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HITS Triathlon Series: Marble Falls - Sprint Course - TriathlonSprint

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Marble Falls, Texas
United States
HITS Triathlon Series
70F / 21C
Total Time = 1h 24m 10s
Overall Rank = 11/198
Age Group =
Age Group Rank = 1/
Pre-race routine:

Came into Marble Falls the day before with family. We stayed at the HI Express which looked new and was pretty nice, only about a mile from the race start. We checked in, went down to pick up our packets and checked out the "Expo". Not much of anything really, but I wasn't expecting that much. The transition area was pretty cool though, everyone had an assigned spot and there was lots of room. They provided a little stool to I didn't use it for anything. Seemed like a waste of time to me. Drove the race course, which helped a little to see the hills and terrain on the bike course, but didn't matter for the run course because they changed the course at the last minute, putting it on the same course as the bikes! What a bad idea and potential huge Charlie Foxtrot. More to come on that... Anyway, we swam at the hotel pool with the kiddies then ate dinner at the Blue Bonnet Cafe, which was supposed to be THE place to go in Marble Falls. Not so much. Food wasn't great, service wasn't great, and wifey found 3 hairs in her food. Won't be going back there anytime soon. Next time we come to Marble Falls in July for a trail run and tri, we'll stay at the Hampton Inn on the lake near all the other resteraunts.

Opened the race packet later that night and found everything was a bunch of stickers! Race number, ID bracelet, even a "tri tattoo" for numbers (there was no number marking at the race except for those who didn't get their number tattoo on). The tattoo thing was kind of cool and different, but having to assemble all these stickers was a huge PITA! Another swing and a miss for HITS. Went to bed around 10 once we got the kiddies all wrangled up.
Event warmup:

Got up around 5 am, put on my number tattoo and got ready. Went out to the transition area around 530 or so. Traffic wasn't too bad, parked just down the road from transition. Got everything set up and saw Rachel walk up. We chatted a bit, shared some smack talk, and then got ready for business! Put on the wetsuit and went into the water for a bit of a warmup swim. Water felt great and the wesuit was good, no restriction in arm movements. When it was time to race, I got in the water and we waded/treaded water for a few minutes until the gun went off.
  • 15m 12s
  • 820 yards
  • 01m 51s / 100 yards

I swam ok, although my goggles fogged up a bit even though I spit in them like usual (and they don't usually fog up) and I lost sight of the finish after rounding the last buoy. I looked up and took my goggles off for a second and spotted the finish, and noticed I was about 50 yards off course. OOPS.
What would you do differently?:

Stay on course maybe? :)
Transition 1
  • 01m 53s

T1 was a little slow, this was the first sprint I've done with a wetsuit. But I think I did ok unzipping and getting the arms out while running towards transition, and then pulling one leg off and stomping on the wetsuit to rip the other out. No flying mount though, as I tried to practice it a few days before in my driveway and had an EPIC FAIL. Missed the seat entirely and landed on the back of my leg on the brake/rear tire. So I may need to practice that a bit more... and possibly get some tri specific shoes that are a bit easier to get in/out.
What would you do differently?:

Not much, just move faster and try the flying mount sometime.
  • 42m 49s
  • 13.25 miles
  • 18.57 mile/hr

I could have/should have (yeah yeah, I know) ridden much faster. I was just hurting for some reason, maybe it was the headwinds. But those hills were deceiving, that's for sure!
What would you do differently?:

Come out and ride the course a few times to know what to expect.
Transition 2
  • 01m 44s

I thought I did ok here, running with Look cleats back to my spot. I had a longer run than most, both in and out of the bike in/out. Just threw on the Kinvara's and took off.
What would you do differently?:

Learn the flying dismount!
  • 22m 32s
  • 3.24 miles
  • 06m 57s  min/mile

Overall good run. There was one dude in front of me for the first 1.5 miles or so (which were mostly uphill), so I stayed behind him until the turn around and then just let the legs go on the downhill and let gravity do its job. Overtook him and a few other guys for a pretty good finish. Talked to that dude after the race and we had a good laugh about what a cluster the course was.
What would you do differently?:

Not much, felt pretty good.
Post race
Warm down:

Nothing really. Got a warm bottled water that they handed to me.

What limited your ability to perform faster:

Not sure what happened on the bike. Just need some more TITS I guess! :)

Event comments:

Overall there were some things I liked that HITS did. The transition area was cool. And the RD was really friendly and was doing his best. I don't really care for the single year AGs, nor that they take your birthday as of Jan 1 of this year. Just stick with normal USAT rules that work fine. The course was a cluster, and it was poorly marked. Being mis-directed didn't help my feelings about the course any either.

