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The West Branch "Battle at the Branch" - Triathlon

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Ravenna, Ohio
United States
CHAMP Racing
64F / 18C
Total Time = 2h 33m 35s
Overall Rank = 10/51
Age Group = M40-44
Age Group Rank = 2/9
Pre-race routine:

Woke up at 3:00 am. Ate Pancakes I made the night before and drank chocolate milk. Got there early and had choice of bike racks. Set up transition on an end and waited for Half and Sprint races to start. Took a Gu 15 minutes before race time.
Event warmup:

Swam a little between the Sprint and Olympic starts
  • 26m 39s
  • 1500 meters
  • 01m 47s / 100 meters

There was no timing mat at the swim exit, so the official swim time includes the long run up to T1. Time here is my watch time which should be accurate.
What would you do differently?:

Pretty solid. Just need to keep working on swim endurance.
Transition 1
  • 01m 37s

I subtracted my watch's swim time from the official Swim + T1 time to get this leg. Was surprisingly out of breath running up the long hill to transition. Was able to get top of wetsuit off while running and leave goggles and cap in the sleeve. Had a little trouble getting the sleeve over my watch. Once at my transition area, got out of the legs. surprisingly had no trouble getting the leg over the giant-sized timing chip. Might be because I slathered it with Body Glide. Wetsuit got a little stuck on the other foot, but overall not too bad for first wetsuit race. Helmet and glasses on, pushed bike to timing mat and hopped on. Pedaled on top of shoes to get up to speed and got feet in shoes just in time to get to a congested area of the course.
What would you do differently?:

More wetsuit removal practice?
  • 1h 17m 59s
  • 26 miles
  • 20.19 mile/hr
Pressed lap button late, so only got 23 miles of the bike.

Had two bottles of half-strength Infinit on my bike. Finished one and didn't touch the other bottle.
What would you do differently?:

Need to build strength for hills.
Transition 2
  • 00m

Had a good transition. Took feet out of shoes as I reached the parking lot. Dismount was right at the transition mat, and some guy was trying to unclip his shoes right in front of me. I rode right up to the mat and hopped off so there was no need to run with the bike. Racked, helmet off, slipped shoes on, grabbed hat and race belt and started off.

Time is included in bike split.
What would you do differently?:

Nothing. It was fine.
  • 47m 19s
  • 6.2 miles
  • 07m 43s  min/mile

Took the first mile out a little aggressively at 7:19. Decided I would try to hold 7:30 pace as long as I could. This was good motivation to make up time from the slower uphill sections. Got a little disheartened by the final run through the parking lot serpentine at the end. Could have pushed that section a little bit more, but no competitors were around.
What would you do differently?:

Maybe pick a little more aggressive pace to hold, but overall it was close to a best effort after pushing the bike.
Post race
Warm down:

Walked around and ate post-race food: banana, coke, water.

What limited your ability to perform faster:

Training, fitness.

Event comments:

I was a bit disappointed with my time, particularly the bike, given the relatively easy course. Felt like I was giving it a consistently hard effort and saw consistent speeds > 20 MPH. Needs to be better.

Two of top three overall were from my age group. Sixth place listed at 32 yrs old in the results, but he is actually 42. So if you eliminate top two from AG awards, I was 2nd.

Happy with swim effort, though time may not show it if the course was long. Pretty happy with run time: 3 minutes faster than Pittsburgh a year ago and 3 minutes off my standalone 10K PR.

Although there has been a race at this site before, this was the first time with this course and with the Half option. At times it was confusing which way to go. Orange arrows (Olympic) looked similar to red arrows (run). Some volunteers seemed to understand which race went which way and were great about yelling it out, some had no idea. Colored arrows were helpful.

Profile Album

Last updated: 2013-05-16 12:00 AM
00:26:39 | 1500 meters | 01m 47s / 100meters
Age Group: 2/9
Overall: 4/51
Performance: Good
Started off a little aggressively. Took a few hundred yards to settle into a rhythm of breathing and sighting. Drafted a little bit, but there weren't many swimmers around me. Had to pass a lot of sprint race people. Got a little off course once on each lap; was better the second time around. Tried to pick it up toward the end with the mental image of putting minutes into all of the strong cyclists.
Suit: Xterra wetsuit
Course: 2 laps of a triangular course laid out parallel to the shoreline. Buoys were big and visible but there was a big gap at the pointy end of the triangle. Consensus among men finishing at the same time as me was that the swim course was long. My watch registered .99 miles.
Start type: Deep Water Plus: Shot
Water temp: 65F / 18C Current: Low
200M Perf. Good Remainder: Good
Breathing: Average Drafting: Average
Waves: Navigation: Average
Rounding: Average
Time: 01:37
Performance: Good
Cap removal: Average Helmet on/
Suit off:
Wetsuit stuck? Yes Run with bike: Yes
Jump on bike: Yes
Getting up to speed: Good
01:17:59 | 26 miles | 20.19 mile/hr
Age Group: 5/9
Overall: 13/51
Performance: Average
Started off feeling pretty good. Passed some people, got passed by what I assume were two of the eventual winners since they were in my AG. Went back and forth with a couple of guys. Generally passed them on the downhills and flats and gave up ground on the uphills. Felt strong on flats. Felt sad on uphills: would quickly go through gears to try to maintain cadence, but just seemed to lose power.
Wind: Cross-winds
Course: Course was interesting. Some long, flat straightaways, some rolling sections. Best part was an out and back on the dam along the water though there were strong cross winds there. A couple of sections had rough pavement where I had to slow down, but overall it was in good shape.
Road: Smooth Dry Cadence: 83
Turns: Average Cornering: Below average
Gear changes: Average Hills: Bad
Race pace: Hard Drinks: Just right
Time: 00:00
Overall: Good
Riding w/ feet on shoes Good
Jumping off bike Average
Running with bike Good
Racking bike Good
Shoe and helmet removal Good
00:47:19 | 06.2 miles | 07m 43s  min/mile
Age Group: 5/9
Overall: 17/51
Performance: Good
Started off the first two miles with discomfort in my lower legs and the small toes of each foot asleep. Probably need to get cleats adjusted. This resolved itself. Feet hurt later in the run. Ended up with blister on left foot and cuts on both feet. May need to go back to my last pair of shoes for racing without socks.
Course: Two loops of twisting course that included a serpentine through the parking lot to get the requisite distance. A couple of small hills but mostly flat.
Keeping cool Good Drinking Just right
Post race
Weight change: %
Overall: Average
Mental exertion [1-5] 3
Physical exertion [1-5] 4
Good race? Ok
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] 3

2013-06-09 6:25 PM

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Subject: The West Branch "Battle at the Branch"

2013-06-10 10:14 AM
in reply to: #4771375

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Austin, Texas
Subject: RE: The West Branch "Battle at the Branch"

Nice!  Even if it's not what you'd hoped, it was a great result, for sure.

And that timing chip is HUGE!  Surprised

2013-06-10 2:22 PM
in reply to: mcmanusclan5

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Subject: RE: The West Branch "Battle at the Branch"
Thanks Matt.
2013-06-10 8:05 PM
in reply to: davekeith

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Cleveland OH
Subject: RE: The West Branch "Battle at the Branch"
Yes the Timing chip was huge. I considered taking it off before I pulled my wetsuit off but I didn't. I liked the course and I like you wished for a better bike time. Nice Race though!!

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Have a goal when you get into the water. If your purpose is distance, then set your pace for endurance. If your objective is speed, then incorporate drills.