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White Lake Fall Half - Triathlon

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Elizabethtown, North Carolina
United States
Set Up Events
85F / 29C
Total Time = 5h 12m 34s
Overall Rank = 14/150
Age Group =
Age Group Rank = 3/20
Pre-race routine:

Although I was directed to go the wrong way on the course, I should have known the course and will therefore not put the blame of SetupEvents. This error cost me an additional 11 miles and 30 minutes on the bike, which effectively took me out of the race.

My 2:28:56 bike split through 56 miles would have been good enough for 3rd Overall. That would have also been the 3rd fastest bike split of the day.
Event warmup:

No warmup. I just set up transition and focused on getting ready for the race. I soaked in the atmosphere, prepared my body for the punishment forthcoming, and talked with a few buds.
  • 38m 22s
  • 2112 yards
  • 01m 49s / 100 yards

Overall, this swim would have been very good had I not headed towards the wrong buoy about halfway through the swim. I though I was headed to the turn buoy, but when I got closer, I noticed it wasn't and had to swim back, in a v shape, to the turn buoy. I was surprised when I exited the water under 40 mins.

The lake was fairly calm, with some chop here and there. I never did look straight down, though, which I always do to see the bottom. It's only 9 feet deep at the deepest, and it's reassuring to be able to look at the sandy bottom.
What would you do differently?:

Sight better.
Transition 1
  • 01m 21s

Fastest overall T1! Raced out of the water, passed a few guys on the run up to my bike, and got out fast. Jumped on bike, feet on top of shoes, and put the pedal to the metal.
What would you do differently?:

I was going fast to make up for the swim.
  • 2h 58m 35s
  • 56 miles
  • 18.81 mile/hr

Actual Mileage: 66.61...whoops.

Well, this would have been a bike PR of a few minutes (2:28:xx). A police officer directed me the wrong way on the course. I was hammering it, when I saw lights and he pulled me over 5.5 miles later. He was a little flustered telling me I had to turn the other way...There were a few other cyclists that had to turn around, too.

I was super disappointed in that I was really hammering the ride. Upon looking at my garmin, decided i'd make it a game to see if I could come in under 3 hours for 67 miles.

It started to rain halfway though and it really made it difficult to keep top speed for fear of slipping on the crack sealant all over the roads. I did hit those sealants a few times and slid, so it was definitely a factor.

There were also turtles crossing the road! You gotta be careful with Mr. Turtle. He's big enough to cause a wreck!

Overall, I went harder than I should have, but I had planned on biking hard and easing up on the run.
What would you do differently?:

Transition 2
  • 01m 24s

Everything was wet. I expected to get blisters halfway through the run.
What would you do differently?:

Cover up socks and shoes
  • 1h 32m 55s
  • 13.1 miles
  • 07m 05s  min/mile

This was a tough run. It was steamy, although there was some wind. My legs were tired from putting in the hard effort on the bike, but I decided that I wanted to keep a 7 min/mi pace. Fell of towards the end, but I didn't feel like going into the Hurt Locker b/c I knew this race was over due to the wrong turn on the bike.

I saw several Sandspurs and buds out on the course. Waved at a few, cheered on a few, and encouraged all those athletes that looked like they were hurting.
Post race
Warm down:

Walked around, drank water, had pizza and oranges, and hung out with family and friends.

What limited your ability to perform faster:

Wrong turn on the bike.

Event comments:

Good race overall. It's a beautiful location, and the lake is perfect for kids. I highly recommend this race to anyone looking at completing a challenging race.

