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Rumpus in Bumpass Sprint - TriathlonSprint

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Bumpass, Virginia
United States
Set Up Events
57F / 14C
Total Time = 1h 18m 14s
Overall Rank = 87/416
Age Group = M50-54
Age Group Rank = 4/28
Pre-race routine:

Note first that the overall rank is out of all Men as there wasn't a combined rank.

On Saturday, I took time to prepare. As this is a sprint, I don't wear socks on the bike or run and I don't take water/drink/gels on the run either. The distances are just not long enough where you're going to burn off that many carbs. Now I do take a little bit to drink in an aerobottle and Clif blocks on the bike just in case. So there's really not a lot of gear for a sprint that one needs to take. Just running and bike shoes, cap/visor, sunglasses, googles, and bike helmet. I do take a towel and some spare items, but my gear bag is fairly light for these short races. It also cuts down on the amount of gear you need to keep track of in your transition area. Oh and wetsuit! I didn't want to forget that and actually put it in the car not too long after I got up on Saturday.

Now I didn't drive down the night before and stay overnight, so it's another early rise for me the morning of the event at 4 AM (yawn...). Have my normal coffee, breakfast drink, juice, and whole wheat bagel w/raspberries and peanut butter (yum!). Get my race clothes on. I debated having arm warmers or a wind vest as it was still going to be a bit chilly, especially after the swim. Brought them along and would make the decision on site. Drive time is a bit under 3 hours and most of it is highway, I-270 and I-95. I wanted to get a decent parking space and not have to deal with hauling gear for long distances. And I don't like to be rushed trying to get setup in transition before it closes. So around 5 AM, still dark, I head on down the road to the event site.

I get to the race site about when expected and as we enter the parking area, the first sign of yesterday's weather greets us - mud covered road into the parking area! And I mean the thick kind of mud you 4 wheel in too! This is a sign of things to come for us during a few parts of the race. After parking, check in at registration, get race packet with numbers, cap, T-shirt (nice shirt too!) and then get my timing chip. And there's more mud in what would've been just dirt areas here too. But, on the bright side, it's a pretty spectacular morning with bright sunshine and a breeze starting to kick. Maybe it'll dry the mud.. ..

Back to car to get organized...race numbers on bike, helmet, and race belt...pump tires...grab gear bag and bike and it's off to transition I go. At this event, the racks are numbered with 6 bikes to a numbered area. I find mine only to be greeted with this puddle right where I want to put my shoes and other gear at beside my bike. Y'know, there's always a few extra challenges during triathlons and this would just be the first today. Well, positioned my gear close to my bike but away from the puddle as best as I could without disrupting others on the rack. And here next to me is Chris Miller, another Frederick triathlete and a pretty strong one at that. While not a club member, Chris and I have chatted about local tris during the times we've met at events last year. And Chris is sporting a Cervelo P4 as his ride -> sweet! Chat for a bit and I head back to the car to return my gear bag.

One thing I learned in 2008 was to always count the number of rows from the swim- and bike-in entrances of the transition area and practice running from those areas to your rack location. I had not done that during a sprint event and got lost trying to find my gear, wasting time in transition. Always practice that now and did so again here. Now this event has a long bike out/in and a long run out too. I was actually fairly close from the swim in which was good. The bad thing was that with the long bike out run in transition and down a long grassy stretch to the marina road, the ground had gotten quite wet from the previous day's weather. So soft ground/mud was in the middle of transition with it also in spots in the long run and bike out areas too. It was then I decided I would carry my bike shoes out of transition with me and put them on when I got to the marina road. I've had a situation where I got dirt/sand in my cleats and couldn't clip out...not good in a fast stopping situation. So for safety reasons, I'd do this. As things turned out, this was a good thought but poorly executed.

