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Challenge Penticton Half Distance - TriathlonShort Course


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Penticton, British Columbia
Canada
Challenge
17C / 63F
Overcast
Total Time = 8h 08m 4s
Overall Rank = 396/438
Age Group = M65-69
Age Group Rank = 6/8
Pre-race routine:

My taper week was pretty quiet. We were socked in by heavy smoke from multiple forest fires in the area. Visibility was under half a mile and people were discouraged from any heavy activity.
I volunteered in Package Pick Up and at the Junior Triathlon on Saturday morning before the race. I'll definitely volunteer for the kids again. They were phenomenal to watch.
Event warmup:

I woke up at 5:00am got dressed, had breakfast and put on my body tattoos. I loved including my age on my right calf. We drove to the transition site and checked my bike and loaded my water bottles. Got my wetsuit on and headed to the beach. The full course athletes started at 6:30am and the pros for the short course started at 6:50 then we were up for a start at 7:00. This was my biggest mass start so far at well over 500 swimmers.
Swim
  • 42m 1s
  • 1900 meters
  • 02m 13s / 100 meters
Comments:

We had to wade out a fair distance to get to waist deep water. I saw my friend Lisa briefly before the start and I wished her luck then the horn sounded sending everyone off at once. Immediately it was fairly tight quarters as we all got going. I soon felt I started off too quickly and I eased up a bit and settled into my normal pace. People were packed in fairly tight and I saw lots of hands and feet but there was no heavy hitting (at least not for me).

I was amazed at how many breaststroke swimmers there were and although I was passing them they were still moving pretty fast.

I rounded the two turn buoys easily and was pleased to be heading back to shore. I stayed in amongst a crowd of swimmers the whole way but never felt too constricted nor hit too hard by anyone.

I saw a fellow to my right swimming maybe 20 FS strokes then switching to breaststroke. He would leave me behind with his FS but then I'd catch up when he was breast-stroking. We went along like that for awhile but I lost sight of him as we neared the shore.
I swim here all summer so it was like heading home. I aimed straight for the "Peach" and soon was dragging my knuckles on the bottom. I stood up and as I quickly moved out of the water I got my wetsuit down to my waist and went quickly into transition.
Coming out of the water I was amazed at how many people were calling out my name and cheering me on. Apparently, I had a big smile on my face. I can't remember. I did feel pretty good though.

In transition I walked up to a group of wetsuit strippers and laid down on my back and they whipped my suit off in a flash and helped me up just as fast.

Then I went to the T1 bags but for some reason my "#800" bags were grouped off by themselves out of sequence and I lost a minute or so looking for my bag without a volunteer around to ask for help. I did find the bag and moved on quickly forgetting about the problem.
What would you do differently?:

I'm going to change my swimming this winter so I can improve for next year. I think I'm doing fairly well/average but I'm sure I can do better.
Transition 1
  • 00m
Comments:

Unfortunately, it looks as though the Transition times were lumped in with the Cycling time. So, I can only go by how it felt. I was very slow and poorly prepared here. The tent was packed with athletes so I opted to sit on the grass outside and change. I lost a lot of time getting my socks on even though I rolled them into doughnuts. Other than that I was fairly quick and got to my bike and jogged out to the mount line.

Because of the weather I took time to put on arm warmers which was not easy when wet. I'll have to roll them up next time I use them.
What would you do differently?:

I should have packed a hand towel in my T1 bag to dry my feet and I should have practiced my transitions to be better prepared. I definitely will know better for next year.
Bike
  • 4h 23m 40s
  • 90 kms
  • 20.48 km/hr
Comments:

I got on my bike at the mount line and headed up Main St. I had concerns about the weather today. I was fairly slow to start and had a bit of trouble getting up to speed. Going through town was fun and the spectators were enthusiastic.

I've ridden the course often and knew that I could handle it comfortably even though I am slow.

Getting past Skaha Lake Park was great and now I was out of town. The headwind was very strong (yet the lake was flat calm for the swim) and I went down on my aero bars for as long as I could. It was around here we were hit by a downpour of either small hail or big sleet. So much for summer! We were hit twice by the downpour before we hit McLean Creek Rd and our first hill climb. I was slow but I made it up and kept going.

