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Grand Columbian Super Triathlon - Long (Half) Course - Triathlon

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Electric City, Washington
United States
80F / 27C
Total Time = 5h 57m 46s
Overall Rank = 15/57
Age Group = 30-39
Age Group Rank = 3/9
Pre-race routine:

The race didn't start until 9:00 am. So I had time to time to have a bowl of cereal after I arrived and watched the Ironman start. Had a cup of coffee, banana, and clif bar during the lovely 90 minute drive from East Wenatchee. I set up my bike and took it to T1 after figuring out the logistics of equipment transfer from T1 to T2 (everything was brought down to T2 by volunteers, saving me a 5 mile detour after the race!) It was a little bit distracting trying to set up two transitions. I ended up getting back to T1 with about 20 minutes to spare, so zipped on my suit and hit the water!
Event warmup:

My warmup was primarily time spent in the river acclimating to the water. I really focused on just relaxing in the water. Bobbing up and down, breathing underwater, floating on my back! I crawled only about 25 meters before turning around. Then out on the beach to do a quick stretch during pre-race meeting and really loosen up my shoulders. My biggest concern coming in was some discomfort in my right shoulder, which really only flared up during a late season practice swim.
  • 40m 53s
  • 1900 meters
  • 02m 09s / 100 meters

I was extremely pleased with the results on this swim. The middle third (in the deepest part of the river) was choppy, and turned in to rollers! I really had to focus on big rolls to get my breaths. I stayed very relaxed all the way through, picking up freestyle length up to 60 strokes/15 strokes of side stroke. At 36 minutes I checked my watch and decided to go for it: And made the last 5 minutes all with freestyle! I even was able to put a little extra kick into it the last 100 meters. This swim had a guide line about 5 feet underwater, which really helped alleviate the sighting needs, especially in the very choppy water. I took 2.5 minutes off of my previous best!
What would you do differently?:

Nothing! Great swim, great way to start the day! I kept my top down around my waist, which definitely helped with loosening the breathing restrictions.
Transition 1
  • 04m 29s

This is a tough transition to compare apples to apples. I had to run uphill about 100 yds on pavement (with more than one pokey rock!) Transition was on asphault, with lots of little rocks. I had to pack my wet suit, goggles and cap into a bag to get hauled down to T2. And then I needed to collect myselft for a straight uphill bike start. So I took a fair amount extra time just to relax and get my heart rate down before attacking the hill!
What would you do differently?:

Not much. I had a hard time getting my gels into my back pouch. I didn't have any taped down to my tube, which may have shaved 10-15 seconds off of my time.
  • 3h 20m 2s
  • 56 miles
  • 16.80 mile/hr

This was mentally the most taxing ride I've ever done. About 2000 feet up over the first 10 miles. Then 15 miles into a 20 mph headwind! And then when I thought I'd get a reprive, the road back to Grand Coulee had a rock chip finish, creating some extra drag. And then...The steep downhill back into Grand Coulee had such a strong cross wind that you couldn't relax and tuck at all. A technically and mentally very tough ride.
What would you do differently?:

Not much. This ride was all about survival. The scenary was beautiful, but I didn't have a whole lot of time to enjoy it!
Transition 2
  • 02m 24s

Race volunteers took my bike, so no need to run into the transition zone. I had to wait a few seconds while someone found my transition bag, so I took the time to sit down. I had lots of dirt and rocks on my feet from T1, so took some extra time to wipe my feet off. The sun was really starting to pound, so I took a moment to re-sunscreen.
What would you do differently?:

Not a bad time for the sit and sunscreen.
  • 1h 49m 55s
  • 13.1 miles
  • 08m 23s  min/mile

A beautiful trail run, but the heat was the real story. I wasn't ready for it, and the sponges at mile 6 and 8 were my saving grace! I walked through all of the aid stations, and about a quarter of the tough hill at the end. My goal was to break 1:50, which I 5 seconds! Overall my best run split ever...very happy witht this, especially on the heels of such a tough bike.
What would you do differently?:

The only thing I did wrong was pack one less gel than needed. I ended up taking a Hamer Gel at mile 9, which racked my guts. I was lucky not to have an accident for a while there! I also could've used one more salt tablet...for myself and the cramping age grouper that I passed at mile 5!
Post race
Warm down:

A steady walk while taking in fluids (what little my guts could handle!) Then some shade and relaxing stretches...then a bathroom break! My guts felt good enough for some solids after that...but barely!

What limited your ability to perform faster:

The bike...all of the elements except for myself!!!

Event comments:

Just right based on my abilitly...but bordering on too tough! I was very happy with my performance, but don't know if I'd drive 6 hours to do this again!

Last updated: 2013-09-27 12:00 AM
00:40:53 | 1900 meters | 02m 09s / 100meters
Age Group: 4/9
Overall: 29/57
Performance: Good
Suit: Full length XTERRA
Course: A clockwise triangle with about 100 yds from the beach to get to the 90 degree corner.
Start type: Run Plus: Shot
Water temp: 68F / 20C Current: High
200M Perf. Good Remainder: Good
Breathing: Good Drafting: Average
Waves: Good Navigation: Good
Rounding: Average
Time: 04:29
Performance: Below average
Cap removal: Below average Helmet on/
Suit off:
Wetsuit stuck? Yes Run with bike: Yes
Jump on bike: No
Getting up to speed: Good
03:20:02 | 56 miles | 16.80 mile/hr
Age Group: 5/9
Overall: 21/57
Performance: Average
Wind: Strong
Course: A loop from Grand Coulee to Almira.
Road: Rough Dry Cadence:
Turns: Average Cornering: Average
Gear changes: Good Hills: Good
Race pace: Hard Drinks: Just right
Time: 02:24
Overall: Good
Riding w/ feet on shoes Below average
Jumping off bike Good
Running with bike Average
Racking bike Good
Shoe and helmet removal Bad
01:49:55 | 13.1 miles | 08m 23s  min/mile
Age Group: 3/9
Overall: 10/57
Performance: Good
Course: An out and back on a river side trail after a solid half-mile hill on the damn maintenance road. Gravel trail and then back up the damn hill at mile 11! Very tough...And then a nice downhill over the damn bridge back to the damn visitor center!
Keeping cool Good Drinking Just right
Post race
Weight change: %
Overall: Good
Mental exertion [1-5] 5
Physical exertion [1-5] 4
Good race? Yes
Course challenge Just right
Organized? Yes
Events on-time? Yes
Lots of volunteers? Yes
Plenty of drinks? Yes
Post race activities: Good
Race evaluation [1-5] 4

2013-09-27 7:30 PM

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Subject: Grand Columbian Super Triathlon - Long (Half) Course
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Already a cyclist and not a bad swimmer, I figured all I had to do was build up to running a few miles and I’d be ready to go. The challenge invigorated me, and I ran out to buy new running shoes.
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