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Sullivan Civic Center Triathlon - TriathlonSprint

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Sullivan, Illinois
United States
Sullivan Civic Center
58F / 14C
Total Time = 1h 31m 17s
Overall Rank = 144/192
Age Group = W50-55
Age Group Rank = 3/4
Pre-race routine:

Wasn't even sure I wanted to race today. We had been on vacation the weekend before, I got hit with a bout of food poisoning upon returning (Mexico!). My training buddy has had to pretty much drop out of the season and gave me her entry. So between feeling like doodoo, facing the prospect of going to this race alone and a poor weather forecast, the temptation to just skip it was strong.

The race is at 12:30 so it's kind of weird getting ready. Ate a normal breakfast (fruit, toast and egg), then got packed and hit the road at 9:15. Sullivan is about an hour and a half from home. Good thing I went early because I spaced out and missed the exit to I-72. Not a big deal but I had to backtrack about ten miles and that's just another stresser.

My Google Map directions were terrible and had omitted an entire road. WTF???? Fortunately I remember the route from doing this race in 2010. Got to Sullivan, picked up packet and set up transition. I horned in on some really nice Spin City (Decatur club) ladies' section and made a couple of new friends. They had marked their section of the rack with some plastic flamingos. Knew I would like these people immediately!
Went back to car and ate a turkey sandwich.
Event warmup:

The swim is indoors at the Sullivan Civic Center. It's a gorgeous facility. I swam about 300 yards and then just stood around. Took a gel at noon.
  • 10m 15s
  • 440 yards
  • 02m 20s / 100 yards

In 2010 my swim took 11-something minutes. I lined up with the 9 minute group. This was just about right for me. I followed a gal in a black suit with a hot pink swim cap, this was just about perfect. At two points in the swim, the lane got all backed up with people trying to pass and we sort of had to wait to get under the lane lines. We were all bunched up like cattle. Some guy passed me and the pink-cap girl in the third lane. He was all balls to the wall, but then he crashed and burned in the fourth lane and I had to pass him.
About 30 seconds of the swim is running from the pool deck, down a small flight of stairs and into T1. I was happy with my swim today.
What would you do differently?:

Nothing, just a lot of people in a small area so you have to be patient.
Transition 1
  • 01m 54s

T1 went pretty well. I did choose to put on socks and a long sleeved shirt and that probably added crucial time but hey, it was cold out there!
  • 40m 20s
  • 11.55 miles
  • 17.18 mile/hr

Let me preface this by saying that I wilt in the wind. For whatever reason, this race is notorious for having strong winds and today was no exception. The first lap I was down in aero in the big gear, then changed direction and had to back off a bit. The headwind was pretty challenging. Still I felt strong and passed a lot of people. Toward the end of the first lap, the wind seemed to change direction and I struggled. Finally dropped down to the small gear to maintain cadence.
Going out on the second lap, had a hard time staying in aero. The crosswind was very treacherous and I felt Jack (my bike) shimmying violently from side to side. Had to go up on the horns for most of the second lap.
It did not help to have an ambulance go screaming by half way through the second lap. I can only hope that no one was hurt.
What would you do differently?:

More riding in the wind would help.
Transition 2
  • 01m 47s

Went all right I guess. I was close to the bike in/out and about as far from run out as geographically possible. Tried to be very careful not to hit the Decatur girls' bikes as i racked Jack. Decided to leave my long sleeve shirt on for the run.
  • 36m 59s
  • 3.1 miles
  • 11m 56s  min/mile

I always struggle with the run. Seemed to go all right. Took a couple of walk breaks and at one point tore off my long sleeve shirt. The trees blocked the wind and I started to overheat.
What would you do differently?:

Just need to run more and figure out a way to keep legs from hurting so much when I run.
Post race
Warm down:

Not much, got a Subway sandwich and chowed down.

Event comments:

This is a very popular race, with good reason. The race director does a great job communicating with everyone via email and the website. Volunteers are knowledgable and helpful and the nasty weather is just part of the allure.

