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Atomic Man Triathlon - Triathlon1/2 Ironman

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Lenior City, Tennessee
United States
Endurance Sports Management
77F / 25C
Total Time = 6h 34m 10s
Overall Rank = 50/78
Age Group = F45-49
Age Group Rank = 0/2
Pre-race routine:

Atomic Man is a half iron distance event located in the Oak Ridge, Tennessee area (thus the name). The start/finish/swim is in a Tennessee Valley Authority managed recreational area. The site is about 30 miles west of Knoxville.

It rained on the drive. Heck, it rained the entire week before the race. As a result, I decided to bring my road bike for this event and leave the tri bike at home.

On the way there, we stopped at Phil's BBQ in Black Mountain for lunch. This made Kevin very happy. I had the chopped BBQ chicken sandwich.

We made it to Lenoir City at about 3:30 and checked in to the hotel. I continued to obsess about the weather and continued to try to figure out what to wear during the bike portion of race. I brought my bike into the hotel when we checked in (of course!) and I re lubed the chain.

We drove the course. Neither the bike course nor the run course is flat. There are some less hilly sections. There are two climbs in the first (and last) 7 miles of the bike called the "cry baby hills". One is 13%.

By the time we had driven one loop of each the bike and run course, it was time to check in for the race. They had a nice pasta dinner under a picnic shelter at the race site and we ate there and talked to a few of the participants. I asked what people were planning to wear on the bike and most replied "everything." All the while, it continued to rain. 57 degrees and rain is not the most heartening way to start you race weekend.

On the way back to the hotel, we grabbed a bagel for the morning. I put my race number on my bike and helmet and hooked it up to my race belt. Still undecided on the wardrobe front. Finally we found some local news squeezed in between football games and they were predicting better weather for Sunday. I selected clothing based on that forecast (bike jersey on the bike, tri top for the run).

I set the alarm for 5:30 with a plan to arrive at the race site at 6:30 for s 7:30 start. The water temperature the weekend before the race was 73 and due to all of the rain, the day before the race it was 68. It dropped an additional degree overnight to 67 on race morning so it was well within USAT wetsuit legal territory.
Event warmup:

115 people registered but only 78 raced.

I wore tri shorts and a bra under my sleeveless wetsuit.
  • 56m 38s
  • 2112 yards
  • 02m 41s / 100 yards

There were a lot of DNS at this event due to the poor weather leading up to the race. It was dry race morning and the skies were relatively clear. The race director eliminated some of the swim waves because of the large number of no shows so there was a men's wave and an everyone else (women, relay, aquabike) wave.

The swim course was two rectangular loops. With only 78 of us, there was plenty of clear water to swim in. I thought that I was doing better than I actually was because I passed some people from the men's wave.

I meant to use my Garmin to track the swim but I hit the back button instead of the start button so that didn't happen. I checked Strava to see what other's got for the distance and the results were: 2,624 yards, 2,579 yards, 2,537 yards, 2,525 yards, etc. In other words, the swim was long by maybe 400 yards (2112 yards = 1.2 miles). We all swam the same course so it doesn't really matter except for calculation yards per minute.
What would you do differently?:

I just need to continue to work on my swimming.
Transition 1
  • 04m 11s

I removed my wetsuit, dried off as best I could and pulled on a bike jersey, socks, helmet, gloves, sunglasses and I was off.
  • 3h 19m 44s
  • 56 miles
  • 16.82 mile/hr

The bike was good. When we were driving the course, I confirmed that it's all right turns and only a few of those. The hills at the beginning were not as bad as I feared but it was quite windy -- 15 mph NE wind. After the crybaby hills, we headed northeast for about 2.5 miles and then did a U turn and went SW for 10.5 miles where we enjoyed a tailwind. Then another U turn and 10.5 miles of headwind before the final U turn and another 8 miles of head wind before going back to the hills (yup, still hilly). On this section with the U turns, it wasn't flat but it wasn't excessively hilly either.

One thing to note for future racers, the bottle exchange at mile 22/46 is at one U turn and the port-a-pot is at the *other* U turn (10 and 35 or so).

I felt good about my ride and I had fun. I passed others but was not passed so that is good!

I had two disposable water bottles with EFS-LS and two sleeves of Shot Bloks and a Hammer gel. I picked up a third bottle of water at the bottle exchange. Since I was on my road bike, I couldn't easily add EFS-LS to the third bottle of water (thus the gel).
Transition 2
  • 01m 19s

Off with the bike jersey. By now the sun was out (finally! after more than a week of rain!) and it was getting warm. I changed to a tri top for the run.
  • 2h 11m 17s
  • 13.1 miles
  • 10m 01s  min/mile

The run went well. Rural, scenic, tiny tiny roads (felt like 1.5 lane, not two lane if you know what I mean). This was a double and and back route so you got to see the whole field. There tons of aid stations (the RD said we passed aid stations 14 times). There was some sun and some shade and if there was a flat spot, I don't think that any of us found it. In fact, after the race young guys were commenting, "That run course was harder than I thought it would be."

