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YMCA Rocky Gap Triathlon - Sprint Course - TriathlonSprint

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Flintstone, Maryland
United States
72F / 22C
Total Time = 1h 22m 33s
Overall Rank = 107/180
Age Group = Clydesdale
Age Group Rank = 1/
Pre-race routine:

I was very excited to do this race as it was the first of the year for me. I have lost a significant amount of weight since my las triathlon and felt that I was in much better shape so I was looking forward to the chance to see some improvements. This event is on a saturday so I took off work on Friday and drove 2hrs out to Western MD and arrived at the Rocky Gap Resort. I knew a bunch of people from my Triathlon Club were doing the race with me so I figured I would get to the resort early and relax and pick up my packet. Got to the resort around 12:30pm and couldnt check in until 3pm so I went to the bar and had lunch and talked with the very friendly female bartender. After a turkey sandwich and some ESPN, I went to packet pick up and got my packet, shirt, bib, etc. Around 4pm all of the other club members arrived and we all met up for dinner. We decided to head downstairs at the lodge and grab something in the restaurant. At this time, MD was in the midst of a huge thunderstorm and the whole state was on a Tornado watch. Before we could order dinner, we were told to evacuate the dining room due to the storm and being near glass and we had to go upstairs to one of the ballrooms. It was 6pm and we were all starving and didnt want to eat too late so we decided to forge on against Mother Nature and drove about 20 miles to the next town and had dinner at Ruby Tuesdays (I hate that place and everytime I eat there I think of that movie "Waiting" but there was nothing else around so I got the salad bar). After a horrible dinner with the worst waiter in history, we went back to the lodge (where it was raining hard and the wind was brutal) and organized our race bags and then I went to bed around 9:30am.
Event warmup:

I woke up and went down to the restaurant and grabbed a bagel with PB and then headed to transition area to set up and watch the OLY swim wave take off. The sun was out but so was the wind so it was pretty cold waiting for the race to start. I walked around for about 30minutes, talking to other competitors and then walked over to the swim start to begin the race.
  • 12m 52s
  • 440 yards
  • 02m 55s / 100 yards

So.... this is where the race started going wrong from the getgo. While I was looking at the bouy the morning of the race I noticed that it seemed "long" and I know that people say that all the time but this swim looked alot longer then 400yrds, easily 550-650. The storm the night before had really bad rain and horrible wind so I was thinking that the bouy got moved due to the weather. Anyway, I got into the warm water and sat myself towards to outside and in the MOP. Race started and I caught some good drafts. The water was pretty clear and nice and I settled into my rythm (thought so atleast) pretty well. While I was swimming I noticed that the swim seemed like it was taking forever. My sighting was pretty good and it didnt appear that I was wondering off course at all. When I reached the shore and looked at my watched I couldnt believe what I saw.. 12:52!!!!! I was furious! I have never swam that slow in my life and my average 400 time is between 8-9:30minutes. Even my first race, 2 years and 50lbs heavier ago was less then a 12min 400 so I dont know what the heck was going on with that swim but I know it wasnt 400yrd and it was long. I got out of the water feeling miserable and my head was not where I wanted it to be.
What would you do differently?:

No clue, I still think the course was way long but maybe swim more?
Transition 1
  • 02m 20s

Decent T1 but I would like to get under 2mins for each Transition.
What would you do differently?:

Next time I do a race I will have a tri suit on so I wont have to worry about putting on a shirt and all so hopefully that will save me some time.
  • 36m 53s
  • 8 miles
  • 13.01 mile/hr

