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Challenge Cedar Point - Half Rev - Triathlon1/2 Ironman

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Sandusky, Ohio
United States
67F / 19C
Total Time = 5h 41m 14s
Overall Rank = 112/389
Age Group = 35-39
Age Group Rank = 20/45
Pre-race routine:

Not much done differently here, stayed at a hotel about a 1/2 mile from race so made things easy. I woke up around 5 am and took my time gathering everything up to head out to the race. Made it down to the race site around 6:30 with plenty of time to get set up and ready.
For breakfast I had a peanut butter and jelly sandwich and coffee. Shortly before race start I ate a banana to kind of top things off. Also had a large bottle of water while setting up transition
Event warmup:

The only swim warm up that was available was between 6:30 and 6:50, with my swim not starting until 8:20 I didn't feel it was worth the hassle to walk the 1/2 mile. I did manage a 1/2 mile run out to the car and back for a few items I had forgotten.
Best part of no warm up was being able to hang with the family before the race started. It was nice to have them there as they calmed my nerves a bit.
Family time
  • 41m 9s
  • 2112 yards
  • 01m 57s / 100 yards

Family time
Just getting ready for the swim was chaotic, the course itself had been moved from the lake to the opposite side into the marina because of how rough the beach was. Then after starting the full distance race, the bay on the outside of the breakwall was starting to get frothy so the decision was made to stay inside the break wall instead of doing a lap around the wall. This was all for safety so no concerns, but this pushed the start time back about 10 minutes and then instead of doing the AG group starts it was just a massive free for all start with a 2 at a time trial start. Everyone was self seeding in a group of 400. I wound up being towards the back and instead of pushing forward I just hung out, but it was taking several minutes to get everyone into the water and my anxiety was building as I was just ready to start the race. It probably took 10 minutes to get to where I was but it felt more like 30 minutes.
Once I was finally able to get going the swim felt great, I fell into a pretty good rhythm and was moving along. I passed what seemed to be a lot of folks before hitting the 1st buoy. During this portion the only issue I had was getting my head high enough to see the buoy. Even though we were behind the break wall, the water was still pretty choppy and if I didn't get high enough I would get a face full of water and not find the buoy.
After the 1st turn everything continued on smoothly, I sighted well and headed straight for the turn around. Overall I never really felt gassed but didn't feel like I was going easy either. At the turn around I made a wide turn to stay out of the mass of people and headed back down the channel, not much to sight off of here but since the channel was so tight all I had to do was stay close to the side and I was good.
My issues came when I came out of the channel and needed to find the last turn buoy. Since they had originally not planned on the swimming heading this direction it was a ways out, combined with it being a smaller buoy I could not pick it out. I tried to spot people in front of me and follow them but my goggles also started fogging up and I could barely see 10 yards in front of me. After going a few hundred yards I knew I was heading off to the right so I stopped, cleaned my goggles and located the buoy before going again. I would stop one more time before getting to the turn buoy to keep bearings: I probably should of done something about the foggy goggles before the race, I had been having issues on my last few swim WO's in the week leading up to the race.
After making the last turn I was able to pick out the exit fairly well, but the water seemed to suddenly get all churned up and was the worst chop of the entire race. Combine this with the loads of people that seemed to all converge at the same time and it was a bit of a rough finish.
Family time
What would you do differently?:

New goggles and anti fog spray
Transition 1
  • 09m 28s

Holy crap this went on for eeevvveeeeer! Since the swim was moved, the run from swim exit to transition was over a 1/2 mile long. The Garmin had it at 0.6 miles so the time was expected. Also I added to it when I decided not to pee in my wetsuit. Before the swim even started I felt my bladder getting heavy, but I just can't bring my self to pee all over myself in a wetsuit. It's one thing in swimming shorts, but in a wetsuit, no thanks. yuck! So when I hit transition my 1st stop was the port-o-let, then on to the bike. Getting everything on and situated didn't take much time at all.
What would you do differently?:

Go to the bathroom a 4th time before the start of the race.
  • 2h 51m 42s
  • 56 miles
  • 19.57 mile/hr

Wow, this turned out to be an extremely difficult bike course. Going into the race I was hoping to hold 20mph as a goal but the wind was not going to allow it. Depending on which weather report I follow the wind was steady 17-25mph with gusts up to 35-40mph, so it was unrelenting.
Bike splits
Heading out from the park I struggled to get relaxed and couldn't bring the heart down, I think this was more to do with the road conditions than anything. To say the 1st 5 miles were rough is an understatement, there were cracks, pot holes, bumps and just general obstacles to swerve around. Once out on the main road it was freshly paved and I was able to finally relax. At this point was where I also started passing other riders, and I mean a lot of riders. I guess that's a bonus of a poor seeding in the swim, at some point you get to start passing other racers! I was still fighting the HR though and had to make a concerted effort to bring it down. My target for the 1st portion of the bike was to try and be around 130, max 135. After the 1st 10 miles I was holding a average of 140 so definitely was pushing hard. I continued to pull back and keep from over exerting but as I continued to pass other riders it was hard to do.
I think around mile 10 was when I 1st got a sense of what the wind was going to be like, up to this point it had been a tailwind and then somewhat of a cross wind. But after the 1st aid station and a short section through town we hit the fields and the full force of the winds. At first it was a crosswind pushing all over the road and then after another turn it became a headwind that brought me to what felt like a complete stop.
This is where having a power meter for the 1st time started paying off. I had no clue what my power output should be, but over the 1st 10 miles I was watching the 10s average and found at a decent effort I was around 180 watts. So out of a estimated unscientific guess that was my mark for the rest of the race, whenever I would hit a head wind and the power started jumping I kept the cadence around 90 and adjusted the gearing accordingly to keep the output around 180. This went on over the next 15 miles, then hit the long back stretch that was surpringly a decent tailwind. I was able to take some advantage but also started to feel a lot of tightness in my back and I was up and down out of the aero bars. (I really need to start working on my core). I think in hindsite if I had been able to push a little more in this section I could have knocked a few more minutes off my time.
Around mile 35 was where things really got interesting, the course turned back to the west and straight into the 25mph wind. Progress at this point ground to a halt and my lap speeds dropped considerably. Patience was the key though and I ignored the lap speed every time it buzzed and just kept a steady output. I continued to pass a lot of other riders and felt strong for the last 20 miles even though the wind continued to howl!
Nutrition: main bottle of infinit at roughly 1100 calories and by the end of the course I had finished about 95% of it. At mile 10 in took in a yogurt bar at 150 calories, more for a solid than anything. Then a gel around mile 25. Total calories for the bike came in around 1250-1300, over 400 per hour!
Lap times (5 miles each)

