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SOMA Quarterman Triathlon - TriathlonOther

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Tempe, Arizona
United States
The Red Rock Company
80?F / 0C
Total Time = 3h 15m 40s
Overall Rank = 171/278
Age Group = 35-39
Age Group Rank = 28/31
Pre-race routine:

Woke up around 4:30 had some coffee and a bagel. After some time to wake up I had a bottle of Cytomax.

Got to the transition area around 5:30 am and got all of my stuff situated. Walked around with the mrs and decided to get a look at the swim set up. The buoys hadn't been set up the day before and so when I took a look at how far I had to swim, I looked at my wife, and she looked at me and said "that's a long ways". Hmmm.

Event warmup:

Didn't really do much just some light jogging and stretching to get out the nervous energy.
  • 26m 16s
  • 960 yards
  • 02m 44s / 100 yards

So, this was my first open water, wetsuit, mass start swim...ever. The two tri's I've done before and all of my training were in a pool. I knew that there would be significant differences between them, but knowing and experiencing are two different things.

I was in the first wave, as was all male and Clydesdale Quarterman racers, so I did not have the benefit of watching others first.

After the national anthem (with some of the lyrics messed up) the announcer then encourages the first wave to get in the water followed by the next and the next, etc. So, there we are wading and waiting for the start. I look at my watch and see we have 10 mins to the start! Holy crap, I'm not that good of a swimmer and I don't want to waste energy tredding water. So I paddle over to a dock and hang on with about 8 other guys.

With 30 secs to go to the start I get in place we go. I get kicked in the shoulder then hit on my leg. I stop, gather myself, and go. I get kicked some more. I stop, gather myself and decide to go off to the outside and avoid the spin cycle. I struggle for about 100 yds and then the strangest urge came over me and I just simply panicked! I stopped and said I can't do this and actually considered quitting. I think I was overwhelmed with nervous anxiety, and the mass start and the enormity of the lake. So, after about 5 secs of considering this option I said "okay jackass, calm the hell down, lay on your back for a second then swim". So I did, put my head down and just concentrated on my stroke.

Sighting was harder than I thought it would be and I kept veering off to the left and had to correct and come back toward the buoys. I came to the first of the 3 turns way off to the left and then overshot the 2nd turn and only noticed because I saw one of the lifeguards paddle their kayak in my direction.

The back stretch I was much closer to the buoys and ran into, and was run into by other swimmers but I was over that and just kept going. Funny thing, I looked up at one point and saw a kayak going like hell across me to the open water to the left. So I look to the left and saw a silver cap which was the pro wave's cap only to see him going off to the left perpendicular to us. The lifeguard was screaming at him to stop. Not only did he cut off half the course but he was going into absolute no man's land. Whatever.

I managed to get to the steps and the wetsuit strippers (very cool btw) and to the transition in only about 4 mins. slower than I planned. That's with constantly going off course and stopping a couple of times.
What would you do differently?: about swimming in open water. That would seem wise.
Transition 1
  • 02m 35s

The wetsuit strippers got my suit off me in 10 secs. No joke! I was able to run and get out of T1 in no problem. I took a moment to eat a gel, take a drink and thank God I didn't drown.
What would you do differently?:

Not much, just not doddle.
  • 1h 39m 41s
  • 28 miles
  • 16.85 mile/hr

So you'll see that I've rated a lot of "Good's" on this portion of the race, but actually I'm veeerrrry disappointed with my ride. Fact is I'm too passive on the road. I'm a good cyclist...alone. I've ridden in crits but this is different. I'm worried about drafting, and as a result people who don't know how to ride can really screw me up. I would pass somebody doing 20 mph and then look up 4 mins later and I'm being passed by the same person again even though I'm doing 20 still. So, I figure it's my fault (and it may be), back off so I'm not drafting then look down to see I'm doing 17!

Also, since the Quarterman only did half the course as the Half Ironman, I became concerned as a peddle away from the transition area at about mile 25. I figured I missed a turn and was doing the Half Ironman course, so I sat up and looked for an official which I didn't see until about mile 27.5.

And as far as drafting goes, I seemed to be the only one concerned about it. I saw what amounted to 10 man pacelines go by me! Anyways, I could have and should have taken another 10 mins off this ride easy.

