General Discussion Triathlon Talk » First shorter race in a year...zounds! Rss Feed  
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2018-05-21 10:34 AM

Subject: First shorter race in a year...zounds!
Did my first shorter race in a year as I spent all of last summer making sure my $1000+ investment in ticking off a bucketlist IM was successful.

An Olympic with the bike cut in half due to weather issues delaying the start of the swim.

And boy howdy do I have ever growing appreciation for people that are good at that distance. I'm in about as much as 80% of the stiffness I had after Louisville, for not even an Olympic length. To be fair, my outdoor time on the bike has been limited due to a cold spring.

It's one thing to have people trot past me on a 26 mile run. I forgot how 'depressing' it is to have people absolutely blow your doors off on a 6 mile run. Even worse when you look at their leg and see they're older than you. Not really depressing, because I don't care beyond a "darnit, I wish I could run like that".

Or that the winner was 40 freaking minutes ahead of you on an "Olympic" with only a 12 mile ride. 40 MINUTES. And my run was all I could hope for, and better than I was expecting. As good or better than my 'average' runs these days.

It is always nice, though, to pass someone younger than you on a bike that cost three times what you paid.

What's swimming outside in a lake. Riding my bike. Running. High fiving bored kids who've been dragged out to cheer on their mom or dad and take to high fiving random strangers to pass the time. Hanging out with fellow weirdos. Supporting a local race producer who produces a fantastic race with the best transition ever....somehow gets part of a VERY SIGNIFICANT roadway shutdown. and is also the same guy who runs an OWS all summer long at a park 4 miles from my house.

But seriously, hats off to people who can endure the pain and outright HAMMER in all three disciplines for 1.5 hours (or two when the weather is more cooperative).

Edit: for context

MOP/BOP...meh....never bothered me being there. Still proud of my effort/results

200 out of 458
division place:25 out of 37 (male 45-49)
gender place:154 out of 287

Only thing that I'm sort of grumbly about was the swim. I'm much better than that. And the water was not at all cold.
Still had problems settling in. My goal was to settle in within 100 meters. Not even close. No better than any other race. That was the only frustration. It wasn't crowded at the start. It got a little bunched at one point when they were trying to bunch us up to match the wander of the buoys, but not a big deal. But it got SUPER crowded when the sprint swimmers made their turn and funneled in. The last quarter of the swim was stopping every couple seconds to look for an opening to shoot through.

Edited by jhaack39 2018-05-21 11:00 AM

2018-05-21 11:32 AM
in reply to: jhaack39

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Overland Park, KS
Subject: RE: First shorter race in a year...zounds!
it's been a long winter so at least race season has started. Did my first race last weekend. I had a lot of congestion on the swim like you but I just didn't stop. Half the time I would just go by feel and could see to each side as a turned my head to breathe but just kept swimming. My sighting was way off but I kept a good pace (I swam over 1900 yards per Garmin). The only time I stopped was when 3 people stopped right in front of me at the turn buoy. I was like seriously, why are you guys stopping!. Keep going, round that buoy boys!

Great that you high five the kids, I did the same and also great is the support for the local RD's and their races. I've seen a few fall out in my area, sad to see.

2018-05-21 12:01 PM
in reply to: reecealan

Subject: RE: First shorter race in a year...zounds!
Originally posted by reecealan
also great is the support for the local RD's and their races. I've seen a few fall out in my area, sad to see.

This RD is a racer. He was still sporting some peeling Tri-tats from whatever race he just did. He does the tats for this race...because it makes some people feel cool. I can't seem to get them off fast enough. Baby oil doesn't work for me. But, I get it. The first time I wore them, I felt cool.

He's really trying to find "swag" we'll not mind paying for. This year was a pint glass (used to have a local microbrew sponsoring) and you'd get it at the end of the race. Pint glasses aren't a bad idea. Because you'll use it...and be reminded of the race every couple of days. Water bottles. We can always use those. A decent bag. Big enough for a summer gym bag. Not quite enough for racing, but it's not a string bag! Totally usable for lots of things. And he did a race belt this year. brilliant. Everybody can use one or more of those.

