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Rolf Prima Tri at the Grove - Olympic Course - Triathlon

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Cottage Grove, Oregon
United States
Rolf Prima
63F / 17C
Total Time = 2h 37m 46s
Overall Rank = 6/21
Age Group = 50-55
Age Group Rank = 1/2
Pre-race routine:

Up at 5AM, breakfast. Drove to the race venue, got there about 6:45. Packet pick-up on site; set up transition and did a short run. Hung out and did some stretches until the swim start.
Event warmup:

About ten minutes of running with some strides.
  • 28m 51s
  • 1700 meters
  • 01m 42s / 100 meters

Not my greatest swim. It's not a super-fast course (at least the old one) and tends to be a bit long but I have done 27 here. If I'd been in the 26-27 range I might have had people to ride with. Not sure why it was slow. I thought I was doing a good job of swimming straight and pacing well but maybe not? I did feel like I got out rather slowly compared to the women in my wave. Just wasn't warmed up enough or something.

ETA Course maybe quite a bit longer than standard!
What would you do differently?:

Maybe do a swim warmup. Air temps were marginal for that but might have been okay. Maybe would have felt more comfortable and swum faster in my sleeveless suit or the sleeveless shortie. (Water wasn't that cold, and I'd only swim in the full suit once before the race this year.)
Transition 1
  • 02m 30s

No issues with the wetsuit. Slowed down by my socks, of all things. I don't think I rolled them up enough and I had trouble pulling them on. Not sure why--just clumsy!
What would you do differently?:

Roll my socks up more or wear socks that don't fit as tightly. I did use baby power (my usual trick) but they just didn't want to go on.
  • 1h 16m 37s
  • 25.1 miles
  • 19.66 mile/hr

Solo ride in the Tri Twilight Zone! One guy passed me just after leaving T1. Then I saw NOBODY for 20-25 minutes. Somehow I got into a gap and it was really freaky. Kept thinking I'd gotten off the course, but just when I despaired, I'd see a sign. (They were small and infrequent.) I tried to keep steady power but false flats, wind, and inconsistent road surface made it hard. (This course is beyond "Figure 8"--more like a double helix! Except for the 10 miles or so around the lake, you're frequently switching between the smoother main road and the rougher narrow BLM road (like a rough bike path through the woods.)

Not my fastest bike split on this course (although I think it was slightly different than in years past, with more time spent on the BLM road, probably as there were not any volunteers for the bike course and they wanted to keep us out of traffic when possible) but it was my best placing. Only two women--a D1 college triathlete and 30-something tri coach--were ahead of me; I was 2-3 minutes up on a few of my usual rivals on the bike leg. Power was about 10-15 watts below what I'd been aiming for (NP= 169). So not sure. I think I would have raced better with more people around!
What would you do differently?:

Not sure. Exit T1 with more people to chase? Confused--I finished the swim with others and had an average transition, but they all disappeared on the bike. Evidently those behind me after the swim were all weaker bikers, except for the one dude at the beginning. And the faster people got out of sight while I was putting on my socks?
Transition 2
  • 01m 6s

Average transition, slowed by putting my hydration belt on upside down as I ran through the Run Out. The bottles fell out. An official tried to help, which actually slowed me down as he tried to bungee in the bottles (which isn't necessary if belt is right side up LOL). I also stopped briefly as I'd forgotten to tighten my lace locks and felt like I was going to run out of my shoes. Ugh!
What would you do differently?:

Pay attention to putting the hydration belt on right side up! Bungee the bottles in when setting up, in the event I do managed to put it on upside down. Remember to pull laces tight before running out. OMG.
  • 48m 40s
  • 10 kms
  • 04m 52s  min/km

My legs actually felt pretty good throughout. Kept from going faster mostly by not having people to chase (in some parts) and a bit of wheezing--there is always a lot of grass pollen this time of year and higher efforts levels on the run tend to bring it on. I don't have an inhaler now so just had to deal with it by keeping pace reasonable.
What would you do differently?:

Maybe push a little harder--if I could have found 30 more seconds, would have gotten 5th overall and an overall award (they were really cool).
Post race
Warm down:

Walked about a mile with Mom while we waited for the awards. (She was cold; I was tying up.)

