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Hagerstown Sprint Triathlon - TriathlonSprint

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Hagerstown, Maryland
United States
Racine Multisports
72F / 22C
Total Time = 58m 6s
Overall Rank = 7/292
Age Group = M40-44
Age Group Rank = 1/30
Pre-race routine:

I signed up for this race mostly to give me some motivation to keep my hand in tri training during the summer. And because I liked the idea of a tri with a measly 300m pool swim. Just some token splashing around before the serious business of biking and running. Most of my attention lately has been on running, as I'm at the start of a build for a fall marathon, and before that I was doing a bike focus for a while. No real taper for this race, apart from giving myself one easy day between my 13-mile run and the race. I've been traveling quite a lot lately, so that gives more excuses to be slacking on the bike and swim training. I hadn't been to the pool in a couple of months, so I paid a couple of visits earlier this week, and they were a wake-up call.
Event warmup:

Up at 3am, on the road by 4:15, at the race by 5:30. A little jogging around after setting up my gear in transition. My main concern was to loosen up my achilles, which has been giving me a little stress recently. A long time spent waiting in line for the swim start.
  • 06m 5s
  • 328 yards
  • 01m 51s / 100 yards

The swim was very short, so I was happy about that. A 300m serpentine swim up and down the 6 lanes of a 25 meter pool. Swimmers started every 15 seconds -- a lady on the pool deck was calling out the time when each swimmer should start, and I was a little confused because without my glasses I couldn't see the big clock that she was reading the numbers from. My main worry was that my seeding would be way off and I'd end up being one of those people who get complained about in race reports all the time. Based on my pool sessions I thought I was probably ok for the 5:30 that I had predicted. Well, that didn't go so well. I've been making reasonable progress on my catch and pull, thanks to a bout of swim cord training, but in the heat of the race that seemed to go out of the window, and I was clearly slower. By halfway I let one guy pass me at the end of a lane, and 25m later one more passed me (the results showed that at least one of those had seeded himself too slow, so it wasn't entirely my fault). After that it was at least clear to the end, and my final split was around 6:05. Not so great, but at least it was all over quickly. And my split put me close to the 25th percentile, which is about as good as it gets for me.
What would you do differently?:

Train. And not forget the good stuff that I had been doing in the little training that I did actually do.
Transition 1
  • 01m 53s

Oops. I had promised myself that I would practice this, but never quite got around to it. Oh well, sans wetsuit this was at least a lot simpler than usual. The time isn't so fast, in part because it included a winding run out of the pool and down to the transition area. But I still managed to lose around a minute to the fastest guys in transition - how the hell do they do it so quickly? Perhaps some combination of: no futzing around with dainty feet on tarmac, no messing around with glasses and headband, no putting on socks and mountain bike shoes in transition, no bothering with race belt. Oh, I guess now I see where they're making up time on me.
  • 30m 3s
  • 11.2 miles
  • 22.36 mile/hr

Last time I raced at this venue I set out on the bike without my helmet, and then after noticing that my head was strangely cool, I had to ride/run back to fetch the helmet. So the fact that I started with my lid intact was already progress. The first half of the 11.3 mile loop that is relatively flat and straight, and I made fairly good time, ~24mph for the first 6 miles. Then it gets a bit more tricky in the second half, with some ups and downs and rough sections, plus some sharp turns and speed bumps. As is customary, I spent the bike leg reeling in many of the faster swimmers. The bike was putting out an annoying clicking sound, but there was no time to figure out what it was, so I just put my head down and tried to think of Bradley Wiggins in yesterday's TdF time trial. I was pleased with myself for at least figuring out to tighten my shoe straps after I started riding, and to undo them before I arrived in T2. That's more like what a triathlete would do. I just missed my target of 30 minutes, but I was happy with the placing, 3rd OA in the open division, with another 3 in the elite division ahead of me.

Throughout the race I was following the big race signs at every corner, but I was puzzled that there also seemed to be lots of arrows on the road marked "HS". I figured these were directions for some High School or other. But I did think it curious that these arrows seemed to be following a similar route. Perhaps the kids do a bike ride, I figured. It was only in the last mile that it dawned on me that these arrows were the markers for our race, and that they stood for Hagerstown Sprint. I guess that tells you how lucid I am in the middle of a race.
What would you do differently?:

Probably could have shaved a few seconds here and there, but overall this went fairly well.
Transition 2
  • 00m 53s

This one was fairly straightforward, and my time wasn't an embarrassment. A bit of time lost wrestling with another bike that had taken over my rack spot.
  • 18m 59s
  • 3.1 miles
  • 06m 07s  min/mile

