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ITU Age Group Long Course World Championships - TriathlonLong Course

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68F / 20C
Total Time = 5h 35m 57s
Overall Rank = 120/169
Age Group = 45-49
Age Group Rank = 19/27
Pre-race routine:

The whole experience of worlds is an amazing one. I arrived in L'Orient via train from the airport in Paris with about 30 or so teammates who also arrived that morning. By the time the 4-hour train ride was complete I already knew most of them.

Our first training swim the next day was hilarious. The swim course started on a pontoon jutting out from the beach. We had to start in the water wtih one hand on the pontoon, swim around the lake, run up a ramp on the other side of the pontoon and jump or dive back in for another loop. We practiced the dive back in for the second loop and were jumping, belly flopping, cannonballing, etc. We just had the best time!

The next morning almost the whole team as well as members of other country's teams biked down to the race site to do one loop of the 2-loop bike course. It was foggy, with a misty rain coming down so visibility was poor. I eventually was dropped from the group far enough back that I was totally alone. At one point I thought I had turned on a wrong road, so I had to ask a local worker for directions. An interesting exercise to be sure, considering I don't speak French and he doesn't speak English! I finally was able to see that not only was I still on the right road, but there were other riders dropped even further behind me that caught up when I stopped for directions. So, we made it back okay. As soon as we got back to the race site, a New Zealander walked up to me and said she liked the tri outfit I was wearing (my Gold Coast Triathletes uniform) and she wanted to do a trade at the closing ceremonies on the last night. COOL!

Later that day I went with a group to the registration area downtown to pick up my packet. The only trouble was that my name wasn't on the liast! OMG! In talking with other teammates who had the same problem, we discovered that no American aged 45-49 (male or female) was processed into the official list of entrants! We had to talk to officials, then go back to the hotel to let the team manager know. By the next day it was fixed. PHEW! Just what we need after spending this much time and money coming over to France was to not even be entered!

Friday evening was really the most exciting part of worlds for me. The Parade of Nations. As we lined up before the parade, that's a great opportunity to take lots of pix with athletes from other countries. Since USA is towards the back, I had a great opportunity to have my picture taken with the whole French team (host country is always last in line). How fun was that to try to communicate THAT to the french athletes!!! At the end of the parade, all the athletes line up in the square and are introduced. It's so exciting to hear Etat Unid and hear such loud applause. It gives me goosebumps every time I think of it! Then they have dancers, a band, even a bagpipe group! The last dance is a line dance and the dancers invite the athletes to join in. Of COURSE I went! I loved it!

Although every day was filled with laughter and camraderie, Saturday was much quieter. Everyone was taking it easy, making sure to hydrate well, etc. Saturday afternoon we all went down to the race site for bike checkin. This transition area was like an airport runway! I couldn't believe it! It was easily .6 mile long! It was a very narrow area, so it had to be wayyyyyyy long to accommodate all the athletes. Naturally, since the officials had to add my name to the registrant list late, I got the added bonus of having my rack literally at the very end of that runway. EECH! Oh, was very easy to find on the very last rack!

Event warmup:

Race morning we had to leave the hotel BY 6:30 A.M., although our race didn't start until ~9:45. It was a very strange setup in the transition area, to be sure. First of all, that was when I discovered I had forgotten my Hammer Gels for the run, as well as my Endurox for after the race. A teammate happened to have one extra Hammer gel, which was better than nothing.

Then I tried to get to some water, but we weren't allowed out of the transition area! OMG! We were stuck in there LITERALLY for about an hour while the elites were swimming and weren't allowed out! Finally we were allowed to the staging area but I stopped at our team massage therapist's table and had her stretch me out first. I finally got one sip of water from another athlete!
  • 1h 01m 33s
  • 3281 yards
  • 01m 53s / 100 yards

Overall it was pretty good, but it wasn't long into my swim when the fast young guys from the first wave (we were in wave 5) plowed past us! That was the hardest part I think. It was like a tsunami hit us!

Getting up on that ramp at the end of the first loop was hilarious! It isn't a permanent's a floating pontoon put there for the race, so the ramp attached to it is bobbing in the water whenever anybody climbs up on it. Ya just gotta time it right. If not, it's somewhat LESS than graceful! By the second loop I was passing a lot of the guys from the wave ahead of us, so thta's always a boost. Running off that pontoon after the second loop was a relief. One down, two to go!
What would you do differently?:

I did my best. I was happy with what I did.
Transition 1
  • 03m 42s

The transition area was like a loooong runway on a blue carpet. I didn't get a chance to measure it, but the team manager said it was at least .6 mile long. My bike, of course, was at the verrry end rack (at least it was easy to find!)
What would you do differently?:

Try to sneak PAM in my suitcase! I'm used to lubing my wetsuit with PAM so it'll slide off better but I didn't have the guts to bring the aerosol can on the plane! The wetsuit was a little stuck, but not too terrible.
  • 2h 38m 18s
  • 49.71 miles
  • 18.84 mile/hr

Beautiful scenery, rolling hills, only one tough downhill (I'm SUCH a sissy!) I can handle the uphills, but if I can't see where the downhill ends (i.e. curvy road or veerrry long downhill), I get sissified. Tried to control it this day. I think I did pretty well, actually.
What would you do differently?:

Be more aggressive. Drink more on the bike. I saw as I finished that I still had a decent supply of drink left in the bottle.
Transition 2
  • 03m 16s

This is where the official clock went wierd on the results. no T2 time was clocked for the women in this race (the run times are screwed up too), however the men's times seem to be okay. DUH!