Bike splits
Transition 2
  • 02m 33s

Nothing to speak of, other than trying to talk one of the relayers that had just finished the bike to go and get my a fountain Pepsi, unfortunately he didn't go for it.
  • 1h 56m 21s
  • 13.1 miles
  • 08m 53s  min/mile

I went into this not knowing what to expect out of the run. When setting up my plan for the year I decided to cut out all over the extra running I had done in previous years and only follow what the plan called for. This resulted in my weekly run totals going from 30 miles down to around 15-20. Then about a month back my IT band wanted to make itself known and started bothering me. I had to cut several of my runs down and barely made it over 8 miles but maybe for one or 2 times. The run ultimately turned out to be the best part of the race, mostly because after 5 HIM distances I finally felt like I was racing and not just participating!.

My plan was to start out at a 9 minute pace and then drop down 15s every 3 miles until I couldn't push anymore. Coming out of transition I was in a group of about 5 and they were pushing the pace a bit. I had to force myself to allow them to run away from me and get the pace to where I wanted it. I struggled to watch them leave behind but I had to follow my plan.
For the 1st 3 miles I was slightly under target and averaged around a 8:50 pace, from here I was able to easily push the pace down to under 8:45 and still feel strong. Around mile 4-6 was the best part of the run for me. The family had set up shop at Battery Park and as soon as I came around the corner they were cheering me on. Zach then took off and ran a few hundred yards with me, where we had a short conversation. Probably the best moment was when we were coming up on the aid station together and he proceeded to tell me what I needed to do. He said just tell them if you want water, salt, Gatorade and they will get it for you. It was a classic moment that I will hold onto for a long time. I left Zach behind feeling a little more motivated and ready to knock out a few more miles.
Family time
I was surprised at how quickly miles 5-8 went by as I seemed to be in cruise mode and never really struggled to hold effort. During this stretch I had another shot of motivation as 1 by 1 I started passing each of the 5 runners who left me behind during the 1st mile of the race. I guess maybe taking off at an 8m pace wasn't such a good idea after all!
At mile 8 I had the 1st negative thoughts of the race, 1st as soon as I seen the mile 8 marker my initial thought was that I was going to start walking. In my other races mile 8 was always my wall that I ran into and I would give in. But not this time, instead I laughed it off and tried to push the pace a little bit to get my mind into something different and it worked.
I carried on for maybe another 2 miles before things really started to get difficult. Up to this point every so often I would do a bit of a check up on how I felt, and I had been able to push myself a little more each time. But at mile 10 there wasn't any more push to give, I could feel my legs start to stiffen up and my hip was starting to ache. All I could think was at any point my IT band was going to scream and lock my knee up. I continued on but struggled through the next 1.5 miles to maintain pace. Somewhere around 1.5 miles the course crosses a bridge that you have to run up and over, it's not a large bridge but enough to make you cringe when your 68.5 miles into the day. I reached the top and really thought I was going to walk, Once again I fought through the urge and told myself that there was no way I was going to walk for the 1st time with less than 2 miles to go. From here to the finish line was just a constant struggle to keep moving, but as I turned that final corner and found The family in the crowd I knew I had made it to the end.
Family timeFamily time
What would you do differently?:


Family time
Post race
What limited your ability to perform faster:


Event comments:

Challenge put on a great race and kept up the great tradition from REV3! I will be back again,

Last updated: 2014-12-28 12:00 AM
00:41:09 | 2112 yards | 01m 57s / 100yards
Age Group: 32/45
Overall: 262/389
Performance: Good
Suit: Full
Course: Course was all inside the marina which meant for the most part it was protected. Swam down to the end of the channel before going around a buoy and heading back the direction we came from going to an additional turn buoy before heading to he entrance/exit!
Start type: Wade Plus: Time Trial
Water temp: 68F / 20C Current: Medium
200M Perf. Good Remainder: Average
Breathing: Average Drafting: Average
Waves: Navigation: Below average
Rounding: Average
Time: 09:28
Performance: Good
Cap removal: Helmet on/
Suit off:
Wetsuit stuck? Run with bike:
Jump on bike:
Getting up to speed:
02:51:42 | 56 miles | 19.57 mile/hr
Age Group: 22/45
Overall: 123/389
Performance: Good
Wind: Strong with gusts
Road:   Cadence:
Turns: Cornering:
Gear changes: Hills:
Race pace: Drinks:
Time: 02:33
Overall: Good
Riding w/ feet on shoes
Jumping off bike
Running with bike
Racking bike
Shoe and helmet removal
01:56:21 | 13.1 miles | 08m 53s  min/mile
Age Group: 20/45
Overall: 112/389
Performance: Good
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]

2015-09-14 11:01 PM

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Sidney, Ohio
Subject: Challenge Cedar Point - Half Rev
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