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Kokopelli Triathlon - Olympic Course - Triathlon

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Hurricane, Utah
United States
BBSC Endurance Sports
70F / 21C
Total Time = 2h 44m 35s
Overall Rank = 56/148
Age Group = M 45-49
Age Group Rank = 5/9
Pre-race routine:

We came in to St, George/Hurricane on Friday afternoon. After nearly seven hours on the road, we were all tired. I dropped off Jenna and the dogs and went to check in. After an efficient check in and short drive toward the race site to confirm directions, I went picked up dinner for us in St. George. Even though we had been there before, we were stunned by the beauty of the surroundings. However, on the last trip, even though we enjoyed it and had a nice time with Barkley (even though her health was declining), I had an awful race. I never felt right on the swim, my bike was lethargic, and I was demoralized by the time I got on the run course. I felt prepared and motivated to have a better race this time.

After the weather cooled a bit but before it got dark, we took a walk around a trail and small development next door to the hotel. We went to bed early after a long day and an even bigger one coming up

Event warmup:

We got off to an efficient start in the morning, and arrived at the race site before the parking lot was too crowded. I got set up and waited with Jenna and the little ones and took some pictures. As I was gathering my things to head to the start, my goggles came apart at the nose bridge. As time was running out, I had to take a quick run back to transition to get my back up pair. Thankfully, I still arrived at the dock to get into the water with my wave. A little more hectic than I would have preferred, but everything was okay.
  • 36m 8s
  • 1500 meters
  • 02m 25s / 100 meters

The swim started okay, just taking slow strokes and trying to find some clear water. Several minutes later, however, I started to feel off a little bit. Before I started to feel anxious or panicky, I flipped on my back. I reminded myself of the bad start I had back in 2011, and to just relax – I was fine. I flipped back over and concentrated on talking long, slow strokes. I began to make progress, and before too long I was making the turn at the halfway point.

I began to feel more comfortable and got into a rhythm. The downside to getting into a rhythm is that I don’t like to break it to look up. Before I knew it I was drifting way off course. I went so far sideways one time that when I did look up, it took some time and removing my goggles to even determine what direction I was facing and where I needed to go. It was disorienting.

I got back on track and before too long was coming into the finish. I didn’t expect a good swim, and this wasn’t, but I really wanted to have a relaxed swim where I gave up some time to the rest of the field, but not so much that I couldn’t make it up on the bike. This worked - I was ready to ride.

Transition 1
  • 04m 6s

No trouble – even got my gloves on without difficulty
  • 1h 03m 6s
  • 20.4 miles
  • 19.40 mile/hr

Since I didn’t give up too much time in the water, I felt like I was part of the race when I got on the bike. Unlike 2011, there were plenty of people to chase down and plenty of motivation. I got up to speed, wanting to knock the first few miles down quickly before I encountered the incline I nicknamed ‘No Joke Hill’ the last time I was there.

No Joke Hill is about a mile long and has some steep sections. It is a grind, but I was ready for it this time. I settled in, adjusted my gearing and knew that after 5-10 minutes I would be past it and the rest of the course wouldn’t be as bad. Thankfully, the hill is 3-4 miles from the beginning of the ride than from the end, so you get it over with early.

I crested the hill and started focusing on chasing people down. Some of the other riders were doing the sprint race, so not really my competition, but they still provided someone to chase. I rode well, keeping the pedals turning even on the downhills to maintain and even increase speed.

After the turnaround, I was moving well, but a little nervous about coming down the hill. I knew it was steep, and there were cattle guards at either end. When I arrived, I decided to play it safe and used the brakes to keep the speed down on the way. Someone passed me coming down the hill, but I took the position back shortly after. I cruised into transition knowing I had put up a decent split (turned out to be 13th out of the entire field of 148) and I was 2/3 of the way toward redeeming my 2011 race. I just needed to put together a not-disastrous run.

Transition 2
  • 02m 24s

Nothing wasted
  • 55m 59s
  • 10 kms
  • 05m 36s  min/km

While I have been running a lot in training, I haven’t been running particularly well, so I did not know what to expect. I did know that as long as I kept my legs turning and didn’t get lazy, I would be able to finish in under three hours, so that was motivation enough. While the first three miles dragged a little, I felt like my pace was good. I checked at the turnaround and was on track to break an hour for the run. That would be icing on the cake, but not a requirement to consider the race a success.

About a mile into the return trip, a runner coming toward me said something like ‘swing your arms back further’. I was a little confused. She was running with someone else, so maybe the comment/advice wasn’t directed at me. If it was a critique, it was likely correct, since I have noticed in pictures that my hands and arms always seem to be in front of me. I decided to give it a try. It seemed to open up my chest a little and make breathing easier. In addition, it seemed to allow my arms to give me a little forward momentum on each stride. Thank you, random stranger.

Focusing on my arm swing made the trip back go a little faster. However, about a half mile from the finish, I encountered a couple of hills. I allowed myself to walk a few steps knowing that I wanted to finish strong and knowing I had a minute or two to spare to come in under an hour. The gamble paid off. I counted the seconds as I was nearing the finish chute and crossed the line with a 59:55 run split (the course was a little long by my Garmin’s measurement).

Post race
Warm down:

I found Jenna and the dogs and sat for a few minutes for some more pictures. I had finished in 2:44, which is almost 50 minutes better than my 2011 time. I didn’t just shave time – I hacked off an eternity. Redeemed and satisfied, we returned to the hotel to relax for the rest of the evening. We were all exhausted, but it had been a successful day.

Event comments:

BBSC did their usual great job with the event. The venue is spectacular and everything is well run.

Last updated: 2016-09-17 12:00 AM
00:36:08 | 1500 meters | 02m 25s / 100meters
Age Group: 7/9
Overall: 120/148
Course: Rectangle
Start type: Plus:
Water temp: 75F / 24C Current:
200M Perf. Remainder:
Breathing: Drafting:
Waves: Navigation:
Time: 04:06
Cap removal: Helmet on/
Suit off:
Wetsuit stuck? Run with bike:
Jump on bike:
Getting up to speed:
01:03:06 | 20.4 miles | 19.40 mile/hr
Age Group: 3/9
Overall: 13/148
Road:   Cadence:
Turns: Cornering:
Gear changes: Hills:
Race pace: Drinks:
Time: 02:24
Riding w/ feet on shoes
Jumping off bike
Running with bike
Racking bike
Shoe and helmet removal
00:55:59 | 10 kms | 05m 36s  min/km
Age Group: 5/9
Overall: 75/148
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:
Race evaluation [1-5] 4

2016-09-17 6:40 AM

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Surprise, Arizona
Subject: Kokopelli Triathlon - Olympic Course

2016-09-17 1:17 PM
in reply to: #5199074

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, Minnesota
Subject: RE: Kokopelli Triathlon - Olympic Course

Holy smokes - nice job!  Great execution.   Loved the random stranger advice, too.  

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I looked at the swim buoys and start thinking, "Man! How am I ever going to swim that? That looks like a very long distance from the bridge. I have never done it in one go." There's no turning back.
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