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Rev3 Knoxville - Half Rev - Triathlon

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Knoxville, Tennessee
United States
57F / 14C
Total Time = 4h 12m 35s
Overall Rank = 58/147
Age Group = M50-54
Age Group Rank = 6/7
Pre-race routine:

Commenting on why I was in this event. This is Rev3's Age Group Championships which was held in conjunction with an Olympic and Half distance events. Normally, I probably would not have entered due to the distance and travel. However, I had done fairly well in two 2013 Rev3 events, taking a 4th (Cedar Point Half) and 5th (Half-Full Oly). Those standings and having done two events qualified me for one of the Age Group Championship slots. So, how could I not enter this? So, having been informed by Rev3 that I qualified, I entered without hesitation and made travel arrangements.

Fast forward to getting to Knoxsville the days prior to the race and describing the day prior to the event: Didn't get much sleep due to a number of reasons. But, I got an early enough start to preview the bike course on Sat Morning which was good so I knew what to expect. The course was well-marked and it was supposed to be dry on race day. But, the downside was that there were many S curves and limited line of sight parts to this course! So, at first, I REALLY didn't like this course! But, the final upside was that it went much better than I thought on race day and I would consider racing it again.

Now, parking was not well described and for me was a nightmare! The Athlete Guide had said about parking in G-10 garage lot at the Univ of Tennessee next to the Expo. But, there was an event there and it was packed, plus an event at the park, plus one in town! So many of the close lots were already packed! Finally found an all day pay lot that had many spaces, but I had to pay for. It wasn't the closest but I didn't care. It made for a lot of walking, though, and I initially walked my bike over but this might not have been necessary since transition wasn't at the Expo/check-in area. I really didn't know and didn't want to walk back to the car to get my bike. Then, check-in went fairly slowly unlike the other two Rev3 events I was in. They really needed a few more folks handing out the swag bag. Too long a line. After check-in, I got my bike into transition without issue. It was neat having a transition "valet" volunteer walk my bike to my rack spot! I was very concerned I wouldn't have enough time for a practice swim, but found I had plenty of time. So, I got into my wetsuit and swam a bit of the course. A bit chilly but not bad, around 70 degrees. We had wind waves hitting us on the way back which made it challenging but a bit of current helped get me back. Tested the Garmin with another OWS. I then had plenty of time to get to the first Athlete's briefing which answered some major questions I had. Plus I then had time to check out the store at the Expo, take pics there at the park, and walk around downtown for a bit as I had signed up for the dinner which didn't take place until 5 PM. Another upside was that I found where I could park nearby for free for race morning. Wish they had pointed that out earlier. I will give feedback to Rev3 about this. I'm fairly particular about nutrition and found I hadn't gotten another package of Clif Bloks for the run and Rev3 store was out of the Powerbar Energy Blasts which were similar. So, I spent WAY too long walking around town trying to find something. The upside was that I found another package unopened in my transition bag I had stashed away :) My registration included a dinner for the AG Champions and it was VERY yummy! Chicken, pasta, beans, salad, and cookies! They were also holding a raffle for some very neat items, including a Kicker bike training system and a new wetsuit! The down was that I didn't win even a water bottle :(
Event warmup:

As usual, the alarm goes off way too early and I take in coffee, banana, yogurt, and some Gatorade. Ummm, more coffee..;) From the Athlete's meeting the day prior, found the parking lot which was in between transition and the Expo/Finish. Easy-peasy. Got all squared away. Now, the night before, I wanted to count this as a Race on my Garmin Edge. So, I had thought I got that all squared away. But, when I turned on my Edge, all data was gone. It didn't know my bike and all history was gone. I must've accidentally hit the reset somehow, but gosh if I know how or when I did that. To make matters worse, I didn't recalibrate the power meter. So, I didn't have the power output that I wanted to use. :( As the swim is mostly point to point, we had to walk about a 1/4 to the start location. Made it to the swim start in plenty of time and met Zach Dicks from Hurdle the Dead Tri Club which I'm a pseudo member of. He and another HTD member are here for the AG Championships as well. So we chatted for a bit until it was time to jump in the water and get going. Now, as I'm on the dock, I'm setting up my Garmin 910XT for Multisport mode. I thought I this down and started it. But then I realized I started too soon. So stopped and thought I restarted it when we started. But, I accidentally started it in OWS mode. :( Well, no time to fret about it as the swim portion and race starts.....NOW!
  • 39m 15s
  • 2112 yards
  • 01m 52s / 100 yards

