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YMCA Colonial Beach Sprint Triathlon - Triathlon

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Colonial Beach, Virginia
United States
Set Up Events
68F / 20C
Total Time = 1h 37m 12s
Overall Rank = 179/310
Age Group = 45-49
Age Group Rank = 16/20
Pre-race routine:

My wife and I stayed at a hotel located 100 yards from the transition area. I awoke at 0500 ate a Nature Valley Protein bar and a yogurt, showered and pushed my bike across the street. I set up my transition area and got body marked and chipped. All uneventful except that I am still new at this and was nervous.
Event warmup:

I went for a ten minute slow run with a couple of pickups at the end and then popped back through the hotel room to take care of some business, this avoiding the Porta-Potty.

I got to the swim start and went for a short swim while the couple of waves in front of me were starting, as you will see, this proved to be a bad move.

  • 20m 34s
  • 750 meters
  • 02m 44s / 100 meters
What would you do differently?:

In retrospect, there must have been a bit of an eddy, pushing me to the left and when I came out of it, the current set me way to the right. I should have been looking at the other waves in front of me and studying the current. The crazy thing is, I teach sailing, navigation and run a charter fishing boat… I know better! I should have watched the other waves go out in front of me and sighted more often.
Transition 1
  • 00m

I have no idea of my time, I do not know why, but I have no times until the finish of T2. I crossed the pads, but maybe I did so at the same time as someone else? Does that matter?
What would you do differently?:

it went well...
  • 46m 22s
  • 14 miles
  • 18.12 mile/hr

My Garmin did not synchronize with the satellites until I had been on the bike for a minute or two… I was going to start it when I pulled my helmet off the bars but did not until later in t-1. It showed an average of 19mph.
What would you do differently?:

Iwas pleased.
Transition 2
  • 00m

What would you do differently?:

I need to get some of those bungy shoe laces.
  • 27m 9s
  • 5 kms
  • 05m 26s  min/km

I do not know what I am doing, so I the plan was to get off the bike, try to run at a 9:00 per mile pace, and try to hold that. I felt good and ended up speeding up a little each mile. I guess I should have started faster.
Post race
Warm down:

Walked, streched and ate pizza.

Event comments:

A great time, and a great learning experience. This was an hour from home and very well run, race. I will be doing this every year.

Last updated: 2014-07-14 12:00 AM
00:20:34 | 750 meters | 02m 44s / 100meters
Age Group: 0/20
Overall: 0/310
Course: I setup on the left side of the course, as I usually tend to wonder to the right while swimming. The swim was in the Potomac River, a tidal river; the tide was falling, pushing me to the right as well. The start was relatively uneventful, I got bumped one or twice, but nothing major. I fell into a nice spot and was sighing occasionally. Every time I looked, I was going right at the mark and figured out that on the heading, the sun was at about 2 o’clock. The mark was getting closer and I felt good. Then it happened, I sighted and there was no mark! Eeekkk! I stopped and figured out that I was way below the mark, after several corrections I found myself swimming directly against the current with other swimmers coming down my right side having already rounded the mark. Once I got around it, everything else went well.
Start type: Plus:
Water temp: 0F / 0C Current:
200M Perf. Remainder:
Breathing: Drafting:
Waves: Navigation:
Time: 00:00
Performance: Average
Cap removal: Helmet on/
Suit off:
Wetsuit stuck? Run with bike:
Jump on bike:
Getting up to speed:
00:46:22 | 14 miles | 18.12 mile/hr
Age Group: 0/20
Overall: 0/310
Performance: Average
including t-1 and t-2.
Wind: None
Course: Country roads that were open with little traffic and controlled intersections.
Road: Smooth Dry Cadence: 91
Turns: Cornering:
Gear changes: Hills:
Race pace: Drinks:
Time: 00:00
Overall: Average
Riding w/ feet on shoes
Jumping off bike
Running with bike
Racking bike
Shoe and helmet removal
00:27:09 | 05 kms | 05m 26s  min/km
Age Group: 0/20
Overall: 0/310
Performance: Good
Course: Flat, Flat , Flat
Keeping cool Average Drinking
Post race
Weight change: %
Overall: Below average
Mental exertion [1-5] 3
Physical exertion [1-5] 3
Good race? Ok
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

2014-07-14 12:18 PM

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Subject: YMCA Colonial Beach Sprint Triathlon

2014-07-14 3:53 PM
in reply to: #5025454

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Extreme Veteran
Racine, Wisconsin
Subject: RE: YMCA Colonial Beach Sprint Triathlon
Congratulations on a great race!! Try to run a 9 min mile and you do 5 min miles that's awesome!!
2014-07-14 4:32 PM
in reply to: #5025454

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Columbia, TN
Subject: RE: YMCA Colonial Beach Sprint Triathlon
Hey, looks good!

