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North East Triathlon - Sprint Course - Triathlon

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North East, Maryland
United States
Piranha Sports
85F / 29C
Total Time = 1h 38m 25s
Overall Rank = 151/247
Age Group = Athena
Age Group Rank = 4/14
Pre-race routine:

Awoke at 3:30 am (UGH!) to take care of the dogs, ready myself, etc. for a 4:30 am departure. Thankfully the dogs did what they needed to do quickly and helped keep me on my desired timeline.

Left around 4:35. I recall the drive going OK last year but not this year. I felt very out of it for much of the early part of the drive, then was outright fighting to stay awake and keep my eyes open the latter part of the ride. I was genuinely slapping myself in the face repeatedly to keep myself awake. Not cool, such an awful feeling.

Finally I made it to the intersection just outside of North East and stopped at the McDonald's to use their bathroom and also to wake up a bit. This helped, and the remainder of the short drive in I was at least not fighting my eyes even though I still felt sluggish.

Race site: about a mile (?) walk from parking area to transition. Saw LT (who had spent the night in the area with friends) but kept moving since I hadn't registered yet. Got to race site and registered, got weighed (trust me, folks, I was plenty heavy enough to race Athena!), then set up transition.

Water was a balmy, bathwater-y 83 degrees, so no wetsuit for me! I didn't even bring it along to MD.

Chatted with LT some, ate some Bonk Breaker orange chews drank some water and listened to the race announcements, national anthem, and round 2 of the race announcements done by a different person at a different location than the first time. Yes, this is a key point to illuminate something that happened later...
Event warmup:

Two waves: men first, then women. The men got in first and the women waited on the dock. As we were standing there, I heard a few younger women say, "We turn at the orange buoys, right? So what are the yellow buoys for?" (to myself: I can't believe they really think the orange buoys mark off 750M, plus why else do they think the yellow buoys are out there for?) A back-and-forth dispute breaks out between the young women, debating about where the course goes. "We turn at the orange, I'm sure of it. That's where I'm going to turn, I don't want to swim more than I need to! The yellow look so far away." etc. etc. The decision not to use the yellow buoys (which ARE the correct, final turn buoys) was growing amongst the folks surrounding them almost like a plague.

For a split second I considered correcting them, then said no, I want no part of this shyte-show, trying to convince what is now probably close to 10 people where they should be going. Piranha Sports does an excellent job posting course information and colored pictures on their website as well as posting an athlete's guide with the same info. Plus we just stood through not one but TWO race announcements when they very clearly told us how to navigate the buoys. I chose to walk away and distance myself from the madness!

Finally it was time for the women to jump in. More dissonance from some people: "You mean we have to tread water for 4 minutes?!" Swim away, just swim away...
  • 18m 48s
  • 750 meters
  • 02m 31s / 100 meters

For whatever reason it thankfully wasn't as physical and chaotic as last year. I breathed right on the way out to avoid looking into the sun and tried to do mainly left on the way back. It was harder to sight on the way back because of the sun angle.

Not really much to report, although there is always a part of me that feels a bit less slow when I can catch people (in this case men) from the wave prior. I felt like I was in a decent rhythm and moving along fairly quickly (for me) but the numbers say it wasn't anything particularly special, compared to last year, provided the distance was the same.

Swam until my hands touched bottom then stood up and made my way up the boat ramp, removing my goggles and cap in the process. Fairly long run from the swim exit to transition through the park, sometimes grass, sometimes paved walkway.
What would you do differently?:

Swim faster, I suppose.
Transition 1
  • 01m 29s

Tossed my goggles and cap on the mat. Wiped the grass off my feet with my little towel, then put on my race number, sunglasses, helmet and bike shoes. Grabbed Rico and off we went. Didn't have the smoothest mount but it could've been worse, too.
What would you do differently?:

Be a bit smoother getting on my bike, and it seemed I could've used a bit more haste getting myself together but it wasn't bad.
  • 45m 31s
  • 13 miles
  • 17.14 mile/hr

Freshly milled road for ~1.5 miles, kept most people on their toes, so to speak, because of the rough, grooved surface and piles of macadam chunks. There was a course change from last year: last year was a lollipop of sorts and this year was an out-and-back.

Nothing too special to report here, either. Passed folks and got passed. There seemed to be more people than last year passing me, though. Fast people!

I made a course 'friend' with a lady who I kept yo-yo-ing with. I ultimately ended up passing her on the bike only for her to naturally catch me on the run. I mean, who doesn't catch me on the run?! LOL
What would you do differently?:

I'm not really sure why I was slower. I am a bit heavier than last year? (10 lbs.) The milled, rough road? IDK.
Transition 2
  • 01m 8s

Ha ha, got both feet out of my shoes before the dismount line this year! Last year I did not. LOL

Nothing of note, really, just dropped off the bike and helmet and slipped on my shoes, putting on my hat as I left transition.
What would you do differently?:

Nothing, really. I suppose if I really wanted to I could run faster with the bike, but I prefer a nice trot.
  • 31m 28s
  • 3.1 miles
  • 10m 09s  min/mile

Running is my least favorite section and I did think of Steve from our mentor group and others who aren't able to do this for various reasons, thinking of them as motivation to just be glad I'm doing what I'm doing even if it's not as fast as most of the rest of the field.

