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A Tri in the Buff - Sprint Course - Triathlon

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Irving, New York
United States
82F / 28C
Total Time = 2h 14m 44s
Overall Rank = 127/127
Age Group = Clydesdale
Age Group Rank = 3/3
Pre-race routine:

Check in and show my son the scene. My first triathlon in 6 years, his first ever. Or it was to be. Kids tri was canceled due to weather.
Event warmup:

wade into Lake Erie and get a feel for the water. And the ridiculous shale pit they expect people to walk on.
  • 32m 11s
  • 750 meters
  • 04m 17s / 100 meters

My first open water swim since September 2013. I skipped the wetsuit due to the high temperature and my natural buoyancy.

I had considered wearing my vibram five fingers for the swim, as I have done at other events. Even in good conditions, I struggle being barefoot due to some long term health issues. I will never second guess this again. In this race, footwear for the swim would be a good idea for everyone. The shoreline is a deathtrap for the feet. It's an entire shoreline of jagged shale piles. It was absurd. I really think the race directors should draw attention to it in the race description. I am from outside the area, so maybe all the locals know that Lake Erie does not want you climbing into it, but this was news to me.
What would you do differently?:

Transition 1
  • 03m 13s

Long transition that really includes osme of the official swim time. My in water time was 29:59 - the rest is getting out through the rock garden and up the hill.
What would you do differently?:


bring a water bottle just for rinsing my sand covered feet.
  • 48m 18s
  • 12 miles
  • 14.91 mile/hr

This was my first real life bike ride in ages. I've been living on Zwift for a few months. I had to make sure I could still steer the thing! Handling skills are not my strength currently.

That said - there were two issues with this course.

#1 - the road conditions. Absolute shit show. I live in the middle of Pennsylvania, known for our terrible roads. This place was worse. I almost wrecked twice just going over the surface, not even potholes. If I lived in the area, there is not a single stretch of this road I would ride voluntarily.

#2 - yes, it is the athlete's responsibility to know the course. But it is also the job of the race to mark changes WELL. That means big bold and obvious. I'm an RD. I have a new appreciation for how stupid you have to assume the racers are, how turned off the brain is during a race, and make it EASY to discern the course. I am not the only one who did this:

I cut the course accidentally. I had to self-DQ. There should have been two separate signs instead of two arrows and two instructions on the same one. So I ended up cutting 2 miles off the course, which I realized at the end.

My fault yes, but they bear a certain percentage of that. Maybe 25%.
What would you do differently?:

review the map ahead of time to be sure. Not rely on the course volunteers to direct helpfully.

Not ride this race. These roads were a total disaster. If I had one of those expensive bikes I would have been pissed.
Transition 2
  • 02m 2s

Look, I am a super slow dude getting back into it. I'm not making any awesome transitions like a pro.

I do use quick pull shoelaces in my running shoes, so that's something.
  • 49m
  • 5 kms
  • 09m 48s  min/km

It's been a long time, but considering my lack of run load, I was actually happy with a sub 50m run split in a tri
What would you do differently?:

train more. Not walk. Not chat with people. Race?
Post race
What limited your ability to perform faster:

I hate this question. Move on

Event comments:

It was ok. If I were local, I might do it regularly if I knew I could ride more to the left on the roads. They are seriously awful. I found it when I was looking for an olympic distance around that date, on a Saturday. It's 4 hours drive for me, but I have a good friend in Buffalo. But it's not a must-do, worth-the-trip kind of event. My son was disappointed that they canceled the kids tri, but weather is weather. I do wish it was more clear about who would make that decision, how and when. Meaning, it did clear off, so if there was a chance of reconsidering, we never know. No big deal, I'm not asking to speak to the manager or anything.

It's a fine local no frills workout opportunity.

I will give top marks on water safety, probably the most important thing there is. The counting and corral system, the excellent visibility of the buoys, the kayaker presence, all good. I can do without choking on jet ski exhaust though. Not sure anyone ever thinks of that and weighs whether they are helpful to be going around spitting it out around people trying to breathe intentionally.

Last updated: 2019-07-07 12:00 AM
00:32:11 | 750 meters | 04m 17s / 100meters
Age Group: 3/3
Overall: 3/127
Performance: Average
Swam off course somewhat, long trip out of the water and to transition.
Course: Rectangular around very large buoys
Start type: Wade Plus: Waves
Water temp: 76F / 25C Current: Low
200M Perf. Average Remainder: Average
Breathing: Average Drafting: Average
Waves: Average Navigation: Below average
Rounding: Good
Time: 03:13
Performance: Below average
Cap removal: Good Helmet on/
Suit off:
Wetsuit stuck? No Run with bike: No
Jump on bike: No
Getting up to speed: Below average
00:48:18 | 12 miles | 14.91 mile/hr
Age Group: 0/3
Overall: 0/127
Performance: Below average
Wind: None
Course: Rolling rural roads near the state park
Road: Potholes Dry Cadence:
Turns: Average Cornering: Below average
Gear changes: Below average Hills: Bad
Race pace: Comfortable Drinks: Just right
Time: 02:02
Overall: Below average
Riding w/ feet on shoes Bad
Jumping off bike Bad
Running with bike Below average
Racking bike Below average
Shoe and helmet removal Below average
00:49:00 | 05 kms | 09m 48s  min/km
Age Group: 3/3
Overall: 127/127
Performance: Below average
Course: paths, low traffic streets, grass - nice course, despite the soaked sections where I had to do hurdles. (Brand new brooks shoes! This isn't a mud run!)
Keeping cool Good Drinking Just right
Post race
Weight change: %
Overall: Average
Mental exertion [1-5] 3
Physical exertion [1-5] 2
Good race? Ok
Course challenge Just right
Organized? Yes
Events on-time? Yes
Lots of volunteers? Yes
Plenty of drinks? Yes
Post race activities: Below average
Race evaluation [1-5] 3

2019-07-07 4:05 PM

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Sunbury, Pennsylvania
Subject: A Tri in the Buff - Sprint Course
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