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Sportspectrum River Cities Triathlon - TriathlonSprint

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Shreveport, Louisiana
United States
Sports Spectrum
Total Time = 1h 38m 40s
Overall Rank = 335/1118
Age Group = 50-54
Age Group Rank = 16/54
Pre-race routine:

Drove up Saturday morning, got there around 11:15, long line at packet pickup, which still hadn't opened. Once it did open, line moved pretty quickly. Saw Sharon, introduced myself, evidently I wasn't what she expected because she looked thoroughly confused.

After pickup we went to lunch and shopped a little, waiting for the other BTers to get in. Finally hooked up with Derek and Laurie, checked into motel, found Jeremy and went to view the race site. Checked out transition, but didn't swim because most of the course was closed. Drove the bike course, went back to motel, swam with the boys showered and went to dinner.

Great group of BTers at dinner, Laurie, Derek, Jeremy, Matt, Chris, Heather and Paige, plus Angel and the boys. Waitress wasn't the sharpest crayon, thought Mr. Pibb was a brand of root beer, and Chris managed to convince her that we were celebrating my becoming a US citizen. They asked me to recite the pledge, but, not wanting to show off, I refused. ;)

Race morning, got up at 4am, coffee and clif bars, showered, dressed, got the boys up, out of motel for 5:45. About a 30-minute drive, then 20 minutes spent in the line of cars getting into the gate and parked.

Event warmup:

Not much warming up. As soon as we got there, an announcement was made telling us that the previous night's storm had re-arranged the buoys, and that the start would be delayed while they were replaced. Didn't know when transition was to be closed, plus all the traffic and confusion of 1300 athletes, so I didn't warm-up on the bike. Mine was the second-to-last wave, so I had plenty of time to warmup on the swim, and relax in the water. Twenty-minute delay to the start of the first wave, then 45 minutes to the start of Wave 10, Senior Citizens, 50 and above.

  • 21m 35s
  • 880 yards
  • 02m 27s / 100 yards

After the disastrous swim at T-Gator, I made it a point to go out slowly, focusing on relaxed, consistent strokes, and even breathing. As I got a little winded, I'd switch to breaststroke to get breathing back to normal . Was comfortable by the time I got to the halfway point, so I was able to maintain the crawl for the rest of the way in. Overall, a good albeit slow swim, especially compared to T-Gator.
What would you do differently?:

Nothing. Pretty much got my confidence back.
Transition 1
  • 02m 5s

Long run from the water, then with the bike to the mount line.

Terrible mount. Lost a shoe, first time that has happened, ended up having to chase it down, put it on, and remount. Probably cost at least one minute, though that extra time is in my bike time and not T1, as the mount occurred on that side of the timing mats.
What would you do differently?:

Focus more, to keep shoe from coming off the pedal.
  • 47m 30s
  • 18.2 miles
  • 22.99 mile/hr

Far from a perfect ride. I had told a friend pre-race that if I didn't average 23.5 on the bike I would be disappointed, and that definitely was the case. In addition to the screwed-up mount, at about nine miles in I thought I caught a flat and actually pulled over and stopped to feel the tire. Luckily it was my imagination, but lost time just the same.

Also, at least three times progress was impeded by cars that wouldn't pass the cyclists or allow you to pass. The third time was nearly the entire southern leg of the course, where some aged hillbilly in a red pickup got in my way for nearly three miles, holding my speed down to 20-22 mph. Occasionally he would pass, then I could ramp my speed back up to 27-28, until I caught him again. Eventually I was able to pass the old coot.

Since I was the second-to-last wave, I was constantly passing on the entire bike course, lots of women from the preceding four waves riding two and three wide, trying to pass each other but blocking the passing lane regardless. I was hoarse at the end from screaming "on your left" for 45 minutes straight.