What limited your ability to perform faster:

* Possibly poor sighting or insufficient warmup on the swim. Got out to a slow start, and apparently that made me end up isolated on the bike.
*Lack of people to chase on the bike.
*Sloppy/rusty transitions. Sock issue in T1 and hydration belt on upside down out of T2. This probably cost me an overall podium (5th).

Event comments:

This is my hometown race (well, as close as we have a tri--about 20 miles away near Cottage Grove) and the organizers did a great job with it as always. They were hampered this year by a serious lack of volunteers, plus very few athletes. Only seven volunteers for the whole race. I think/hope this is due to Eugene hosting the World Track and Field Championships this week. I think a lot of prospective participants and volunteers were either spectating or volunteering at the meet, locals out of town due to the crowds, or others avoiding Eugene due to the extreme scarcity and jacked-up prices of accommodation in our area right now. I really hope this race continues in the future--in my opinion, it's up there with Wanaka for the title of "Most Beautiful Triathlon in the World" (plus it is way closer than NZ!). It is not dramatic like NZ but it is beautiful and peaceful and shows the best of my home. I would hate to see it go under.

Last updated: 2022-07-24 12:00 AM
00:28:51 | 1700 meters | 01m 42s / 100meters
Age Group: 1/2
Overall: 0/21
Performance: Average
Suit: ProMotion full suit
Course: Two loops of "750m". (Different than in the past when it was always one loop.) Presumably due to having very few volunteers. I later talked with another athlete (a top age-grouper) who said his Garmin had the swim at 1710 meters! So revised this to put 1700m. Yikes.
Start type: Wade Plus: Waves
Water temp: 75F / 24C Current: Low
200M Perf. Below average Remainder: Below average
Breathing: Good Drafting: Below average
Waves: Average Navigation: Average
Rounding: Good
Time: 02:30
Performance: Below average
Cap removal: Good Helmet on/
Suit off:
Wetsuit stuck? No Run with bike: Yes
Jump on bike: Yes
Getting up to speed: Average
01:16:37 | 25.1 miles | 19.66 mile/hr
Age Group: 1/2
Overall: 3/21
Performance: Average
Wind: Headwind with gusts
Course: Basically a loop around Cottage Grove Lake (about 11 miles) with the remainder winding out and back on a mix of rural roads and a narrow BLM road through the woods. Net uphill (mostly false flats) out and net downhill (but with very stiff headwind) back.
Road: Rough Dry Cadence: 81
Turns: Good Cornering: Average
Gear changes: Average Hills: Good
Race pace: Hard Drinks: Just right
Time: 01:06
Overall: Below average
Riding w/ feet on shoes Good
Jumping off bike Average
Running with bike Average
Racking bike Good
Shoe and helmet removal Good
00:48:40 | 10 kms | 04m 52s  min/km
Age Group: 1/2
Overall: 4/21
Performance: Average
Pretty consistent pace of just under 8 minutes/mile ( assuming mile markers are accurate).
Course: Flat out and back on a BLM road through the woods. Mix of paved and dirt/gravel surface.
Keeping cool Good Drinking Just right
Post race
Weight change: %?
Overall: Average
Mental exertion [1-5] 4
Physical exertion [1-5] 3
Good race? Ok
Course challenge Just right
Organized? Yes
Events on-time? Yes
Lots of volunteers? No
Plenty of drinks? No
Post race activities: Average
Race evaluation [1-5] 4

2022-07-24 4:30 PM

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Eugene, Oregon
Bronze member
Subject: Rolf Prima Tri at the Grove - Olympic Course

2022-07-26 9:07 AM
in reply to: #5281995

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South Windsor, CT
Subject: RE: Rolf Prima Tri at the Grove - Olympic Course
seems like a great race and you did very well-although we are our own worst critics...

always tougher when there isn't a body to chase down on any leg

It sounds like a very scenic race! Hope it doesn't go under. Every race I've done has had issues with volunteers-and one was actually cancelled because of it.

GL with the rest of the season!
2022-07-27 8:44 AM
in reply to: dtoce

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Middle River, Maryland
Silver member
Subject: RE: Rolf Prima Tri at the Grove - Olympic Course

Tough to race in that environment without a bunch of competitors...almost feels like a big (expensive) training day.  Sounds like you had a very solid race overall, not perfect, but good and 6/21 is nothing to sneeze at.

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