I was doing okay for the first part of the swim though it was a fairly large wave consisting of Men 40+. So, LOTS of bumping out to the first turn buoy. Navigation up until the 2nd turn buoy was doing okay and I still seemed to be with the mid-pack of my wave I thought. But after the 2nd turn buoy, I discovered at some point that it looks like I went too wide at and lost the pack I was in. Attempted to get back on course and in doing so, someone swam over me and knocked my goggles askew :( I recovered but it threw me a bit. At last I get to the platform and hoist myself out of the water running into T1.
What would you do differently?:

Swim time for a wetsuit swim sucked! Not real sure why other than getting hit and resetting goggles took away some time. Didn't have much OWS practice before this race and first tri of the season. I also felt fairly confident after getting in the practice swim the day prior. Obviously, more work is still needed.
Transition 1
  • 05m 51s

I guess I had forgotten just what to do getting my wetsuit off. So, it was stuck on my heels in T1 and I had difficulty getting it off and into biking gear. Learned from this for rest of season though. Then had problems getting helmet on (going to have to practice more with the new one) and arm warmers which I decided to wear since it was a bit chilly to start the bike.
What would you do differently?:

First of all, I should've practiced getting the wetsuit off and in the way I remember. Made a note to practice getting on my new aero helmet which has a magnetic clasp supposedly for easier operation.
  • 2h 07m 54s
  • 40 miles
  • 18.76 mile/hr

Road surface was varied and a good bit was rough though there were just as many smooth spots. Once I got out of transition, got to moving out on the bike course. Since I already had previewed the course, I was moving along very well and pleased that I was maintaining near a 20 mph speed for the first 10 miles. This would be the first REAL test of the new tri bike for the season (Felt DA3) and from training and the earlier DU Dover race, I was feeling pretty good on it. It was a bit chilly to start with temps in the upper 50s which is why I had arm warmers on. I had thought about my wind vest but glad I didn't as the sun came out later on the latter part of the course. As usual, those around me are all jockeying for position on this first part of the course. At the moment, it's just the AG Championship folks but we'd be joined or would join the Olympic folks during different parts of the course. I was quite concerned after driving the course the day prior of the S curves and narrow roads. But, on the bike, different story and found I was doing well with them. So, I found I was actually enjoying the course after all. Unfortunately, just after 10 miles, I was shifting to my big chain ring after getting up a hill and felt the entire shifter cable just comes loose! I couldn't believe it! So, here I am, stuck in my small chainring for the next 30 miles! So all I could do was coast on the downhills where I would normally be powered up in the big chain ring and zooming along! At least it wasn't in the big chainring because at least 2 hills on the course proved very challenging even in the lowest gears I had. And though stuck in the small chainring, I could continue like this for the rest of the course and not have to DNF or walk my bike up the later hills. So, I'm trading places with a gal and another guy during much of the course and let them know I have a mechanical and can only coast downhill. The guy says he wondered because I don't look like someone who would just coast. Max speed is limited to around 25 mph now unfortunately. Well, spin, spin, spin! There was one place where the Olympic course goes in a different direction and the AGC/Half goes the other. Then AGC folks split from the Half. Well I complete our loop here and meet up with where the Olympic course is. Now here are the Oly folks and though I can't quite power up as much as I want, I do find myself passing many of them. Reach the turnaround for this section and then head off again on another separate loop. I remember from the day prior that this is a decent road surface if I remember correctly. But, it has a short steep hill climb as well. I actually pass a couple of guys here amazingly. Finish this section and head back to town. The gal I've been trading places with has been behind me for a while and moves past me on this part to which I said I'll see her on the run. There's one final challenge on the bike course and that's this short but very steep hill which we zoomed down on the way out. Oh MAN! This is tough! HR is WAY up I'm sure though I don't have the strap on (see notes later on this). But, at last I get over and try to recover. Only a few more miles now! Coming back into town and at last I see the point where I want to get out of shoes. Do so fairly okay with maybe a bit of cramping (never a good sign), swing legs over, balance on one foot, and hit the ground running into T2!
What would you do differently?:

