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The Matt Mason Memorial “Cowboy UP!” Triathlon - Triathlon

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Smithville, Missouri
United States
72F / 22C
Total Time = 2h 02m 24s
Overall Rank = 13/138
Age Group = M50-54
Age Group Rank = 1/12
Pre-race routine:

Haven't typed up a race report in quite a while but this was such a great race I felt it was well worth the effort. I was part of a relay for this years 3 or 4 years ago that got rained out but they still held a 5K. I was supposed to swim on the relay but ended up running the 5K along with our designated runner. The run course has photos along the course with soldiers that gave their lives serving our nation and the finish line is lined with American flags with volunteers handing one to each athlete as they approach the finish line.

I highly recommend this race to anyone who lives or would be willing to travel to the Missouri/K.C. metro area.
Event warmup:

Got up at 04:00 as I had about a 50 minute drive to get to the race. Got my gear situated in transition, they had rack assignments based on your race bib number. I brought my wetsuit bottoms (De Soto T1) just in case the water had cooled off overnight but the temp was 79 degrees so no wetsuits which was fine by me. I'm not a fast swimmer but above average triathlon swimmer so non-wetsuit swims generally gives me an advantage over the bulk of my age group.

I chit-chatted with friends as we waited for the national anthem. During the anthem 3 skydivers made their way to the finish line area, the last holding an american flag, I thought that was nice touch. The swim start was initiated with an actual cannon, another nice touch. Veterans of the armed forces were given a gold swim cap.

I didn't really do any kind of warm-up, figured I'd use the first 200 yards to do that ;)
  • 17m 1s
  • 1093 yards
  • 01m 34s / 100 yards

Pretty good swim for me. Probably one of my best non-wetsuit swims. The swim out to the first buoy didn't have any siting buoys but there was just enough swimmers in front of me at that point to have something to follow. There we a couple of relay swimmers ahead of me which helped form a line before I could see the buoy.

There was one buoy between the first turn and the second turn so siting was easier going across. The lead swimmers were really fast and given the time trial nature of the start there was little chance of drafting.
What would you do differently?:

Nothing really
Transition 1
  • 01m 23s

Typical transition for me, not too fast not too slow.
What would you do differently?:

  • 52m 28s
  • 18.8 miles
  • 21.50 mile/hr

Got on the bike and right away sunglasses got fogged up. I use anti-fog spray on my swim goggles maybe I should try that on my sunglasses. Anyhow removed those and put them in my back pocket while rolling out of transition.

I took my time getting up to speed as I'm not in my best shape and didn't want my legs to tighten up too early in the ride especially given my lack of run training this year. There was little traffic on the first loop since the long course athletes went first. With over 450 total athletes racing on a 3.8 mile loop it got a little more packed on the last 3 laps but overall navigation was not a big challenge as most athletes stayed to the right to give room for the quicker bikers. I had to slow down on a couple turns near the entrance to the rectangle where the athletes started the loop from the park road. Cones separated entering bike traffic to riders starting their 2nd to 4th loops. I came close to hitting cones a couple times as I was trying to stay at a good speed as there was an uphill section just after that turn. I was out of the saddle each time going up.

Main reason for me was that I knew my main competition in AG was a much better runner so I wanted to put as much distance between us starting the run. He beat me last year (short course) but this was the first year of long course and a 10K is much long than a 5K and the bike was only 18.8 miles as opposed to a standard distance of 24.8 miles.

As I got closer to the end of the bike I missed to turn into T2. There was a guy in a shirt saying something but I couldn't understand what he was saying and there wasn't a sign stating "bike finish" or a right turn arrow or anything. I think there may have been a small sign but I didn't see it. So I went passed the turn in and ended up turning into the bike exit path. So I'm riding against bike traffic leaving T1 and finally realized I was not right. So I turned around went back to yellow shirt guy and shouted "Is this the bike finish" and he said yes of course.

I was thinking "dang it, that probably cost me an AG award". When looking at my bike leg afterwards, that little mishap cost me about 80 seconds.

GPS showed my average moving bike speed of 22.1 mph, going over 19.1 miles.
What would you do differently?:

Uh, know the course better. The finish was the same as last year but I guess my 1 year memory isn't so hot.

Pretty happy with the result as it's not exactly a flat course with over 1,400 feet of gain over only 19 miles and with so many 90 degree turns.
Transition 2
  • 01m 3s

Typical T2 for me. Last time I ran 6 miles without socks I blistered up pretty good so this time I put socks on.
What would you do differently?:

  • 50m 32s
  • 6.21 miles
  • 08m 08s  min/mile

This is where the big question mark was. Number one, would I be able to complete the run without walking? Number two, would I be run down by others in my AG? I strained a hamstring on June 9th and had to DNF a duathlon. I tried to run a 5K a couple weeks later but couldn't make the first mile without feeling it. On July 7th I did a hilly Olympic tri and was able to complete the 10K run without the hamstring acting up. Then I rested the run legs another couples then ran 3.5 miles on July 23rd then again on July 30th.

