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MedExpress Mountaineer Triathlon - Olympic Distanc - TriathlonOlympic

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Morgantown, West Virginia
United States
HFP Racing
75F / 24C
Total Time = 3h 27m 34s
Overall Rank = 151/180
Age Group = XL2: 200-224
Age Group Rank = 4/5
Pre-race routine:

The alarm went off at 5:30. I had a slight headache so I laid in bed for a little longer. At 6 a.m. I climbed out of bed still with the headache but the need to get down to the race. I ate toast with peanut butter and a cup of coffee and then a little gatorade. I rode my MTB over to the race. Nothing hard, but it got the blood pumping. Riding along the rail trail, I could see the steam coming off the river. It was beautiful. I got down to the race site, locked my bike up and walked over to the transition area to set things up and where my bike already waited after checking it in the day before. I got my chip, and body marked. A guy who had volunteered last year with me was marking bodies so it was great to talk with someone I know. I was a little nervous since I was going to get body marked before picking up my chip... :) I grabbed my wetsuit and walked on down to the dock where I waited for my wave and watched as the other waves went off before me... I was in the last wave to go.
Event warmup:

I did some stretching.. and the bike ride to the race. When at the dock I was able to get in the river a bit and swim before my start, which was good since I felt a tightness/discomfort in my upper right arm. Swimming got this worked out before I started. And then the siren went off.
  • 33m
  • 1500 meters
  • 02m 12s / 100 meters

The water was really nice, not too warm but not cold either. When the siren went off, I knew I was going to swim steady but not go all out immediately. I wanted to get a rhythm going before I picked it up. I felt really good at the start. I was swimming fairly straight. Things were going well... about halfway through, I picked it up and trusting my swimming, I sighted less often. Coming up to the third turn, something happened. Some folks told me that the buoy was not aligned correctly with the others, or I drifted to my left too far, or a combination of both... Either way, I had to readjust and I am sure I lost 2-4 minutes on this mistake, which was truly my mistake because I didn't sight properly.
As I made the last turn, I swore I was feeling/fighting some current. I knew I was moving forward, but not all that fast. Other racers experienced the same thing... Once I got past that area though the last leg went well. I could feel the water rippling over my feet as they do when I am going hard. I came under the foot bridge to the exit area, pulled myself up onto the dock (I didn't want any help, although it was available), and started the run to the transition area (about 250 yds away).
What would you do differently?:

Clearly sight better and not trust my straight swimming so much. I would have come much closer to my goal of 30 minutes in the swim had I done that right.

And frankly I don't know what I would do about that current. That's just something you have to deal with. And if I had it, others did too.

All in all I was not disappointed with the swim. I did a time that I had thought I would do.. just not what I know I could have done.
Transition 1
  • 05m 17s

The run to the transition area was actually helpful. I was able to quell a slight bit of nausea and get my breathing under control before having to jump on the bike. I was also able to get my wetsuit stripped off the top half of my body. Unfortunately this was the first race with a wetsuit and I had never had a chip on my ankle. I probably lost thirty seconds with trying to get the right leg off. My arms were dead and for a moment it almost seemed like too much. So I pulled off the left instead and used everything I had to pull off the right. When it finally came I was thrilled. I had a short pair of ankle socks that went on easily enough. I had not had the guts to try the shoes already mounted to the pedals, so I got the shoes on (not bad since the velcro tops went smoothly -- I already had the shoes pulled open so my feet could slide in). I threw on the sunglasses, and then my helmet, ran the bike through the transition gate and jumped on and started pedalling. There were about four people getting things together where the bikes came out. I really didn't know what they were up to. That wasn't really a place to be congregating. As soon as I came out I was on the bike and moving.
What would you do differently?:

Clearly the wetsuit could have gone better and despite practicing with a wet wetsuit, I didn't have a timing chip to put on my ankle. Ugh.