Again, for future racers, there is *one* port-a-pot on the run course. It's just before mile 1 and you pass it again at 6.75 or so and then at the very end.

I got water at most of the aid stations and I had two Hammer Gels.
Post race
Warm down:

I crossed the finish line, received my finisher's medal and finisher's hat (lots of swag at this race, we also got a long sleeved tee, socks, water bottle, and cup cozy). I headed straight to the bathroom and then cleaned up a little and got some food

After the race they had hot dogs, more pasta, chips, bananas and granola bars. Everyone was very nice and I had a nice time visiting with some of the racers that I met the previous evening at the pasta dinner.

While we were eating, they announced the awards. I was surprised that I won the master's woman award! I actually thought they made a mistake. I said, "but I entered age group." I was tickled! I won a plaque and an Atomic Man dufflel bag.

Event comments:

I enjoyed this event. The race director did a nice job and, as silly as it seems, having a decent sound system for announcements and music helped. The event is in a relatively rural location so it was really nice to have the food on site as well. Also, I love the name!

The event had all kinds of participants from the "Type A" sub 5 hour finishers to the 8+ hour finisher.

Profile Album

Last updated: 2015-08-18 12:00 AM
00:56:38 | 2112 yards | 02m 41s / 100yards
Age Group: 2/2
Overall: 60/78
Performance: Average
Course: The swim is a wave start from just outside the swim area at the dam end. The course is two-loop rectangular course all outside swim area - finish on the beach of the swim area after second loop - NO EXIT LOOP 1. Buoys will be kept to your Right. Follow flagging/markings to transition area. Water temp approx. 73.
Start type: Deep Water Plus: Waves
Water temp: 67F / 19C Current: Low
200M Perf. Average Remainder: Average
Breathing: Average Drafting:
Waves: Navigation: Good
Rounding: Good
Time: 04:11
Cap removal: Helmet on/
Suit off:
Wetsuit stuck? Run with bike:
Jump on bike:
Getting up to speed:
03:19:44 | 56 miles | 16.82 mile/hr
Age Group: 1/2
Overall: 48/78
Performance: Good
Course: Bike course is shaped like a "T". Ride starts from the bottom for first and last 7 miles and completes two loops of the top for a total of 56 miles. Two water bottle exchanges at 22 & 43 miles.
Road: Smooth Dry Cadence:
Turns: Cornering:
Gear changes: Good Hills: Good
Race pace: Hard Drinks: Just right
Time: 01:19
Riding w/ feet on shoes
Jumping off bike
Running with bike
Racking bike
Shoe and helmet removal
02:11:17 | 13.1 miles | 10m 01s  min/mile
Age Group: 1/2
Overall: 41/78
Performance: Good
Course: The run is a scenic route through the TVA park, right on Woodlawn Road to left on Buttermilk, (Cones will mark course side of road - stay near cones to avoid cars). Follow to left on Davis Road to turnaround .2 miles past Rocky Top Road. Return back same route to first loop turnaround just inside park. Runners will pass 14 aid stations on the two-loop course. Each will be ready with Gatorade, oranges, pretzels, water and ice - Gels at certain stations. Timing mat at turn-around on Rocky Top passed twice for course verification. Port-a-pottie at park exit.
Keeping cool Good Drinking Just right
Post race
Weight change: %
Mental exertion [1-5]
Physical exertion [1-5]
Good race? Yes
Course challenge Just right
Organized? Yes
Events on-time? No
Lots of volunteers? Yes
Plenty of drinks? Yes
Post race activities: Good
Race evaluation [1-5] 3

2015-10-08 1:47 PM

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Raleigh, NC area
Subject: Atomic Man Triathlon

2015-10-09 8:32 AM
in reply to: #5145484

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West Chester, Ohio
Subject: RE: Atomic Man Triathlon

Congratulations on an awesome race!  

That course sounds super challenging!  A 13% hill is most definitely worthy of the name cry baby hill!!

2015-10-09 11:41 AM
in reply to: QueenZipp

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Subject: RE: Atomic Man Triathlon

Originally posted by QueenZipp

Congratulations on an awesome race!  

That course sounds super challenging!  A 13% hill is most definitely worthy of the name cry baby hill!!


And how fun to get an award! Great job! 

2015-10-09 1:48 PM
in reply to: #5145484

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Subject: RE: Atomic Man Triathlon

Nice location, nice swag, nice sound system , and nice prizes!  Sounds like a race to do again in the future.  Thankfully the weather was cooperative for you.  Big congrats on winning the Masters prize!

2015-10-09 3:32 PM
in reply to: #5145484

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Englewood, Florida
Subject: RE: Atomic Man Triathlon

You rock!!!! Congrats on a job well done.

2015-10-09 4:10 PM
in reply to: cdban66

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Bellingham, WA
Subject: RE: Atomic Man Triathlon

Congrats on your victory!!  Sounds like it was a tough HIM course with the way long swim and a hilly bike.  Great job.

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