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Redondo Beach Triathlon - Sprint Course - Triathlon

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Redondo Beach, California
United States
TC Tri Productions
Total Time = 53m 19s
Overall Rank = 45/490
Age Group = M45-49
Age Group Rank = 8/43
Pre-race routine:

This is my local hometown race, was my first tri 11 years ago, and either raced or volunteered (or, frankly, both) every year since. Much easier to race :) It's a funky distance, designed to be co-equal on time, .5 mile swim, 6 mile bike, 2 mile run. It's a great first timer race (altho the swim is a bit long for many), and it's always cool to see all sorts of people doing this race, clearly as their first. But if you actually race it, it's a pretty hard race because you just have to go as fast as you can for 50 minutes. There's no real spot to stop and catch your breath as there is even in an Oly.

This race plays to my strength as it's swim heavy. Last year was lucky enough to qualify for AG Nationals in the Oly distance here (didn't even know that was possible until I got the email), and had so much fun wanted to try to do it again. Spoiler alert - I didn't :)

I realized that this was the first race I've ever done actually trying to qualify for something, and it added an additional layer of stress that made it less fun, to be honest. I knew I had to get 4th or maybe 5th, and I knew that 3 guys signed up could beat me (barring mechanical or injury), and I got obsessive enough to check the start list to see who else was racing, who might be aging up, etc.

Wasn't until I actually started to swim that I finally just accepted I just had to do the best I could and let the chips fall where they may.

I also have had a slow start to the year. Just a series of minor injuries which were no more than annoyances, lack of attention to diet, a vacation have slowed my progress. Add in that I had done Escape from Alcatraz the week before, was sick the week before that, blah blah blah.....Everyone has stories
Event warmup:

Got there early and helped with setup, then ran a bit of the course and got in to swim about 500 yards. I've done this the last few years, and have listened to the anthem in the water, which I find peaceful.
  • 14m 35s
  • 880 yards
  • 01m 40s / 100 yards

The start wave here was Males 35-49, so it was pretty big . The conditions were very mild this year, no surf to speak of to break up the crowd. As a result it was crowded to the first buoy. Once I rounded that, while there were people around me for the swim along the shore, I never really found any feet to draft off of, and far as I know no one drafted off me. This was a change from prior years (on both sides).

I have a "rival" in this race (actually a friend) , the last two years (and every swim race we've done, including a 5 miler and a 10K), we are quite literally neck and neck. Last two years we exited the water together (in fat we had the exact same swim and bike times, to the second), and I always "sensed" where he was, but today had no idea.

Eventually hit the turn buoy to shore near the pier, but there was no surf to help us get in any faster. I could see the bottom for quite a while, but was waiting to feel the sand until dolphining in. I caught a minor swell and saw the guy next to me stand up in about thigh deep water, I was still swimming and he was walking... same speed. I got up, he was a step ahead of me, and it was my friend.

I opted not to wear any timing for the race so had no idea of the time, but knew it had to be decent if we were together. The run to the mat includes about 150 yds of deep sand, and he was already pulling away slightly.
What would you do differently?:

Nothing, happy with the swim given my fitness.
Transition 1
  • 04m 7s

I know what you're thinking.... FOUR???? Surely, that's a typo, isn't it? Sadly, no. My first defense is that the run from the timing mat to the bike (following the aforementioned beach sand run), is up a ramp for about .2 miles. My second defense is that the wetsuit, although pulled down to my waist, got a bit stuck on my timing chip.

My third defense, and it's a doozy, I grabbed the aero helmet that I tossed on the shelf last October, and just pulled down yesterday, pulled on the strap and the right clip just threaded right off the strap and bounced on the ground. I had to reach down under the bike, take off the helmet, and try to figure out how to re-thread it properly, a trying task under normal circumstances, not to mention huffing and puffing in T1. Screwed it up once, then got it right, kinda..... hoping it was stay clipped and/or that I wouldn't crash, as I wasn't sure the helmet would stay on. Probably stupid on many fronts.

Anyway, the fourth defense is the guy that came late, who I gladly let squeeze in his mountain bike next to my sweet-ass end of rack transition spot (as it was his first race and he needed a place to put his bucket.... seriously). The result of this racking was that my bike, which I was able to roll under the rack prior to said racking, could now no longer fit under the rack as it was weighed down.

Combine all of this self-imposed and outside inflicted stupidity, the race was for all intents and purposes over. This all probably added 1:30 or so to my T1 time, which you simply cannot make up with my run speed, or more precisely, lack of run speed
What would you do differently?:


Seriously, I put on the disc and front Hed 3, put the right cassette on, take the bike out for a spin, run in the shoes I'll be using, sometimes even train in race clothing, but never thought to check helmet strap Doh.
  • 16m 48s
  • 6 miles
  • 21.43 mile/hr

So, I kinda started the bike out defeated. I knew my friend was long gone out of transition. Normally we've used eachother (or I've used him) to pace a bit harder on the bike. I was mentally weighing why the heck I needed to push so hard when my goal was gone.

