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Lake Olathe Triathlon - TriathlonSprint

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Olathe, Kansas
United States
City of Olathe
73F / 23C
Total Time = 1h 05m 1s
Overall Rank = 4/99
Age Group = 40-44M
Age Group Rank = 1/6
Pre-race routine:

Thumbs up to races held in your own city. I don't think this race was heavily promoted and someone had mentioned that this wasn't put on any schedule until July. I only heard of it for the first time a little over two weeks ago. Well, the promotion I heard was for a kids tri, I saw nothing about it being for big kids too. After the Katzenberg tri got ruined by thunderstorms late in August I had pretty much transitioned over to an off-season weight lifting routine. But I abruptly shifted gears back when I got word of this race. I'd have huge regrets about not doing a race in my home town.

The race is part of a bigger display of the newly revamped Lake Olathe area. The small lake essentially takes up a square mile space. Ever since I've lived in this area the lake and sparse recreation area was little used. It was mostly known to me as a body of water bordered by four hilly roads that I would try to avoid on my bike because the grades on them can be pretty steep. Now there is an awesome new beach house facility, outdoor amphitheater, among other things. It's even created a new evening open water swimming option. They didn't level out the hills, but I'll cut them some slack.

I arrived on site around 5:45 am to take my usual sweet time setting up. It's September, so we didn't start getting any real sunlight until almost 7 am. Surprisingly, I saw my friend Adam here at the race. He was the one who introduced me to this sport over a decade ago, and over the last few years we've sparingly been competing at the same race. He is now on his way to training for IMAZ, I on the other hand am getting ready to close down racing season.
Event warmup:

A few strokes in the water. The H2O temps were 79 degrees, so no wetsuit to slip on.
  • 08m 52s
  • 563 yards
  • 01m 34s / 100 yards

A bit of a different style of swim start. They were doing typical waves by age groups, but within the waves they were releasing people in two person increments, time trial style. I guess they wanted to reduce the initial contact at the start(?). Regardless, there were six of us right on top of each other at the very get go, as there might have been anyway. I sprinted for the first 50 yards or so to pull away and then settled into a normal 500 race pace.

No one to draft off of or follow, I just carefully passed by the folks from the previous waves. The wind was blowing directly out from the shore, so making the final turn home you encountered much different breathing situation. This meant having to adjust my head position during my breathing as well as mostly breathing to my unnatural left side. It took a few moments but eventually you adapt.
Transition 1
  • 00m 45s

The bike mount area was flat-ish and then it's an immediate uphill, so I'm glad I remembered to switch my bike to the lowest gear before the race. Getting clipped in on the first try was a big help.

  • 34m 15s
  • 10.57 miles
  • 18.52 mile/hr

I knew it was going to be hilly and knew what I was getting into, but the hills still kinda slapped me in the face. After climbing and descending on the curvy road out of the park I caught up to my friend Adam and we began making the slow climb west. He was encouraging me to pass him but my heart was already beating out of my chest and I was trying to calm my breathing down a bit. I eventually passed him and then got some relief when we turn north onto flatter roads.

The signage for all of the turns said "keep right" which I interpret as to move over to the far right side of the road. Which is how you'd read it if you were a motorist. The intention of this sign was to actually indicate a right turn. This combined with a county sheriff standing idly by not directing me to turn, and me generally not being fully aware went straight instead. I didn't go far after noticing a house number on a mailbox and Adam, who was not far behind me, screaming "GROFF!!!!" I turned around and got back on course, a little annoyed with myself and the officer who just stood there watching.

This then began the fun stretch of the course where 135th St goes screaming downwards and then back up a steep grade. This then repeats itself again. The first time I reached 41 mph and then in about 2 seconds I was biking at 7 mph. Ooooff. I don't think my evening bike sessions on the trainer prepared me for this. The crosswinds during this time were also fun bonus element.