Last year, he tried to make entry into the water a little easier. It didn't work, as the steps started floating. So, here you have the RD personally helping nearly 400 people into the water. He sorted that this year. Plywood on the railroad tracks, but laid down in a way that you don't hit a right angle of a 3/4" plywood. They're "nestled" down in there.

The guy has boundless cheerful energy for experienced serious racers and newbies alike. He makes you feel like you're champion, even if you're a completer. Rain shortened event. Not one ounce of grumbling as those of us who live near here know what kind of Herculean task it must be to get part of a HIGHWAY! shut down.

And...he has the absolute best transition I've ever seen. Here's a pic from what must be year 1. No shaky aluminum racks. You end up with "specific" space for your stuff right next to your front wheel. And it's MORE than enough space, even with a wetsuit as there's sort of "additional storage" for non race essentials in between the back wheels.

Hard to see exactly, but it's 2x4s for your back wheel with a rebar hoop to hold it upright if it wants to lean. There's space in the frame to hold bags and such, leaving plenty of room right next to your front wheel for shoes and such. There is more space than any of us use.
2018-05-22 8:33 AM
in reply to: jhaack39

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Subject: RE: First shorter race in a year...zounds!

I did this race on Sunday also - the sprint distance.  Thought the swim went much better this year - beach entry is so much better than the rocks from the last 2 years.  I didn't notice a lot of congestion on that last leg but I was in the last start wave so I guess most of the Olympic distance had already gone by.  

Love the closed course for the bike!  It's so nice to not have to worry about cars getting too close.  Unfortunately Rich is getting a lot of push-back from the public (specifically the guy who owns CC airport) about the roads being closed.  He's complaining about his business being affected - even though it's only about 3 hours one day out of the year, the race has done this for 3 years and he was given plenty of notice about the race.  Hopefully it won't affect the course for next year.

Congrats on your finish - sounds like you had a really good race.

2018-05-22 9:36 AM
in reply to: 0

Subject: RE: First shorter race in a year...zounds!
Originally posted by soccermom15
Rich is getting a lot of push-back from the public...

It's not a shocker that people are ticked. It's The Lou, and while every city has their issues with cyclists, not many can brag that they have a suburban mayor who intentionally took out a cyclist with his car.

I got flicked off by a hoosier (nothing to do with Indiana, it's a derogatory term here in The Lou....think "urban redneck") who had to wait coming out of the casino the first year when we went up that way. I kinda liked that old course. It was "prettier" for sure. I guess closing down a lane each way and a quarter mile stretch of 141 completely has less impact than us crossing it and making everyone stop. I saw exceptionally few cars, even on the sections where a lane (or more) was open. The best....would have been less than mild. And let's not forget that if it were truly an issue, the major hospital that has an ER who's main entrance is the bike turnaround....if it were an issue....they simply would not permit it.

I don't like having all those medians, though. They are immobile and unforgiving. There were a lot of people riding in the middle of the road Sunday and on the soutbound leg and a lot of slow passing. I don't think the bike was any more bunched up, but it felt like there was a lot more absent minded riding. I wound up pretty close to those medians passing legally. Nowhere to bail. I'd rather take my chances bailing into the oncoming least you have a chance. The median will do nothing to avoid you.

Rich is the absolute best. Lots of people can put on a good event. But it's attention to details....often ones nobody notices that create something special. Kinda like when you're driving and you can't tell if it's raining or not. You notice a couple drops on the windshield, but it could just be a few drops. Then at some point, you realize the window is wet enough and in a fraction of a second you make the call that it's indeed raining and you turn on your wipers. Same with Rich's productions. You just think you're doing a race like any other because there's swimming, and biking, and running. And then at some point, you just realize this was pretty special for a race that didn't cost multiple hundreds of dollars and is in your own backyard.

Edited by jhaack39 2018-05-22 9:41 AM
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