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TryCharleston Half - Triathlon1/2 Ironman

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Mt. Pleasant, South Carolina
United States
Set Up Events
Total Time = 5h 08m 58s
Overall Rank = 85/206
Age Group = 30-34
Age Group Rank = 6/17
Pre-race routine:

had a good meal the night before and felt like I was going to get a good night sleep. Unfortunately the nerves of race day took over and I tossed and turned most of the night. I was up at 4:30 and headed to transition. I decided not to drop my bike off the night before due to the bad weather coming through. Thanks to the advice of a nice lady at packet pickup we drove to T2, set up my items there and then drove to T1. I aired up the bike tires, got everything situated and we headed back to the schools at T2 to park and hop on a shuttle.
Event warmup:

I put on my wetsuit. Does that count?
  • 32m 12s
  • 2112 yards
  • 01m 31s / 100 yards

The swim itself felt good but the logistics were not the best. The course was a 2 loop course that took you across a lake in a triangle and back to the start to round a bouy and head back out to do the same swim again. I was the 3rd wave so there was not a lot of traffic in front of me. The swim is my strength so I got up toward the front and when the horn went off I stayed under control and smoothly went about my business. I hit traffic from the wave in front of me about the first turn bouy but was able to glide around it for the most part and stay in clean water. I drafted where I could but for the most part I was passing people and could not just stay in their wake.

Lap 2 of the swim is where the chaos insued. As I was hitting the turn around for the second lap you could see all of the sprint distance people still lined up on the shore waiting to start. They had a 1 lap course that was much shorter than our triangle but it was in the same swim path we were using. I made my turn and went back on my second lap with no issues. On the way back to shore is when I hit the sprint people flailing around in the water. I basically swam right through a school of human swimmers on the way back home and had to do more dodging than swimming. Luckily this was only a few hundred yards from the finish but it made for a rough ending to what was otherwise a good swim.
What would you do differently?:

I have had a tendancy to get caught up in trying to be the fastest swimmer in the race. I defintely could have gone harder and probably should have pushed my pace under 30 minutes but this pace allowed me to save a lot of energy for the rest of the race.

This whole race was meant as a tune up for IMLOU and this swim pace felt perfect for the full distance race in a few months.
Transition 1
  • 02m 11s

up the sandy hill to the transition area. I was able to get out of the top of my wetsuite before transition so that was good. There were no wetsuit strippers so I had to fumble to get it off myself. Overall I think this was a good transition. I took it a little slower than necessary just to make sure I had everything I needed for the bike.
What would you do differently?:

  • 2h 38m 17s
  • 56 miles
  • 21.23 mile/hr

The bike course was about as flat as they come. I ride in the upstate of SC so we don't have flat roads. I felt like a rockstar when I looked down and saw 21+ mph speeds.

The advantage to being a faster swimmer is that I can get out on the bike course ahead of a lot of people so I don't get caught in the congestion. I was out pretty much by myself and was just having a good ride. About 10-12 miles into the race we turned down a back road and I noticed people coming the other way. I knew we were not doing an out and back on that road so it really confused me at the time. I found out later these were sprint guys who missed the turn around because there was no one on the course telling them when to turn. Not only that, but there was no sign, cone, police man, or anything else. There were a lot of upset sprint distance guys and I don't blame them!

At the end of this road, about mile 14, we took a right hand turn. The roads were still very wet from the overnight rain. Luckily I was still pretty isolated on the road at this point. I sat up out of aero to slow down for the turn and as soon as I started to lean my rear tire lost grip and down I went. It all happened in slow motion and as I was falling I remember thinking, oh crap! I was lucky that I had slowed down enough to minimize the impact to some degreee but it skinned my right hip, knee, and elbow pretty good. I also tore up my tri kit. There was a very nice lady at the intersection directing traffic who ran over to make sure I was ok. I immediately knew I had no broken bones and the bike looked to be fine. She held my bike for me as I tried to get the chain back together and on the bike. By my watch it took me 3 minutes to get everything back together but I was able to shake it off for the most part and continue with the race.

The rest of the bike was a mixture of some really boring riding up and down hwy 17 with some absolutely beautiful riding through the marsh lands and nature of the area. The winds did start to gust as we got within 15 miles or so of the finish.

As we neared the finish of the bike traffic became an issue for the first time. Police were stopping traffic for the riders but the roads they were blocking were small, 2 lane roads with no bike lane or shoulder. Cars were backing up on the same roads we were trying to race. I had to sit up on the bars and be very careful to avoid the cars that were stopped or slowly creeping forward. Other than that traffic was never an issue and the bike went really well.

I will also say that I saw the course officials at least 8 times. It was very nice to know they were out enforcing the rules and I never saw anything resembling a blatant draft pack. I did get in a group of about 5 riders toward the end that stayed together but we always kept 3-4 bike lengths between us and when the official drove by us twice as we were in the group he just gave us a nod and kept on going.
What would you do differently?:

I think next time I will try to keep the bike upright for the entire ride. Other than that I can't say I would do anything differently.
Transition 2
  • 02m 5s

I was pretty disheveled heading into T2 from my bike wreck. I got my foot out of one shoe but the other jut did not want to come out for some reason. I ended up having to go barefoot on the right foot side but dismount with my left shoe still on. As soon as I got off the bike I popped the left shoe off and carried it with me to T2.