Not much I can do about a mechanical. Thought I was handling things okay but I find out shortly I needed more hill work than what I was doing.
Transition 2
  • 01m 31s

Had a bit of a problem getting my socks on. But, I still got out on the run in decent time
What would you do differently?:

Not much really. First real tri of the season and in getting socks on.
  • 1h 18m 4s
  • 9.8 miles
  • 07m 58s  min/mile

Initially moving along okay and passed a good number of the Olympic folks. I also passed the gal I had been trading places with just beyond mile 2. She commented that I was looking good with the pace I was setting. The sun had come out and it was a great day for this event/run! Thankfully, there was a good amount of shade on the path and there were plenty of aid stations along the course. Unfortunately, my inner quads were sore and cramping from the bike for some reason. Think I really hadn't done enough hill work on the bike beforehand. So, I had very little left in them to tackle the hills on the run which there were several! Downhill and flats, I was fine. But, it was a struggle to keep going uphill. And though I think I passed a guy in my AG initially, he repassed me probably with 4 miles to go. As the last part was mostly downhill, I was doing quite well and feeling strong and passing a good number of Olympic folks. Unfortunately, the final part to the Finish was uphill. And I was struggling! So, just yards from the Finish, my legs began to buckle and I thought I was going to fall. But, slowed, recomposed, and finished okay with arms up! Yea! Finished Rev3 AG Championships!!
What would you do differently?:

I really had not prepared for this course as much as I would've liked. Still did a good run but I wasn't happy with my quads/legs giving out.
Post race
Warm down:

I take a few moments to try and recompose myself. Legs are a bit wobbly but they actually recovered okay after I got some food in a bit. Got a nice Finisher's medal and visor! Good food for athletes afterwards and chatted with Bob Evans, who I met at the dinner and was racing the Olympic. I actually passed him during I think the last mile on the run. It was good to talk to him. After recovering, checked results and I finished 6th in AG. I thought that was it as far as getting any sort of award as they were 5 deep for AG Championships in Age Groups. So, I was really quite bummed after I had finished. I had mechanical, technological, and physical issues during the race. The silver lining was that the race didn't count for USAT rankings and was the first one to test all of this out at. So, I could learn for the next one in two weeks. Plus it had taught me that I REALLY need to do hill work on the bike and run! Now I met up with Zach again and he had taken 2nd in his AG. As I didn't have anywhere to go because I had checked out of my hotel and could only check in around 3 at the next, I thought I'd hang around and check out the awards ceremony as well as get more to eat and pack up my gear. It's a good thing I did.

What limited your ability to perform faster:

Lack of hill work and the mechanical on the bike. I wouldn't say it was a limiter but messed with my mind that I didn't have my Garmin info on the 910XT or the Edge, plus resetting the Edge really upset me at first. Also, I found from the Frederick Half Marathon that having HR info was really useful. But, the soft strap from Garmin and how the sensor is situated didn't give me confidence that it would be okay after the swim. So, I purchased the harder strap one which has the sensor in a waterproof container (this a proven itself months later).

