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Carolina Half - Triathlon

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Cornelius, North Carolina
United States
Set Up Events
Total Time = 7h 27m 7s
Overall Rank = 307/330
Age Group = 30-34
Age Group Rank = 9/11
Pre-race routine:

Dress and eat at hotel, get the family and gear together, drive to T2, set up spot then grab shuttle to T1.
Event warmup:

Walking all over creation to get to the swim start. It was freezing in the morning but that didn't last. Too hectic to have any nerves. Also too excited - first half Iron distance race! So happy to finally just do it.
  • 43m 6s
  • 2112 yards
  • 02m 02s / 100 yards

They allowed you to put shoes at the swim exit because the run to TI is looooong and over some rough terrain. Should have brought a second pair of sandals to walk from the exit to the swim start because of the ground (you can leave them at the start in marked bags), but oh well. Deep water with no visibility, but easy course to follow. Out to first buoy, turn right and stay straight forever, then right turn to ramp. Warmed up in the water as the first several waves started and got situated. Water temp felt perfect. A lot of contact the entire way surprisingly. I was in a group and just couldn't get away or get a good draft. Light to medium chop, and the current kept pushing me sideways during the straightaway; had to sight a lot more than usual to maintain straight lines but did pretty good staying on course. Great swim, conserved enough energy, no complaints. Great layout for spectators.
What would you do differently?:

Not much, this was a nice, fun swim
Transition 1
  • 08m 23s

Somehow I didn't have the slowest T1 time here. The run to T1 is a quarter of a mile, and I didn't realize how long that was until I was setting up the day before. It was a haul! Got out of the water ok and pulled off cap and goggles, slipped into shoes, pulled down wetsuit as I walked up the hill to start the long walk/jog, took a gel as I walked and then ran the rest of the way. At T1 I had to get the wetsuit off, pack bag, spray on sunscreen, take ibuprofrin, dry feet and put on socks and shoes.... I'm high maintenance :-) Glad I took the time to make sure I was all set and comfortable though, didn't have to worry about anything later.
What would you do differently?:

Practice transitions and get faster. Wetsuit got stuck on my timing strap was the only snafu.
  • 3h 55m
  • 56 miles
  • 14.30 mile/hr

The bike is my weakness and I had to go pretty hard the entire time to make the bike cutoff. My time was slow, but really good for me! The last 10 miles were really tough because I was worried about the time and pushing as hard as I could and my legs were tired. I loved the bike portion until those last 10 miles, which seemed to go on forever. Hit mile 55 and was so relieved to see those numbers on the pavement! But then 56 came and no T2 in sight... several turns and small hills later it was finally over.
What would you do differently?:

Get faster so I can save some legs for the run.
Transition 2
  • 04m 24s

I was in the second to last row at each transition so I had a long way to go. Racked bike on my number after moving people out of the way since they obviously struggled with their racking logistics. Here's how it goes at the back of the pack... crap is all over your space, your stuff isnt where you left it. I get ready to go and stop by the one porta potty in T2 and there's a line - of regular-clothed people waiting to use it. Who cares about those still racing, they can hold it. Not sure if it was spectators stepping over the fencing or triathletes who were finished and using it instead of the bathrooms outside transition. Triathletes are generally great people, but I wish the faster guys would remember there's still people who need to use transition. We really get the short end and we just want to race too.
What would you do differently?:

Throw everyone's stuff over the fence! Not really. I spent time catching my breath and was fine with this T2 time, but I do need more practice, and a bigger bladder.
  • 2h 35m
  • 13.1 miles
  • 11m 50s  min/mile

My legs were pretty tired and at first I thought there was no way I would make it 13 miles. The first mile was rough but I was motivated to find the bathroom. Got to the first aid station and no bathroom! Struggled to the mile 2 aid station and finally found one. After that I finally got into a groove and was surprised at how well the run was going. Slow, but comfortable. I was actually having a lot of fun. Talked with some other runners. At first it was hard watching everyone about to finish as I was headed out, but then it was really neat because everyone was encouraging each other. I kept passing people and was surprised how many others were also in the back of the pack. Then I had horrible knee pain the last 2-3 miles and just wanted to wrap one of those cold towels around my knee. This motivated me and I ran to the finish, saw my husband and son waving and cheering and was on cloud nine. This was a great run.