Event warmup:

I was done pretty quickly and just relaxed for the remainder of the time. Often I warm up prior to events by going for a short jog. With the mud around, I wasn't inclined quite as much to jog this time. Now at this event in 2009, I actually tested the swim a bit as most events don't allow you too. But, as it was chilly with the breeze and when they announced the water temperature was 61 F, my thoughts on a test swim disappeared. Still, I do recommend that one should warm up a bit prior to an event, especially if they let you swim
  • 15m 52s
  • 820 yards
  • 01m 56s / 100 yards

Note that Overall is out of Men as they didn't have a combined place

Well Roz and Catie's wave starts and next we're getting into the water. OH MAN, is it COLD!!! My feet and hands go into shock and rebellion here at this sudden change in temperature...BRRRR! I want to take some strokes heading over to the start but I just...can't...put my face into the water yet. So, just breast stroke and then tread water waiting. And this one guy next to me doesn't have a wetsuit on!!! I remark that he must be cold and he kinda laughs a bit and remarks that it is a might chilly. ;-) Um, YEAH! When the previous wave started, I started my watch so I wouldn't have to worry about it. 4 min between waves. The starter is now counting down....2 minutes...check watch and it's spot on.....1 minute.....30 seconds....I wish all around me a good race....10 seconds....anddddd....GO! We're OFF on the swim portion of the Rumpass in Bumpass Sprint!!

Ohh, colddd! cold, cold,cold ,cold, cold! My face during the first few minutes was just not liking this at all. But I'd say after about 2 minutes, I was now comfortable with the water temperature. As we had a headwind going to the first buoy, it may have taken a bit more to get to the first turn buoy but I seemed to be doing okay getting there and don't remember having any issues during this first leg. As I round the first turn buoy, I look for the next one but....all I see are the sighting buoys. This confuses me just a bit and I pause here to get my bearings. Okay, I then see the next turn buoy way down the line of the sighting buoys. So I press just taking one sighting buoy at a time. Now, it's on this second part that it's obvious we've caught up to the previous wave as I see green caps around me (ours are dark blue). So, kinda have to get through that wave's slower swimmers. As this is a sprint, there are also a lot of beginners who are breast stroking. Gotta watch for those or else you get a kick somewhere. In addition, not sure why but another person (guy?) and myself are bumping into one another during this leg though there's a good amount of clear water. Always kinda unnerving to be doing this. Well we finally get away from each other and the second turn buoy is now close at hand. Round this and find the yellow man in the distance. About this time, I'm starting to breathe on one side too much and try to stop this as I usually end up going right too much. But, it's difficult to stop and I just sight a bit more. Not doing too bad, but then somehow I got a big swallow of water when I breathed! Ugh! And I have to pause to cough here and then I'm coughing underwater too! Whew! Finally get to the dock and make the final turn to shore. I see folks walking ahead of me in a bit and I do the same. Get to the shore with the waiting volunteers to pull me up. Unfortunately, the volunteer loses his grip on me and down I go into the mud! Ugh! And it seems no one can pull me up out of this and I'm just wallowing there for precious seconds. Finally get to my feet and regain my composure. Googles and cap off, zipper down, and pulling wetsuit off as I move into T1. Don't think I looked too happy for the photographer there.

What would you do differently?:

I still need to relax a bit more initially and especially later in the swim. But overall, this one was decent for me. It really is close to a good swim but not up to the one I did at the Trimax Sprint.
Transition 1
  • 02m 15s

It's only 6 rows to my rack and I'm there pretty quickly upon exiting the swim. Sunglasses and helmet on, grab my shoes, my bike, and I'm running through the mud-covered transition area, squishing it through my toes. Long bike out and get to the marina hard top road. It's here that I think I make a mistake. While it was a good idea I think to not run in shoes through the mud, I usually balance against the rack or my bike while getting shoes on. But here, I have no where to balance. Reflecting upon this later, I should've gone up the short hill to the bike mount area and balanced my bike and myself against a tree along side the road. But instead, I'm trying to balance getting my shoes on here and it's not working. I just can't get my one foot in without the shoe collapsing inward. I struggle with this for just too long. FINALLY, I'm in both shoes and get going. Oh and the other issue was that my drink bottle was spilling during this time as well! If it had been a longer and hotter race, I would've been hosed. As it was, I had just enough drink for a quick sip and that's all I would need anyway.

