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Philadelphia Triathlon in Fairmount Park - Olympic Distance - TriathlonOlympic

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Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
United States
Philadelphia Triathlon, LLC
76F / 24C
Total Time = 2h 06m 2s
Overall Rank = 23/1544
Age Group = M30-34
Age Group Rank = 2/172
Pre-race routine:

Had the car packed the night before and my Mother In-Law spent the night so she could watch my daughter. That was a big help.

Got up at 3:30. Had some toast with P-Butter, Yogurt w/granola and some fresh fruit and started to get some hydration in me. Jumped in the car and was at the race site at about 5:15 or so.

I guess I should back up....

Saturday I woke up and felt like death. Very congested and my lungs felt really nasty. I was not really sure I was even going to do the race after my ride on Sat night. But then I got a pretty good night's sleep and when I woke up my body was feeling much better. So I decided to give it a shot. After Eagleman I have been just kind of in maintenance mode. Well I have actually been doing nothing. I kind of mentally needed a little break but knew I would pay for it a little at this race. When I went to the packet pick up on Saturday and saw the bike course I was really concerned. I have been training strictly for flat races this year and there were apparently some monster hills on the bike course. "Monster" in comparison to anything you would expect to see in NJ where I live. So I was a little skeptical about my gear selection for this race. 55/42 and 11/21.... Don't ever....ever.....ever...ever..bring this gearing to a hilly a$$ course like this one...
Event warmup:

Got my transition set up and did some stretching. Kept warm for the most part as it was a little chilly out.

Got the wetsuit on and jumped on the bus to St. Joes Boat house for the swim start.

Stood in line for a bathroom break and then got in the water and did about 50-100 yards of swimming to warm up.
  • 20m 23s
  • 1640 yards
  • 01m 14s / 100 yards

First off...they had us in the water for a solid 10 minutes before we went off. Then holding the line before the start was tough. The current was pushing down river. There was a considerable amount of pushing and shoving going on. I lined up about 5 feet from the buoys.

The only thing that pissed me off a little was that they told us about 1:30 to go and I though they would do a little count down or say 30 seconds...10 seconds... they never did this. All of a sudden we hear the horn go off and you just see people near the dock swimming. We didn't hear it hardly all the way out where we were. So we all just took off and got into a groove.

Three of us broke off from the entire group in the first 50 meters. One guy was going for the gold and just flat out was hauling a$$. I drafted off another guy for a bit and then decided it was time to get away from him as he was swimming way off the course I wanted to take. I got back on line and put about 2 body lengths on this guy. Overall this was not a very good swim for me. I was breathing every 2 strokes for most of the swim and I find that I do terrible when I swim like this. I just never got into a breathing rhythm for the entire swim.

As we got to the final turn I saw a very large pack of the wave in front of us struggling to make the turn. I hugged the buoy and avoided the entire group. The other guy that was with me had to go wide and must have lost about 25 yards. I dropped him on the way in and really started to pick the pace up and bring my kick back into it.

Took my time getting out of the water. I didn't want any wetsuit mishaps like Eagleman.

What would you do differently?:

Maybe swim a little harder. I kind of swam with one guy in sight and decided that it was not worth it to chase the guy out in front. Possibly a big mistake as he won my Age Group and I had faster Bike and Run splits than this guy. If I was in contact at T1 I would have pushed the pace a lot harder and made sure to make it a race and less of a "chase the leader" thing.
Transition 1
  • 01m 58s

Wetsuit got stuck on my left foot. Timing chip was on that foot too and I almost ripped the timing chip right off. Oh well. Overall not too bad. The other thing that sucked was that the run was a little long out of transition with the bike. Lots of roots and my shoes were bouncing all over the place. Possibly pick the bike up and run with it to avoid this...
What would you do differently?:

  • 1h 03m 56s
  • 24.85 miles
  • 23.32 mile/hr

Holy He!!. Say this with me....always scout the course out before you ride it... This would have been a huge help for me. I sure would have changed up my gearing at least in the back..... Anyway...not much I can do now. Live and learn.

Two loops.

Loop One: Not too bad. Got moving right away and got my speed up quickly. Right away hitting like 26-28 MPH on the flats and felt good about that. Then the first hill came. I was almost down in my 21 cog in the back. I stayed seated which was a plus and just powered up the hill. Feeling good I come rocketing back down the other side and I am now in my 55/11 gear and just flying. I glanced down and I saw something to the tune of 40+ MPH so I was happy. The gears were great for descending as I didn't run out of gearing and was powering down the entire descent sections of the course. Hit a huge bump and the yellow aero drink thing came flying out. Every bump for the next 10 miles came with a nice wave of water to my face. I just decided to drink up the rest of the water and not waste it. Saw a local guy, Scoogie Snyder, when I was coming up Lemon Hill. He was just watching the race and scouting the racers out. He let me know the lead guy was only 1:15 up the road and gave a little cheer. Pretty cool guy...nice scouting too.