No one passed me on the bike. WIthout my self-imposed handicaps and other human obstacles I would have been, should-a-been, a lot closer to 24mph on the average.
What would you do differently?:

Not be a doofus on the mount and with the false flat, bring hilbilly repellant.
Transition 2
  • 01m 37s

Better dismount by far, still had a long run with the bike around to my rack. Once there, for some bizarre reason I decided I needed my running hat, so took the time to dig it out of my bag.
What would you do differently?:

Stick with the pre-race plan on what apparel I will need.
  • 25m 54s
  • 3.1 miles
  • 08m 21s  min/mile

After two good, 8-minute miles to start, I was really disappointed with the last mile taking me 9:20. Hit hard with a stitch, not really on the side but in the center of my diaphragm, usually a sign of over-exertion, particularly in the heat. Thought with my tempo and speedwork sessions I had beaten this, but the stitch was so debilitating that I eventually had to walk for it to subside. Toward the end, I was passed by someone in my age group, so I managed to suck it up enough to pass him and stay ahead, beat him by 5 seconds.
What would you do differently?:

Not get a stitch. Back to the drawing board.
Post race
Warm down:

Got medal, surrendered chip, got two nasty Amino Vitals and went find Angel. Found Derek as well, went to get food, then watched Laurie finish.

What limited your ability to perform faster:

Not be a dumbass, nor encounter dumbasses on the bike, not get a stitch on the run.

Event comments:

Always a good race, surprisingly well-organized for such a large event.

Still have some bugs to work out, though. First, they still have subtantial (up to 50 minutes) delays getting cars into the site and parked. More importantly, it would be nice if they could limit motor vehicle traffic on the bike loop to one direction. That would prevent all the congestion in the bike lane.

Here's a few "official" race photos, some of them are actually me:

Last updated: 2006-04-17 12:00 AM
00:21:35 | 880 yards | 02m 27s / 100yards
Age Group: 35/54
Overall: 811/1118
Performance: Good
Course: Triangular. Long, maybe 150-200 yards long.
Start type: Wade Plus: Waves
Water temp: 0F / 0C Current:
200M Perf. Average Remainder: Good
Breathing: Good Drafting: Below average
Waves: Navigation: Good
Rounding: Good
Time: 02:05
Performance: Bad
Cap removal: Good Helmet on/
Suit off:
Wetsuit stuck? Run with bike: Yes
Jump on bike: Yes
Getting up to speed: Bad
00:47:30 | 18.2 miles | 22.99 mile/hr
Age Group: 7/54
Overall: 97/1118
Performance: Average
Wind: Little
Course: Single loop around Cypress Lake, rolling hills to break up the ride.
Road: Smooth Dry Cadence:
Turns: Good Cornering: Good
Gear changes: Average Hills: Average
Race pace: Hard Drinks: Just right
Time: 01:37
Overall: Average
Riding w/ feet on shoes Good
Jumping off bike Good
Running with bike Good
Racking bike Average
Shoe and helmet removal Good
00:25:54 | 03.1 miles | 08m 21s  min/mile
Age Group: 20/54
Overall: 460/1118
Performance: Below average
Course: Squirrely out-and-back that featured several curly Qs and a half-mile or so off-road segment with treacherous roots and gullies.Plenty of small but bothersome hills throughout. Four or five water stations and two places to get cold, wet towels. Finish was also treacherous, as you ran the last 100 yards alternately through sand pits and harder grass surfaces.
Keeping cool Average Drinking Just right
Post race
Weight change: %
Overall: Below average
Mental exertion [1-5] 3
Physical exertion [1-5] 4
Good race? Ok
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] 4

2006-08-10 3:18 PM

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Resident Curmudgeon
The Road Back
Gold member
Subject: Sportspectrum River Cities Triathlon
Late getting this up, as I spent the early part of the week Schlitterbahning with the family in Galveston.