My only complaint besides the bathrooms that were supposed to be at every mile was that there was nothing left but water and chips at the aid stations by the time I started looking for Coke at about mile 5. Another pitfall of being slow. With only 330 racers, how do you run out of everything but water? Having done SetUp races before, I was prepared for this and brought everything I needed. Just more motivation to get better!
What would you do differently?:

Get faster!
Post race
Warm down:

Dropped down to the pavement and wrapped my knee! Watched my son play in the bounce house and grabbed pretzels and the only drink left - Diet Dr. Pepper. I was so relieved and so happy to have completed my first half. I figured I could do it in 7 1/2 and I did.

What limited your ability to perform faster:

Working fulltime and having a 5-year-old Lol

Event comments:

The Pros - Great courses with enough challenge to make it interesting and fun. Great weather this time of year. The volunteers were awesome; they were everywhere and they cheered for everyone. For an inaugural event, it was overall well organized with few hiccups, especially with two transitions. The event shirts and finisher's medal were pretty cool. Plenty of hotels for every price range near the transitions. Packet pickup at a coffee place on the Davidson campus was pretty neat. This is a great race and I will be back!

Cons - There weren't enough shuttle buses at T2 in the morning and SetUp started running behind in getting people over to the swim start/T1. The line was really long and the clock was ticking, so they asked spectators - who also were required to ride the bus - to let athletes only on the shuttles. Because of this my husband and son, who gave up their weekend and got up at a ridiculous hour just to see me off, missed the swim start, along with a bunch of other people. That bummed me out. But they got to see me come out of the water. Some athletes had to start in later waves because of the late shuttles. SetUp apologized and I'm sure they will fix the issue, so enough about that. The events may have started on time, but I'm not sure because of the shuttles?

Poorly stocked aid stations on the run. The long run to T1, although it wasn't too bad. The extra mile on the bike. The whole "bathroom at every mile" thing. Other people said there was no security in T2 and that anyone could have gone in.

Photos - Lake, T1, part of the long run to T1 (on the grass by the flags), lake, swim start, ramp out of the water, finish, T2 area, start of run to t1, more run to T1.

Profile Album

Last updated: 2013-10-02 12:00 AM
00:43:06 | 2112 yards | 02m 02s / 100yards
Age Group: 7/11
Overall: 0/330
Performance: Good
Suit: Blue Seventy sleeveless
Course: Beach start, triangle clockwise swim course with two turns, exit at boat ramp.
Start type: Run Plus: Waves
Water temp: 76F / 24C Current: Medium
200M Perf. Good Remainder: Good
Breathing: Good Drafting: Below average
Waves: Navigation: Average
Rounding: Good
Time: 08:23
Performance: Average
Cap removal: Average Helmet on/
Suit off:
Wetsuit stuck? Yes Run with bike: Yes
Jump on bike: Yes
Getting up to speed: Good
03:55:00 | 56 miles | 14.30 mile/hr
Age Group: 11/11
Overall: 0/330
Wind: Some
Course: Rolling hills, about 3000 feet elevation gain. Course was actually close to 57 miles. Good road surfaces and some pretty, rural scenery. No port-o-lets on the course. Some wind at times but nothing too bad. The hills - nothing real steep, just continuous, with some flat stretches. Course was well marked and there were volunteers and police at all intersections. 3 water bottle handoffs. The course ended in a neighborhood and there were several turns and a few last hills just to aggravate you.
Road: Smooth Dry Cadence:
Turns: Good Cornering: Good
Gear changes: Hills: Average
Race pace: Hard Drinks: Just right
Time: 04:24
Overall: Below average
Riding w/ feet on shoes
Jumping off bike
Running with bike Average
Racking bike Average
Shoe and helmet removal
02:35:00 | 13.1 miles | 11m 50s  min/mile
Age Group: 9/11
Overall: 0/330
Performance: Good
Course: Loved this course. More hills, which were awful in the last 2 miles, but I love trail running and half the course (the middle of the course) was on trails on the high school and Davidson College cross country courses. Even ran around the track and across some kind of playing field at the high school, so lots of variety. Also ran through the neighborhood in the beginning and end and picked up some cheers. Some of the hills were pretty challenging. Out and back course, hillier on the way back. Two good hills in the last mile and a half. We had perfect weather, not too hot at all. I don't think it got above the mid-70s.
Keeping cool Good Drinking Just right
Post race
Weight change: %
Mental exertion [1-5]
Physical exertion [1-5]
Good race? Yes
Course challenge Just right
Organized? Yes
Events on-time? No
Lots of volunteers? Yes
Plenty of drinks? Yes
Post race activities: Average
Race evaluation [1-5] 5

2013-10-04 6:34 PM

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Western North Carolina
Subject: Carolina Half
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