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Challenge St Andrews 70.3 - Triathlon1/2 Ironman

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St Andrews, New Brunswick
27C / 81F
Total Time = 5h 24m 11s
Overall Rank = 88/268
Age Group = M30-34
Age Group Rank = 16/26
Pre-race routine:

Where to start. My wife and I planned to travel to St. Andrews on Sat., the day before the race by ferry, however with hurricane Arthur on the way we changed or plans last minute and traveled to Saint John on the ferry on Friday evening. Turned out to be a pretty good idea as we awoke on Saturday to heavy rains and high winds. It was a challenge to get from our hotel and back on to the highway as most intersections were flooded. Most of New Brunswick about 100mm of rain, or over 3". We made the hour drive to St. Andrews and the closer we got the windy it was. There were trees down everywhere and the town was covered in broken branches and downed trees. We pulled into the Algonquin Hotel around 12 and it was pretty packed, and the power was out. The hotel did an amazing job staying calm considering the circumstances. The hotel is amazing and pretty high end. The lobby and sitting area was packed with family's playing games that the hotel provided. I made it over to the expo and check in through the hammering wind and was able to check for the race. Given the weather every seemed yo be surprisingly upbeat. Hard to believe since where a race should be set up, there was piles of metal barriers on the ground and tree limbs everywhere. Part of town had power at lunch time and supper time, which was great since I was getting pretty concerned when we had no food and no where to buy some. By the time we got back to the hotel around 7:30 or so the power was back on and everyone seemed even more excited. The rain stopped around 8pm and the winds started to let up. Everyone figured the start of the race would be delayed however an email came out saying it was all ago on time. A Facebook call went out asking anyone who wanted to lend a hand to be in the parking lot at 3am. They had 300 locals show up! These are people that I'm sure had their own properties to clean up and look after. Enough can't be said about the local support from such a small town. When I went out to race my bike I couldn't believe the set up that a few hours before was a mangled mess. Blew my mind. When I went to sleep at 9, there was red sky on the horizon. A sign of good things to come I'm sure.
Event warmup:

I got up at 4am and had a muffin, some berries and two cups of coffee. By the time I had gathered all my things it was 5am and I headed down to rack my bike. It was a beautiful morning. I set up transition and talked with a few others around. I was amazed at how fast everyone looked. This wasn't your local sprint. These people look like they mean business. A lot of talk about wetsuits or not, and usually this swim would be no wetsuit as the swim is in a sheltered salt water cove that is only about 15 feet deep. The day before the water temp was apparently 26, but that seems a little warm to me. Alas after all the rain the water temp dropped to 18 and with the cool morning air, it was wet suit mandatory. I heard quite a few cheers, lol. I got my wet suit on and headed down to the cove and did a few easy 100m swims just to warm the arms up and get used to the cold water on my face.
  • 32m 55s
  • 1900 meters
  • 01m 44s / 100 meters

I had a great swim, I went out pretty hard for the first 200m or so and managed to draft off a few people in front of me. Once it thinned out I kind of did my own thing as most people really swam off line. I just kept my sighting and tried to stay relaxed. I felt really good the whole swim. I was happy to see a time below 33 mins considering how relaxed it felt.
What would you do differently?:

Not much I had a goal of 34 minutes and was happy to go under.
Transition 1
  • 06m 13s

As you exit the swim you have about a 400-500 run up a hill. The good news is it was carpeted and fenced the whole way. I jogged most of it, but it finally walked near the end just to try and get my heart rate down for the bike. A lot of people had their shoes bagged at he bottom for the run up but km glad I didn't bother. Having to find them, put them on, take them off would have added unnecessary time as I'm sure I wouldn't have gone up the hill any faster.
What would you do differently?:

Nothing, was hoping to keep it under 7 minutes and did.
  • 2h 41m 24s
  • 91 kms
  • 33.83 km/hr

The bike course is amazing. Great pavement and rolling hills. I started of fast and realized I needed to slow down and get my heart rate in check. Then I noticed my rear break was rubbing. Not having a chance to have tested the bike once there due yo the hurricane I was hopping everything was good to go, but once I added some weight to the bike the rubbing started. It took me two tries to fix it and it cost me about 3 minutes. I was not pleased and set off pretty hard trying yo catch all the people that had just passed me. I soon put it out of my mind and tried to settle into a comfortable pace. I passed a lot of people on the downhills, then they passed me right back on the up hills. I figured this was a good sign that I wasn't pushing to hard on the hills. Once onto the divided highway there was quite a headwind which made the long slow climbs even worse. However they made the return trip pretty darn fast. I saw a rider I knew from racing back home and we spent the next 50k going back and forth on the up hills and down hills. We had a good laugh each time we passed each other. During the last stretch on the main highway however I moved at a pretty good clip with the tail wind and pulled away from him. Now heading back into town I though the road was mostly downhill as I was pretty sure it was all up hill on the way out. Apparently I didn't remember out the big down hills on the way out because it was hill after hill. What made it worse was that I didn't have the other rider to kind of pace myself off and I found myself pushing to try and real in riders. I went way to hard on this stretch and undid a lot of the good pacing in the first 4/5s of the ride. I cam into transition feeling good however and the fact that it was partly cloudy had me feeling good.
What would you do differently?:

Go easier all around. If you take off the 3 minutes for mechanical then I biked a 2:39 or so. That's way to fast for me. I had planned on a 2:45 and let it get away. I'm hoping to get a power meter before next season so I'm sure this will help with pacing.
Transition 2
  • 01m 42s