Once down into Okanagan Falls it was fairly flat for the next 15km so I was moving as fast as I could but the headwind slowed me down significantly compared to how fast I ride through the area normally. As I passed a fellow we talked briefly and he said he was looking forward to turning north and having this wind behind his back.

Soon after I turned a corner onto Secrest Rd. to see the hardest climb of the day. I know I'll be glad to get this behind me. It's not long (about 1 mile) but it is steep, narrow and winding. As soon as a group of us hit the start of the climb almost everyone got off their bikes and started walking. One fellow was even slipping on the slope due to the gradient and had to move over to walk on the gravel shoulder.

I started to ride up as I've done before but I quickly realized I was only just a little faster then the people who were walking and I was working a lot harder than the walkers. I thought I was quitting to get off the bike but I didn't want to burn up my legs before my run so I got off my bike and started walking as fast as I could. In the end I was only marginally slower than I would have been if I rode up the whole hill. But, I was a lot less fatigued.

I felt pretty good as I was walking up - much less strenuous but then this fellow rides by me and says, "Where's the beer? I was told there was beer!" (bit of a German or Scandinavian accent) and as he goes by I see his age tattoo on his right calf 72!! So, again I regretted getting off my bike although he probably would still have passed me.

Moments later I was "Chicked" by a lady that I am guessing was the 72 yr old fellow's wife and she was 71 and also was faster than me.

With Secrest hill behind me I was now on some rough roads and trying to make up some time going as fast as I could when I realized I needed a portapotty. So, next AID Stn was coming soon. The volunteers along the way were fantastic and eager to help in any way they could. As soon as I was off my bike they were right there to see what I needed. A lady took my bike and held it for me and I was in and out in a minute and quickly back on my bike.

It turns out I drank too much because I needed to stop 3 times for a portapotty (plus in transition).

There was still lots of climbing to do but I was comfortable and riding happy. Chatting with other athletes, waved on my friend Lisa again. She was only minutes ahead of me. The scenery through the White Lake area always captivates me. Also, once we reach the Observatory I knew I had 7km to the highway then a fast descent into Okanagan Falls and not long back to Penticton. Hopefully with a tailwind.
I enjoyed this part of the ride especially passing a few cyclists on the downhill to the highway and then quickly into OK Falls. Then I got stuck behind an old fellow driving in front of me on a downhill so slow I had to almost stop. A volunteer saw my predicament and she urged the fellow to get out of the way but I had to wait until he turned left and I could turn right. It only cost me a minute or less but I had to just smile. Glad it was nothing worse.

Now I'm on very familiar territory. East Lake Rd is rolling for a few km then pretty flat to Penticton. I passed a friend I swim with at the side of the road cheering me on. I felt bad he was out so long waiting for me just to whip by yelling out a "Thanks!!" and I was gone.

At this point I realized if I hustled I could get back to Transition by 4hours so I pushed as hard as I could. There were no other riders around and even though I knew there were people behind me I felt as though I was last.

As I hit about 10km to go the air temp dropped dramatically and I got hit by a deluge. I was riding through puddles and was soaked. My arm warmers were great and I was glad to have them.

The rain stopped as I passed the AID Stn at Skaha Lake Park that was my turn around point for my upcoming run. It felt great seeing the people and being back into town. Now if I can just get off my bike and RUN!

I made it up the last hill and back onto Main St. I was moving now. Even for an old guy this was fun. Heading down Main St passing enthusiastic spectators and even picking up speed.

I turned the last corner and 100m to the dismount line. I approached as fast as I dared and hit the brakes to stop a couple feet short of the line and was able to get off without falling over (always a good thing).

I passed my bike to a volunteer and checked my Garmin. My time was 4:00:04 excluding transition times.
What would you do differently?:

I need to get my cadence up and I need to get stronger on hills, into the wind and longer on my aero-bars. I'm getting older but I still believe I can get faster because I only started all this 4 yrs ago.
Transition 2
  • 00m
Comments:

Again I was slow in Transition. First off I had a "Senior" moment when I wanted to use the portapotty - AGAIN! and I saw them all as occupied when they weren't. After wasting a minute I realized my embarrassing mistake and got going.