Edited by the bear 2006-08-10 3:19 PM

2006-08-10 3:41 PM
in reply to: #508109

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Extreme Veteran
Northwest Louisiana
Subject: RE: Sportspectrum River Cities Triathlon

My apologies for not recognizing the legendary Bear! Honestly I was totally caught off-guard when you came up to say hi to me. It was mostly because you said it with such confidence that I thought I should immediately know who you were and at the risk of sounding prideful, since the newspaper article and media stuff before RCT, I've had many different people come up to introduce themselves to me etc and I kept thinking you were a local tri club guy. And if I hadn't known your real name, I would have been even MORE confused! Wished you had stopped to actually chat longer! Couldn't chase you down since I was volunteering.

Saw you in transition that morning, but I didn't want to bother looked so focused. Loved the shirts that the little bears were wearing.

I'm definitely not missing the BT party next year. I'll think about CajunMan for next year. I'm pretty sure I'll be at MeatPie this maybe our paths will cross again!

Excellent race time!!!!!!

Edited by Sharona1973 2006-08-10 3:43 PM
2006-08-10 4:12 PM
in reply to: #508109

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molto veloce mama
Subject: RE: Sportspectrum River Cities Triathlon
glad to hear the swim went well and that you have your confidence back. ride was great...and i'd take that run any day! good work.
2006-08-10 4:35 PM
in reply to: #508109

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McKinney, TX
Subject: RE: Sportspectrum River Cities Triathlon
You've got a nice rack on your mountain bike there, Honey! (top middle pic)
2006-08-10 5:15 PM
in reply to: #508109

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Gold member
Subject: RE: Sportspectrum River Cities Triathlon
Nice race and great seeing you guys again, Bear.

Edited by DerekL 2006-08-10 5:16 PM
2006-08-10 5:24 PM
in reply to: #508109

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Carencro, Louisiana
Subject: RE: Sportspectrum River Cities Triathlon
Great job!!! I am so glad the swim went better this time.

We enjoyed the company, race, and trip.

2006-08-10 7:09 PM
in reply to: #508109

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New Orleans
Subject: RE: Sportspectrum River Cities Triathlon

Nice race John. And that bike split is a dream for a lot of us.

It was great seeing you and the rest of the Bears last weekend. Hope to see you at Cajunman.

2006-08-10 7:12 PM
in reply to: #508109

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Extreme Veteran
Denham Springs
Subject: RE: Sportspectrum River Cities Triathlon

That is funny!!! half of the official pics are of other people haha!


Good to meet you guys up at my inaugrial RC race

2006-08-10 7:56 PM
in reply to: #508109

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Gulf Shores, AL
Subject: RE: Sportspectrum River Cities Triathlon
Nice bounce on the swim and another sweet bike split. I had the same issues with that red truck last year. I think he must plan to be there. Good job!
2006-08-11 7:54 AM
in reply to: #508109

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Houston, TX
Subject: RE: Sportspectrum River Cities Triathlon
Congrats on a great race! Awesome ride- even with the red truck and the fake flat and the lost shoe!
2006-08-11 9:12 AM
in reply to: #508109

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Fairport, NY
Subject: RE: Sportspectrum River Cities Triathlon
Glad to see your got your mojo back in the water. And under those circumstances you still had a great bike split.

2006-08-11 12:18 PM
in reply to: #508109

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Houston, TX
Subject: RE: Sportspectrum River Cities Triathlon
Great race Bear, it was great to get to meet you and the fam. I hope you had fun in Galveston and schlitterbahn.
2006-08-15 12:50 PM
in reply to: #508109

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Plano, TX
Subject: RE: Sportspectrum River Cities Triathlon

It was good to meet you.  Sorry we didn't get to chat longer.

Looks like you had a great race!  We're all envious of your 'disappointing' bike split.  However, I can fully relate to that sneaking, persistent suspicion that the tire is getting flat.  ("Does the contact point look wider down there than it did a minute ago?  How about now?") It happens on training rides sometimes and drives me nuts.

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