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Toyota Redondo Beach Triathlon - TriathlonSprint

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Redondo Beach, California
United States
TC Tri Productions, LLC
65F / 18C
Total Time = 51m 13s
Overall Rank = 38/450
Age Group = Male 50-54
Age Group Rank = 2/18
Event warmup:

Lots of stretching, then jogged along the beach for about 500 yards to the swim start, then swam about 100 yards.
  • 13m 27s
  • 879 yards
  • 01m 32s / 100 yards

This is my third time doing this tri. Each year I'm better prepared and show some nice improvement. This year's race got off to a great start into calm, almost wave-less surf. With that nice fast swim start I was thinking I'd be out among the leaders of my wave right away. But as I made my way toward the first buoy I could see what seemed like more than a dozen green caps (wave 3’s color) ahead of me. Once around the buoy and heading north I drifted a little off course to the left of the main string of swimmers. So I switched to breathing on my right, facing the beach, so I could see the other swimmers and try to stay parallel to them and hopefully go in a straight line. After I passed them, I switched to breathing on my left and there was a guy with a green cap (my wave) about a dozen yards off to the side and a little ahead of me. We were at least half way through the swim and I was determined to get past him. After about five minutes of increased effort I was finally pulling away, but in the process I had moved further out to sea and now had to adjust my course again to angle in toward the last buoy. The next thing I know, that green cap-guy on my left was right next to me by mere inches and just below my shoulder. He was trying to draft off of me. Sorry, bud, no free rides. So I cut to the right and surged away from him. I rounded the final buoy with about eight to ten others, mostly stragglers from the two previous waves, and pushed the pace the rest of the way into shore. I took a split as I exited the water of 13:27. I was pretty winded at this point and could only barely jog across the beach toward the Strand, but by the time I got to the stairs I was back in control of my lungs and was able to make a good run the rest of the way up the hill to T1. Without having to fight the surf at the beginning and with the more competitive environment, my time of 14:57 upon entering the transition zone was a big improvement over last year's 17:33.
What would you do differently?:

Try to get a faster start and swim in a straight line. I would normally catch a wave and body surf into shore, but the surf was unusually calm and I didn't even catch one of those little waves.
Transition 1
  • 03m

My transition, as usual, wasn't as smooth as I had hoped it would be, but I was into and out of T1 without any major problems. There were no official transition times again this year, following the current trend of lumping them into the bike split (the Race Director tells me there will be transition times next year). That's why you need to take your own splits. Unfortunately, as it turns out, my watch died on me shortly after the race and I only remember a few of the splits, and I didn't get a T1 time that I could remember. Looking at my other splits, it must have been close to three minutes, much slower than last year's 2:31.
What would you do differently?:

I really need to get better at transitions, especially T1. I know exactly what I need to do and I know what order I want to do it all in. But once in the transition process I fumble around too much. Getting the wetsuit off does seem to be the biggest drag on my time, but I don't feel smooth on anything else either.
  • 17m 30s
  • 6 miles
  • 20.57 mile/hr

The bike seemed to be going well at first. It's only six miles (two three-mile laps), so it's pretty much a matter of just going all-out the whole way. As I'm going up Catalina Ave, approaching the Knob Hill turn that takes you down to the Esplanade, I realize that I wasn't pushing as hard as I could. I'd been passing people like crazy and it just seemed like I was going fast. So I put the chain on the big ring, which is where it should have been all along, and literally flew down the Esplanade, did the U-turn at Avenue I and charged back up the incline and Knob Hill. Once back on Catalina I was moving past lots of people from the first two waves and again lost focus, but only for a very short while. Now I was resolved to stay focused and by then my focus was the little loop on Torrance Blvd that drops down toward the underground pier parking structure, then loops around and comes back up a short, but very steep hill back to Catalina. I call this part climbing back out of "the hole", because that's pretty much what it's like. You pick up a lot of speed going down into "the hole", try to maintain as much momentum as possible as the road does a half-circle and then shoots you back up and out of "the hole". By the time I was half way up the hill the chain was back on the middle ring and I was down to my easiest gear and still losing speed fast, so I rose up out of the saddle and grunted through the last 30 yards. Now back up on Catalina, with dead legs, I was headed for the end of the first lap. Six miles is an awfully short bike race, and I think my first lap split was something like nine minutes, so I knew I could do better, I had been planning on something around 8:15. Soon, the legs came back to life and I was determined to keep my focus and fly through the second lap. By the time I was going back up the Esplanade incline I was feeling real good, real strong and real pleased to be powering past everyone I came across. I knew this lap was going to be faster. Even the climb out of "the hole" seemed faster. My second lap split was 8:29, much more according to plan. So my bike split was probably around the same as last year's 17:25. My official T1+Bike+T2 time was 21:19.
What would you do differently?:

Get a better start and stay focused on making a maximum effort the entire 6 miles. This race is truly a "sprint" triathlon, especially this bike segment.
Transition 2
  • 01m 17s

My T2 transition seemed to go more smoothly than the T1, but my self-timed 1:17 split was only a few seconds better than last year's 1:25. Well, every second counts!
What would you do differently?:

Just need to be faster at this. More practice will surely help.
  • 14m 57s
  • 2 miles
  • 07m 29s  min/mile