What would you do differently?:

Gotten in shoes while riding on the bike after the mount area
  • 37m 19s
  • 12 miles
  • 19.29 mile/hr

Overall rank only counts all Men, no combined ranking

Okay now out on the bike. The bike course takes us along rolling country roads near the lake. There are no significant hills and I didn't get out of my big chainring the entire time. To be fair, I did have my 12-27 cassette on and I might have been in the 53-27 at one point. Now, the course is loosely rectangular with a few minor turns along the way. As I make my way out on the course, there's a car in front of me as I turn onto the main road. And the motor ref is there as well. Hmm, do I pass or stay back so as not to draft the car??? Fortunately, the car turns right just after I'm thinking this and I continue onward. And it's here I realize that I have my earplugs in still :-o. Well, will deal with them later. Now because this is a sprint with beginners and I was in a later wave, there are a LOT of people on the bike course who are going slower than I am. Always have to watch folks in this type of event because many don't realize they're blocking faster cyclists coming up behind them. And today, one of those is me! I'll tell ya, I'm just cruisin' here passing folks! Matter of fact, I think only 1 guy passed me on the bike that I didn't catch back up to. At least I don't remember anyone else. And the way I was moving past others, I think I'd remember. Doesn't usually happen this way either. But I think it's mostly because the faster men and women started in the waves ahead of me. Back to the bike course. First major challenge is head to cross winds on this first minor downhill and then going up a bit afterwards. The low point in the downhill is pretty exposed to the elements and we basically got the winds at us here. Fortunately, this is really the only place with mostly a headwind. Make the second turn after this. Somewhere here I believe, a guy passes me and I see that he's in my AG. Oh no! Well, I try my best to keep this guy in sight. He is slowly moving farther ahead of me but not really opening up a large gap and I seem to be maintaining a decent pace with him. And we're both having issues with other folks who are slower but trying to pass even slower folks. In addition, there are folks inadvertently blocking too and this always presents a challenge. Well try to be safe and get around them while announcing your presence. Same thing with other folks that I'm quickly gaining on but they're passing someone. See the issue was that I wasn't coming up slowly on these folks who are passing someone. I would actually have to significantly slow if I waited for them to pass. So make a choice just to press here and pass even though others might be slowly passing. Just had to be safe and announce my presence. At the second significant turn there's an uphill I think and one guy came up from behind me to pass. But, after that, it was a nice downhill and I quickly left this guy behind. Matter of fact, I caught up and passed the guy in my AG. Hoped I could keep him back there. But, after the next major turn, he came from behind and passed me again. And now we get into some rollers....still keeping pace with him. I was able to pass him once more and said he was racing well. He gave me the same. But he passed me once again not too far away from the final turn to the bike course finish. Upon making that final turn, I was able to put on a bit of uphill speed and pass him one final time. Nearing the bike dismount area now. Now, two years ago, I made the mistake of trying to get out of my shoes on this little uphill portion just before a downhill to the dismount area, which bled all of my speed. Not this year. As soon as I crested the hill, got out of my shoes, pedaled to the dismount area, swung the leg over, and balanced to the dismount line. Hit the ground running to T2. Gosh, here's the darn mud again all along the path we take into the transition area!

What would you do differently?:

Not really too much here. Perhaps could've pushed a bit harder but I was also saving for the run a bit I think, even if unconsciously.
Transition 2
  • 01m 26s

nothing really to note here other than the mud! With a sprint, I don't use socks and considering how muddy they would've gotten, probably a good idea. So, after my helmet is off and bike is racked, quickly slip on my shoes and grab my visor plus race number belt. No water belt for a sprint either. At the run out section of transition, a volunteer says to watch our step due to the mud. They've put mats down in the worse spots but it really isn't going to make any difference as far as not getting more mud on our shoes. Bump into a couple of folks here going a bit slower and I pardon myself for doing so. Unfortunately, I do that again to I think the guy I passed at the last moment on the bike too. I apologize for doing that and press up the short hill onto the run course.

What would you do differently?:

Not much really. The mud and long bike in/run out were the main speed killers here and not much I could do about those.
  • 21m 24s
  • 3.11 miles
  • 06m 53s  min/mile

Overall rank out of all Men. No combined ranking.

