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Survival of the Shawangunks - TriathlonOther

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New Paltz, New York
United States
New York Triathlete Association
60F / 16C
Total Time = 5h 00m 57s
Overall Rank = 15/150
Age Group = M3034
Age Group Rank = 3/17
Pre-race routine:

I saw this race on TV in 2009 and wanted to do it. The unusual format and small size looked like a good antidote for the huge, commercialized M-Dots I did that year. The signups were in October and I was one of the lucky ones that got in before it filled up. My training over the off season was sporadic and I didn't get very motivated until late spring. Then between remodeling the kitchen and my Mom being hospitalized, I didn't get the training in during the summer that I should have. I didn't update my training logs either, so I have no idea exactly how much of a slacker I was. I did do several run/swim/run/swim bricks at the local pond and had my shoe carrying technique down. I had been doing those without socks, but the week before the race I started getting blisters and decided that I would bring socks and some band aids with me in case I needed them. That was a good idea.

We left the hotel in Poughkeepsie at 5:40 and made it to the start at the fairgrounds. I got my bike checked and body marked, used the porta-potties and got ready to ride. I was in the second wave with the other 16 in my age group.

Bike - 30 miles
1:30:28 @ 19.9 mph - 18/150 - 3/17

1-5 12:24 24.2 mph
5-10 13:16 22.6 mph
10-15 14:17 21.0 mph
15-20 13:44 21.8 mph
20-25 14:36 20.5 mph
25-30 22:11 13.5 mph

The course is mostly flat with some hills for the first 25 miles and then in the last five miles it climbs 1000 feet up to the finish. I had no HR monitor, like I normally would, so I went just by feel. The roads were good and there was very little traffic at that early hour.
We were told at the race meeting that groups would not be tolerated and the marshals would require riders to stand down if they were in a group. In the big races, groups are unavoidable, but this was such a small race that there should be no excuse. I still saw a couple groups, one in my own wave that I tried and failed to leave behind and three guys from a later wave that caught me at mile 20 or so. I saw that group overtake the group from my wave going up the hill and saw the marshal watching them, but I didn't see anyone get told to stop. I think people don't understand that you need to actively avoid drafting instead of being passive and thinking that if you are not planning and seeking drafts that you are in the clear. That is not so.

T1/Run 1 - 4.5 miles
34:10 @ 7m 35s per mile - 12/150 - 2/17
This race requires you to have a crew to set up your transition and collect your bike, but not much information was given to how it all works. Danielle and I learned the hard way how it should not be done.
After 20 minutes of climbing, I finally reached the first transition. I dismounted cleanly and ran through the chute. Danielle ran towards me and the woman directing traffic yelled at her that she couldn't come into the road, so she turns around and runs back. She is saying something to me, but with all the yelling and my aero helmet that covers my ears I can’t understand it. I'm still running with my bike towards where some guy is pointing and Danielle is running behind me trying to take my bike from me. The parking lot is gravel and Danielle, me and my bike get tangled up and we all go down. We recover, and I finally figure out where my transition area is and change my shoes and grab my goggles and go. My hand and left butt cheek are stinging and covered with black dust and I have a hole in my shorts. It takes me about five minutes into the run to simmer down and determine that my injuries are not life threatening and probably won't affect the rest of the race.
The remainder of the first run was uneventful. I passed one guy at the very beginning and could see another guy a head of me, but I didn't gain on him. I started to run the steep hill, but I was so slow I decided to just walk it. I enjoyed the views of the lake and saw some of the leaders swimming from the trail. I was glad I had done quite a bit of trail running over the summer as the surface was uneven and required you to watch your step.

Lake Awosting - 1.1 miles
30:14 @ 1m 43s/100 meters - 53/150 - 7/17
There was a nice little ledge to sit on and take off my shoes and socks. I stuffed the shoes down the back of my shorts, heels down with soles facing out and took the plunge into the cold lake. We were told the water was in the upper 60's and it was calm and clear. A pair of swimmers blasted past at one point, and I tried and failed to hold on in their draft. Sighting was pretty easy since the course was near the shore the whole way.

Run 2 - 5.5 miles
44:39 @ 8:07 min/mile - 10/150 - 2/17
I got out of the water and was asked what I wanted. I had a HEED and a gel and put my shoes on by the side of the water. I didn't put my socks back on since they were soaked and balled up. This run went up the ridge and then along the top with some great views from the top, but I didn't have time to stop and enjoy them today. I caught and passed one of the guys that passed me on the swim, but he was the only other competitor I saw on this leg. After the cold swim, it took 30 minutes to get warmed back up. For some reason I thought this leg was 4.5 miles, so I was getting worried when I was over 40 minutes.