It was smart of you to figure out the sun was at 2 o'clock and keep it there without sighting as often. That works great as long as there's no current drifting you to the side!!

I am sure that your garmin has an auto-start that after it acquires the satellites the stop watch doesn't start until you begin moving. That's the way to go for racing so you don't have to remember to press any buttons.

Yes to elastic laces.

It sounds like you are a thinker and were already thinking about the race logistics at a pretty advanced level. I'm impressed.

I didn't look at your race data, I will assume that Warren's observations on speed are correct....and if so, I agree with his assessment of pacing. But just like he said, that's a great way to have paced wrong especially in your first triathlon (ie. erring on the side of caution).
2014-07-15 8:45 PM
in reply to: JeffY

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Extreme Veteran
Sidney, Ohio
Subject: RE: YMCA Colonial Beach Sprint Triathlon
Great Race! For a 1st timer these are some good efforts.
2014-07-18 11:47 AM
in reply to: #5025454

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Culpeper, VA
Subject: RE: YMCA Colonial Beach Sprint Triathlon
Nicely done! I couldn't make heads or tails of the current either and I was in the first wave, so no time to sort it out. I went off the race director's tip before the gun went off and managed to swim an okay time.
2014-07-18 2:13 PM
in reply to: xeon

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Nova Scotia, Canada
Subject: RE: YMCA Colonial Beach Sprint Triathlon
Sounds like you had a great race, and the fact that you got faster as the run went on is great. It means you paced everything well and now next time you gave a run pace you can try and beat. Again great job!

2014-07-19 11:43 AM
in reply to: #5025454

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Fort Wayne
Subject: RE: YMCA Colonial Beach Sprint Triathlon

I think this sounds like a good race experience overall.  I'm sure you made some mistakes that cost you some time throughout the race but the focus at this race should have been finishing with a smile on your face, and I think you probably did.  This being your first triathlon taking it all in and taking some time to learn from it is also part of the triathlon experience......


It's normal for a person to be nervous at any race but especially for the first one.  I'm sure you were thinking about a lot of things other than navigation and they were all very important at the time.  What's important is that you recognize what you need to do next time.  In general, I think you had a good plan to navigate the course and sight occasionally.  I have found that you typically have a certain sighting pattern that is most efficient but you have to practice OWS to determine what works best for you.  I have found that I am most efficient when sighting every 4th stroke cycle, which means when bilaterally breathing I breath to my right, left, right, left, sight.  I can get away with 6 cycles occasionally but it has to be an easier swim pace in this case.


Unless you're having battery problems with your watch I suggest you turn your watch on and allow the satts to pick up before you head out for the swim.  This will save you some frustration on the bike, especially when you're racing short course.  Looking at your Garmin data it looks like you had a pretty good bike.  It appears to be a pretty even effort, which is what you're looking for.


That looks like an awesome run!!!  You negative split your first race!!  That's outstanding.  The only downside I can see is that you may have been able to run the first mile a little faster and had yet a better time.  

I think you had an incredible first race experience.  If you don't think you did, you had better take another look because it was awesome!

2014-07-22 8:48 PM
in reply to: #5025454

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Subject: RE: YMCA Colonial Beach Sprint Triathlon
Thank you folks for taking the time to read and advice!

I think I might like this sport.
2014-07-30 6:57 PM
in reply to: Captain_Chris

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Mastic Beach, NY
Subject: RE: YMCA Colonial Beach Sprint Triathlon
Chris I agree with pretty much with the feedback you've gotten from the group. I think you did a very good job all around. The swim is always a little tough the first time out but you got through that pretty well. You had a very solid bike leg and you negative split the run which is fantastic. The little things like the sighting during the swim and starting the Garmin late for the bike leg is no big deal. That's part of the learning experience and we all go through that. It's the same with pacing yourself as well you'll get a better feel for what you can do the more you race. Overall a really great first race, congrats.
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