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HITS National Championship: Palm Springs - Olympic Course - TriathlonOlympic

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La Quinta, California
United States
HITS Triathlon Series
Total Time = 2h 29m 14s
Overall Rank = 28/244
Age Group =
Age Group Rank = 5/30
Pre-race routine:

Entered this race a couple weeks before as a lark. I thought my season ended in September, but some friends were doing it, got a good deal on a hotel room, so what the hell. A nice little training day.

Arrived Sat evening for the Sunday Oly and saw the dedicated folks running the dark streets in the full. Wow, those people get my respect.

I've already posted about the course cutting and cheating, you can search in tri talk for that, but won't be dwelling more on that here.

Plus, this race was kind of momentous for me as it was the first race I had entered where I could not physically compete as a Clydesdale, which was my overall goal by the end of the year.
Event warmup:

Not much. I was coming off some tendonitis so hadn't run much, and was just going to have fun so got in the water and swam for a bit. The more I swim as a warm up, the better I do.
  • 23m 48s
  • 1640 yards
  • 01m 27s / 100 yards

There were two waves. 1. men 2. women. About 120 guys or more, all at once, all trying to get around the first buoy about 20 yds from shore. Screw it, I'm pretty fast, let's get up front. Gun goes off, I thought it would be a battle, but turned into one of the cleanest swims I've had.

The first leg goes straight into the sun, so I had pre-sighted off the side of a mountain. Worked great, plus we were close to shore so it was easy to gauge a good straight line. Turn left, short leg, turn left and return. I had also figured out which peak to sight off ont he return, and it worked well. Got a nice draft the whole first leg, but couldn't exactly tell how many were in front. Didn' help that I was wearing old goggles through which I could see about a centimeter width hole

Lost the draft on the second lap. I don't mind two loop swims, but i have to be careful not to sprint back in, as that is a surefire way to blow up. Just settled in with a nice rhythm and finished the second loop.
What would you do differently?:

Transition 1
  • 02m 37s

Decent transition. Long run over grass, volunteer said "top 10, have to be happy with that." Sure! HITS provides us with stools (so we don't have to bring buckets!!!! :) ) but I didn't use it :^ Got my business done and got out. As I was clipping in, a volunteer was counting out "6th, 7th," and when he got to me "8th".

So I figure I had a good swim, and this is where everyone starts passing me.
  • 1h 07m 32s
  • 24.85 miles
  • 22.08 mile/hr

Course climbs a little hill, through a park entry gate, then around the lake on a poorly maintained access road, then hits the streets where you go straight, right, left, and return. Easy as pie.

On the access road I passed a guy getting into his shoes, he passed me back as I figured he would, then I passed him back. I kept waiting for more slow swimmer/fast biker types to overtake me. Soon I was upon a guy on a road bike with clipons, sitting up. OK. Passed him. Passed another guy in aero about a mile or so down the road......

Pretty soon it was pretty lonely out there. Next guy ahead of me was not catchable, at least not by me. I looked back along those straight roads, and no one was catching me

"Did I really pass those guys?"
"Why isn't anyone passing me?"
"wait a minute. Am I on the right course?"
"Phew, there's a controlled intersection, OK, yes, still on course."
"holy shit, am I gonna hit the turnaround in 5th????"

These were all the questions I was asking myself. Looking back and seeing no one, I realized I had a good shot at doing well and... drum roll.... actually GAINING spots on the bike. You don't know what a big deal that is, I have never gained spots in ANY race since 2005 following a usually decent swim. I also looked at my garmin, and saw a HR of 167. And realized I had an equally good chance of blowing up. Hard. I backed off a little, got the HR all the way down to 165..... Aw, fuck it, nothing like a blowup in a race! I tried backing off a little, but kinda didn't want to.

On the last straightaway to the turn, I saw the first guy come back. then #2. Then #3. Then no one, but me. Crap! I'm FOURTH at the turn! Gained 4 places somehow!!!! On the way back, all the guys were looking over at me and saying "what the hell are YOU doing up here?" Well, maybe that was the voice in my head, but it matched the looks on their faces. Or it would have, if I could have concentrated, but that whole HR thing was killing me.

Got passed by one guy and then was losing ground to number 6 going up the hill into transition, but entered T2 in 5th place overall male. Woot! let the blowup begin!!!!!!
What would you do differently?:

Nothing. Even though it wasn't exactly smart racing strategy, it was a shitload of fun to be up there coming into T2. My wife didn't even recognize me until I got off the bike since (1) I've lost weight and (2) well, what the hell ARE you doing up here anyway? I expected you in about 10 minutes......

