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London Triathlon Olympic Plus - Triathlon

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London , England
United Kingdom
Virgin Active
22C / 72F
Total Time = 4h 52m
Overall Rank = /
Age Group =
Age Group Rank = 10/21
Pre-race routine:

Get up at 4:30am, stumble out of bed while trying not to injure myself, eat a stale (almost puck-like) bagel with pb on it, brush my teeth, get into my trisuit and warmer clothes, pick up the tri bag and hop on my bike to ride the 3 miles over to the ExCeL centre for the race. Soooooo early and I didn't even get to have any coffee!
Event warmup:

This was a total cluster-f**k. Our race started at 6:30am with both the elite mens and the Olympic plus racers going at the same time. We also had to get to the venue in time to register, pick up our timing chip, rack our bikes and set-up transition. And they didn't open the doors to be able to do so until about 5:45 for about 300 athletes... not the best planning, but the most frequently heard quote about the organization was "well, isn't this just typical British!"
  • 33m 59s
  • 1500 meters
  • 02m 16s / 100 meters

The swim took me about 6 minutes longer than I had anticipated, and a lot of that comes down to not being able to find any space to actually swim instead of constantly getting hit in the head or kicked in the face due to the insane number of competitors that were in each wave. As for the water itself, you can't see ANYTHING until the person's foot is literally in front of your eyes, and generally by that time it's too late to avoid the inevitable kick to the head. I then tried to go wide around the first turn and ended up waaaaay to wide. Apparently my sighting went completely out the window too. Oh well, there was no chop to speak of, it was a beautiful day, and even at 6:30 in the morning the water wasn't unbearably cold. Win!
What would you do differently?:

Learn how to swim in a massive horde of people better.
Transition 1
  • 05m 27s

This was possibly the longest run to a transition ever... and you HAD to stop along the way to take off your wetsuit and put it into a bag being held by a volunteer... and then run all the way around transition to one specific entrance (and the transition area is big enough to hold 14,000 bikes... so it's a LONG way around!) where you can go in and get your bike then run with it to the bike mount line. Whew, I was tired just getting to my bike!
What would you do differently?:

Not much that could be done differently... it was pretty smooth all in all.
  • 3h 00m 33s
  • 90 kms
  • 29.91 km/hr

Leaving T1 and out onto the road - it's a stunning day, and knowing that the roads were closed made the whole bike section really fantastic. Along the major roads, through the tunnels, tree-lined streets... it really was quite beautiful, and I was having a great day on the bike for the first 3km or so until the first hill. I geared down to the small ring for the climb out of one of the tunnels and once through went to change back to the big ring... no go. Um... WHAAAAAT? You have got to be kidding me! I pull off to the side of the road to make an adjustment, get back on the bike and start pedalling... go to put the bike ring back on the big ring... and a lovely grinding noise to indicate to me that I should stop what I'm doing immediately and just deal with what I've been given. Fine. If that's the way my bike is going to be... fine. I can deal with it! I then go to move the chain around on the rear sprocket juuuust to make sure that nothing has gone kablooey back there too, and I get to find out that my bike will only let me use 4 (that's right... four) gears.

Swearing begins in earnest at this point, as I realize that I get to do almost the ENTIRE 90kms with only 4 gears. Awesome. But, as that's what I've got to work with, I might as well just deal with it and keep going. I have a Gu gel on each of the 3 laps, finish all the water in my water bottle and all of a Gatorade (and a couple of Advil Liquigels, damn I love those things!)... and then the need to expel all the liquid I've ingested starts to get uncomfortably strong during the last 1/2 lap. I start to look around for a port-a-loo (those wacky Brits calling it a 'loo'!) - but there aren't ANY on the course. I start thinking that maybe I can stop at the gas station just ahead, but it's not open because of the road closure. I'm just entering one of the tunnels when I think to myself that I can hold it as long as I don't hit a bump when I run over a slightly depressed manhole cover and its all over. I'm now officially part of the yellow-sock team even though I had no intentions of ever being part of such a group. (If anyone actually reads this race report, don't tell Tony about peeing on the bike cuz I told him that I was able to stop in at the gas station!)

