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Iron Creek Off-Road Triathlon - TriathlonSprint

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Spearfish, South Dakota
United States
106F / 41C
Total Time = 3h 11m 14s
Overall Rank = 62/81
Age Group = 18-24
Age Group Rank = 3/5
Pre-race routine:

Showed up to the race 3 hours early so I could get a good spot in transition. Didn't realize that NOBODY showed up until at least 2 hours prior to the start. There was also absolutly no shady areas or an air conditioned building to hang out in, which in the 106* heat was kind of killer. So I just hung around drinking fluids, set up transition then walked part of the run course to familiarize myself with it.
Event warmup:

About 45 min before the pre-race meeting, I went out and swam to the first bouy and back. Just enough to get me warm.
  • 29m 45s
  • 1000 meters
  • 02m 59s / 100 meters

This was my first OWS in competition and my second OWS to date. The chop was low, so navigation was easy. I managed to vanquish my turning problem for the most part and managed to swim a straight race. I always came up right next to the bouy for my turn. The start was a little rough, but i threw just as many hits as I recieved, so it was all good.

Unfortuneately, I was one of 3 people not wearing a wet suit for this race. With air temps in the 100's, water temps up close to the limit (which they didn't test prior to start) and the fact I don't own one yet, I decided to forgo it. I'm not the fastest swimmer in the world, but I think this really hurt me. Especially considering I came in ahead of all the people not wearing wet suits and one or two that were.
What would you do differently?:

wear a wet suit
Transition 1
  • 00m

Coming into transition, I turn and look and to me it appears I am almost DFL off the swim. There were actually 4 people left out there, but still... I rip off the cap and goggles on the way into transition, grab my camelbak and my helmet, throw my shoes and gloves on, grab the bike and go. I did make one fatal judgment error... I decided that I could go sockless for the ride. Now I've commuted TONS of times in these very shoes without socks and never had anything resembling a problem. Well today, they decide to wear all the skin off the top of my toes.
What would you do differently?:

Put socks on
  • 1h 43m 3s
  • 13.67 miles
  • 7.96 mile/hr

I will just state now for the record: I am not a mountain biker.

I started off on the first hill hurting. My heart rate skyrocketed in transition and I hit the first death hill before it had a chance to calm down. I was refusing to walk the hill when I looked up and saw 4 other people walking. So I hopped off and started jogging with the bike. Passed 2 people before getting back on.

I should take the time now to elaborate on my previous statement. I am a strong climber. I am a horrible descender. I have zero mountain bike handling skills.

Coming off the single track and hitting the road, my HR had finally calmed down and I kicked it into high gear. Took off down the road and hit the second climb hard. Here's where I started making up ground. On the first hill I passed about 3 people before turning off back onto the trail. The trail continued to climb and then went into a series of shorter climbs and downhill sections. The order of the course was I would pass a bunch of people going up, then one or two would pass me on the way down.

Halfway through the ride I came up on a lady who was doing a good job climbing. I knew if I passed her, she'd just catch me on the downhill, so instead of playing leap frog, I decided just to pace off of her. Technically it's an USAT race, so I would have been "drafting," but it was single track and 7 mph.... It actually turned out to be a good deal in the long run.

After talking to her for a while as we climbed, we finally hit a long downhill section and she took off. About 5 min later I hit a gully where there was a stream crossing and I see her walking just past it. I stop, walk the crossing and we both take off. A few minutes later, she dabs on a very easy rocky hill crest and goes down. I stop and ak if she's okay and all she keeps saying is "I just have to sit down" "I just have to sit down." I was thinking, great... So she sits down and I wait there with her just to make sure I didn't need to ride up and grab an EMT. Turns out she went down on those rocks and landed on her shoulder, possibly seperating it. So she rested for a few minutes, ate a gel, then got back on her bike. She told me to go on ahead as we were less then 1/2 mile from T2, so I made sure she was on her bike okay and took off.
What would you do differently?:

Pick a race with a road course.
Transition 2
  • 00m

Got into T2 and my feet felt like hamburger. Pulled teh shoes off, threw on the socks, then the shoes, remembered to ditch the helmet and took off. I hit the gate of transition and the guys asks me where my number is. Shit. Run back to my bike (at the other end of the corral), grab my race belt and take off. By the time I made the 2 laps in transition, the gal I had been riding with had come in, so we ended up leaving transition together.
What would you do differently?:

make my race belt more obvious somehow....although I don't know how much more obvious you can get then putting it IN your shoe.
  • 58m 56s
  • 4.97 miles
  • 11m 52s  min/mile

The run course was KILLER. The heat plus the two hills were brutal. I half walked half ran the first hill, as was everyone else. I was surprised how fresh I was off the bike though. I was much fresher then my last race. At the top of the hill I took off running at my normal pace. I'd have to estimate it was low to mid 8's. The rest of the course was an easy run, until I hit the damn dam. It was like running up a brick wall....except with less traction. I had to walk it, because I couldn't get traction on it trying to run.

The second loop ran exactly like the first. I was happy that as I ran I was able to reel in a few more people.
What would you do differently?:

Post race
Warm down:

Grabbed some food and sat down on the grass, watching others come in.

What limited your ability to perform faster:

1. No wet suit
2. Crappy mountainbike skills
3. heat

I know the heat played a major role, but it affected everyone the same, so I can't use it as a crux. I did notice that on the run I was having trouble stomaching the amount of fluids I know I needed to keep down. On a longer course, this could have been really bad, but didn't cause me much harm.