The volunteers here were fantastic and had my T2 bag waiting for me. I got changed quickly, drank 12oz of Gatorade and headed out of transition.
What would you do differently?:

Except for my Senior moment I wasn't too slow here. I'm sure some transition practice would move me along faster.
Run
  • 3h 02m 24s
  • 21.1 kms
  • 08m 38s  min/km
Comments:

So, the one thing I've been wondering for the last few weeks. Can I run off the bike? I came out of transition running and I was able to keep running. I didn't feel great but I was running and I was thrilled.

The run along Lakeshore Dr is beautiful and it was warm. I felt great, I was running and I was going to keep running except for the AID Stns. I made it to the dam and crossed the little bridge then turned to run along the channel.

I stopped at each Stn and had water and coke. At this point the cups had about 4 oz in them. I walked until I had finished my drinks then carried on. I encouraged all the runners I met even the ones that were already on their way back and way ahead of me. It was fun and it helped me pass the time.

When I got off the bike my left knee was sore (having "fit" issues) in the same place as was sore when I did the ChelanMan a few weeks back. So far I was able to run without aggravating my knee.

As I ran on I could tell I was slowing down but I was still running and if nothing else that was a big positive deal for me. In no time (30minutes) I reached the first turn around and headed back to town. Still cheering on any runners ahead or behind me.
After I crossed back over the little "dam" bridge I ran out to meet one of the race directors who called me by name and encouraged me. By now I was used to people calling me by name because they read my name on my bib number. Still, it was nice to be encouraged by anyone.

Now I'm running back to the Peach and soon I'll be heading out on the second out and back. It just felt good to be actually running. I call it running - it might just be walking really fast.

As I passed the Peach and turned into a park to cross over to MainSt I ran passed a friend who was less than a kilometre from the finish line and we high-fived as we passed. Shortly after that I ran passed my friend Lisa and high-fived her as well. She was now quite a bit ahead of me but then she really is a runner.

Roughly 6 km to go to the turn around and then back to the finish. I'm still running but when I walk the AID stns my knee stiffens up and it takes a bit of careful work to loosen it up and get going again. The running I'm doing doesn't aggravate the knee but it is slowing me down.
I continue chatting with anyone I pass and I'm having fun. I'm hearing some thunder but not seeing anything close by.

Running passed the last AID Stn at Skaha Park I know the Stn Captain and he's good for a few laughs. The coke cups are now down to 2 oz per cup so I'm taking two and getting going again.

I'm turned around and heading back! I'm still running but just so slow. I'm amazed with myself. Amazed I'm still running. The people behind me seem to appreciate any encouragement. Some seem to be hurting a bit but I am also amazed that no one is catching up to me.

I've just got a couple kilometres to go. I'm running through the park again and I see Lisa she finished some time ago. I'm pleased for her.
I just have to run around the Lakeshore Resort then into the finish chute and to the finish line.
I'm actually all alone as I run around the resort and there are people having lunch on the patio as I hobble by. Not sure if I should be embarrassed or proud of myself. I'm having fun. I have minor pain. My run is a hobble but I'm loving it and I know I'm doing this again next year.

The the chute comes into view. It's red carport on long grass. I just don't want to trip and fall. It's all about looking good right. Not really I look like a rough Papa Smurf but I'm running around the chute and people are cheering. I don't see anyone but everyone is calling my name and I feel good.

I'm crossing the finish line and my wife is there. I don't need a catcher but I know the fellow so I accept him catching me and I get a medal from someone and another friend gives me my finisher shirt.

Now that I've stopped my knees are both seizing up a bit. Just as has happened before.
What would you do differently?:

I ran pretty slowly but I ran. I'm going to run faster next year and I'm going to beat 7 hours next year.
Post race
Warm down:

My wife and Colt my finish line catcher guided me over to the food tent but my knees were stiffening so my wife went and signed me up for a massage. I got in right away and told the fellow where I needed the work and he did trigger point work on my knees that loosened me up some. I actually recommend massage after a race if you're hurting.
Then I went back to the food tent and ate three small sandwiches and drank some water. I was craving pizza and watermelon but the sandwiches were pretty good.

My wife was a huge supporter in my training and racing. It sure helps having family on your side. She is also my favourite volunteer and if you happened to be here this year she was the Volunteer Captain in the Package Pick Up tent.