The turn south was only for a mile, and it could've been fast, but then the headwind had a say in the matter so I continued to work. I was going to have to work for every mile of this 10+ mile course.
What would you do differently?:

Perhaps pay attention and know the course. Train for hills - get off trainer and get outside and ride.
Transition 2
  • 00m 56s

I really need to practice my flying dismounts. I've been a little gun shy ever since my tri suit bottoms got caught on the nose of my saddle and I almost wiped out a few races back. Need to get back on that horse.

  • 20m 14s
  • 2.9 miles
  • 06m 59s  min/mile

In retrospect this was a good run. I liked it. In the moment it was torture. I was breathing harder than I'd like, my heart was pounding, and I never really "settled in" until I was two miles in. Pretty much the standard stuff for me when it comes to sprint triathlons and the run.

I caught sight of Adam on the first out and back, finally erasing the self-inflicted deficit I imposed on myself during the bike course. He kept encouraging me to catch up and pass him. I wasn't so sure I could, at that point I was just hanging on. On the hills I was tempted numerous times to walk but I convinced myself to baby step it up them. Just small running steps until I crested over the top. That seemed to help.

After two+ miles I finally felt ready to race. I passed Adam and made my way up one final hill to come sprinting back down it to the finish line.
Post race
Warm down:

Sat and rested. Caught my breath. Exchanged some race stories with some other tri friends.

Event comments:

Being a first year race in a new venue the City of Olathe put on a great race. For the most part every detail of the race seemed buttoned down. Hopefully this becomes an annual event.

Last updated: 2019-09-20 12:00 AM
00:08:52 | 563 yards | 01m 34s / 100yards
Age Group: 1/6
Overall: 4/99
Performance: Good
Course: Out and back rectangle, clock-wise.
Start type: Run Plus: Waves
Water temp: 79F / 26C Current: Medium
200M Perf. Good Remainder: Good
Breathing: Good Drafting:
Waves: Navigation: Good
Rounding: Good
Time: 00:45
Performance: Good
Cap removal: Good Helmet on/
Suit off:
Wetsuit stuck? Run with bike: Yes
Jump on bike: No
Getting up to speed: Good
00:34:15 | 10.57 miles | 18.52 mile/hr
Age Group: 2/6
Overall: 16/99
Performance: Average
Wind: Strong with gusts
Course: 10 mile clockwise rectangle course around the lake area. Westbound stretch is uphill. Northbound is mostly flat. Eastbound has two big hills. Southbound mostly flat.
Road: Smooth Dry Cadence:
Turns: Good Cornering: Good
Gear changes: Good Hills: Average
Race pace: Hard Drinks:
Time: 00:56
Overall: Average
Riding w/ feet on shoes Good
Jumping off bike Average
Running with bike Good
Racking bike Good
Shoe and helmet removal Good
00:20:14 | 02.9 miles | 06m 59s  min/mile
Age Group: 2/6
Overall: 4/99
Performance: Good
Course: on the newly paved trails around the lake. Undulating and hilly. Nice.
Keeping cool Good Drinking
Post race
Weight change: %
Overall: Average
Mental exertion [1-5] 3
Physical exertion [1-5] 4
Good race? Yes
Course challenge Just right
Organized? Yes
Events on-time? Yes
Lots of volunteers? Yes
Plenty of drinks? Yes
Post race activities: Average
Race evaluation [1-5] 5

2019-09-25 11:43 AM

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Extreme Veteran
Olathe, KS
Subject: Lake Olathe Triathlon

2019-09-25 3:05 PM
in reply to: #5262827

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Alpharetta, Georgia
Bronze member
Subject: RE: Lake Olathe Triathlon

Great write up - 41 mph! Flying! 

2019-09-29 12:33 PM
in reply to: #5262827

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Overland Park, KS
Subject: RE: Lake Olathe Triathlon
Solid race Mike. That bike course and run were no joke! I'm just glad that run had a net downhill finish.
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