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Grand Rapids Triathlon - Half Iron Course - Triathlon

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Ada, Michigan
United States
75F / 24C
Total Time = 7h 08m 13s
Overall Rank = /
Age Group = Athena
Age Group Rank = 2/3
Pre-race routine:

Did my usual, although stomach did not want to deal with food. Arrived at venue at about 5am and into transition at 5:15 or so. Rode bike in, which is about a mile. Set up transition, talked to Janet a bit, headed for the water after putting a hole in my wetsuit. Not ideal. It was chilly (~55F at beginning of event).
Event warmup:

Rode my bike about a mile to the venue from the parking area. Did get in the water, but really just hung out in the water absorbing the atmosphere and floating. didn't really swim much
  • 44m 53s
  • 2112 yards
  • 02m 08s / 100 yards

Overall pretty good. I was a bit out too far on the first leg of the triangle, getting out to where the kayaks were, but I feel like that was okay, because I missed out on the general bumping common with the beginning of the race. Did get bopped on the nose right after the 1000yd mark, which threw me off for a little bit, but i the end it turned out okay. No permanent damage (although this morning my left eye is a bit swollen and I have a minor black eye). Swam right up to the exit guys, who were super helpful, as usual.
What would you do differently?:

I need to work on sighting more, as I do tend to drift right when left to my own devices. I think I can push the pace harder too. I looked at my HR data and it is an average of 72bpm, which is low for actually engaging in activity! (I know--it doesn't track well in the water)
Transition 1
  • 08m 47s

Overall, T1 went about as well as it could have, given the LONG run between the water exit and the transition area (~0.5mi). I exited the water well and had the wetsuit strippers help me out of my wetsuit. Had a bit of an issue getting my chacos on for the run, so that slowed me down a bit. Run to the transition area was okay--at least I didn't get passed by spectators walking to transition this time! Once I got to the transition area, things went pretty smoothly. I wish I had taken a moment to put more chamois cream on--I regretted that later.
What would you do differently?:

Put chamois cream on for the ride. 56 miles is a long ride, better safe and happy than sorry.
  • 3h 15m 41s
  • 56 miles
  • 17.17 mile/hr

Bike was TOUGH. There was a tailwind going out to about mile 18, but it was not very strong. Once I got out into the flatter area after the hills it became more noticable, but then we turned and it became a gusting cross-wind of about 20mph with 35mph gusts. The final turn to the turn around (c. 8 miles) was headwind with open fields surrounding, meaning absolutely no relief. Turn around was t the bottom of a hill--jerks. Overall, I did pretty well maintaining pace and power outputs. About half way back after the turn around I realized more chamois cream would have been nice. And just after the hilly bit, as I entered Saranac I did a little dangerous pass on the right of three cars and a cyclist (I passed her on the left) because the bike sag vehicle was training a cyclist going about 12mph and wasn't getting over to let people pass and was blocking a pass to the left ( I would have had to cross into oncomming traffic, if there was any, I don't think there was, but it is against the rules to cross). I think I did it as carefully as possible, but it was still probably illegal. Thankfully, the sag vehicle didn't have a race official in it.

Also had the issue where the tube for my hydration system curled up a bit and it seemed like it was empty when I really had about 10oz of infinit left in the bottle. I need to fix that, because I need my nutrition!
What would you do differently?:

reapply chamois cream in T1
get speedfil tube flattened out

Not much else to do but embrace the suck that was this ride.
Transition 2
  • 04m 11s

Overall, T2 went pretty well. I was able to run to the rack, although after that ride my legs didn't really feel like they wanted to run all that much. I racked my bike and took a minute to put body glide on my feet to prevent blisters. I should have put some on my thighs too, because the chafe was bad after mile 10 or so. All else went pretty smoothly
What would you do differently?:

Body glide thighs!
  • 2h 54m 31s
  • 13.1 miles
  • 13m 19s  min/mile

I was actually really happy with this run, although my stomach wasn't. I ran th entire first two miles, then started doing a bit more conservative with running on the flats, downhills, and the slower grade uphills and walking the steep uphills. That was working for me and I was surprised at how long I actually felt good. I was able to drink infinit for the first five miles, then I didn't want it anymore. My stomach was starting to act up again. I tried the gatorade (watermelon) and pepsi, but mostly stuck with water and ice. At the turn around there is a short segment that goes through a park on a gravel path. It rained the night before, so the path was a bit soft and it was rocky, so I walked that whole segment (~0.75 mile) even though it was flat. I didn't want to risk a turned ankle and I needed a bit of a break. I was putting ice down my bra and in my hat to keep cool. It seemed to be working, perhaps a bit too well, because near the end I started to get cold. Around mile 10 I realized my inner thighs were starting to chafe. Wish I would have put more body glide on in T2. At the mile 11 aid station my stomach violently rejected the gatorade--never barfed during a race, so that was new and not as much fun as you would think! I got caught at mile 10 by the first place finisher in my division. Her run is good, so I knew that I wouldn't be able to catch her. I was still gunning for a sub-3hr finish though, even though I missed my target pace overall (which was very aggressive for the distance, for me!)
What would you do differently?:

Body glide thighs in T2
Try not to barf
maybe not walk the turn around segment, but it would depend on the conditions

Post race
Warm down:

Not much. I crossed the finish line and went to get my medals and some food. I had a very melty ice cream bar and then some pulled pork, served on a "plate" made out of a box flap. They ran out of plates because the wind kept blowing them away.

What limited your ability to perform faster:

Definitely my stomach was a factor today in at least the bike and the run.

The weather was also pretty brutal on the bike

Event comments:

This is an amazing race! It is well-organized, well-run, and the community support is fantastic. You'll never go wrong with a Tri4Health race.

Last updated: 2024-06-10 12:00 AM
00:44:53 | 2112 yards | 02m 08s / 100yards
Age Group: 1/3
Overall: 109/
Performance: Average
2:07/100y according to garmin
Suit: wetsuit
Course: one large triangle, but you couldn't see the far buoy from the start, so it was a bit tricky. Had to get around an outcrop into the river before you could see where you were really supposed to be going
Start type: Wade Plus: Time Trial
Water temp: 69F / 21C Current: Low
200M Perf. Average Remainder: Good
Breathing: Good Drafting: Below average
Waves: Navigation: Average
Rounding: Good
Time: 08:47
Performance: Good
Cap removal: Good Helmet on/
Suit off:
Wetsuit stuck? Run with bike: Yes
Jump on bike: No
Getting up to speed: Good
03:15:41 | 56 miles | 17.17 mile/hr
Age Group: 1/3
Overall: 103/
Performance: Average
avg speek 17.2 mph; average power 155 (normalized 167)
Wind: Strong with gusts
Course: out and back with a fairly flat first 15 miles, then a hilly segment of about 6 miles, then rolling hills to the turn around and reverse.
Road: Smooth Dry Cadence: 79-
Turns: Good Cornering: Good
Gear changes: Average Hills: Below average
Race pace: Comfortable Drinks: Just right
Time: 04:11
Overall: Good
Riding w/ feet on shoes
Jumping off bike
Running with bike Good
Racking bike Good
Shoe and helmet removal Good
02:54:31 | 13.1 miles | 13m 19s  min/mile
Age Group: 2/3
Overall: 138/
Performance: Good
overall average 13:29 avg hr 153
Course: two loop out and back with a couple of little offshoots
Keeping cool Good Drinking Too much
Post race
Weight change: %
Overall: Good
Mental exertion [1-5] 5
Physical exertion [1-5] 4
Good race? Ok
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

2024-06-10 10:43 AM

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Carbondale, Illinois
Subject: Grand Rapids Triathlon - Half Iron Course

2024-06-10 6:02 PM
in reply to: #5288899

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Auckland, North Island
Subject: RE: Grand Rapids Triathlon - Half Iron Course
Well done on toughing it through a challenging day.

And congratulations (I suppose) on popping your barfing cherry
2024-06-11 9:45 AM
in reply to: bulfrog

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Middle River, Maryland
Silver member
Subject: RE: Grand Rapids Triathlon - Half Iron Course

I know you're disappointed in the time results, but that's a another good race for you.  Ugh - puking during the race...that sucks. 

Nice double this weekend!

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