It was a ride to make Rudy Bleakley proud.
Transition 2
  • 01m 36s

Just get it done as fast as I can. No idea where I exited T2, but the volunteer said "show them young bucks how it's done!" I'm 46. I only look 80
  • 53m 39s
  • 6.21 miles
  • 08m 38s  min/mile

This is where I did blow up a bit. First mile was good in the 8:4X range, but sort of faded after that. I was happy having come into T2 in 5th. I wanted to beat my training buddy as we'd been smack talking, and I had about a mile on him so I figured that was in the bag. I didn't have a lot of motivation and wasn't able to push myself very hard.

Decent pace but I believe people that say the course was 5.9 (on an out and back???) because 9:05 or so feels more like the pace I was running. I also forgot to turn the garmin on until about .4 mile in, so I was lost there as well.

Near the end, coming back up the hill at mile 5 into the park, I looked back and saw a red trisuit, my buddy was wearing red. Up the hill, o h Christ, why'd I have to bike so hard???? he was gaining. I saw the 6 mile marker, .2 miles, a little up, then all downhill. Hit the top and ran as fast as I could, which wasn't very fast. Told my wife "he's right behind me," to her odd look......

Crossed the line and heard "man Chris I was trying to catch you!" That's not my friend's voice... tribodyboarder from BT/ST Jay Reale. Almost ran me down. Would have had I known that my friend was really 4 minutes back....
What would you do differently?:

Wished i could have run harder, but the tendonitis just made that not that smart.
Post race
What limited your ability to perform faster:

Finally, I don't say weight!!!!!! Run training. other than that, I was actually mixing it up with the FOP. If I could run closer to what guys that I am finishing with are running, I could be in AG contention, and not that Clydesdale group I used to race with, but a real, honest to god AG.

And breaking 2:30 in an Oly was my goal this year. Wish the course was actually 6.2, but oh well. I didn't have a running race clock goign so I had no idea of overall time throughout the race

Event comments:

As noted, I had issues with cheating, but it was a fun race overall, and racing in California in hi 70s temps in December, with a double double fires and shake on the way home, well sounds like an almost perfect day.

Last updated: 2012-10-19 12:00 AM
00:23:48 | 1640 yards | 01m 27s / 100yards
Age Group: 0/30
Overall: 9/244
Performance: Good
Course: 2 loop rectangular course with exit and re-entry over timing mat
Start type: Plus:
Water temp: 0F / 0C Current:
200M Perf. Remainder:
Breathing: Drafting:
Waves: Navigation:
Time: 02:37
Performance: Good
Cap removal: Helmet on/
Suit off:
Wetsuit stuck? Run with bike:
Jump on bike:
Getting up to speed:
01:07:32 | 24.85 miles | 22.08 mile/hr
Age Group: 0/30
Overall: 17/244
Performance: Good
Course: Out and back
Road:   Cadence:
Turns: Cornering:
Gear changes: Hills:
Race pace: Drinks:
Time: 01:36
Overall: Good
Riding w/ feet on shoes
Jumping off bike
Running with bike
Racking bike
Shoe and helmet removal
00:53:39 | 06.21 miles | 08m 38s  min/mile
Age Group: 0/30
Overall: 102/244
Performance: Average
Course: Out and back
Keeping cool Drinking
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?
Plenty of drinks?
Post race activities:
Race evaluation [1-5]

2012-12-13 6:44 PM

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Subject: HITS National Championship: Palm Springs - Olympic Course

2012-12-13 7:00 PM
in reply to: #4534557

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Extreme Veteran
Subject: RE: HITS National Championship: Palm Springs - Olympic Course
Wow, that sounds like a great race for you on so many levels. Congratulations on leaving the Clyde ranks as well Smile
2012-12-13 7:05 PM
in reply to: #4534557

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Subject: RE: HITS National Championship: Palm Springs - Olympic Course
Always fun to hammer the bike especially at the front.  The relay I did this year we had a good enough swimmer so that I could ride my way to the front.  Elites and men under 34 had a 3 minute head start on the relays and I caught all by 10 of them.  It's a weird feeling running into transition of a race with almost 600 participants, and only 10 bikes are on the racks.  Of course...I didn't have to run after kudos for pushing through the blowup.  LOL.  Rudy would be proud.
2012-12-13 8:01 PM
in reply to: #4534557

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PEI, Canada
Subject: RE: HITS National Championship: Palm Springs - Olympic Course
Great race Chris, sounds like a blast and congrats on the achievement on the bike.  It's still something I haven't managed to do.  
2012-12-14 10:44 AM
in reply to: #4534557

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Norwalk, Connecticut
Subject: RE: HITS National Championship: Palm Springs - Olympic Course

This made me come back to this site, just to post here,  this also made me smile a very very large smile.

Thanks much for the smile and CONGRATS on a great race, you had a monumental 2012, very very proud of you!!!


Have a great holiday season Chris!!!

2012-12-14 2:41 PM
in reply to: #4535359

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, Minnesota
Gold member
Subject: RE: HITS National Championship: Palm Springs - Olympic Course
Great job, it's been an awesome year for you!

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