Lap Two:
Legs were holding up ok. Gearing was getting a bit easier. Hills were still a struggle for the most part though.

Came ripping down black road, got my feet out of my shoes really quick and made it to T2 unscathed and in one piece. Definitely learned my lesson about gearing. Figured I could have probably been about 2-5 mins faster on the bike with the right front and back gears.

What would you do differently?:

Better gear selection and most importantly, scout the course. Knowledge is everything. Don't just suspect that the course is going to be flat because it's in the city.
Transition 2
  • 01m 30s

Nothing much here. Helmet off, shoes and socks on...and I was running. Race belt was twisted. Once I got that fixed during mile one of the race I was fine.
What would you do differently?:

  • 38m 13s
  • 6.21 miles
  • 06m 09s  min/mile

Got moving right away and felt pretty solid. Noticed there was a guy in my Age Group about 25 yards ahead of me and then a Woman Pro about 25 yards ahead of him. Other than that I didn't see too many people until almost the first turn around. A few pros and the Age Group Race leader.

Once I got my race belt untwisted I settled in. The run was a big question mark for me. My run at Eagleman left me a little unsettled with my training. This run proved to be great. Right away I noticed 5:55 for the first mile, then everything after that was right about 6:05-6:10 or so. One mile came in at 6:15 but I backed off a bit as it was a little up hill at that point.

About 1.2 miles in I caught the guy in my Age Group. Then I set my sights on the Woman Pro up the road. I figured that pulling up and catching her would separate me from the guy in my age group and hopefully put enough of a gap between me and him that he would not try and hang on or bridge up later on. I was looking at his strides when I passed him and he didn't look like his legs were doing too well.

So I caught the PRO coming off the grassy section and onto the back end of the course. From there on I didn't see anyone but PRO's for about another mile. Then I started to see some of those guys coming back in.

Made it to the turn around and knew it was all down hill from there. I took off running and started to push the pace again. I could now see the Age Group race leader and was hoping I would catch him. He was less than 100 yards up the road. But for some reason I never saw the Mile 5 marker and then the next one I saw was Mile 6. I knew then that there wasn't enough road to catch him. So I just finished a strong as I could. Legs really held up for the entire run and I was certain that I could have run more if I needed to. Not really sure what happened at Eagleman. Maybe just a mental block about the half marry or something. Who knows. I will say that running in my more cushioned trainers is the way to go for me. The added weight is a minus but the comfort they provide as well as the ability to keep my form under control for the whole run is something that I am willing to live with.

What would you do differently?:

Nothing. Solid Run. Maybe have more time between my HIM and this race. My legs really haven't recovered 100% back to "race ready" yet.
Post race
Warm down:

Went right to the message tent to get my legs worked on. Wanted to get some more blood flowing and some of the lactic acid out. Hung around with some of my NON-TRI friends that came out to support me. Very nice of them to show up and spend the day.

What limited your ability to perform faster:

Not being fully recovered from Eagleman.
Bad Gear Selection.
Not a good mental attitude the week before the race.
Allergies or nasal whatever....

Event comments:

Very good race. Some room for improvement. Nothing major. Very well put on for the most part. Will consider it for next year.

Last updated: 2007-05-07 12:00 AM
00:20:23 | 1640 yards | 01m 14s / 100yards
Age Group: 2/172
Overall: 33/1544
Performance: Average
Suit: Blue 70 Full Helix
Course: Start at St. Joes boat house on the Kelly Drive side of the river and then end up a mile down river on the West River Drive side. Slight current pushing down river and a little sideways at times. I found myself swimming off to the right a bunch of times. (Apparently the course was a little longer than a mile from what I understand too.)
Start type: Deep Water Plus: Waves
Water temp: 76F / 24C Current: Medium
200M Perf. Good Remainder: Average
Breathing: Below average Drafting: Good
Waves: Good Navigation: Average
Rounding: Good
Time: 01:58
Performance: Good
Cap removal: Good Helmet on/
Suit off:
Wetsuit stuck? Yes Run with bike: Yes
Jump on bike: Yes
Getting up to speed: Good
01:03:56 | 24.85 miles | 23.32 mile/hr
Age Group: 2/172
Overall: 31/1544
Performance: Good
Wind: Some
Course: Two loops through Fairmount Park, Kelly Drive, Around the Art Museum. Very scenic and very different terrain.
Road: Rough Dry Cadence:
Turns: Good Cornering: Good
Gear changes: Good Hills: Below average
Race pace: Comfortable Drinks: Not enough
Time: 01:30
Overall: Good
Riding w/ feet on shoes Good
Jumping off bike Good
Running with bike Good
Racking bike Good
Shoe and helmet removal Good
00:38:13 | 06.21 miles | 06m 09s  min/mile
Age Group: 0/172
Overall: 29/1544
Performance: Good
Course: Two out and backs with a short grassy section through the back end of transition. The last out and back was out to the Art Museum and then back to the finish line.
Keeping cool Good Drinking Just right
Post race
Weight change: %
Overall: Good
Mental exertion [1-5] 4
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] 4