Last updated: 2012-04-04 12:00 AM
00:10:15 | 440 yards | 02m 20s / 100yards
Age Group: 0/4
Overall: 0/192
Performance: Good
Suit: Tri club suit
Course: Pool swim. There are six lanes and you swim down and back, then cross under the lane rope. At the end of the swim is a kind of bench-step that makes it easy to get out of the pool. Then you run out of the pool, out the door into the FREEZING cold, down some steps and cross the mat.
Start type: Inside Pool Plus:
Water temp: 0F / 0C Current:
200M Perf. Good Remainder: Good
Breathing: Good Drafting: Good
Waves: Navigation:
Time: 01:54
Performance: Good
Cap removal: Good Helmet on/
Suit off:
Wetsuit stuck? Run with bike: Yes
Jump on bike: No
Getting up to speed: Average
00:40:20 | 11.55 miles | 17.18 mile/hr
Age Group: 0/4
Overall: 0/192
Performance: Average
Wind: Strong with gusts
Course: Two loops of a rural highway/country road course.
Road: Smooth Dry Cadence:
Turns: Average Cornering: Average
Gear changes: Average Hills:
Race pace: Hard Drinks: Just right
Time: 01:47
Overall: Average
Riding w/ feet on shoes
Jumping off bike
Running with bike
Racking bike
Shoe and helmet removal
00:36:59 | 03.1 miles | 11m 56s  min/mile
Age Group: 0/4
Overall: 0/192
Performance: Average
Course: Beautiful course that winds through a forest in a park. You run on soft trails much of the time. There are bridges, etc.
Keeping cool Below average Drinking Just right
Post race
Weight change: %
Mental exertion [1-5]
Physical exertion [1-5]
Good race?
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] 5

2012-04-22 8:17 PM

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Subject: Sullivan Civic Center Triathlon

2012-04-23 6:42 AM
in reply to: #4166106

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Southwest Chicago 'burbs
Subject: RE: Sullivan Civic Center Triathlon

Great job!  The swim sounds a little frustrating... though, I probably would have enjoyed the forced downtime to rest.    Must have been ch-ch-chilly on the bike!!

Way to go!

2012-04-23 6:46 AM
in reply to: #4166106

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Bronze member
Subject: RE: Sullivan Civic Center Triathlon

I am glad you didn't bail. That must have been a pretty big temptation, especially with the time of the race and you last week or so.

Great job and a really solid race. You were pretty durn fast on the bike in spite of the crappy wind.

2012-04-23 9:03 AM
in reply to: #4166106

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Subject: RE: Sullivan Civic Center Triathlon
Great job!
2012-04-23 9:15 AM
in reply to: #4166106

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West Chester, Ohio
Subject: RE: Sullivan Civic Center Triathlon

Awesome work!! For not feeling it and having strong winds you really rocked the course!


I hate serpentine swims, so hard even with correct swim times!!

2012-04-24 7:44 AM
in reply to: #4166106

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Subject: RE: Sullivan Civic Center Triathlon

Wish we would have figured out a way to meet one another! Glad you enjoyed the race after all .

2012-04-24 8:56 AM
in reply to: #4169075

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Extreme Veteran
metro DC
Subject: RE: Sullivan Civic Center Triathlon

So impressed you raced after all! (though BLECH to cold winds!)

Had no idea you rode aero, btw, either

This is why I've never done a race with a pool swim - just don't like the idea of the clustering. Silly maybe, but will take the nasty goose-poop & lake grass any day over cluster-f's in pools.

FWIW, friend told me the other day that her plan for this training year is to follow EVERY ride with a run, no matter how brief. Definitely a good idea for me....

2012-04-25 11:05 AM
in reply to: #4166106

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Subject: RE: Sullivan Civic Center Triathlon
Nice job. Especially beating your swim time from last year!
2012-04-25 6:42 PM
in reply to: #4166106

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Sin City
Subject: RE: Sullivan Civic Center Triathlon
Regardless of the little snafus, you still pulled out a good race! :-) Good Job and keep up the great work!
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