Now that the pressure has been relieved it's a fairly easy ride back to the ExCeL centre on the last 1/2 lap... until the ride back into transition - it's the uphill ramp of a carpark and by this time it seriously feels like it's straight up. Whoever decided this part of the course is seriously messed in the head. And mean. And they deserve a kick in the shins.
What would you do differently?:

Make sure my bike is working before the race? Yeah, that would probably have been a good idea.

Though I'm pretty happy about still being able to keep up a 30km/hr average with only 4 gears!
Transition 2
  • 03m 52s

Oh wait... THIS is the longest run through transition ever! Again, you have to run with your bike around the entire transition area, rack your bike, change into running shoes, and then the longest run out of transition I've ever seen... I was tired of running before I even got to the transition exit!
What would you do differently?:

Nothing really, the evil race organizers are the ones who designed the route, the big meanies!
  • 1h 08m
  • 10.7 kms
  • 06m 22s  min/km

I'm pretty sure that I've mentioned not being a fan of running, and now I'm downright sure that I'll despise running until the day I die. Sadly, I don't know of too many triathlons where you don't have to run, so I'll keep doing it. Begrudgingly.

My legs were already spent from the bike ride and I knew going into this that I wasn't going to be able to run the whole thing. What I wasn't prepared for was just how little I was going to be able to run. I figure I was out on the run course to make everyone else feel better as they all just kept passing me. I'm helpful like that. After having no drink stations on the bike, there were 2 water stations, 2 gel stations, 1 Gatorade station and 1 water sprinkler thingy to run through... and yet still nowhere to go to the bathroom! What's with these people, don't they EVER have to go during a race?

This was possibly the slowest 10km run that I have ever done... but I did it! Upper GI issues and jello-y legs really kept me from being able to go faster... and if I'm being honest with myself (something I really try to avoid at all costs, it just makes me feel bad), I also just don't have the run fitness right now.
What would you do differently?:

Apparenlty I need to run more. Boo.
Post race
Warm down:

After grabbing a little bite to eat, I gots me a 40 minute massage!!! BOOYAH! And it was awesome... that's all I really have to say about that.

What limited your ability to perform faster:

Geez... don't you people read? It's all in the stuff above!

Event comments:

I really enjoyed myself for this race, and crossed the finish line with a smile on my face, which tells the whole story. :)

Last updated: 2011-06-20 12:00 AM
00:33:59 | 1500 meters | 02m 16s / 100meters
Age Group: 0/21
Overall: 0/
Performance: Below average
Suit: Orca full sleeve
Course: Rectangle course in the Thames... the Thames is gross.
Start type: Wade Plus: Waves
Water temp: 0F / 0C Current: Low
200M Perf. Below average Remainder: Below average
Breathing: Below average Drafting: Below average
Waves: Navigation: Below average
Rounding: Below average
Time: 05:27
Performance: Average
Cap removal: Average Helmet on/
Suit off:
Wetsuit stuck? Yes Run with bike: Yes
Jump on bike: No
Getting up to speed: Average
03:00:33 | 90 kms | 29.91 km/hr
Age Group: 0/21
Overall: 0/
Performance: Below average
Wind: Some
Course: Three laps of a 30km route that went from the ExCeL Centre to Westminster and back... who knew there were so many hills in downtown London???
Road: Smooth Dry Cadence:
Turns: Good Cornering: Good
Gear changes: Bad Hills: Bad
Race pace: Hard Drinks: Just right
Time: 03:52
Overall: Average
Riding w/ feet on shoes Below average
Jumping off bike Below average
Running with bike Average
Racking bike Average
Shoe and helmet removal Average
01:08:00 | 10.7 kms | 06m 22s  min/km
Age Group: 0/21
Overall: 0/
Course: 4 lap course ending inside the ExCeL building, with a nasty uphill ramp at the end of each lap. Mean!
Keeping cool Below average Drinking Not enough
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? No
Post race activities: Average
Race evaluation [1-5] 4

2011-08-02 10:35 AM

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Austin, Texas
Subject: London Triathlon Olympic Plus
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