2007-06-25 9:20 AM

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Subject: Philadelphia Triathlon in Fairmount Park - Olympic Distance

2007-06-25 10:12 AM
in reply to: #858483

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Cinnaminson, NJ
Subject: RE: Philadelphia Triathlon in Fairmount Park - Olympic Distance

Great race Mike.... great report...  it's cool to read what was going on in your head as you are trying to chase down leaders or hold off people.

I saw you talking to the guy who came in 1st in your age group what did he have to say???

2007-06-25 10:33 AM
in reply to: #858483

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Wallingford, PA
Subject: RE: Philadelphia Triathlon in Fairmount Park - Olympic Distance
Wow! Nice race! Congrats on your placement - pretty awesome!!
2007-06-25 10:38 AM
in reply to: #858483

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Subject: RE: Philadelphia Triathlon in Fairmount Park - Olympic Distance
congrats on a great race Mike. 2nd in your AG is pretty awesome stuff, especially only 2 weeks after eagleman. Nice race report, too, gave good details.
2007-06-25 12:17 PM
in reply to: #858610

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Subject: RE: Philadelphia Triathlon in Fairmount Park - Olympic Distance
kleinrider - 2007-06-25 11:12 AM

Great race Mike.... great report...  it's cool to read what was going on in your head as you are trying to chase down leaders or hold off people.

I saw you talking to the guy who came in 1st in your age group what did he have to say???

The guy Chip that beat me was from Virginia. He was a really nice guy and a fellow Swimmer turned triathlete. He was a distance swimmer @ Penn State and fast at that. It showed as he blew my doors off me yesterday in the swim.

We were just chatting about the bike course and about why they didn't do an Age Group Male Female Top 5 Overall. Kind of strange if you ask me. They only did Top 5 Overall but they all happened to be PROS's. We were saying what would happen if the PRO's all got beat by Age Grp racers. Would the PRO's get no awards at all? It was kind of strange. I think Steven Back was a little surprised too. I know I was.

Thanks for the support yesterday. Got me fired up to hear you guys when I came through the back end of the course on the run heading out on loop two...Thanks for that.

Edited by gadzinm 2007-06-25 12:18 PM
2007-06-25 12:51 PM
in reply to: #858483

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Wye Mills, MD
Subject: RE: Philadelphia Triathlon in Fairmount Park - Olympic Distance
Whew, that's fast! Great race. Congrats on the 2nd AG.

2007-06-25 2:49 PM
in reply to: #858483

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Not a Coach
Media, PA
Subject: RE: Philadelphia Triathlon in Fairmount Park - Olympic Distance

Damn!  You smoked that course!  Great job!

Those hills certainly surprise people that assume it's all along the river though.  I used almost all of my gears and I go down to a 34-23. 

2007-06-26 1:02 AM
in reply to: #858483

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Lansdale, PA
Subject: RE: Philadelphia Triathlon in Fairmount Park - Olympic Distance
You had a phenominal race! Second in you AG too? Awesome!
2007-06-26 1:05 AM
in reply to: #858483

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Lansdale, PA
Subject: RE: Philadelphia Triathlon in Fairmount Park - Olympic Distance
Oh, and Scoogie is a great guy. I was glad to have him cheer me on at the top of Lemon Hill!
2007-06-27 8:56 AM
in reply to: #859307

South Jersey
Subject: RE: Philadelphia Triathlon in Fairmount Park - Olympic Distance

Great job out there! After seeing you on Saturday, I was glad you were able to bring your game on Sunday. I know you weren't feeling well and had been getting worried about it.

You totally smoked that course. Next year, you should have the AG win...and top 3 OA I'm sure. Just bring the right gears. LOL - I don't even know what my gears are, but they seemed to work okay for me .

Congrats again on a great race !!

2007-06-27 10:08 AM
in reply to: #862304

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Cycling Guru
Fulton, MD
Subject: RE: Philadelphia Triathlon in Fairmount Park - Olympic Distance
Smokin' race!!  You rocked again!  Congrats on the AG placing and kicking the courses azz!!

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