I knew this course was going to be hard because I drove it the night before. Even after losing 30lbs from my last "Hilly" race, I had a gut feeling that I wouldnt fare too well against this beast. Race starts out leaving the parks parking lot and you go out and back on a hilly road that over looks the lake. There were some small rollers which I did fine on and wound up slingshotting but there were more long, steep and steady inclines that I just had to spin up. I did feel good about the fact that I was able to work my gearing appropriately, not have to walk my bike, not cry and not stop at all. I averaged about 5-8mph on my long uphills and 30mph on the downhills. I think the main problem with my bike performance was THE WIND!!!! it was strong and everywhere. The whole race was in a giant crosswind and the gusts were so strong at times, I almost got knocked off my bike (twice). It was actually kinda scary because I have never biked in wind like that before and I knew it was from the storm the previous night but it was crazy. I cruised down the last big hill and back into the park where I was able to stand up and stretch my legs before going into the run.
What would you do differently?:

Train more on hills, improve muscular endurance in the legs to get more power. Maybe Get some giant fans and put them around me when I am on the trainer so I can simulate the wind I had at this race? lol.
Transition 2
  • 01m 46s

Decent T2 for me, unlipped and got shoes off and put running shoes on and headed out for the run. I am glad I put lock laces on these shoes prior to the event because I nearly forgot to get them (newer pair of shoes).
What would you do differently?:

  • 28m 45s
  • 3.11 miles
  • 09m 14s  min/mile

Hmm, I am not sure where to begin with this section. I feel that my running is the discipline that I have improved in the most. With the weight loss, I think its kinda natural but I am starting to enjoy running more then the other 2 sports. With that being said, I knew I gained some speed in my run and was eager to get started. Coming out of T2 my legs felt pretty solid. They were like jello until I got to the first incline but not too bad. I pushed up the hill and settled into my pace pretty easily. The course was up a long road with some rolling hills and onto a trail and then turnaround and come back. When I got to the water stop, they were out of water :( It wasnt that hot outside but I was kinda parched and really wanted water. I took in some lemonade Heed instead but it was warm and gross so I spit it out. After the botched water stop, I headed onto the trail and this is where things got interesting. The night before, we had a massive thunderstorm/tornado watch in the area and it rained really bad. When I started on the trail, it was about 3ft wide and it was mud, wet rocks and wet branches. The trail was pretty narrow so you could not pass people and it made it pretty difficult for 2 people to pass each other in the opposite direction without getting in each others way. I know I slipped about 3 times in this section and almost rolled my ankle but luckily I didnt. While I was running through large piles of mud we came upon a volunteer who was standing in the middle of the trail and was yelling that "this is the sprint turnaround point" I noticed that this was about 100yrd past the water station which we were told was the 1 mile mark so I knew there was no way this was the turnaround point. As I approached, I saw competitors coming from the opposite direction yelling at people to not turn around and that the turnaround was at the end of the trail. I noticed alot of people turn around at the volunteer because she was a volunteer and had to know where she was supposed to be right? Well I was conflicted and didnt know what to do but I didnt want to cheat myself or any other competitors so I decided to take the "other way" and follow the trail to the end. The trail goes straight downhill for like 1/4 mile and then right back up at the turnaround which made for a nasty little section. I got back up to the mysterious turnaround section and saw a ton of people turning around at the volunteer. By this time I was like "Did I do the right thing? are these people cheating? Man I would have a much faster split if I turned around at the volunteer instead of go all the way to the end of this freaking trail!" I then got back onto the road, ran up the last hill and downhill to the finish where I sprinted to the end and met up with some other club members. Overall, I felt like I had a great run and wasnt tired at all and didnt have to use a walk/run strategy. Since I wasnt sure if I ran a 5k or 4mile run, I really had no idea what my pace was but according to the timing records, I ran a sub 9:30min/mile and set a 5k PR by 2:05!!! and this PR was for my standalone 5k time and my triathlon 5k time the PR was like 7minutes or something crazy! Once I saw my time, I knew that I made the right decision to run to the end of the trail and I am glad I did. On a side note, I talked to a girl who said she saw her time and ran a 22min 5k and was super excited because her usual time is 30mins. I asked if she went to the end of the trail or not and she said she turned around at the volunteer. I didnt dispute the distance with her but I knew that others probably shaved some serious time off the run if they turned around at the volunteer.
What would you do differently?:

I dont think much. As I said earlier, I feel that the run is where I have made the most progress and its what I enjoy the most. I am super excited to set a PR by such a large margin and to know that I didnt get exhausted and have to use a walk/run strategy and that my legs felt great getting off the bike. I was a little upset at first when I finished the race because I wasnt sure of my time or what distance I had actually ran but when I put it all together, I was pleased.
Post race
Warm down:

Met up with some other club members, stretched and talked about the long swim course and the run course fiasco. Went to the food tent but they only had water, apples and bananas and cookies. I grabbed 2 cookies and a bottle of water and decided to take my bike back to the car, shower in the hotel room and pack up and drive back to the awards ceremony. At the awards ceremony, I was pleasently surprised to find out that I WON THE CLYDESDALE DIVISION!!! it was my first podium ever and it made me feel great. I am not sure how many people were in my division because Clydes werent advertised on the website but when we went to packet pick up they said you could change to it if you wanted so I did and I am glad I did :) I felt like I had come full circle with my training because 3 years ago when I did my first race, I came in DFL in my AG and 2nd to last OA. I have lost almost 60lbs since then and this was my last race as a Clydesdale because by my next race in September, I will be sub 200lbs so to go from DFL to 1st was an awesome feeling.

What limited your ability to perform faster:

Hills, wind, mis markings on the course might have had something to do with it but I probably just need to train more.

Event comments:

Nice local race, some things went wrong but something always goes wrong at a race. If I can fit it into my schedule, I will be back. Beautiful venue for a race and great accomadations at the race site.

Profile Album

Last updated: 2012-03-26 12:00 AM
00:12:52 | 440 yards | 02m 55s / 100yards
Age Group: 0/
Overall: 59/180
Performance: Bad
Suit: none
Course: Simple out to bouy and back to the beach
Start type: Deep Water Plus:
Water temp: 78F / 26C Current: Low
200M Perf. Good Remainder: Average
Breathing: Good Drafting: Below average
Waves: Navigation: Average
Rounding: Good
Time: 02:20
Performance: Below average
Cap removal: Good Helmet on/
Suit off:
Wetsuit stuck? Run with bike: Yes
Jump on bike: No
Getting up to speed: Average
00:36:53 | 08 miles | 13.01 mile/hr
Age Group: 0/
Overall: 0/180
Performance: Below average
Wind: Cross-winds with gusts
Course: out and back and hilly!
Road: Smooth  Cadence:
Turns: Good Cornering: Good
Gear changes: Average Hills: Below average
Race pace: Hard Drinks: Not enough
Time: 01:46
Overall: Good
Riding w/ feet on shoes
Jumping off bike
Running with bike Good
Racking bike Good
Shoe and helmet removal Good
00:28:45 | 03.11 miles | 09m 14s  min/mile
Age Group: 0/
Overall: 0/180
Performance: Good
Course: Out of transition, up a long road and onto a trail then back.
Keeping cool Good Drinking Not enough
Post race
Weight change: %
Overall: Good
Mental exertion [1-5] 3
Physical exertion [1-5] 4
Good race? Ok
Course challenge
Organized? Yes
Events on-time? Yes
Lots of volunteers? No
Plenty of drinks? No
Post race activities: Below average
Race evaluation [1-5] 3

2012-06-05 1:31 PM

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Crab Cake City
Subject: YMCA Rocky Gap Triathlon - Sprint Course

2012-06-05 3:22 PM
in reply to: #4246057

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, Minnesota
Subject: RE: YMCA Rocky Gap Triathlon - Sprint Course
Great job, congrats on the win! Yikes, that bike course sounded brutal.
2013-04-17 2:38 PM
in reply to: #4246057


Subject: RE: YMCA Rocky Gap Triathlon - Sprint Course

I am knew to triathlons so would you recommend this as someone's first? On the swim was the water too warm for a wetsuit if not do you think that would have made a difference to your swim. 

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