I could also try the pre-mounted shoes but I wonder about the efficacy of that maneuver when four people are straggling right outside the transition area. But all in all I thought it went smoothly. No surprises.
  • 1h 34m 35s
  • 24.85 miles
  • 15.76 mile/hr

The course was a loop course, where we started out on roads that were right along the river so they were fairly flat. After about 8 miles, the road took a sharp left and we began a 4-5 mile gradual ascent. I have ridden this stretch several times before. Almost always I averaged 10-12 mph. But today I was racing, I was going 14-15 mph on this stretch. I thought it was awesome. When we hit a slightly steeper section near the end of this gradual uphill, some bikes bunched up. I was about 50 yards from the top and I threw caution to the wind and passed two people who were stalling as they neared the top. I was ecstatic.

I cranked going down the hill made the right onto US 19N, which continued downhill. I got to Wade's Run Rd went out that short distance and made the turn around, grabbed a bottle of water at the aid station (without stopping... I impressed myself). Then as I returned to US 19S, I hit the biggest hill on the bike course. Again I had done it several times before, so I knew what to expect. In training average speed up the hill was 5-6 mph, this day I didn't drop below 8 mph. And again, as I neared the top I was passing several folks who were stalling. But then the reward. The long downhill back to the river. I think I hit my max speed here -- 40 mph. I have to say that I have never ever blanched at going that fast downhill. I totally dug that today. I reached the river and was so stoked that I kept pedaling hard. I hit some wind gusts on the way back right before the bridge that I could have done without. But I was pleased when I got back to T2 and realized that my bike time was just about 1:30. That was something I thought I could do, but I hadn't ever done it.
What would you do differently?:

This was one of my best rides ever. I really don't know what more I could do except ride more and get faster.
Transition 2
  • 01m 34s

This also went smoothly... My rack was fairly close and my shoe change went well. The only snag was someone else's bike was over just a little too far and I had to slide his/her bike over a little. It was a minor hesitation, but I could have done without it.
What would you do differently?:

Being able to pull my feet out of the shoes while riding is something that I can work on. And it would be great if I didn't have to move another person's bike.
  • 1h 12m 13s
  • 6.55 miles
  • 11m 01s  min/mile

Frankly this was a good run for me. I hit it hard. I didn't really pay attention to pace. I just ran. I felt a stitch forming in my side so I drank some Infinit sports drink at every aid station. After about mile three I didn't notice it anymore. I ended up running with a woman who was doing the run 8, walk 1 thing... we ended up spending a good deal of time side by side. Sometimes I was ahead of her, and sometimes she was ahead of me... but when we reached the 6th St hill, she started her walk and I kept running. I met the devil (or at least a guy dressed up like him). I gave him five and told him "Get thee behind me Satan!" because I figured that if he were behind me I was at least still moving up the hill! I walked the hill and was disheartened to find that Grant St continued uphill even for a little ways, then it dropped to Campus Drive, only to go up to University and then down around the loop and then back up once again to the Mountain Lair and mile marker 6... and here I knew I would finish under 3.5 hours. I only had half a mile and like 8-9 minutes to spare. How energizing... especially when I knew it was all downhill from there. The adrenaline got moving again and I got the legs striding downhill. I had a good finish. Interestingly enough, I ran this 6.5 miles at a faster pace (barely) than the 10k I ran two weeks previous.
What would you do differently?:

Despite running hills, I needed something more on the hills. Most of the hill sections I walked.

I also think some hydration/nutrition issues hit me on the run as there were times when I felt that my tank was empty.
Post race
Warm down:

I grabbed some water and then some food... which was great. One of the better restaurants in town, Oliverio's catered the after race meal. They served tray after tray of rigatoni and lasagna. I found I needed to sit down for a bit with my wife and kids and I felt good. After the line had died down, I got a massage since my right hamstring was tight and achy. Then I just walked around and talked with people I knew. I heard Bill Rollins'(rollinsw) name called and I went to congratulate him. It was good to see another BT'er.

What limited your ability to perform faster:

I think this being my first OLY was the biggest obstacle. I needed more training time on the bike, I think. Also I think the mental effort, while good on my part, could have been better. Mile 5-6 of the run I think I slipped a little mentally.