What limited your ability to perform faster:

I have a lot of limiters and I may never be fast but I know I can improve.



Event comments:

The race is still being re-invented but it is growing nicely and is particularly benefitting from the new race directors Kevin Cutjar and Mike Brown. I think it is only going to get better and better.




Last updated: 2015-09-01 12:00 AM
Swimming
00:42:01 | 1900 meters | 02m 13s / 100meters
Age Group: 0/8
Overall: 0/438
Performance: Average
Suit: Blue Seventy
Course: A triangular swim 900m out 100m across then return 900m. We were on the right side of the buoys for the return and the long course athletes were on the left side.
Start type: Wade Plus: Shot
Water temp: 22C / 72F Current: Low
200M Perf. Average Remainder: Good
Breathing: Good Drafting: Average
Waves: Navigation: Average
Rounding: Good
T1
Time: 00:00
Performance: Below average
Cap removal: Good Helmet on/
Suit off:
Yes
Wetsuit stuck? No Run with bike: Yes
Jump on bike: Yes
Getting up to speed: Average
Biking
04:23:40 | 90 kms | 20.48 km/hr
Age Group: 0/8
Overall: 0/438
Performance: Average
Wind: Headwind
Course: Figure 8 course new this year.
Road: Rough Wet Cadence: 66
Turns: Good Cornering: Good
Gear changes: Average Hills: Below average
Race pace: Comfortable Drinks: Too much
T2
Time: 00:00
Overall:
Riding w/ feet on shoes
Jumping off bike
Running with bike
Racking bike
Shoe and helmet removal
Running
03:02:24 | 21.1 kms | 08m 38s  min/km
Age Group: 0/8
Overall: 0/438
Performance: Below average
Course: The course is a 4km out and back leg to the right then back out to the left for a 6.5km out and back. My Garmin said 21.15km by the time I reached the finish line.
Keeping cool Good Drinking Just right
Post race
Weight change: %
Overall: Good
Mental exertion [1-5] 3
Physical exertion [1-5] 3
Good race? Yes
Evaluation
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

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2015-09-01 11:59 PM

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Penticton, BC
Subject: Challenge Penticton Half Distance


2015-09-02 1:34 AM
in reply to: #5138273

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Subject: RE: Challenge Penticton Half Distance
Those winds and downpours were nuts!!

The new sections of both courses sure did add in some steep sections I TOTALLY agree!!

You going to try the new distance next year?
2015-09-02 9:57 PM
in reply to: dfquigley

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1000500100100
Penticton, BC
Subject: RE: Challenge Penticton Half Distance

Hi Dustin,  I saw you had a phenomenal time for the full course.  Congratulations on your own race.  The weather sure was a mixed bag.  I went down to the lake today and walked into mid-calf and the water was too glacial to swim in.  On Saturday the water was 22.5C and Monday morning the lake had turned over and was too cold to swim.  Yesterday the water temp was 13.5C.  I can't believe the water has cooled off so fast.  I can't imagine it will warm up enough to swim again this year.  Maybe we'll get lucky,

When I wrote my report I forgot next year will be the 3K/120K/30K race but I am seriously considering it.  I know I can swim the 3K and bike the 120K but I'm not sure about the 30K run.  I guess I could always do the Aquathon portion.  In any event I need to change my training strategy and add in some weight training as well.  Two fellows I swim with (both 70) are considering next years race and Aquathon so I can't let them out do me.

Heading to Kelowna/Costco tomorrow.

2015-09-03 12:10 AM
in reply to: wenceslasz

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Subject: RE: Challenge Penticton Half Distance
I had a good swim, and despite the weather, relative to most of the field I had a good bike split, though it would have been much better without the downpours, hail and headwinds!!

I really did suffer the second half of the run though, but expected it due to only really having trained for a half marathon, then deciding 6 weeks out ( with a target half marathon 5 weeks out ) that the full distance would be a good idea, hah!

Would be nice to do a full year of proper distance training and see how I could improve that run, but I might try out the ITU long, we'll see what kind of deal they offer soon!

See my Orthopedic surgeon tomorrow morning about some of this hardware, so we will see about that too!
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