Event comments:

The race is a really pretty venue. It's in/around a really nice lake. The organization was really good too. It would have been nice to have it chip timed, but in the end, it really didn't matter much. After the race they had a pretty good meal set out for the racers and the hardware they gave out were jars of some of the best honey I've ever had.

There were plenty of water stops on the run and the ride, even though a lot of the places were fairly remote to get to.

Overall a really good race.

Profile Album

Last updated: 2006-01-18 12:00 AM
00:29:45 | 1000 meters | 02m 59s / 100meters
Age Group: 4/5
Overall: 72/81
Performance: Average
Suit: Lg full Tri suit
Course: 2 lap triangle starting and ending at the beach. At the end of lap one, you got out and ran 50 yards across the sand, then hopped back in the water to go again.
Start type: Wade Plus: Shot
Water temp: 0F / 0C Current: Low
200M Perf. Good Remainder: Average
Breathing: Good Drafting: Below average
Waves: Navigation: Good
Rounding: Good
Time: 00:00
Performance: Average
Cap removal: Good Helmet on/
Suit off:
Wetsuit stuck? Run with bike: Yes
Jump on bike: No
Getting up to speed:
01:43:03 | 13.67 miles | 7.96 mile/hr
Age Group: 3/5
Overall: 61/81
Performance: Average
Wind: Little
Course: The course ran up a huge steep hill. Probably 3/4 mle of 10% or more. Then it leveled off through some narrow single track before hitting the road, going back out by the gate and up another long hill to the old baldy system. The old baldy system has a few really good climbs on it and some good downhills. The downhills were really rutted and bumpy, while the uphills were a little rocky in spots, but still okay to ride on.
Road: Rough Dry Cadence:
Turns: Below average Cornering: Below average
Gear changes: Good Hills: Good
Race pace: Hard Drinks: Just right
Time: 00:00
Overall: Average
Riding w/ feet on shoes
Jumping off bike Good
Running with bike Good
Racking bike Good
Shoe and helmet removal Average
00:58:56 | 04.97 miles | 11m 52s  min/mile
Age Group: 3/5
Overall: 47/81
Performance: Good
Course: The run went back up the same hill as the bike and followed the same course until you hit the road. Then it veered to the right and went out around the lake. At the end of the lake you scrambeled down a steep rocky trail to the base of the dam, then back up the other side. Cross a wooden bridge over a spill way then scramble up a scree slope which had to be pushing 20% or more grade. At the top you run down another steep trail, hit the beach, rub back past transition then do it again.
Keeping cool Average Drinking Just right
Post race
Weight change: %
Overall: Good
Mental exertion [1-5] 4
Physical exertion [1-5] 4
Good race? Yes
Course challenge Too hard
Organized? Yes
Events on-time? Yes
Lots of volunteers? Yes
Plenty of drinks? Yes
Post race activities: Average
Race evaluation [1-5] 4

2006-07-21 10:49 AM

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Laurium, MI
Subject: Iron Creek Off-Road Triathlon

2006-07-21 11:18 AM
in reply to: #489328

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Placitas, New Mexico
Subject: RE: Iron Creek Off-Road Triathlon
Looks like a great race venue (for people who venture off-road)

For the off-road tri I did, even though it is USAT sanctioned, they suspend the drafting rules (again, a fair amount of single-track, and at 8 mph, you aren't getting any aerodynamic gains)

Karma points for hanging with the competitor after she went down.
2006-07-21 11:47 AM
in reply to: #489328

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Subject: RE: Iron Creek Off-Road Triathlon
wow, you weren't kidding about that hill. Nice job, especially with the heat & all.
2006-07-21 10:50 PM
in reply to: #489362

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Laurium, MI
Subject: RE: Iron Creek Off-Road Triathlon

McFuzz - 2006-07-21 10:18 AM Karma points for hanging with the competitor after she went down.

After hitting the first part of the bike course, I knew there was no way I was going to hang with the hard core riders.  I pretty much just accepted that I wouldn't be placing all that great.  The funny thing is I ran into the same girl at the end of the race during the award ceremony.  She thanked me for staying behind with her and I jokingly commented that I didn't want a podium finish anyway and that they feed you the same regardless of how you place.  I finished the sentance right as they announced my 3rd place AG finish. 

2006-07-23 7:51 AM
in reply to: #489328

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Extreme Veteran
Subject: RE: Iron Creek Off-Road Triathlon

Really nice job. I did an off road tri yesterday too...mountain bike course was so steep and so much single track. What a learning curve- but really fun too.

Nice work.


2006-07-25 8:57 AM
in reply to: #489328

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Bellingham, Washington
Subject: RE: Iron Creek Off-Road Triathlon

Great race.  Lots of learning experience.  Hard conditions and a hard event make the individual a hard person.

Can't believe the lake wasn't above the wetsuit temp limit (although I think they fudge on it so people have a floatation device in case of cramps/panic/fatigue).

2006-07-25 9:08 AM
in reply to: #492327

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Laurium, MI
Subject: RE: Iron Creek Off-Road Triathlon
The water temp was REALLY close.  I'd wager to bet that it was pushing the limit in the shallows.  There was one spot out by the bouy, where it got deeper that you could feel a noticable drop in temp, so I'm willing to bet when they set the bouys that morning, they measured the temp out there to make sure they got the lowest possible reading.  I did feel sorry for all the people walking around in full length black rubber in 106* sun for the 15 minute pre-race meeting.  Once he let us out, there was a mad dash to get in the water and "warm up".
2006-07-25 9:15 AM
in reply to: #489328

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Subject: RE: Iron Creek Off-Road Triathlon
That sounds like a great race, I would love to do an off road tri, although I have to admit my mountain bike skills are pretty poor. Congrats ont he podium.
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