The run was also on the milled road, making it off-camber and a little tricky footing-wise with the chunks of macadam and odd lips and ledges of the old roadway. The flattest area to run was unfortunately near traffic. I stuck to the shoulder on the way out but did run in the road when I could (no cars) to not be off kilter so much. Yes, I and many others were doing this safely - plenty of visibility to see oncoming cars with more than sufficient time.

I was able to do what Coach wanted me to do: negative split the run and also chase down people. I didn't really hold much stock in the chances of me catching anyone, but sure enough in the last .5 or .75 mile (I didn't really look) I passed what I later realized may have been a seeing-impaired athlete and her verbal guide (neither had any identifying signs but the man said to the woman, "On your right" as I was passing her) and then later a woman who I had suspicions was a fellow Athena. I passed her and did my best to stay on the gas just in case she surged after seeing me pass or as we got closer to the finish line. I didn't dare look back, I just watched for her shadow. I ended up ahead of her by 9 seconds.
What would you do differently?:

Lose weight and run faster.
Post race
Warm down:

Heard comments later about many people cutting the swim course. I wondered what the young girls ended up doing. I overheard a guy near me in transition talking - he cut the swim course and they (the kayakers or SUP-ers, I guess) made him go back and go around whatever he didn't do.

What limited your ability to perform faster:

Same ol', same ol' - being a 'sturdy girl'. The heat, to an extent. It was hot on the run.

Event comments:

Piranha Sports does a nice job with races. Good post-race food offerings, too bad I can't eat right away when I'm done.

Last updated: 2015-12-10 12:00 AM
00:18:48 | 750 meters | 02m 31s / 100meters
Age Group: 0/14
Overall: 0/247
Performance: Average
Course: Essentially a rectangle.
Start type: Deep Water Plus: Waves
Water temp: 83F / 28C Current: Low
200M Perf. Remainder:
Breathing: Drafting:
Waves: Navigation:
Time: 01:29
Performance: Average
Cap removal: Helmet on/
Suit off:
Wetsuit stuck? Run with bike:
Jump on bike:
Getting up to speed:
00:45:31 | 13 miles | 17.14 mile/hr
Age Group: 0/14
Overall: 0/247
Course: Out and back
Road:   Cadence:
Turns: Cornering:
Gear changes: Hills:
Race pace: Drinks:
Time: 01:08
Riding w/ feet on shoes Average
Jumping off bike Below average
Running with bike Good
Racking bike Good
Shoe and helmet removal
00:31:28 | 03.1 miles | 10m 09s  min/mile
Age Group: 0/14
Overall: 0/247
Performance: Average
Course: Out and back.
Keeping cool Drinking
Post race
Weight change: %
Mental exertion [1-5]
Physical exertion [1-5]
Good race?
Course challenge Just right
Organized? Yes
Events on-time?
Lots of volunteers?
Plenty of drinks?
Post race activities:
Race evaluation [1-5]

2016-09-09 4:28 PM

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Subject: North East Triathlon - Sprint Course

2016-09-12 2:37 PM
in reply to: #5198225

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Raleigh, North Carolina
Subject: RE: North East Triathlon - Sprint Course
Nice finish and great write up.

That's crazy how many people were cutting the swim course. I have to wonder what they thought the other buoys were for?
2016-09-12 3:33 PM
in reply to: awm007

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Subject: RE: North East Triathlon - Sprint Course

Nice job! The argument about the swim length is funny - i would have just been annoyed but good on you for focusing on your race! 

2016-09-12 4:40 PM
in reply to: juniperjen

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Subject: RE: North East Triathlon - Sprint Course

Congrats on a great race! And way to go with the negative split run!

2016-09-12 7:57 PM
in reply to: amd723

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Subject: RE: North East Triathlon - Sprint Course
Oh man, ive has onr of those slap yourself in the face drives. Its terrible! Hahaha about those girls and their special orange turnaround. Props for getting both shoes off this year too Nice work and I'm so glad you could channel steve for motivation.
2016-09-13 7:06 AM
in reply to: Asalzwed

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Eugene, Oregon
Subject: RE: North East Triathlon - Sprint Course
Sounds like we have similar issues with the flying dismount! I think this year out of 4 tris, I had 2 successes, 1 total fail, and one partial fail (one shoe off and one shoe on, like in the nursery rhyme). That is funny about people complaining about the deep water start--I love those--built in warmup. Plus I tend to cramp standing around waiting for the start and always manage to have a horrible "sprint" into the water. Would rather just be out there already and just start swimming. It sounds like you had a strong effort and should be proud of yourself.

2016-09-13 2:13 PM
in reply to: #5198225

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Englewood, Florida
Subject: RE: North East Triathlon - Sprint Course

Originally posted by melbo55

Good job, congrats on the negative split run!!!

2016-09-14 7:32 AM
in reply to: cdban66

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Middle River, Maryland
Bronze member
Subject: RE: North East Triathlon - Sprint Course

Great race, Melanie.  Hopefully I'll catch up with you sometime at one of the Piranha races.  And that run course is just brutal with the steep camber - I'd probably just run in the middle of road and dodge cars LOL.

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