff to the car…S-L-O-W-L-Y…and then make my way back for awards. No surprise that Jason has taken 1st in AG (and 1st over all AGs) and Dan takes 2nd in his AG. I was 36 seconds from 4th and actually from 3rd as the first place guy in my AG takes the top Masters award. Hey, that's okay as I liked the finishers towel a lot more than had I gotten an AG medal. Plus I feel pretty good about finishing in the top 1/3 overall of the AGs! Overall, I thought this was a great venue and well organized event! I actually found I like the swim format giving a short break in between laps. And for the Olympic, there's just enough challenge for my level in the bike and run to make the race interesting. I'm not a good climber still but I didn't consider the Raven Rock climb an overly difficult one. Anything I can still do in my tri bike works for me. The fast downhill more than makes up for the steady climb back. Also, the run isn't overly difficult. I thought Columbia and Brierman running courses were worse. Plus, much of the race is fairly spectator friendly.

There's a LOT of positives about this event: Plenty of nice volunteers on hand all over the place, good post race food, different swim format for the Olympic, decent spectator viewing, just enough challenges on the courses, good on-course support, and a nice Finisher's towel! I like practical schwag and still use nearly all that I have received. Cost was reasonable and it's a close event to boot. While the nice weather helped the event go fairly smoothly, I think this inaugural event would've gone well despite nearly any different conditions. It just goes to show how good Ken and company have gotten at putting these together over the short time he's been doing them.

I did have a couple of suggestions for Ken: more porta johns and better transition security upon leaving the area.

Last updated: 2010-02-18 12:00 AM
00:36:32 | 1640 yards | 02m 14s / 100yards
Age Group: 7/9
Overall: 109/153
Performance: Below average
Suit: none
Course: An inverted trapasoid and you had to go counterclockwise around the buoys. For the Olympic, one did a short jog out of the water and then you had to jump off the short pier to start your second lap. Unfortunately, there was also some vegetation to deal with between the first few buoys, what I call water tumbleweeds.
Start type: Wade Plus: Waves
Water temp: 78F / 26C Current: Low
200M Perf. Average Remainder: Below average
Breathing: Good Drafting: Below average
Waves: Navigation: Good
Rounding: Good
Time: 01:43
Performance: Good
Cap removal: Good Helmet on/
Suit off:
Wetsuit stuck? Run with bike: Yes
Jump on bike: No
Getting up to speed: Average
01:19:17 | 23.8 miles | 18.01 mile/hr
Age Group: 4/9
Overall: 43/153
Performance: Good
Wind: Little
Course: The bike course leaves Fort Ritchie and navigates through hills and valley on wide shoulders and low traffic country roads. The first section of the course is fast with a nice long down hill section. At the bottom the Olympic distance will turn and navigate through the valley. The Sprint will u-turn and head back to Fort Ritchie. After the valley section the Olympic course will also u-turn and head back to Fort Ritchie. The final section for both courses is a long gradual up hill.
Road: Rough Dry Cadence:
Turns: Good Cornering: Good
Gear changes: Good Hills: Average
Race pace: Comfortable Drinks: Just right
Time: 00:57
Overall: Good
Riding w/ feet on shoes Good
Jumping off bike Good
Running with bike Good
Racking bike Good
Shoe and helmet removal Good
00:51:41 | 06.21 miles | 08m 19s  min/mile
Age Group: 4/9
Overall: 31/153
Performance: Average
Course: The run course is a 5K course which is a loop and navigates through Fort Ritchie. Being on private property, vehicular traffic will be minimal if at all. The course has some some elevation but is not overly difficult. There are two short steep hills, one just before mile 2 and the other about mile 2.3. There are a couple of minor uphills along the way plus some long mostly flat stretches as well. The Sprint course is one loop. The Olympic course will be 2 laps so wave to your fans after lap one.
Keeping cool Good Drinking Just right
Post race
Weight change: %
Overall: Average
Mental exertion [1-5] 4
Physical exertion [1-5] 2
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

2010-08-13 8:23 AM

User image

Extreme Veteran
Frederick, Maryland
Subject: Fort Ritchie Triathlon
General Discussion-> Race Reports!
General Discussion Race Reports! » Fort Ritchie Triathlon Rss Feed