I decided to run with my hydration belt for the run since the last time I tried Heed it really tore up my stomach. I got my stuff together and started to head out on the run. As I did the velcro on my hydration belt (which was soaked from all the rain) came loose and my belt went flying off. I had to stop, adjust it, untwist it, etc and get it fastened before heading back out on my way.
What would you do differently?:

Running with the hydration belt was a very good move but I needed to take an extra 10 seconds to get it fastened since it probably cost me 30-40 when it came off and I had to get it back together.
  • 1h 54m 14s
  • 13.1 miles
  • 08m 43s  min/mile

The run is my weakest discipline and I really have to accept this going into the race. I tried to run too fast last year at B2B half and blew it up around mile 7 of the run. This actually cost me about a minute per mile pace in the end. I really made an effort to keep my run miles around the 8:30 pace for the first few miles and then make a judgement call from there. This turned out to be a good strategy on my part. I felt good and had a good run (for me) going. I finally felt like I ran out of gas at mile 11.5 which I would consider a good thing. The last mile and a half I can push through even when the tank is running on empty.

My gut didn't want any more Gu after mile 6 so I was forced to use my liquid calories. Luckily I had mixed a couple bottles of gatorade and carbo-pro for my hydration belt so I was able to keep the calories coming.

The run course was a sidewalk path that was flooded in many parts due to the high rain volume the night before. At first people were trying to avoid the water but it was unavoidable in parts. After I decided to just run through the puddles it was actually kind of fun. You could also tell who was on their first lap of the run and who was on the second based on how muddy they were and if they were trying to avoid the water. All second lap runners were to the "screw it" point of the run and just went straight through the puddles.
What would you do differently?:

nothing. At this point in my fitness this is the best run I could hope for. B2B last year I blew it up and ended up with over a 2hr half marathon. This race I took about 10 min off that time because I paced myself better from the start.
Post race
Warm down:

headed to the medical tent to have my scrapes and bruises looked at. The good news is all of my wounds were cosmetic and I was not pretty before the race started so no real damage done!

What limited your ability to perform faster:

other than falling on the bike I think I had the best race I could hope for. My watch time was a 5:05 because it auto-paused for the 3 minute wreck. A 5:05 is a PR by 9 minutes over B2B and this one was on a legit swim course.

Event comments:

I hate to give a bad review to any race because I can't even imagine how hard it is to organize something this massive. However, I am sure the race reports will show that most people were frustrated and just not satisfied with how this race was run. It seems as though the sprint people had more to complain about than I did because the bike turn around was not marked and many people missed it completely. I have done other setup events in the past and they were run much more smoothly so I may try this one again but this race did not leave me with a favorable impression.

There were not enough bike course volunteers to show where to turn and the traffic was a bit scary in a few places.

The run course had good water stations but there were a few big potholes in the run path covered up by rain water and no one ever bothered to put a cone or sign out to warn the runners. I personally saw quite a few twisted ankles and other injuries from these holes.

The medical tent had 1 person in it and was not stocked with adequate supplies. I have a good friend who runs the medical unit for teh Rev3 Anderson race and he would not have dreamed of being this unprepared for a race of this size.

The post race food was marginal at best.

Profile Album

Last updated: 2013-04-22 12:00 AM
00:32:12 | 2112 yards | 01m 31s / 100yards
Age Group: 2/17
Overall: 46/206
Performance: Good
Start type: Plus:
Water temp: 0F / 0C Current:
200M Perf. Remainder:
Breathing: Drafting:
Waves: Navigation:
Time: 02:11
Performance: Good
Cap removal: Average Helmet on/
Suit off:
Wetsuit stuck? Run with bike:
Jump on bike:
Getting up to speed:
02:38:17 | 56 miles | 21.23 mile/hr
Age Group: 5/17
Overall: 95/206
Performance: Average
Wind: Some with gusts
Road:   Cadence:
Turns: Cornering:
Gear changes: Hills:
Race pace: Drinks:
Time: 02:05
Overall: Below average
Riding w/ feet on shoes
Jumping off bike
Running with bike
Racking bike
Shoe and helmet removal
01:54:14 | 13.1 miles | 08m 43s  min/mile
Age Group: 11/17
Overall: 122/206
Performance: Good
Keeping cool Drinking
Post race
Weight change: %
Mental exertion [1-5]
Physical exertion [1-5]
Good race?
Course challenge Just right
Organized? No
Events on-time? Yes
Lots of volunteers? No
Plenty of drinks? Yes
Post race activities: Below average
Race evaluation [1-5] 2

2013-04-22 7:59 AM

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Subject: TryCharleston Half

2013-04-23 11:34 PM
in reply to: #4709571


Duncan SC
Subject: RE: TryCharleston Half
I believe I was behind you when you went down on that right turn. If you were the guy with the disc wheel who was riding closely behing a guy in green. I'm glad to see you were OK. I had a buddy that turned his ankle in one of those potholes. I have done this race for the past 3 years, and this year by far had the least volunteers on the bike course. Guess the rain kept them away.
2013-04-24 7:15 AM
in reply to: #4712778

User image

Subject: RE: TryCharleston Half
I could be the guy you saw go down but I heard reports that there were a few others that had the same problem I did.  I was behind a guy by about 5-6 bike lengths but couldn't tell you what color he was wearing.  I was riding a P2 with a rear disc wheel cover on it and a (what started off as) white tri top with white/black shorts.  After the fall it was more of a white, road black, and blood red color combo, LOL! 
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