Cool thing, though. So I'm riding and hear this guy go by me like I'm standing still and see it's Bib 1, Chris Legh. I look down and I'm doing 23 mph. Fast dude.
What would you do differently?:

Be more assertive and claim my ground, but in a good way.
Transition 2
  • 05m 24s

This was nothing short of comical. I get into the transition area full of piss and vinegar, run to the other end only to hear my wife, Courtney, scream "it's back there, where you came from!". Ah, the other way. So, I go to the other end and can't find the rack. When I get to my rack, bikes are everywhere. The benefit of getting to transtion first is that you can put your bike wherever the hell you want. I got it worked out.
What would you do differently?:

Um, know where my stuff is.
  • 1h 01m 45s
  • 6.55 miles
  • 09m 26s  min/mile

I get out of transition with a gel in my mouth ready to roll and I start off feeling pretty good. I'm aware I've got 6.5 miles so I don't over do it. I get to the first mile check and am running 8:05 pace...second mile 8:10...third mile same. Not bad. I get to mile 4 and I've backed off a bit but I'm still sub 9:00. Then for some reason my right knee decided it didn't want to play any more and really began to hurt. As you can see by my time, the pace slow considerably. I felt good energy wise, but the knee just didn't want to cooperate.

On a positive note, I passed so many people I have no way to judge how many. I was only passed by 2 and one was within the last 50 off. :)
What would you do differently?:

Not much. I'm figuring a visit to the doctor may be in order since my knee still hurts. I don't know if it's cartilage damage or just being 36.
Post race
Warm down:


What limited your ability to perform faster:

1. Panicking in the water
2. Sighting in the water
3. Passivity on the bike
4. Not knowing where to rack my bike
5. Knee

Event comments:

Except for the event check in the day before (which was an eternity of lines in the sun on concrete), this was a blast for me. I wasn't expecting coming down the chute with fans cheering and my time ticking away. It was like a real race. I told someone it's like I was in a poor man's Ironman.

I know that it reads like I was disappointed with myself and my time, but in the end, I need to cut myself some slack. Less than a year ago I decided to give this tri thing a try. I couldn't swim 50 consecutive meters and had only raced in a couple of bike road races and crits. The last time I ran before this was in High School in track...and I was a sprinter! I completed 2 sprint triathlons and this Quarterman. Not a bad year for my money. And a lot of the credit goes to this site and the people who post their experiences. So, for year 1, I thank you and look forward to year 2.

Last updated: 2005-10-31 12:00 AM
00:26:16 | 960 yards | 02m 44s / 100yards
Age Group: 28/31
Overall: 242/278
Performance: Below average
Suit: Yes
Course: Rectangle - counter clockwise
Start type: Wade Plus: Waves
Water temp: 0F / 0C Current: Low
200M Perf. Bad Remainder: Average
Breathing: Good Drafting: Bad
Waves: Navigation: Below average
Rounding: Below average
Time: 02:35
Performance: Good
Cap removal: Good Helmet on/
Suit off:
Wetsuit stuck? No Run with bike: Yes
Jump on bike: No
Getting up to speed: Good
01:39:41 | 28 miles | 16.85 mile/hr
Age Group: 30/31
Overall: 169/278
Performance: Below average
Wind: None
Course: Snaking through the mean streets of Tempe, AZ
Road: Smooth Dry Cadence: 85
Turns: Good Cornering: Good
Gear changes: Good Hills: Good
Race pace: Comfortable Drinks: Just right
Time: 05:24
Overall: Bad
Riding w/ feet on shoes
Jumping off bike Below average
Running with bike Average
Racking bike Bad
Shoe and helmet removal Good
01:01:45 | 06.55 miles | 09m 26s  min/mile
Age Group: 22/31
Overall: 125/278
Performance: Average
Course: Path around and over the lake.
Keeping cool Good Drinking Just right
Post race
Weight change: %
Overall: Below average
Mental exertion [1-5] 4
Physical exertion [1-5] 3
Good race? Ok
Course challenge Just right
Organized? Yes
Events on-time? Yes
Lots of volunteers? Yes
Plenty of drinks? Yes
Post race activities:
Race evaluation [1-5] 5

2005-10-31 8:50 PM

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Tucson, Arizona
Subject: SOMA Quarterman Triathlon

2005-10-31 10:24 PM
in reply to: #275432

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Tucson, AZ
Subject: RE: SOMA Quarterman Triathlon

Great job in the race!  Sounds like the swim was quite the challenge, but you made it through and survived.  Good job mentally pulling it together there.

So you gonna do the 1/2 IM next year? 

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