Event comments:

I have only done four tris so far. This was by far my favorite. Not only because I did well (for me)...

I stayed for awards where I received my 4th place XL2 plaque as well as a big bottle of hammer gel and a hammer gel flask. I guess the gel and flask were a thank you for folks who stuck around to actually receive their awards rather than take them and run.

The race was well-organized and the volunteers were great. I think Morgantown showed off some of its finest attributes today... the people here. I was proud to be a Mo-towner. I was glad to have been connected with this race. I will certainly do it again Lord willing and the creek don't rise.

Last updated: 2007-02-27 12:00 AM
00:33:00 | 1500 meters | 02m 12s / 100meters
Age Group: 4/5
Overall: 113/180
Performance: Average
Suit: Yes - sleeveless
Course: Rectangular-- set in river but current minimized by lock/dam being shut off (mostly).
Start type: Deep Water Plus: Waves
Water temp: 72F / 22C Current: Low
200M Perf. Good Remainder: Average
Breathing: Average Drafting: Average
Waves: Navigation: Average
Rounding: Average
Time: 05:17
Performance: Good
Cap removal: Average Helmet on/
Suit off:
Wetsuit stuck? Yes Run with bike: Yes
Jump on bike: No
Getting up to speed:
01:34:35 | 24.85 miles | 15.76 mile/hr
Age Group: 5/5
Overall: 153/180
Performance: Good
Wind: Some
Course: Loop Course -- Left out of the Wharf district, onto University Ave, left over Westover Bridge, take 1st left until you reach WV Rte 100N. Right onto US 19N. Left onto Wades Run Rd, at the end of which is a turn around point. Back to US 19, but now headed south toward Mo-town. Take a quick jaunt through Osage to get back to WV Rte 100S, head over Westover Bridge, and back to transition area (parking garage).
Road: Potholes Dry Cadence:
Turns: Good Cornering: Good
Gear changes: Good Hills: Good
Race pace: Hard Drinks: Not enough
Time: 01:34
Overall: Good
Riding w/ feet on shoes
Jumping off bike
Running with bike Average
Racking bike Good
Shoe and helmet removal Good
01:12:13 | 06.55 miles | 11m 01s  min/mile
Age Group: 4/5
Overall: 151/180
Performance: Good
Course: Leave transition area, head south on rail trail 2 miles, turn around. Run back past transition area, past the finish line (cruel b@ast@rds!) following the rail trail north. At mile five, turn up 6th St, all hill, follow roads (Grant St-Campus Drive-University Ave-Willey St)through the University with some rough up and down sections. Turn right onto Chestnut for the last half mile to the finish on the rail trail.
Keeping cool Average Drinking Just right
Post race
Weight change: %
Overall: Average
Mental exertion [1-5] 4
Physical exertion [1-5] 5
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] 4

2007-07-02 10:12 PM

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Arch-Bishop of BT
Subject: MedExpress Mountaineer Triathlon - Olympic Distanc

2007-07-02 10:46 PM
in reply to: #869905

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Extreme Veteran
Subject: RE: MedExpress Mountaineer Triathlon - Olympic Distanc

WOW!  40mph??  That would have been a good time to practice the "pee on your bike" thing.  For me it might not have been voluntary, but good practice anyway.

Fantastic race, Brian!  You should be very proud indeed!

2007-07-03 10:21 AM
in reply to: #869905

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Northern VA
Subject: RE: MedExpress Mountaineer Triathlon - Olympic Distanc

Great race Brian! Congrats on beating your goal AND receiving hardware! You picked a heck of a course for your first oly, but how could you not race in your own town?!

I also noticed the current after the final turn on the swim. It was just enough to make you swim a little harder. You really powered up those hills on the bike, what an effort.


2007-07-10 11:48 AM
in reply to: #869905

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Charlottesville, VA
Subject: RE: MedExpress Mountaineer Triathlon - Olympic Distanc
Nice race report and congratulations. As a WVU grad it was nice to come out back and race.
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