Last updated: 2015-09-10 12:00 AM
00:38:22 | 2112 yards | 01m 49s / 100yards
Age Group: 5/20
Overall: 20/150
Performance: Below average
Suit: ZOOT Tri Suit - No wetsuit or swimskin
Course: The basic reason that the White Lake races have become so popular over the years is the lake itself. White Lake is one of the finest lakes you will ever have the pleasure to swim in – a perfect oval, two miles long and one mile across. The lake which is fed by subterranean springs is crystal clear with a sand bottom – about nine feet deep out in the very middle. Most mornings, White Lake is so perfectly flat; you’d swear you were looking at a sheet of ice. This is an in-water start with participants lining up with the end of the two piers/docks at the NCFFA Center. The swim course is triangular shaped. Participants exit the water at the end of the easternmost pier/dock and run about 300 yards to the transition area.
Start type: Wade Plus: Waves
Water temp: 82F / 28C Current: Low
200M Perf. Good Remainder: Average
Breathing: Good Drafting: Average
Waves: Navigation: Bad
Rounding: Good
Time: 01:21
Performance: Good
Cap removal: Good Helmet on/
Suit off:
Wetsuit stuck? Run with bike: Yes
Jump on bike: Yes
Getting up to speed: Good
02:58:35 | 56 miles | 18.81 mile/hr
Age Group: 10/20
Overall: 49/150
Performance: Good
Wind: Some
Course: The White Lake Half bike course will have competitors taking a right out of the FFA center onto Hwy 53, then down around the Wam Squam to Hwy 701. North on Hwy 701 for 8 miles to Hwy 210. Right (southeast) on Hwy 210 for 25 miles to Hwy 53. Right on Hwy 53 for the 20 miles back to the race site. The best part of the new bike course was the elimination of the famed Over Lyon out & back section in 2013. Literally only four turns on the 56 mile course.
Road: Smooth Wet Cadence:
Turns: Good Cornering: Good
Gear changes: Good Hills:
Race pace: Hard Drinks: Just right
Time: 01:24
Overall: Good
Riding w/ feet on shoes Good
Jumping off bike Good
Running with bike Good
Racking bike Good
Shoe and helmet removal Average
01:32:55 | 13.1 miles | 07m 05s  min/mile
Age Group: 1/20
Overall: 3/150
Performance: Good
Course: The run course will have runners going right on Hwy 53 out of the FFA center and down behind the Wam Squam.The course is on the bike lane along 701. Runners will run in and out of Turtle Cove on the way out.
Keeping cool Average Drinking Not enough
Post race
Weight change: %
Overall: Below average
Mental exertion [1-5] 4
Physical exertion [1-5] 5
Good race? Yes
Course challenge Just right
Organized? Yes
Events on-time? No
Lots of volunteers? Yes
Plenty of drinks? Yes
Post race activities: Average
Race evaluation [1-5] 4

2015-09-13 12:57 PM

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Whispering Pines, North Carolina
Subject: White Lake Fall Half

2015-09-13 3:53 PM
in reply to: 0

Subject: RE: White Lake Fall Half

Well....first of all, Congratulations on a fantastic ride, Ronnie. This sets you up extremely well for your IM. On the other hand, I know that it can be disappointing to have such a great race only to have something (somehwhat) out of your control, kind of screw it up. 

On to your BIG race. 


Edited by teriziatea 2015-09-13 3:53 PM
2015-09-13 4:26 PM
in reply to: #5140440

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Apex, NC
Subject: RE: White Lake Fall Half
I always worry about making a wrong turn on the bike. It can happen so easily. Yes, we're supposed to know the course but rarely do I study it enough that I would have the confidence to go against what a policeman said. Did he really chase you down and turn you around?
2015-09-14 7:47 AM
in reply to: smoom

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Whispering Pines, North Carolina
Subject: RE: White Lake Fall Half
Originally posted by smoom

I always worry about making a wrong turn on the bike. It can happen so easily. Yes, we're supposed to know the course but rarely do I study it enough that I would have the confidence to go against what a policeman said. Did he really chase you down and turn you around?

Taking a wrong turn IS easy to do. I worry about it, too, but that's something you can recover from if you don't go too far. I definitely went too far!

The police officer did chase me down (flashed his lights and pulled up next to me, so I stopped) and asked if I was doing the "half or the 56 mile ride". He was at the intersection with another officer and, once he realized he had sent a few of us the wrong way, went after us to let us know. I do appreciate that he did that. He thought the "half" was half the HIM distance. On the way back, I let a few other cyclists know to turn back the other way, and the officer was doing the same.

I did talk to the RD about it and he said that the course was properly marked and that a police officer should not be giving directions to athletes...only race officials/volunteers should.

Once again, It's my bad for not knowing the course. Oh, well! I got a heck of training day out of it.
2015-09-14 2:35 PM
in reply to: d00d

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Wilmington, NC
Subject: RE: White Lake Fall Half
hmmm me thinks you have got the cycling down, got the running down, and coming from a brick like myself pretty much got the swimming down. Time to start working on your directional ability

Sounds like a very strong race despite the directional challenges in the swim and on the bike. Keep rolling my friend.
2015-09-14 2:39 PM
in reply to: d00d

User image

Atlanta, Georgia
Bronze member
Subject: RE: White Lake Fall Half
Ok, you're pre-disastered now and everything will go perfectly in Louisville.

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While adequate protein is important in your sports diet, protein should take its place as the accompaniment to carbs (grains, fruits, vegetables) in each meal and snack.
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The first time I ventured into the deep murky green lake and could not see the bottom my muscles tensed and my imagined fears surfaced. What exactly lies beneath?