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Age Group National Championship - Triathlon

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Cleveland, Ohio
United States
USA Triathlon
77F / 25C
Total Time = 3h 13m 58s
Overall Rank = 2491/2892
Age Group = F45-49
Age Group Rank = 140/173
Pre-race routine:

Chatting with friends. Cup of plain chai with overnight oats and blueberries, plus a bananna, nuun and water
Event warmup:

Short swim near start
  • 48m 55s
  • 1500 meters
  • 03m 16s / 100 meters

Hardest swim I've ever done. The waves were so high I had trouble sighting. The waves were also strong enough that I felt light I wasn't making forward progress. I thought once I got to the first buoy it would get easier, but swimming parallel with the waves was equally hard. Kept trying to swim to the left of the buoy, but every time I sighted, I was to the right. Breathed only on right so I wouldn't get a face full of water from a wave. But that increased my stroke rate, and made my neck sore. Turning around the second buoy and swimming back to shore wasn't easy either. Had trouble figuring out where the exit was and rafts and boats kept telling us to go right. I felt like I was in the water forever. Bumped into a few people, but mostly kept my cool despite the awful conditions.
What would you do differently?:

More open water practice with rough conditions. More swimming. My strength work to improve swimming

Found out after the event that a man died during the swim, the same time I was out in the water. Kind of puts it all into perspective.
Transition 1
  • 05m

Running to TA was tough. Didn't have the usual speed and walked a bunch. It was a long way to TA. The swim took a lot out of me.
What would you do differently?:

Wait to take off my goggles and cap until after I've taken down my wetsuit halfway. Jogged more through transition.
  • 1h 19m 6s
  • 40 kms
  • 30.34 km/hr

The first 10 miles I just wasn't feeling up to speed on the bike. My head felt strangely heavy at the start of the bike, probably from all the extra sighting I had to do during the swim. But after about 10 miles, I got into a groove and start feeling better.

It was frustrating that none of the hazards on the course were marked. You really had to pay attention for holes and other obstacles. I ran over one near the end and it jostled my bike so hard that the bold for my frame bottle cage pulled out and my cage turned 90° and nearly lost my bottle. I was able to recover and save the bottle. But I think I just need to use duct tape to keep the cage on now.
What would you do differently?:

Not sure. Better swim probably would have meant better bike.
Transition 2
  • 02m 57s

Nothing spectacular about this transition. No major mistakes. Remembered to keep my sunglasses for the run which is huge.
  • 58m
  • 10 kms
  • 05m 48s  min/km

First couple of miles my stomach was feeling crampy, not terrible, but slowed me down. Tried to keep drinking though. But things started feeling better, and picked up the pace for the second loop. Loved the hills, didn't care for the twisty turning route. Accidentally ended my triathlon workout on the garmin, but hit the lap button again and I could resume. So that's good to know.
What would you do differently?:

Keep doing those brick workout
Post race
Warm down:

drinking, eating, walking. Loved the cold washcloth at the finish

What limited your ability to perform faster:


Event comments:

Overall a good event. Though not marking the hazards on the bike course was a big fail. I don't think I would do this race again. There were a lot of dicks on the bike and run course. Super fast men who sped in and out of other racers with no regards for their safety. No warnings given, and sometimes running into people on the run course. Kind of hated watching that part.

Last updated: 2018-08-15 12:00 AM
00:48:55 | 1500 meters | 03m 16s / 100meters
Age Group: 160/173
Overall: 0/2892
Performance: Bad
Suit: yes
Course: rectangle
Start type: Wade Plus: Waves
Water temp: 75F / 24C Current: High
200M Perf. Below average Remainder: Bad
Breathing: Average Drafting: Below average
Waves: Bad Navigation: Average
Rounding: Average
Time: 05:00
Performance: Below average
Cap removal: Average Helmet on/
Suit off:
Wetsuit stuck? No Run with bike: Yes
Jump on bike: No
Getting up to speed: Average
01:19:06 | 40 kms | 30.34 km/hr
Age Group: 117/173
Overall: 0/2892
Performance: Good
Don't think my cadence sensor was working. Definitely was riding at a higher rpm than 60.
Wind: Some
Course: Not too hilly. Had some 180° turns. Wide roads mostly. But some poor conditions including big holes. No hazards were marked.
Road: Potholes Dry Cadence:
Turns: Average Cornering: Average
Gear changes: Average Hills: Good
Race pace: Comfortable Drinks: Just right
Time: 02:57
Overall: Average
Riding w/ feet on shoes
Jumping off bike
Running with bike Average
Racking bike Average
Shoe and helmet removal Average
00:58:00 | 10 kms | 05m 48s  min/km
Age Group: 112/173
Overall: 0/2892
Performance: Average
Course: twisty turny and hillier than I thought. Some shade, park trails
Keeping cool Good Drinking Just right
Post race
Weight change: %
Overall: Average
Mental exertion [1-5] 4
Physical exertion [1-5] 3
Good race? No
Course challenge Too hard
Organized? Yes
Events on-time? No
Lots of volunteers? Yes
Plenty of drinks? Yes
Post race activities: Good
Race evaluation [1-5] 4

2018-08-15 1:30 PM

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Austin, Texas
Subject: Age Group National Championship

2018-08-16 1:42 PM
in reply to: #5248006

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Subject: RE: Age Group National Championship
I was in the wave 18 of 19 (men 50-54) and it was easily the hardest swim I have done. I am strong swimmer and got out of the water just plain exhausted. The swim was also long by 300 yards apparently but it is so hard to know because it was virtually impossible to swim straight. I do know that the first wave (flat calm) was on average 7 to 8 minutes faster on the swim than the next closest age group who went off much later. And that does not account for the pure effort difference in the two swims. Literally luck of the draw which at an event like this is just plain bad.

We now have a new road scale in our house- the Cleveland scale of roads. Couple places it was just plain horrible and I was out of aero more than once out of safety. We have some really nasty country roads in the Carolinas that will knock the fillings lose in your teeth but Cleveland has some roads that are just not meant to be ridden, much less at speed. The race avoided most of those but there was a few places littered with bike parts out there.

Cleveland is a great place to have the race from a hotel/facilities perspective but I will likely not go back next year if I qualify. I have heard the same thing from more than one participant.

The way the swim course was setup given the weather forecast was really a worse case scenario. I felt bad for those who could not complete the swim - its pretty hard to practice swimming in those conditions on purpose.
2018-10-26 1:16 PM
in reply to: #5248006


Subject: RE: Age Group National Championship
I was in the women's 35-39 group (I think the wave right behind yours). I was about halfway through the swim when the Coast Guard held up the swimmers to drive through them. I was treading water while the boat was in the way. To the right of me I saw an overturned kayak (presumably the operator jumped into the water). Then the Coast Guard was backing up through the swimmers and I could see someone performing CPR on someone else on the deck. Needless to say, I was shaken at that point. The lady next to me found the nearest kayak and bailed and I don't blame her. A few meters up from me, another lady did the same. I finished the swim, but it was grueling and it took me several minutes on the bike before I had collected myself enough to really focus.

I also agree about the roads. Terrible condition. I did like Cleveland itself, but I don't think I'll be back next year.
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