I was hoping to at least hold an 8:30 pace for the first few miles then see what god would give me the rest of the way. I took the first mile at what I thought was an easy pace, watch clicked off an 8:20 for mile 1 so I thought, OK I'll try and hold this pace. Mile 2 clicked off at 8:04, then I negative split miles 3 and 4 as well. Mile 5 I started to feel it so I backed off a bit and by mile 6 I was really feeling it, much to the effect of thinking about walking. But the one guy I knew cold run me down what not there. So I decided to Cowboy Up and endure the suck to the finish line.

During that 10K I was passed by 3 or 4 guys in the 40's and maybe one or two younger athletes, at least one was a relay runner.

1 8:20 /mi 151 bpm
2 8:04 /mi 155 bpm
3 7:52 /mi 159 bpm
4 7:49 /mi 163 bpm
5 8:25 /mi 165 bpm
6 8:26 /mi 165 bpm

What would you do differently?:

Nothing really, pretty happy with run splits given the lack of training. My total run mileage year to date is only 172 miles.
Post race
Warm down:

Walked around, drank water and ate a couple plums and some grapes. Was glad to hear on of my masters swim buddies son was 1st OA in the short course and my buddy Brandon run well without a calf issue.

What limited your ability to perform faster:

Training of course.

Event comments:

So it turned out I had nearly a 10 minutes lead over the next guy in my AG starting the run! The guy that beat me in short course last year did beat my 10K split by 5 minutes but there simply wasn't enough real estate left to run me down. A good day in the water and on the bike proved to be enough on this day.

This is such a great event I'll be back for sure.

Profile Album

Last updated: 2019-08-11 12:00 AM
00:17:01 | 1093 yards | 01m 34s / 100yards
Age Group: 1/12
Overall: 6/138
Performance: Good
Suit: Roka Viper Elite Swim Skin
Course: Trapezoidal, 2 turn buoys
Start type: Run Plus: Time Trial
Water temp: 79F / 26C Current: Low
200M Perf. Good Remainder: Good
Breathing: Good Drafting: Average
Waves: Navigation: Good
Rounding: Good
Time: 01:23
Performance: Average
Cap removal: Good Helmet on/
Suit off:
Wetsuit stuck? Run with bike: Yes
Jump on bike: No
Getting up to speed:
00:52:28 | 18.8 miles | 21.50 mile/hr
Age Group: 1/12
Overall: 7/138
Performance: Good
Ave HR: 153 Max HR: 172
Wind: Little
Course: Park road to what I call the Rectangle. The rectangle is a 3.8 mile loop with four turns counter-clockwise on public roads that are closed to traffic for the race. 4 laps for long course, 2 laps for short course. Total elevation gain of 1,400 feet for long course.
Road: Smooth Dry Cadence:
Turns: Average Cornering: Average
Gear changes: Good Hills: Average
Race pace: Hard Drinks: Just right
Time: 01:03
Overall: Average
Riding w/ feet on shoes
Jumping off bike
Running with bike
Racking bike
Shoe and helmet removal
00:50:32 | 06.21 miles | 08m 08s  min/mile
Age Group: 3/12
Overall: 32/138
Performance: Good
Average HR: 160 Max HR: 168
Course: Out & back on paved trail along lake and through campground areas. Relatively flat course, approx. 136 feet elevation gain.
Keeping cool Good Drinking Just right
Post race
Weight change: %
Mental exertion [1-5]
Physical exertion [1-5]
Good race? Yes
Course challenge Just right
Organized? Yes
Events on-time? Yes
Lots of volunteers? Yes
Plenty of drinks? Yes
Post race activities: Good
Race evaluation [1-5] 5

2019-08-11 5:03 PM

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Overland Park, KS
Subject: The Matt Mason Memorial “Cowboy UP!” Triathlon

2019-08-20 1:31 PM
in reply to: #5261703

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Extreme Veteran
Olathe, KS
Subject: RE: The Matt Mason Memorial “Cowboy UP!” Triathlon

Great job Reece! I agree, a great race. It's been a few years since I've done it, hopefully my schedule allows for it next year. Again, well done!

2019-08-22 11:14 AM
in reply to: Barkeep

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Overland Park, KS
Subject: RE: The Matt Mason Memorial “Cowboy UP!” Triathlon
Thanks Mike! Hoping to get my run game and stay injury free for next season.
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