Lake Minnewaska - .5 miles
15:10 @ 1m 53s per 100 meters - 51/150 - 8/17
This swim had a rope and bouys to follow, but since I prefer to breath on my left, and we were told to stay to the left, they didn't help me much. The guy that I passed in the previous leg repassed me somewhere in the middle of the swim and I couldn't hold on to his draft.

Run 3 - 8 miles
1:04:04 @ 8:01 min/mile - 13/150 - 3/17
After climbing out of the lake, there is about a mile of steep downhill on pavement before going back onto the trails. This was probably the hardest part of the race. I didn't have my socks on and this downhill running caused some new rubbing. At little ways into the woods I wrung out my socks and stopped to put them back on. I felt much better a soon as I did. I ran a little ways with some kid who said he was lost and looking for his cross country team, but I let him go when I stopped at the aid station for a gel and drink. Danielle found me just before the second aid station and told me that she was making sure I was OK after the fall in T1. She showed me that she got scraped up too and it looked like she got the worst of it. The next 4 miles were tough and after the last aid station, there was a monster hill and I walked some of the steeper sections of it.

Lake Mohonk - .5 miles
16:55 @ 2m 06s per 100 meters - 63/15 - 8/17
I was shot at this point, and it was a relief to get into the cold water and numb my legs. I swam from bouy to bouy and just focused on getting to the next one and then eventually out of the water. The spooky Mohonk House was fun to look at while taking a breath. The guy that got second in my age group passed me somewhere in the water, but I never noticed.
There is a rock wall at the end of the swim and I put my shoes on before climbing it.

Run 4 - .7 miles
5:19 @ 7:36 min/mile - 10/150 - 2/17
I ran as hard as I could up to skytop, which didn't feel very fast at all. Some little kids were running ahead of me, but I couldn't keep pace with them. Someone asked my name as was almost at the top and then he ran along side me urging me on to the finish line. I saw 5:01:something on the clock as though it was about what I expected since that would probably be my half iron time with my current fitness.

  • 00m
  • 3380 meters
  • / 100 meters
Transition 1
  • 00m
  • 00m
  • 30 miles
  • 0.00 mile/hr
Transition 2
  • 00m
  • 00m
  • 18.4 miles
  •  min/mile
Post race
Warm down:

It was freezing at the top and I dried off and put on the survivor shirt. They had some snacks up there and some hot soup, which was appreciated. After a little while my teeth were chattering so, I walked down and found Danielle. We went back to the car so I could put some dry clothes on and then we went to the banquet hall.
This was by far the best post race food I have seen with burgers, sausages, ribs, salads, pies. The only bad part was the only beer was Michelob Ultra - ick. I ate and then we waited for the awards and mountain bike raffle. And waited. Two hours later, they start the awards and a dozen people gave speeches since this was the 25th running of the race. This was the second endurance event of the day. Eventually they do the raffle and had to call a dozen numbers before someone claimed the bike. I got a nice little plaque for my 3rd AG place and then we drove home.

Event comments:

Great venue, limited entry and unusual format make this race special. The entry fee is high, but you get a lot of value from it.

Last updated: 2009-10-31 12:00 AM
00:00:00 | 3380 meters | / 100meters
Age Group: 0/17
Overall: 0/150
Start type: Plus:
Water temp: 0F / 0C Current:
200M Perf. Remainder:
Breathing: Drafting:
Waves: Navigation:
Time: 00:00
Cap removal: Helmet on/
Suit off:
Wetsuit stuck? Run with bike:
Jump on bike:
Getting up to speed:
00:00:00 | 30 miles | 0.00 mile/hr
Age Group: 0/17
Overall: 0/150
Road:   Cadence:
Turns: Cornering:
Gear changes: Hills:
Race pace: Drinks:
Time: 00:00
Riding w/ feet on shoes
Jumping off bike
Running with bike
Racking bike
Shoe and helmet removal
00:00:00 | 18.4 miles |  min/mile
Age Group: 0/17
Overall: 0/150
Keeping cool Drinking
Post race
Weight change: %
Mental exertion [1-5]
Physical exertion [1-5]
Good race?
Course challenge Too hard
Organized? Yes
Events on-time? Yes
Lots of volunteers? Yes
Plenty of drinks? Yes
Post race activities: Good
Race evaluation [1-5] 5

2010-09-14 3:57 PM

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Middletown, CT
Subject: Survival of the Shawangunks

2010-09-14 5:26 PM
in reply to: #3098484

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Subject: RE: Survival of the Shawangunks
Thanks for posting this race report! This race is on my to do list and I hope I can get in for next year. Did the shoes bother you at all during the swim?
2010-09-14 8:13 PM
in reply to: #3098654

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Middletown, CT
Subject: RE: Survival of the Shawangunks
You do notice the extra drag from the shoes, but they stayed put and didn't bother me. My swims were not good, but I blame my lack of swimming skills and not the shoes.
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