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Wildflower Triathlon - Olympic Course - TriathlonOlympic

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Bradley, California
United States
Tri-California Events, Inc.
60F / 16C
Total Time = 2h 44m 7s
Overall Rank = 130/1747
Age Group = M45-49
Age Group Rank = 17/111
Pre-race routine:

I have not been to Wildflower since 2009, did the long course just before I got sick. Was nice to get back to Lake San Antonio. Had originally signed up for the long course, but a lingering injury that would be healed by the race, but not if I had to build up to a 70.3, and have to keep my eye on the August Ironman. Didn't want to set training back any more than necessary. As it was, I was not sure I'd be able to run at all. Would be a game time decision.

So i switched to the Oly, after my friend convinced me of the wisdom of that decision. He had another brilliant idea, which was to stay in Paso instead of camping. I wanted to camp (it was a LOT cheaper), bur he really didn't want to so I relented.

When we drove into the lake about 3:00 Saturday and saw the carnage on the 90+ degree course, I was happy about the switch. It would also complete the trifecta, the long course, the Oly and the mountain bike sprint. They're all hard!

When we woke up to 50 degree temps, overcast skies and 20 mph winds, I was happy about the second decision not to camp. Left Paso around 7, got to the park around 7:45 and had over two hours before our wave start, so took a catnap in the car.
Event warmup:

A few runs around the parking lot
  • 24m 57s
  • 1640 yards
  • 01m 31s / 100 yards

I normally start at the edge of the corral, so as to minimize the washing machine, but somehow ended up smack dab in the middle. Gun went off and even being in the middle I still swam left to the first buoy - I always swim left. I was hammering trying to keep with the front, but my line was way wide and couldn't see most of them

At the turn, the fun started, as the swim was straight into the headwind. Very choppy, like a right proper ocean swim. I did find a guy t draft for a while but it was so bumpy it was tough to stay on that line. I knew though that the turn around wold be much smoother.

I was right, and on the return we even had a bit of surfing on the wind waves :) I stayed as far left as I could. Even had a guy on a swim step of a boat yell down at me and tell me to stay right. That makes no sense!! The turn buoy is in front of me, not to the right.

Hit the left hand turn to shore and it's always longer than you think it's going to be. Got to the swim exit, saw the time and didn't like it but it was to be expected in the conditions.

Loooong run to T1 on painful asphalt.
What would you do differently?:

Nothing, tough to swim in the wind
Transition 1
  • 03m 25s

Went smoothly. No problems with the timing chip, shoes or garmin. Happy to see only one bike gone from the rack right around me.
  • 1h 19m 26s
  • 24.85 miles
  • 18.77 mile/hr

This was my first race with power and the disc cover. A little nervous with the severe wind warning showing up on the iphone in the morning, but I had read that a disc actually increases stability in the wind. And, being 185, I am not at risk of being blown over.

Right out of T1 is a nice little climb up Lynch Hill, steep at about 300 feet in elevation in about .8 of a mile. I'd been down it on the long course bike and run, but had never gone up it. I just downshifted and kept a high cadence up the hill, passing most everyone I saw. Was never in any difficulty, and as Phil would say I had sort of set the cat amongst the pigeons.

I knew the wind was from the south-ish, and would be the opposite of the swim, better going out, harder coming back. The road out of the park headed into the wind more or less, but it was more a swirling wind in spots. This is where I experienced the feeling of having the HED 3 trispoke on the front being pulled out from under me. Yikes. Decided not to stay in aero for some longer downhills. The speed made it a little hairy.

Couple climbs and we were out of the park. It wasn't exactly a tailwind, but it was not as squirrely, although I could see people coming back having handling issues and also saw one guy go down. Had to stay on your toes, keep focus.

Did a lot of passing, got passed by a few (including a guy that I passed on a downhill, who then failed to drop back and passed me on the right, when I repassed - on the left - I said "don't pass on the right unless you want to crash someone out" and left him in my wake).

Mostly downhill to the turnaround... meaning mostly uphill coming back. Into the wind. Sometimes a cross wind. Enough to cause you to lean over to stay upright. I was surprised, as at Oceanside, to see many folks on very expensive bikes with very expensive wheels and pointy aero helmets, sitting up on their bars. Passed a very nice Shiv :)

Felt strong throughout the bike and the couple climbs coming back to the park entrance. Stayed in aero except for the hairy bits. The goal for the race was to average about 255, and stay below 265 or so on the climbs. To be honest, it was hard to monitor power on the garmin on my wrist - need to find a mount option. Also hard to maintain consistency with the hills and the inability to keep up the power on the descents, as I felt like I had to scrub speed in the wind. Ended up with a NP of 253, so almost right on. More out of sheer dumb luck than pacing.