The run starts out on a slight downhill from the Veterans Park parking lot-turned-transition-zone and toward the Redondo Beach Pier. After giving everything I had on that second bike lap I felt completely uncoordinated as I took off running with a bad case of wobbly-leg-syndrome. Once out onto the pier itself, the course flattened out and my legs felt more like running, although the hard cement surface was pretty jarring on my tender, recently injured legs. Between the swim and the bike, I may have used up too much energy because I knew I was moving much slower than I wanted to. This was especially apparent when others were easily passing me. As I came through the one mile mark I had a split of 7:00 even, and when I passed the one and a half mile mark 3:25 later I was surprised to find that I had increased my pace to 6:50 per mile. So maybe the markers were off a bit. The course was now heading back toward the main pier parking structure and I was holding a pace pretty much like the three people who were ten to twenty yards ahead of me. I wanted to increase my speed, but that didn't seem to be working, so I decided to be happy with just keeping myself from slowing down. Our group stayed about the same distance apart as we made our way through the parking structure and along the western side of it, passing several others who appeared to be pretty well spent. Exiting the pier area and heading up the last hill toward Veterans Park, I again tried to catch the guy in front of me, but could only cut his lead down to about five yards. Coming up over the top of the hill into the park I knew I had to really sprint to catch him in those last 60 yards, but as it always seems to happen in these triathlons, there was no more speed to be had, only enough will power to make it over the finish line. My run time was 14:57, same as my swim split, and about a minute slower than I had planned. It was a nice improvement over last year's 16:25, although in that race I had suffered a serious calf seizure half way through the run that really slowed me down.

A final observation though on the run course is that I think it might be a little longer than two miles, maybe 2.1, even 2.2 or so. Even if the 1 1/2 mile mark was a little short, I know my last half mile was faster than the 4:32 split would indicate, as that would put my last half mile pace at 9:04 per mile, and I know I was going faster than that.

My time of 51:13 was good for 2nd place in the 50-54 age group division and 38th place over all.

What would you do differently?:

I need to stop getting injured during my run training. After five months of running injury free I started getting a series of nagging little lower leg injuries over the past two months. Each time it would cost me five to ten days of run training. My mileage dropped to 40% and I was rarely able to do my planned fast runs and speed work. In a sprint tri this short you need to be really fast, and I just wasn't there like I had wanted to be. Next year will be different (which means faster!).
Post race
Warm down:

About 10 minutes of walking and stretching.

What limited your ability to perform faster:

I need to make better, faster starts in all 3 segments. I need to be more focused on maintaining a continuous full effort in a tri this short, especially on the bike. I need to be in better speed-shape for this short of a run. And of course I need to seriously work on my transitions.

Event comments:

I really like this race. It is certainly unique as the sprint triathlon of sprint triathlons. I'll do better in a longer race, but this one makes for a nice change of pace from the multitude of "same-old, same-old" sprint triathlons, with their virtually similar distances; 800 yard swim, 10 mile bike, 3 mile run. There is talk of making the bike a three lap, nine mile course next year, and that will be to my advantage, but I hope they don't, because then it's just another "beach-city" tri. Long live the Redondo Beach Triathlon!

Last updated: 2007-04-14 12:00 AM
00:13:27 | 879 yards | 01m 32s / 100yards
Age Group: 1/18
Overall: 12/450
Performance: Good
Suit: xterra Pro Vector 2
Course: The swim is a U-shaped course, with most of the swim going northward parallel to the beach. Once out of the water you have to run across the beach to the Strand. Then you go south along the Strand and up the stairs in the hillside, and then continue up the hill to the south parking lot at Veterans Park, which has been converted into the transition area.
Start type: Run Plus: Waves
Water temp: 63F / 17C Current: Low
200M Perf. Average Remainder: Good
Breathing: Good Drafting:
Waves: Below average Navigation: Below average
Rounding: Good
Time: 03:00
Performance: Below average
Cap removal: Below average Helmet on/
Suit off:
Wetsuit stuck? Yes Run with bike: Yes
Jump on bike: No
Getting up to speed: Good
00:17:30 | 06 miles | 20.57 mile/hr
Age Group: 5/18
Overall: 93/450
Performance: Average
Wind: Some
Course: Six miles, made up of two three-mile laps. Basically it's an out and back to the south, then an out and back to the north of the transition area. There is one long incline going up the Esplanade and one short steep hill coming up out of the northern turn-around point on Torrance Blvd.
Road: Rough Dry Cadence:
Turns: Average Cornering: Average
Gear changes: Good Hills: Good
Race pace: Hard Drinks: Just right
Time: 01:17
Overall: Below average
Riding w/ feet on shoes
Jumping off bike Average
Running with bike Good
Racking bike Average
Shoe and helmet removal Below average
00:14:57 | 02 miles | 07m 29s  min/mile
Age Group: 4/18
Overall: 79/450
Performance: Average
Course: The short, fast and mostly flat two mile course starts out going down the hill from the Veterans Park transition area onto the Redondo Beach Pier, which is a very large, meandering pier with shops and restaurants and such on it. It's almost like running through the town streets, including the hard cement surface. As the course works its way north it goes into the King Harbor area, past the Seaside Lagoon recreation area and along the back side of the harbor's restaurant row, hugging the shoreline walkway. After the turn-around, the course brings you back south through the restaurant parking lots, the bike path and even cuts through a corner of the main parking structure. The final stretch is up a short steep hill that brings you back to Veterans Park and finishes down a sidewalk by the playground. This is a 100% hard surface course.
Keeping cool Good Drinking Just right
Post race
Weight change: %
Overall: Good
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: Good
Race evaluation [1-5] 5

2007-06-18 12:01 PM

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Redondo Beach, CA
Subject: Toyota Redondo Beach Triathlon
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