Not much to do differently. All went pretty smooth. Sprayed some sun screen on my shoulders and neck and I was off.
What would you do differently?:

Take a pee, I held it in for the whole bike and it didn't seem to bad going through transition so I skipped it. About 5 minutes in I had to go again. It would haunt me throughout the run.
  • 2h 02m
  • 21.1 kms
  • 05m 47s  min/km

I started the run feeling great but about 3k but I was having a hard time keeping my pace down. It was a real struggle, then the sun came out by about 3k in and it got hot. The temp climbed to 28c, at the turn around point I made the decision to walk the aid stations so that I could get enough water and keep my HR down as it was rising fast. The turn around point had port-a-potties and I thought to myself, naw I can hold it. Again not a good idea, lol. After about another kilometre or two I had to start a walk run strategy as a was really over heating and wanted to make sure I didn't completely blow up. It was at this point in my first lap when Marinda Carfrae blew by me like I was standing still. I was running at about a 5:10/km pace and she was flying. Crazy to see. As I approached the turn around you had to make your way up the long hill. There was a lot of walking going on, lol. The locals were out in full force cheering everyone on. Even the ones clearing their yards of downed trees and debris always words of encouragement. Once I made the turn around and started back down the hill I was able to get a god pace going for a bit and managed a few kilometres where wasn't walking too much. I finally made the final turn around point and headed to the bathroom, lol. I was dieing by this point. The last 5k was crazy hot. I wasn't used to running in that kind of heat and over 5 hours of racing had taken its toll. I tried to keep the walking to a minimum but it wasn't easy, especially knowing I had to go back up that damm hill. The closer I got the better I started feeling. I even passed a few people that were walking over the last km or so. I ran the last half km and did my best to look respectable as I made my way through the finishing chute. Hearing my name called heading out onto the run and then coming back in was pretty great. I have no idea how I managed a 2:02 considering all the walking I did. I'm shocked. I was really hoping to be under 1:55 but hey I did the best I could.
What would you do differently?:

Bike easier for starters, lol. I planned not yo wear socks however I changed my mind last minute figuring if I got a blister it would really put a damper on the run, but the first time I poured water on myself my socks were soaked and my feet felt like I was carrying around bricks.

Post race
Warm down:

I felt pretty wiped. I laid down the medical tent and iced my legs. I took in a pile of Heed and water along with a banana. After 15 minutes or so I was feeling a lot better.

What limited your ability to perform faster:

I'm gonna go with fitness as I still feel I have a long way to go, and my mental game. I really need to work on my bike pacing when it comes to longer events.

Event comments:

Amazing event and I have no doubt that everyone there will want to be back. The awards banquet had great food and music. This race is already marked on my calendar for next year. Great family friendly race venue. Hopefully we can do it with out the hurricane next year. I'll add some photos of the race and the damage to the area as soon as I can. Sorry for the long report but it was a crazy few days.

Last updated: 2014-03-31 12:00 AM
00:32:55 | 1900 meters | 01m 44s / 100meters
Age Group: 0/26
Overall: 80/268
Performance: Good
Suit: Orca Equip
Course: 1 loop around the cove, back through the start then you have to round a center bouy and head for shore.
Start type: Wade Plus: Shot
Water temp: 18C / 64F Current: Low
200M Perf. Good Remainder: Good
Breathing: Good Drafting: Average
Waves: Navigation: Good
Rounding: Good
Time: 06:13
Performance: Good
Cap removal: Good Helmet on/
Suit off:
Wetsuit stuck? No Run with bike: Yes
Jump on bike: No
Getting up to speed:
02:41:24 | 91 kms | 33.83 km/hr
Age Group: 0/26
Overall: 53/268
Performance: Average
Wind: Strong with gusts
Course: 17k out a side highway and up on two east bound part of the divided highway. From there it was two laps out and back before returning on the 17k side road.
Road: Smooth Dry Cadence:
Turns: Good Cornering: Good
Gear changes: Average Hills: Average
Race pace: Hard Drinks: Just right
Time: 01:42
Overall: Good
Riding w/ feet on shoes
Jumping off bike
Running with bike Good
Racking bike Good
Shoe and helmet removal Good
02:02:00 | 21.1 kms | 05m 47s  min/km
Age Group: 0/26
Overall: 140/268
Performance: Below average
Course: 2 laps of an out and back course that leads down a hill from the hotel and along the coast. It hugs the coast in the shape of a U which leads right down Main St.
Keeping cool Below average Drinking Not enough
Post race
Weight change: %
Overall: Average
Mental exertion [1-5] 3
Physical exertion [1-5] 5
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] 5

2014-07-07 11:49 AM

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Nova Scotia, Canada
Subject: Challenge St Andrews 70.3

2014-07-08 12:39 PM
in reply to: #5022465

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Mastic Beach, NY
Subject: RE: Challenge St Andrews 70.3
Congrats Derek great job and great race. That is a super fast time for a HIM and you can ceratinly improve on that time. You'll also improve your pacing on the bike as well. It sounds like you probably did go a little too hard at the end of the bike leg. It's very easy to get caught up chasing others and much harder to stay disciplined and ride your own race. The power meter can definitely help you there but even without it's just a matter of being a little more disciplined. That probably affected your run some but overall you had a great race. If you can fine tune your pacing you'll have a better bike and run next time out. Again great job!
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