I was not riding by time so had no idea where I was, what the overall time was, etc. I was very happy that I held my OA place and only lost 6 AG places. I usually lose much more than that :)
Transition 2
  • 02m 15s

Got to the rack. Eventually. Ran to the wrong row and had to out and around the end to get to my spot. Got all the bike crap off and the un crap on - seems like there should be more stuff - and started the victory lap.
  • 54m 4s
  • 6.21 miles
  • 08m 43s  min/mile

I decided to start the run and just to go very easy. Walk any steep uphills. Monitor the ankle closely and pull the plug if needed. This took all the pressure off the run and I just started and found a pace I was comfortable with and off I went. Didn't care who passed me, who I passed. The Oly course has a few bumps but other than the pit is not all that hilly.

The Sunday Cal Poly volunteers were awesome, their feigned enthusiasm sure doesn't seem feigned. It does make it seem like a party out there. The weather was perfect for me, mid 60s and overcast. Barely broke a sweat ;) I guess it wasn't good boobie temperature though, as those were all kept inside

Oddly enough, the markers are in kilometers. I figured that out the first one, but running up the pit where the top is 5K, was running with a guy who said he heard mile 5-6 was the worst. I said, no, it's the top of the hill and the rest is downhill. "So, right up here?" "Uh, no, that's 5K dude. halfway." "Halfway?!?!?!?" "Sorry about that..."

Somewhere in there I had looked at the elapsed time and thought I saw 2:12, that was about with 4 miles to go. Figured I'd be over 3. Looked again and it was 2:02. Hmmm. I was going to have a fairly good time if I can keep the pace.

Transitioned from the pavement to the trail. Saw a few 45-49ers pass me by, but I frankly didn't care. I felt good and was happy. I was going to be finishing this race, going to In n Out and then on vacation in a week.

At the top of Lynch, I shut everything down even more, as I didn't want the long steep downhill to affect the ankle. I was just strolling down it, although still "running," but getting passed a lot. Hit the bottom, and the best non WTC chute Ive been in, and finished. Wasn't trashed at the end at all. Was actually a nice way to end a race.

Happy with pretty consistent splits
..... and that's it. Garmin shows 5.89. Oh well :)
What would you do differently?:

Not get injured. Still and all, not a bad run for me
Post race
Event comments:

Happy to be back at wildflower. Maybe back to camping and LC next year :)

Last updated: 2013-04-16 12:00 AM
00:24:57 | 1640 yards | 01m 31s / 100yards
Age Group: 6/111
Overall: 115/1747
Performance: Average
Start type: Run Plus: Waves
Water temp: 68F / 20C Current: High
200M Perf. Good Remainder: Average
Breathing: Below average Drafting: Below average
Waves: Navigation: Below average
Time: 03:25
Cap removal: Helmet on/
Suit off:
Wetsuit stuck? Run with bike:
Jump on bike:
Getting up to speed:
01:19:26 | 24.85 miles | 18.77 mile/hr
Age Group: 12/111
Overall: 115/1747
Performance: Good
Road: Smooth Dry Cadence:
Turns: Cornering:
Gear changes: Hills:
Race pace: Drinks:
Time: 02:15
Riding w/ feet on shoes
Jumping off bike
Running with bike
Racking bike
Shoe and helmet removal
00:54:04 | 06.21 miles | 08m 43s  min/mile
Age Group: 49/111
Overall: 882/1747
Keeping cool Drinking
Post race
Weight change: %
Mental exertion [1-5]
Physical exertion [1-5]
Good race?
Course challenge
Events on-time?
Lots of volunteers?
Plenty of drinks?
Post race activities:
Race evaluation [1-5]

2013-05-10 12:51 AM

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Subject: Wildflower Triathlon - Olympic Course

2013-05-10 8:07 AM
in reply to: #4736040

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Houston, Texas
Subject: RE: Wildflower Triathlon - Olympic Course
Nice race, Chris.  I'm glad your ankle cooperated and allowed you to do the run.  Here's to staying healthy for your IMC build!
2013-05-10 10:52 AM
in reply to: #4736040

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San Antone, Texas
Subject: RE: Wildflower Triathlon - Olympic Course
Nice job dude!  this course sounds epic, I really need to get out there someday and try it.
2013-05-10 3:24 PM
in reply to: #4736040

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Extreme Veteran
Subject: RE: Wildflower Triathlon - Olympic Course

"Cat amongst the pigeons" I like it! 

Nice job Smile

2013-05-10 4:23 PM
in reply to: #4736040

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Surprise, Arizona
Bronze member
Subject: RE: Wildflower Triathlon - Olympic Course
Great race, Chris!
2013-05-10 6:17 PM
in reply to: #4736040

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Subject: RE: Wildflower Triathlon - Olympic Course

Nice job and glad you got to run.

2013-05-10 6:57 PM
in reply to: #4736040

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Goodyear, AZ
Subject: RE: Wildflower Triathlon - Olympic Course
Congrats Chris! So glad you got to do the whole thing!
2013-05-11 2:03 PM
in reply to: #4736040

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Montague Gold Mines, Nova Scotia
Subject: RE: Wildflower Triathlon - Olympic Course
Great work Chris!

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