On the run course. Unlike 2 years ago when we actually had to go through the woods twice, the intial part of the run course takes us out on the same way that the bikes take out and in. That's good because I didn't want to have to go through the woods twice. We do hit them on the way back, though. Anyway, after the long run in with the bike and the long run out of transition, it feels like my legs are already mostly awake and not heavy like in past events. So, I'm moving quite well already. Ah, I remember that now would be a good time to take out my earplus. A couple of years ago, I still had them in after the awards ceremony. It was a wonder I heard anything ;-) Okay, come up to the left turn off the Marina road to start this out and back course. Now for some reason, I got confused about seeing the cyclists here on my left and paused thinking I didn't do the bike course correctly. I honestly don't know why I did this. But a volunteer yelled "You're okay runner!" and this snaps me back into reality. And like a shot, I'm off going down the road! And folks, let me tell ya --- I am moving! The pace I'm setting is not overly uncomfortable yet but I know at some point it will be. Still, I am purely motivated here to just run! And as with the bike, I'm really passing folks too! On the returning runners, I first see Kevin Clark on the other side and tell him "Hi!". Not too long after I see Kip and give him five. A bit of a downer seeing him as I hoped I would be closer to his time. Oh well, he's not in my AG anyway. Time to continue pressing! I use downhills to my advantage and cruise down this fairly big one. Then move back uphill, down again, coming back up, and the turn around point is coming into sight. Grab just a bit of water after I turn around and press back down the hill I just came up. Now have to move back up hill and the pace I set is starting to take a toll on me as I see the 2 mile marker come into sight and think "I still have another mile?" Just gotta hold on until then. Gosh I'm still passing folks here! Move down another rolling hill and come back up. Then there's a pretty big downhill and it's tough getting up this next uphill. Pass someone else near the top and he says "good run" though he's getting tired himself it sounded like. Now the entrance to a gravel parking area comes into view and turn onto it. And now I'm breathing quite heavily almost to panting as I'm trying hard to continue on this pace. Now, there's a guy ahead I'm pacing and slowly gaining on him here. At the end of the parking area, we jump over a ditch and go into the short wooded portion of the course. All sorts of roots here, so I slow to handle these so I don't slip. Come out of the woods and another ditch. Now this guy is in front of me along with I think two or three other folks. Can't exactly put on speed to pass as it's a bit narrow and we're essentialy on the grass area beside the Marina road. But come out of that onto the road...time to sprint to the finish!! And I'm panting here as I start to sprint. So much so that the guy in front hears me and he puts on a burst of speed too! I do pass the one person and maybe another but can't catch the guy I was pacing. Cross the finish line and my first tri of the season is done!

What would you do differently?:

Considering the sub-7 pace, not much. Maybe not go out quite as hard, but I was feeling okay with the pace I set. Need to do more speed work for the season as I'd really like to see my pace come down overall.
Post race
Warm down:

I have to pause here and regain myself after that run and sprint to the finish. Understandibly, I'm a bit slow moving out of the finish area. Hand over my chip to the volunteers and grab some water/gatorade. I was going to tell the guy in front congrats but he was moving a bit better than me and went over with his family I think. So I meandered there for just a bit. Checked my watch for time. Didn't know that I wasn't on my stopwatch when I was pressing it during the race and so didn't record any of my splits. Stopped the watch and it said 1:22 something. My heart sank a bit as that meant 1:18 something. Initially thought I was slower than two years ago. But, more on this later. Then I saw I thought was the guy I was pacing with on the bike and congratulated him at the finish, telling him he had a great race and was tough on the bike. He said his name but I'm not sure now if this was Kevin or Bret. I thought Kevin as I could've sworn the age marking on his calf said "53". But if that was the case looking at the times, I just don't see how Kevin could've been there with the times on the swim, T1, and the bike. The might've gotten the time wrong for T1 and made up for it somewhere. Happens. Anyway, after this, I went to get pizza and some of the other food they had (Oreos, trail mix, sodas, Gatorade, and a few other snack-like foods) and met Kip there along with Chris Miller. Talk about the event a while.

What limited your ability to perform faster:

Well, the mud was a hinderance and I also would not have try to get my bike shoes on outside of transition had it not been so muddy.

Event comments:

Note that this is really a 4.5 rating for the race.

Additional comments after finishing: Well, I try to look for others to congratulate and eventually find Rosalind and Catie. Both finished and Catie survived the swim (yea!). Congratulate them, tell them about getting 4th. Talk about the race more and then head back to see about picking up my gear. And as you might expect, the gear awaiting me is pretty much mud-covered (the word of the day): sandals I walked around in, running shoes, bike wheels/bottom portion of the bike, towel, wetsuit, and googles. Got some cleanup to do later. After taking gear back, I thought about just going home, but stuck around for the awards to congratulate Kip, who took 1st today in Master Clydesdales, and Lucas, who won overall despite the 32-spoke front wheel on his bike. Some nice beach towels this year for AG awards. Dang, could've used one of those too. Well perhaps another year. Say my goodbyes to folks and head on home.