I'm also wondering about the results. I was counting the people at the run turnaround, and I was in 10th place at the turn around. I passed 3 people from there, putting me in 7th. They originally had me listed at 9th, and then the next day at 11th. There were only two waves, male and female. I did get chicked by two females, but that doesn't account for the 4 place discrepancy from 7th-11th. No big deal, I just think its weird.

After reading all the reviews on this series, I'm not really surprised about how this race turned out. But I don't think i'll do it again, especially with the high entry fees.

Last updated: 2012-04-18 12:00 AM
00:15:12 | 820 yards | 01m 51s / 100yards
Age Group: 0/
Overall: 26/198
Performance: Average
Suit: Xterra full wetsuit
Course: Triangle
Start type: Wade Plus:
Water temp: 75F / 24C Current: Medium
200M Perf. Good Remainder: Good
Breathing: Drafting: Good
Waves: Navigation: Below average
Rounding: Good
Time: 01:53
Performance: Average
Cap removal: Average Helmet on/
Suit off:
Wetsuit stuck? Run with bike: Yes
Jump on bike: No
Getting up to speed: Below average
00:42:49 | 13.25 miles | 18.57 mile/hr
Age Group: 0/
Overall: 23/198
Performance: Below average
I'm not sure if the course was mis-marked or if my Garmin was WAY off. It was supposed to be a 12 mile course. My Garmin said 13.25. Other people said they thought it was long too. Who knows....
Wind: Headwind
Course: The course was tougher than I anticipated. It was an out and back course. Even though I drove it, the elevation didn't seem that bad. But riding it, for some reason I was really feeling sluggish. And I was kind of in a space between the Top 10 leaders (I was counting from the turn around) and a big pack of everyone else. So I didn't really pass very many folks, and no one passed me. The course was a bit dicey in some areas, some steep downhills combined with narrow roads and blind curves. Fun, yes. A bit scary and possibly dangerous? yes! Coming back in about a mile from transition I was flying across this intersection that had some bad pavement, slight pothole and I heard a big THUNK as my pursuit/aero bars slammed down about 30 degrees. I thought I had broken my fork or handlebar or something it sounded so bad! But I didn't crash and was able to make it to transition although I couldn't get in aero anymore because it was angled so steep! Then a course official (volunteer?) directed me down the wrong street and a pack of cyclists followed me. We all got lost and had to find our way back to transition, luckily we weren't too far away and could hear the crowd and race announcer. But man, what a Charlie Foxtrot this bike course was!
Road: Potholes  Cadence:
Turns: Cornering:
Gear changes: Hills:
Race pace: Drinks:
Time: 01:44
Overall: Below average
Riding w/ feet on shoes
Jumping off bike
Running with bike
Racking bike
Shoe and helmet removal
00:22:32 | 03.24 miles | 06m 57s  min/mile
Age Group: 0/
Overall: 7/198
Performance: Good
Also not sure if the run course was exactly correct, although my Garmin was much closer than it was on the bike course.
Course: Can I say it again? CHARLIE FOXTROT. Run course was changed and was an out and back, put on the same roads as the bike course. Oh, and the Olympic folks started their race after the Sprint, so you had bikes coming and going, and runners coming and going on the same out and back course! No markings on the road directing anyone where to stay, and the cops/officials had their hands full trying to keep traffic at bay. It was a nightmare. I'm REALLY surprised that no one got hurt with all those folks on the same course at the same time.
Keeping cool Drinking
Post race
Weight change: %
Overall: Average
Mental exertion [1-5] 2
Physical exertion [1-5] 3
Good race? Yes
Course challenge Just right
Organized? No
Events on-time? Yes
Lots of volunteers? No
Plenty of drinks? No
Post race activities: Below average
Race evaluation [1-5] 2

2012-04-30 9:51 AM

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San Antone, Texas
Subject: HITS Triathlon Series: Marble Falls - Sprint Course

2012-05-02 10:18 AM
in reply to: #4180858

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Austin, TX
Subject: RE: HITS Triathlon Series: Marble Falls - Sprint Course

Thanks for the comments on my race.  Helped me to keep things in perspective and what I was able to accomplish.

You pulled out an awesome race yourself.  11th overall is outstanding.  I heard the change in the run course kinda threw everything off, but seems like they corrected that for us on Sun.

2012-05-02 7:43 PM
in reply to: #4180858

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San Antone, Texas
Subject: RE: HITS Triathlon Series: Marble Falls - Sprint Course
Thanks!  yeah, the run course change was weird, especially putting on the bike course.  I was dodging bikes right and left.  that bike course really was killer though.  I need to get back up there before the Marble falls tri in July.
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