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Twisted Cactus Challenge - Triathlon

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Sahuarita, Arizona
United States
Haka Multisport
65F / 18C
Total Time = 4h 28m 48s
Overall Rank = 11/15
Age Group =
Age Group Rank = 0/
Pre-race routine:

I arrived in Tucson mid-afternoon on Friday. I checked into the hotel, and went to the event check in. I was excited that they included a collared shirt for the participants doing the challenge (two races on consecutive days). It would be nice to have a business casual race shirt in the wardrobe, and they are a rarity. Since transition would open at 4:30am for an early (6:00) start time, I went to bed early and prepared myself for two consecutive days of racing.
Event warmup:

The layout of the event was very convenient. The race is centered in a large residential development, which contains a swimmable lake. The parking lot for the event and the lake was right next to transition and there was no traffic on the drive. It would have been nice to be staying closer to the event site (25-30 minute drive), but the lodging options were limited. Regardless, it was nice to be doing a small event (less than 100 people), since they are low key and convenient. After I was set up, I went back to the car to stay warm (the morning temperature was 50 degrees) until it was time to head to the water.
  • 46m 49s
  • 2200 meters
  • 02m 08s / 100 meters

On the first day, I felt comfortable in the water, albeit slow. After a disaster in the water at Rage with freezing cold water and choppiness (Lake Mead), I needed a calm, comfortable open water swim to help me get my confidence back. This was the ideal venue to do so. It was narrow, so I was always close to a shore, it was calm, and the temperature was comfortable. I relaxed and swam very, very slowly but made my way to the other end of the lake and back. I knew I would need to make up time on the bike, but felt equipped to do it.

On the second day, I felt a little less comfortable in the water. My goggles fell apart during the National Anthem, and I was struggling to get the m back together a minute or two before getting in the water. Thankfully, I got them together and the held, but I was a little stressed out. I had spurts of being able to swim adequately, but they never lasted as I would encounter trouble with my breathing patter, I would have another swimmer bump me, or something else would throw me off. Thankfully, with a short course, I didn’t lose too much time.

Transition 1
  • 00m
  • 1h 56m
  • 37 miles
  • 19.14 mile/hr

For a course that starts out and ends at the same place, it felt like the Olympic course was all uphill. After such a slow swim, I expected to catch more people than I did, but my legs just didn’t feel like they had a lot of pop. I turned in a decent leg, and the last several miles downhill and into Rancho Sahuarita flew by, but it wasn’t my best effort.

On day 2, I knew that the first half would be a steady climb, followed by a fast descent back to transition. I braced myself for a tough six miles. They ticked away as I passed some of the slower riders. At the turnaround, I let it go and cruised back down the hill. It was a decent bike leg, 12th overall.

Transition 2
  • 00m
  • 1h 31m 32s
  • 9.3 miles
  • 09m 50s  min/mile

As mentioned above, Rancho Sahuarita, the development where the event(s) took place, was very pleasant. The run course showcased it. There is a multiuse path that winds through the development, and the run for both days started there. As the temperature rose, I strung together some consistent sub-10 minute miles. The last mile required another trip around the lake, but it was a nice course. Like the bike, I didn’t feel too strong physically on either day, but didn’t run poorly either.
Post race
Warm down:

On day 1, they served a pancake breakfast after the race, which I enjoyed. Day 2 was lower key, but in both cases it was nice to grab my things from transition and have a very short walk to the car.

Event comments:

The two day challenge experience was a lot of fun. I enjoyed the event and the course, despite not feeling like I raced my best. The event was run with the professionalism and quality of a large event, but had the intimacy and charm of a small one. It was among one of the best race experiences I have had.

Last updated: 2016-05-17 12:00 AM
00:46:49 | 2200 meters | 02m 08s / 100meters
Age Group: 0/
Overall: 60/15
Course: The lake is long and narrow. The Olympic course was down and back. For the sprint, we walked to one end of the lake and swam back to the start area.
Start type: Plus:
Water temp: 72F / 22C Current:
200M Perf. Remainder:
Breathing: Drafting:
Waves: Navigation:
Time: 00:00
Cap removal: Helmet on/
Suit off:
Wetsuit stuck? Run with bike:
Jump on bike:
Getting up to speed:
01:56:00 | 37 miles | 19.14 mile/hr
Age Group: 0/
Overall: 12/15
Course: Olympic - Long Loop around mine; Sprint - Out six miles, back 6 miles
Road:   Cadence:
Turns: Cornering:
Gear changes: Hills:
Race pace: Drinks:
Time: 00:00
Riding w/ feet on shoes
Jumping off bike
Running with bike
Racking bike
Shoe and helmet removal
01:31:32 | 9.3 miles | 09m 50s  min/mile
Age Group: 0/
Overall: 0/15
Course: Wilderness Trail, around the development; last mile around the lake both days
Keeping cool Drinking
Post race
Weight change: %
Mental exertion [1-5]
Physical exertion [1-5]
Good race?
Course challenge
Organized? Yes
Events on-time? Yes
Lots of volunteers? Yes
Plenty of drinks? Yes
Post race activities: Good
Race evaluation [1-5] 5

2016-05-17 11:16 AM

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Surprise, Arizona
Subject: Twisted Cactus Challenge

2016-05-19 11:05 AM
in reply to: #5182287

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, Minnesota
Subject: RE: Twisted Cactus Challenge

Great job!  Sounds like a cool event.

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The boat was being tossed around. Someone noted that there were whitecaps on the waves. Another guy said, “This is going to be challenging.” I began to wonder what he meant by 'challenging'.
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