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Atlantic City International Triathlon - TriathlonOlympic

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Atlantic City, New Jersey
United States
55F / 13C
Total Time = 2h 05m 26s
Overall Rank = 169/321
Age Group = 35-39
Age Group Rank = 21/37
Pre-race routine:

Had a nice dinner (pasta) with family the night prior to the triathlon and went to bed around 10 PM. Woke up at 4 AM and had a whole wheat bagel with almond butter and drizzled honey for breakfast; because of cramping last month during another tri, I also ate another banana (3 in 12 hours). Got to transition at 5:45 and set-up.
Event warmup:

Did a lot of stretching and a little jogging...nothing too demanding or overly strenuous.
  • 31m
  • 1056 yards
  • 02m 56s / 100 yards

Simply INSANE! The surf was > 10 feet in many cases. In wave 1, we were sent out first to try to attempt the course. I started about 50 meters 'upstream' of the waves/current, hoping to circumnavigate the course and buoy. Within 3-4 minutes, I found myself at least 50 meters 'downstream' of the first buoy & the surf was trying to take me further! I spent the next 8-10 minutes fighting the surf with duck-dives and strong-effort swimming to get back to the first buoy. By the time I got to the buoy, I was very, very tired...which hurt me for the rest of the day. The waves continued to be a real nuisance for the remainder of the course; sighting was nearly impossible because I had to doggie-paddle just to see the next buoy & even this was difficult because of the extreme height of the waves. Finally, I found the last buoy, turned for home, and let the waves do most of the remaining work. When I got to shore, the race director said "take your not run" because, after the 2nd wave was sent out and >50 people were plucked from the course by the AC Beach Patrol, the entire swim portion of the tri was CANCELED! Ugh...I was crushed because now I knew that I had spent a considerable amount of effort on the swim when 90% of the participants didn't even attempt it, let alone finish the course. I was told that only 20-25 people finished the swim least I can say I was one of them.
What would you do differently?:

Nothing really. It was the toughest course I think I'll ever swim...the fact that I completed it was a real confidence booster for a guy who couldn't swim more than 4 consecutive laps in a pool just 2 months ago. Out of the ~120 people (all men < 40 years old) who started the course, only a small percentage of us finished. I'm marking my performance as 'good' not because of the time, but because I completed it despite the conditions.
Transition 1
  • 00m

Because the swim was canceled while I was in the water, the race director decided to do a TT bike/run; thus, there was no T1.
  • 1h 10m 5s
  • 22 miles
  • 18.83 mile/hr

Started somewhat tired compared to the rest of the field since the vast majority of folks did not attempt, let alone complete, the grueling swim. Despite being tired, I think it went well. I averaged ~ 21 MPH on the westbound, downhill direction & ~ 17 MPH in the opposite direction. The wind was tough, feeling like it was blowing against us in both directions (?). My cyclocomputer worked this time around (did not work for my last tri) & it was a nice tool to monitor my speed/progress as I completed the course. I hydrated effectively and finished the course feeling pretty good.
What would you do differently?:

Not much...I do need to practice getting into my pedals more quickly; I continue to struggle with getting into my pedals.
Transition 2
  • 02m 31s

Not too bad here...the distance was a little more than most triathlons, so the time was equally long. I had some problems racking my bike because the guy next to me had racked his at an angle.
What would you do differently?:

  • 52m 50s
  • 6.21 miles
  • 08m 31s  min/mile

Coming out of T2, I felt a little fatigued, but doing training bricks definitely helped. I felt strong during the run and caught up to my cousin about 2.5 miles into it; I decided to run with him & complete the course together. I'm fairly certain I could have gone about 3 minutes faster than I did, but I knew I wasn't winning any awards & I could see that he was struggling. The wind on the North end of the course was really bad...sand from the beach was blowing directly into our faces, making it difficult to see.
What would you do differently?:

I might choose different shoes next time. I wore my Newtons for this run and I think my arches were/are sore because I've not trained > 5 miles in them; 2 days later, I'm suffering from pretty extreme arch pain. This is my fault, though...I should have trained longer distances in them & monitored my technique/form more closely during the run.
Post race
Warm down:

Water and coconut water...lots of it.

What limited your ability to perform faster:

The swim really took it out of me. I was MOP, but could have finished higher if I hadn't worked so hard to complete the swim. I think the race director should have had the lifeguards tell those of us who were completing the course that the swim had been canceled, so that we could have 'quit' and saved energy for the subsequent TT.