Results were posted pretty quickly later that night and so I wanted to compare to two years ago. For some reason, I thought I did the race previously in 1:16 something. Turns out, it was 1:19:36. So actually, I was 1:22 faster than two years ago! I was pleased with that. The swim was a bit better, transitions and were nearly identical of all things, bike a bit slower, and the run was a good deal better -> 1:47. So overall, I was pleased with my performance. However, the mistake with how to execute putting on my bike shoes after carrying them out really I think was what did me in here. Sure, perhaps I could've done a bit better on the swim and bike, but other than getting dropped in the mud coming out of the water, not sure if anything would've changed much. Not being able to get into my bike shoes was pretty much a speed killer here. Well, perhaps finally practice getting in them on the bike for Eagleman.

Overall, this is an enjoyable event and a perfect one to see where your off season training has brought you and what areas to work on for the next races in your season. Relatively inexpensive, good support, fairly close, and late start time makes this one you should really consider in your season's lineup.

Next up for the season -> Eagleman.

Last updated: 2011-01-31 12:00 AM
00:15:52 | 820 yards | 01m 56s / 100yards
Age Group: 6/28
Overall: 140/416
Performance: Average
Suit: 2XU Team
Course: The swim course is a rectangle that goes around the Marina penninsula. There are orange sighting buoys and yellow turn buoys. One could go on either side of the sighting buoys but you had to keep the turn buoys on your right. In addition, as one came around the second turn buoy, they had a blow up "yellow" man waving from the shore to sight on. I thought this was a good idea as it would be something you could sight in on even at a distance since it was moving and getting your attention. Then there's a right turn after the dock and you headed towards shore when you're helped out of the water as there's a dropoff from the shore into the water.
Start type: Deep Water Plus: Waves
Water temp: 61F / 16C Current: Medium
200M Perf. Good Remainder: Average
Breathing: Average Drafting: Average
Waves: Navigation: Average
Rounding: Good
Time: 02:15
Performance: Below average
Cap removal: Good Helmet on/
Suit off:
Wetsuit stuck? Yes Run with bike: Yes
Jump on bike: No
Getting up to speed: Below average
00:37:19 | 12 miles | 19.29 mile/hr
Age Group: 5/28
Overall: 106/416
Performance: Good
Wind: Some
Course: Mostly rectangular with other turns along the way, mostly rolling with no significant terrain changes along decent rural roads
Road: Smooth Dry Cadence:
Turns: Good Cornering: Good
Gear changes: Good Hills: Good
Race pace: Comfortable Drinks: Just right
Time: 01:26
Overall: Good
Riding w/ feet on shoes Good
Jumping off bike Good
Running with bike Good
Racking bike Good
Shoe and helmet removal Good
00:21:24 | 03.11 miles | 06m 53s  min/mile
Age Group: 3/28
Overall: 62/416
Performance: Good
Course: Basically an out and back from the Marina along a failry light rolling road. One short jaunt through a patch of woods with roots, though, and also short jumps over a couple of ditches too.
Keeping cool Good Drinking Just right
Post race
Weight change: %
Overall: Average
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: Good
Race evaluation [1-5] 4

2011-04-21 9:57 PM

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Extreme Veteran
Frederick, Maryland
Subject: Rumpus in Bumpass Sprint

2011-04-28 7:50 AM
in reply to: #3460012

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, North Carolina
Subject: RE: Rumpus in Bumpass Sprint

61 deg water!  Brrrrrrrrrrrrr!!!! And a guy with no wetsuit?  At what temp does a Tri become wetsuit mandatory I wonder?

I can only imagine how muddy your feet were when putting your shoes on, Ick!

Great race and AWESOME run time!  Way to go!




2011-04-29 10:13 PM
in reply to: #3470690

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Extreme Veteran
Frederick, Maryland
Subject: RE: Rumpus in Bumpass Sprint
maria40nc - 2011-04-28 8:50 AM

61 deg water!  Brrrrrrrrrrrrr!!!! And a guy with no wetsuit?  At what temp does a Tri become wetsuit mandatory I wonder?

I can only imagine how muddy your feet were when putting your shoes on, Ick!

Great race and AWESOME run time!  Way to go!




Somewhere in the 50s it starts to become dangerous to not have protection. But I don't know what the ruling is if the water gets too cold.

Mud - that was the 3-letter word of the day. And it was still on parts of my wetsuit and sandals though I hosed everything off. Ick is right!

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