Since I start well back due to my weak swim, I'm not accustomed to being passed on the run. But as I was heading down the narrow chute at the start of the run I was surprised to hear somebody shouting from behind to make way on the left, and then a kid pushed his way past me. The same kid had drafted off me a little a couple of miles before the end of the bike leg. The mark on his leg said that he was 15 -- oh well, I figured perhaps the local HS x-country team was out in force. After a couple of hundred yards, though, it became apparent that he still had a thing of two to learn about pacing, so I left him behind. The run course winds up and down on a bike path around the park, following almost a complete loop back to transition before doubling back on itself. I didn't feel too great at the start, and so I felt that I wasn't going very fast, But at least the achilles was being relatively well behaved. And I was reeling in more people. By this point I could see runners' numbers, which were ordered according to swim seeding, so I could tell that I was passing folks who had started well ahead of me, but I didn't have much idea of my placing. I felt better over the course of the run, same as in most training runs, especially after biking. The first mile took 6:14, with a net uphill, so that wasn't too bad. The next one was 6:07, and I guess the last one was pretty close to the same time. I really wasn't sure what to expect from my run speed, as I have been building my mileage recently, but haven't done any faster running at all, and in the nasty heat we've been having, even some of the slower miles have been feeling not so easy. I would have been satisfied with 19:30 and quite pleased with sub-19, so 18:59 was just fine, thank you. That split put me a few seconds behind one person in the elite division, and *possibly* first OA in the open division -- there were a couple of faster splits listed, but they're not so plausible, like the lady listed with a 16mph bike split and 15:17 5k split. So that part was good.

For the overall time my goal was to sneak in below one hour, so 58:06 was as good as I could have hoped for. I got 3rd OA in the open division, with 4 additional elites faster. And 1st Masters. All of which were better than I had expected.
Post race
Warm down:

I learned that a nice feature of a race with a pool swim is that they have showers - great! Hung around for a while to get my chance to perch on top of the tiny podium that they had set up, then headed home. Not having done a sprint tri since I was just starting out, I was pleasantly surprised by how fresh I felt shortly after the race. Not sure if that's just because it's short, or if that means I wasn't trying hard enough.

What limited your ability to perform faster:

I guess the main thing would have been to somehow avoid losing my head at the start of the swim. Perhaps more training would have made it easier to do that. Other than that, i was happy with the mid-summer tune-up. Now back to the marathon build, with some biking thrown in to prep for the hills of Savageman. 3 weeks in the UK coming up (Olympics!), so that should be good for getting in some miles in cooler weather.

Event comments:

This is another good, low-key race put on by Racine Multisports. My first multisport race was one of their fall duathlons, and my daughter loves to do their kids' du. Nothing fancy: no lavish food, entertainment, or prizes. But the essentials all work very well. The focus is on regular folks, and that makes these events very beginner friendly. A nice touch was that during the awards ceremony, when a few final competitors were still coming to the line, it was clear that announcing each of those finishers by name as they approached the line took priority over the awards. I like that.

Last updated: 2012-07-22 12:00 AM
00:06:05 | 328 yards | 01m 51s / 100yards
Age Group: 7/30
Overall: 85/292
Performance: Below average
Course: Serpentine pool swim
Start type: Inside Pool Plus: Time Trial
Water temp: 0F / 0C Current:
200M Perf. Below average Remainder: Below average
Breathing: Average Drafting:
Waves: Navigation:
Time: 01:53
Performance: Average
Cap removal: Helmet on/
Suit off:
Wetsuit stuck? Run with bike:
Jump on bike:
Getting up to speed:
00:30:03 | 11.2 miles | 22.36 mile/hr
Age Group: 1/30
Overall: 6/292
Performance: Good
Road:   Cadence:
Turns: Average Cornering:
Gear changes: Hills: Average
Race pace: Hard Drinks: Not enough
Time: 00:53
Overall: Good
Riding w/ feet on shoes
Jumping off bike
Running with bike
Racking bike
Shoe and helmet removal
00:18:59 | 03.1 miles | 06m 07s  min/mile
Age Group: 1/30
Overall: 2/292
Keeping cool Drinking
Post race
Weight change: %
Overall: Good
Mental exertion [1-5] 3
Physical exertion [1-5] 3
Good race? Yes
Course challenge Just right
Organized? Yes
Events on-time? Yes
Lots of volunteers? Yes
Plenty of drinks? Yes
Post race activities: Average
Race evaluation [1-5] 4

2012-07-22 4:04 PM

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University Park, MD
Subject: Hagerstown Sprint Triathlon

2012-07-23 12:24 PM
in reply to: #4324230

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Extreme Veteran
Severna Park, MD
Subject: RE: Hagerstown Sprint Triathlon

Nice job!  I had the same thought on the "HS" signs during the race and didn't notice until about mile 9 or so....

Same thing with the 15:17 5k... 10 bucks on her turning around right at the 1 mile point with the volunteers...

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