Event comments:

This was the inaugural edition of this race. I think they had the best of intentions, but there were several hiccups that prevented it from being a 'good' race. The swim likely should have never been attempted, but I'm told that the AC Beach Patrol was pining to have us try it so that they could be paid...I don't know? At the very least, those of us on the course after the swim had been canceled should have been told that it was canceled, so that we could have saved energy for the TT. I also had a few issues with the 'extras' (swag) because much of what had been promised was not available or was misleading (a $25 'gift card' was actually 25% off of a dinner at Morton's in Philly, a city 70 miles away).

Last updated: 2011-09-20 12:00 AM
00:31:00 | 1056 yards | 02m 56s / 100yards
Age Group: 0/37
Overall: 0/321
Performance: Good
Suit: Xterra Vortex 4
Course: Originally set to be a South-North swim of 1-mile, the organizers changed the course on Saturday to accommodate the increasing AC surf. The revised course was 0.6-miles from North to South, starting at New York Avenue and ending past the Pier Shops near Caesar's Casino. The start was a wade start with a yellow buoy about 200 yards into the ocean; the rest of the course was marked with red buoys, although they were difficult to navigate because of the extreme conditions.
Start type: Wade Plus: Waves
Water temp: 68F / 20C Current: High
200M Perf. Bad Remainder: Good
Breathing: Good Drafting:
Waves: Navigation:
Rounding: Bad
Time: 00:00
Cap removal: Helmet on/
Suit off:
Wetsuit stuck? Run with bike:
Jump on bike:
Getting up to speed:
01:10:05 | 22 miles | 18.83 mile/hr
Age Group: 21/37
Overall: 36/321
Performance: Below average
Wind: Strong with gusts
Course: Course started from Boardwalk Hall, went through the city streets of Atlantic City, and eventually onto the AC Expressway (2 laps of the expressway). A very flat course was slightly downhill going westbound and vice-versa. Winds were strong and many folks complained later about feeling like they would be blown from their bikes.
Road: Smooth Dry Cadence:
Turns: Average Cornering: Average
Gear changes: Good Hills:
Race pace: Hard Drinks: Just right
Time: 02:31
Overall: Average
Riding w/ feet on shoes
Jumping off bike
Running with bike Average
Racking bike Below average
Shoe and helmet removal Good
00:52:50 | 06.21 miles | 08m 31s  min/mile
Age Group: 21/37
Overall: 37/321
Performance: Average
Course: A South-North-South loop of the AC Boardwalk.
Keeping cool Good Drinking Just right
Post race
Weight change: %
Overall: Good
Mental exertion [1-5] 3
Physical exertion [1-5] 4
Good race? Ok
Course challenge Just right
Organized? Yes
Events on-time? No
Lots of volunteers? Yes
Plenty of drinks? Yes
Post race activities: Average
Race evaluation [1-5] 4

2011-09-20 6:07 AM

Subject: Atlantic City International Triathlon

2011-09-20 2:10 PM
in reply to: #3693068


Subject: RE: Atlantic City International Triathlon
I hear you on that swim... I did it, and I'm a very very experienced ocean swimmer... I also was one of the few who finished it... I'm out there and just when i start to pass the pier at Caesars, i notice there are no other swimmers!  i see a lifeguard boat somewhere ahead so i just keep going... then i see one other guy and he says turn towards shore... then i see we had passed the yellow turn bouy... anyway im swimming HARD to the beach and after 10 min i realize i havent moved at all relative to the pier, a sure sign of a rip current... could have been really dangerous with those waves... eventually i was able to get in, but I'm with you, TOUGH SWIM and i was exhausted for the rest of the day...  so my placement was very disappointing... they should have timed the people who did the swim, i spent a ton of effort ensuring that i got aroudn the first bouy instead of just cheating the turn...
2011-09-20 3:00 PM
in reply to: #3693068

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Robbinsville NJ
Subject: RE: Atlantic City International Triathlon
Great job finishing the swim you should take that as your victory cause it was just vicious out there. In warm ups I knew it was going to be trouble as it was hard just getting about 2/3 of the way there before I turned around. I was in wave 4 so never got started but after watching the first wave I had pretty much made up my mind to bag it before it got called.

Yes, the wind was against us somehow at least a bit both ways (how is that even possible) and the sand in the face at the north end of the run just plain sucked.
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