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Pittsburgh Triathlon - International Distance - Triathlon

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Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
United States
Piranha Sports, LLC
63F / 17C
Total Time = 2h 28m 31s
Overall Rank = 76/344
Age Group = M40-44
Age Group Rank = 8/34
Pre-race routine:

Woke up at 3:45 am. Ate oatmeal and drank juice. Drove down to race, parked, picked up timing chip, got body marked, and set up transition as best I could in the muddy mess. Brought some pieces of cardboard to put under my towel.
  • 24m 33s
  • 1640 yards
  • 01m 30s / 100 yards

Lots of controversy among the athletes about the RD deciding to hold the swim due to the Combined Sewer Overflow as a result of all of the rain we had Saturday-Sunday morning. SOAK status was Red early Sunday morning and changed to Yellow (minimize contact with the river) by race time.
I actually thought the river was better than last year (when there was also a CSO. Current was mild, there was no chop, and I saw no debris in the water.
What would you do differently?:

I was surprised how long I was in a pack of people. Usually it spreads out more. It did allow me to get on some feet, but it wasn't sustained. I thought I sighted really well today - maybe a little too well - I actually ran into two of the buoys. Time was a little slower than last year and than what I expected. May have to do with backing off over the final 200M.
Transition 1
  • 00m 50s

Had the 11th fastest T1 overall. Had a little bit of trouble mounting my bike for some reason. Leg did not want to make it over the seat. No trouble though.
What would you do differently?:

  • 1h 14m 7s
  • 24.85 miles
  • 20.09 mile/hr

Not sure why this was a minute slower than last year. Added an aero helmet and Continental 4000S tires this year. Felt like I paced it pretty well. I didn't see the top end speed on the downhills. Did not get my bike checked out before the race, but I did carefully check that brakes weren't rubbing.
HR averaged just under LT but varied wildly due to terrain.
What would you do differently?:

Not sure??
Transition 2
  • 01m 13s

Transition was pretty good. Might have gotten out of my shoes a bit early, but not a big deal. Had a nice running dismount. Transition area was a muddy mess by this time, so had to dodge puddles. Took an extra few seconds to wipe the mud off of my feel before slipping into running shoes.
What would you do differently?:

Not race in the mud?
  • 47m 45s
  • 6.21 miles
  • 07m 41s  min/mile

Over 2 minutes faster than last year. Felt really good at the beginning and was ahead of pace for the first two miles. Hit a wall at mile 3. Gel at the turnaround helped a little, but at that point I was fried. Just could not push the pace. Legs were tired, breathing was ragged. HR was around LT. Managed a kick at the end for the last 300M or so.
What would you do differently?:

Pace better.
Post race
Warm down:

Laid on the ground to recover. Told the EMT who came over that I was ok. Drank water and walked around.

What limited your ability to perform faster:

Pacing, mud,

Event comments:

My goal was to make top 10 AG at this year's race which I did.
Didn't expect to get the same time and move up in place due to less AG competitors, but 8th is 8th.

Less volunteers than prior years - probably due to the rain.

Profile Album

Last updated: 2013-05-16 12:00 AM
00:24:33 | 1640 yards | 01m 30s / 100yards
Age Group: 5/34
Overall: 70/344
Performance: Good I had time at 23:37. Official time includes 1 minute run up to transition.
Suit: PTC tri top and Pearl Izumi tri shorts
Course: Question mark shaped course with the short leg being upstream and the long leg with the current. River was flowing about 9K CFS.
Start type: Wade Plus: Waves
Water temp: 79F / 26C Current: Low
200M Perf. Good Remainder: Average
Breathing: Good Drafting: Average
Waves: Navigation: Good
Rounding: Average
Time: 00:50
Performance: Good
Cap removal: Good Helmet on/
Suit off:
Wetsuit stuck? Run with bike: Yes
Jump on bike: No
Getting up to speed: Good
01:14:07 | 24.85 miles | 20.09 mile/hr
Age Group: 19/34
Overall: 119/344
Performance: Below average Garmin file includes T2 due to bad button pressing.
Wind: Some
Course: Two laps out and back on the northbound HOV lane. All uphill on the way out and all downhill on the way back.
Road: Rough Wet Cadence: 84
Turns: Average Cornering: Average
Gear changes: Good Hills: Below average
Race pace: Comfortable Drinks: Just right
Time: 01:13
Overall: Good
Riding w/ feet on shoes Good
Jumping off bike Good
Running with bike Good
Racking bike Good
Shoe and helmet removal Good
00:47:45 | 06.21 miles | 07m 41s  min/mile
Age Group: 13/34
Overall: 102/344
Performance: Below average
Course: Out and back on river trail. Nice that the sections that were gravel are now tar and chip.
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? No
Plenty of drinks? Yes
Post race activities: Average
Race evaluation [1-5] 3

2013-07-29 1:32 PM

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Subject: Pittsburgh Triathlon - International Distance

2013-07-29 8:19 PM
in reply to: #4816000

Subject: RE: Pittsburgh Triathlon - International Distance
The water quality remains an issue with many of the contestants. An individual who works in a local hospital ER reported there was an increase in Acute illnesses last year that was believed relate to the river swim. Other participants do not care for the bike ride that is held in the "express lanes" of the highway. It is difficult to conduct such a race in the region.
2013-08-01 11:50 AM
in reply to: #4816000

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Austin, Texas
Subject: RE: Pittsburgh Triathlon - International Distance

Sewage and mud and rain, oh my!

Sounds like a tough day, in many respects, but you certainly had a great race - congrats!

As for the bike, the conditions can play a big role in the speeds, so I'm not surprised it was a bit slower (unless last year was pretty much the same?).  Everything from changes in rolling resistance to riding ever so slightly more hesitantly (this is the big one - smart to do and you might not even notice it, but I know I ride slower when it's wet as I really like my collar bones where they are!).

To make that up on the run is fantastic.  Shaving two minutes off last year is a pretty big bump (and also *might* indicate that you did dial back slightly on the bike?). 

The sewage thing is just nasty, but it happens.  I was talking with a guy at Nantucket who did the Philly race (they swim the Skuykyll, aka the "Surekill"), and he said it was Red - as in don't even boat on the water lest you come into contact in any way with it.  Well, at least the GI distress usually takes longer than the race to hit.  Tongue out

All in, great race!  What's next?


2013-08-04 1:35 PM
in reply to: #4816000

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Harrisburg, PA
Subject: RE: Pittsburgh Triathlon - International Distance

Nice job!

Based on splits, we must have raced close to each other the whole race, then you dropped me on the run.  Did you notice how competitive our AG was?  I finished only about 4 minutes behind you, but that only earned me 19th compared to your 8th.  11 of us finished in a span of about 4 minutes!

This was the first time I've done this race, but I really liked the course.  I'm surprised so many people seem to not like the bike.  It's so different from almost any other race out there, and the profile with twice through a multi-mile climb and decent makes good pacing a challenge.

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