Event comments:

So before the AG Awards got underway, the MC indicated that like the Pros, the AG Championship awards were based on your series scores, not on how you performed today. Oh my! Dare I hope???? Taking 6th didn't exactly give me much, but there were only 7 finishers when there should've been 14 today. So, 7 guys didn't show and/or finish? Wow, did I have a chance here? Zach kinda wondered where he was too. Well, he didn't have long to wait as he took 3rd. Another HTD member there who took 4th ended up taking 5th in the AG series. Now it comes to my AG..."and in 5th place from Frederick Maryland, DAVE MILLER!" Oh-MY-GOSH!! I am all smiles in disbelief! Nearly all the leg soreness is gone and I bound up on stage to receive my Rev3 5th Place AG Championships Series award package - a BIG MEDAL (pic below), Blue Seventy goggles, $15 coupon for the Rev3 Expo store, 2 packs of Powerbar products, and a nice "Rev3 Winner" pint glass - SSSSSWWWWEEEETTTT!

What a way to end the race!! All smiles I think for the next half hour or so! I meandered around for a while more after saying goodbye to Zach. Got a smoothie and headed out to check in to my hotel for the night. Chowed down with some great pizza, beer, and chocolate chip cannoli. YUM!

Overall, I think I liked Rev3 Knoxville. While I wasn't too thrilled with the bike course initially, I found I liked it more once I was on it. It was challenging to be sure and I think I would've done decently on the Oly course. A bit too early in the season for a Half for me, though considering the distance I traveled to get here, I would only come out to do this course again if I was doing the Half.

I do wish Rev3 had been clearer in the Athlete guide as far as parking went. It would've made my pre-race day less stressful initially. But, Rev3 does a great job with race organization and is family-friendly. Plus I found Knoxville to be a decent city to just walk around. So I would recommend this race to others, more so the Olympic than the Half for an early start to your season. Onward to Great Bear in a few weeks!

Profile Album

Last updated: 2013-12-22 12:00 AM
00:39:15 | 2112 yards | 01m 52s / 100yards
Age Group: 6/7
Overall: 89/147
Performance: Below average
Suit: Blue Seventy Sprint Full
Course: Mostly a point-to-point, so swim start is not near the finish. There is an up river segment before turning and then going down river to the swim finish
Start type: Deep Water Plus: Waves
Water temp: 70F / 21C Current: Low
200M Perf. Average Remainder: Average
Breathing: Average Drafting: Below average
Waves: Navigation: Below average
Rounding: Good
Time: 05:51
Performance: Below average
Cap removal: Below average Helmet on/
Suit off:
Wetsuit stuck? Yes Run with bike: Yes
Jump on bike:
Getting up to speed: Average
02:07:54 | 40 miles | 18.76 mile/hr
Age Group: 6/7
Overall: 63/147
Performance: Average
Wind: Some
Course: First part is out and back section and then there are a couple of loops before coming back. Not too much in the way of long or challenging climbs. But the course is challenging with S curves and the short climbs that did present themselves.
Road:  Dry Cadence:
Turns: Good Cornering: Good
Gear changes: Hills: Average
Race pace: Comfortable Drinks: Just right
Time: 01:31
Overall: Good
Riding w/ feet on shoes Good
Jumping off bike Good
Running with bike Good
Racking bike Good
Shoe and helmet removal Good
01:18:04 | 9.8 miles | 07m 58s  min/mile
Age Group: 6/7
Overall: 58/147
Performance: Average
Course: An out and back mostly along one of the Knoxville hiker/bike trails. First and last part are on the street with very last part going past transition, up a short hill, and rounding left into the finish area.
Keeping cool Good Drinking Just right
Post race
Weight change: %
Overall: Good
Mental exertion [1-5] 4
Physical exertion [1-5] 3
Good race? Yes
Course challenge Just right
Organized? Yes
Events on-time? Yes
Lots of volunteers? Yes
Plenty of drinks? Yes
Post race activities: Average
Race evaluation [1-5] 4

2014-07-06 9:02 AM

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Frederick, Maryland
Subject: Rev3 Knoxville - Half Rev
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