But I pressed on, because riding my bike fast is fun :) Plus I had no idea who was where. I knew that the 3 guys were ahead of me, but the rest was a mystery. I'd hate to have had lost the spot due to just giving up

The course is a strange little two loop affair with a 180 turn and a large looping 180 at the bottom of a small hill each lap. Four long straightaways each lap.

At the first 180, just as I came around it, a guy had stopped in the apex of the turn, with his bike on the ground, cursing. I saw him pick the bike up and then threw it. Then heard something else and turned to see that he had thrown his helmet across the bike course in some kind of frustration. Learned later that he had been cut off at the turn and somehow had a puncture, and also that he was coached by my "rival." I let my friend know that he needed to instill a little reason (and class) into this athlete, I think he should have been DQ'd for the helmet toss into the path of other riders. Dude, it's just a sprint race.....

Power goals for the ride were like the past two years - 280 -290, which I've met every time until now, where my AP was 230 and NP 254. Fell far short of goals, but time was only :30 off last year. Not sure if those numbers pan out and make sense, but that's what they are. I think this is kind of a combination of current fitness, mental gymnastics, and not having my usual rabbit, all causing me to ease off the pedal a bit
What would you do differently?:

Not much, still had a good AG placing and pretty good OA, considering my power is not where it was last year.
Transition 2
  • 01m 21s

The lead guys here are sub 1:00, i just have not concentrated on doing these very fast
  • 16m 31s
  • 2 miles
  • 08m 16s  min/mile

The weight and general lower fitness got me more here than the swim/bike. I still did OK AG (10th) but can't compete with guys running 6:30s when I am barely sub 8.

This course, like the bike, is also funky, lots of turns, pretty good for an OCDer like me that I can break things up in chunks. I still had no idea where I was -- turns out 6 guys beat me out of the water, and even though I out-biked three of them, their lead meant I was not passed- and didn't get passed by anyone in my AG that I saw.

Course was a bit long at 2.15 so actual pace was a bit under 8, but still about a minute off last year.
What would you do differently?:

come in fitter and lighter :)
Post race
Event comments:

Ended 8/43 AG, but the snafu in T1 didn't cost me from qualifying. I would have had to go 4+ minutes faster to do that. I am happy with the result given my fitness, weight, and the lesson learned, and the result is appropriate I think. It does give me some motivation to come back and see if I can improve my running to be more on par with the leaders. Problem is even though I age up next year, the same guys do too :)

Last updated: 2015-06-14 12:00 AM
00:14:35 | 880 yards | 01m 40s / 100yards
Age Group: 7/43
Overall: 36/490
Performance: Average
Start type: Plus:
Water temp: 63F / 17C Current:
200M Perf. Remainder:
Breathing: Drafting:
Waves: Navigation:
Time: 04:07
Performance: Bad
Cap removal: Helmet on/
Suit off:
Wetsuit stuck? Run with bike:
Jump on bike:
Getting up to speed:
00:16:48 | 06 miles | 21.43 mile/hr
Age Group: 5/43
Overall: 18/490
Performance: Average
Road:   Cadence:
Turns: Cornering:
Gear changes: Hills:
Race pace: Drinks:
Time: 01:21
Overall: Average
Riding w/ feet on shoes
Jumping off bike
Running with bike
Racking bike
Shoe and helmet removal
00:16:31 | 02 miles | 08m 16s  min/mile
Age Group: 10/43
Overall: 89/490
Performance: Below average
Keeping cool Drinking
Post race
Weight change: %
Mental exertion [1-5]
Physical exertion [1-5]
Good race?
Course challenge
Events on-time?
Lots of volunteers?
Plenty of drinks?
Post race activities:
Race evaluation [1-5]

2015-06-16 2:58 PM

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Subject: Redondo Beach Triathlon - Sprint Course

2015-06-16 5:47 PM
in reply to: #5122982

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PEI, Canada
Subject: RE: Redondo Beach Triathlon - Sprint Course

Seems like you caught what I had at Alcatraz - Sh!ttyT1-itis.  

Sounds like a fun race though, I'd be all over something like that.

2015-06-16 7:30 PM
in reply to: axteraa

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Houston, Texas
Subject: RE: Redondo Beach Triathlon - Sprint Course

Honestly, it sounds like you, Arend, and I need to work on our transition skills

A short race like that sounds like it would hurt pretty bad in the moment!  Nice work toughing it out despite the crap in T1.

2015-06-19 2:23 PM
in reply to: #5122982

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2000500100100100100 home in The ATL
Subject: RE: Redondo Beach Triathlon - Sprint Course

Nice job staying focused and sticking with it Chris - I know I would have been laughing myself silly in transition (eventually) and probably would have taken twice as long as you to get the helmet buckle worked out. Sorry you won't be at Nationals this year - JT and I were looking forward to catching up with you again. Sounds like your Plan B is pretty darn good though...

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