Although the transition itself was no problem, this was probably the scariest part of the race for me. I knew I didn't have all my run nutrition with me and at that time I didn't know how many water stops there were or what would be offered. I also am worried about my knee at this point. Much better than it had been the previous 4 months, but will I screw myself up more during this portion of the race? The run is usually my favorite part of the race. I've never been apprehensive about it until now.
What would you do differently?:

  • 1h 49m 8s
  • 12.43 miles
  • 08m 47s  min/mile

I surprised myself. My longest run to date was a 6.7 miler at home on flat land. I didn't stop to walk until about a mile into the 3rd tour (~9 miles into the race) and that was only for a minute.

Surprise, surprise! Instead of a water stop approx. each mile, they were spread to about every 1 2/3 mile, and all they had on them was water and Coke! I'm not used to drinking Coke, but since I forgot my nutrition I figured the sugar, caffeind and sodium would help more than hurt. OMG! Not only was the Coke NOT defizzed, it was still in the bottle and they handed to us with the lid still on! With all the jostling they just bubbled over every time I opened one! What a mess!

My lack of nutrition supplies reared it's ugly head by the middle of the last lap. It was after the last water stop with about 2 1/2 miles to go when my own bottle I brought with me was empty and I felt my stomach growling loudly. I had been praying intermittently throughout the race, but I knew this was a BAD sign! I just kept praying to make it to the finish line.

Finally, it was in sight. About 200 meters from the finish line, the team massage therapist was handing out American little flags for team members to carry across the finish line. I grabbed it from her and then when I looked at that blue carpet leading to the line, it was starting to glow and expand. Everything surrounding the carpet became bright white. All the people disappeared, the stands, tents, etc. I knew THAT wasn't a good thing. I just finished and a teammate introduced me to one of the race doctors who took care of me for a while. No worries...I'll live to fight another day!
What would you do differently?:

Maybe I should've taken the time in transition to get some of the extra drink from my bike bottle into my run bottle. I'm so used to just doing exactly what i have to do go get in and out of transition, that extra step didn't occur to me.
Post race
Warm down:

After laying down for a bit and getting some carbs and water into me, the warmdown was just me walking that ridiculously long transition area to get my stuff. Then it was a mile or so to walk to the team bus and load my bike up to return to the hotel.

I then had about an hour to pack my bike up, shower and get ready for the team celebration and on to the closing ceremonies.

What limited your ability to perform faster:

Diminished training dur to the knee problem, improper nutrition on the run, not drinking enough on the name it, I did it!

Event comments:

The race itself certainly wasn't my perfect dream race, but I had an absolutely wonderful time. Anybody who qualifies for a long course worlds would be crazy not to experience it, if even only once.

Profile Album

Last updated: 2006-12-01 12:00 AM
01:01:33 | 3281 yards | 01m 53s / 100yards
Age Group: 18/27
Overall: 114/169
Performance: Good
Suit: Xterra sleeveless wetsuit
Course: Starting in deep water holding on to a pontoon, two big circles of the lake, running up a ramp onto the pontoons and diving off to start the second loop.
Start type: Deep Water Plus: Waves
Water temp: 68F / 20C Current: Low
200M Perf. Good Remainder: Good
Breathing: Good Drafting: Average
Waves: Navigation: Good
Rounding: Good
Time: 03:42
Performance: Good
Cap removal: Good Helmet on/
Suit off:
Wetsuit stuck? Yes Run with bike: Yes
Jump on bike: No
Getting up to speed: Average
02:38:18 | 49.71 miles | 18.84 mile/hr
Age Group: 21/27
Overall: 131/169
Performance: Average
Wind: Some with gusts
Course: Out-and-back x2 along the coast.
Road: Smooth Dry Cadence: 90
Turns: Average Cornering: Average
Gear changes: Good Hills: Good
Race pace: Hard Drinks: Not enough
Time: 03:16
Overall: Good
Riding w/ feet on shoes Good
Jumping off bike
Running with bike Good
Racking bike Good
Shoe and helmet removal Good
01:49:08 | 12.43 miles | 08m 47s  min/mile
Age Group: 0/27
Overall: 114/169
Performance: Average
Course: 3 tours of ~4.1 miles each mostly along the highway.
Keeping cool Good Drinking Not enough
Post race
Weight change: %
Overall: Average
Mental exertion [1-5] 5
Physical exertion [1-5] 5
Good race? Yes
Course challenge Just right
Organized? No
Events on-time? No
Lots of volunteers? Yes
Plenty of drinks? No
Post race activities: Good
Race evaluation [1-5] 4

2007-07-24 2:08 PM

, Alabama
Subject: ITU Age Group Long Course World Championships

2007-07-24 3:01 PM
in reply to: #899403

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South Florida
Subject: RE: ITU Age Group Long Course World Championships

You're such a studette!!!  I know how you've struggled to even put together 5 miles with your injury, so to even finish was a HUGE feat!  Thanks for representing team USA in such a big way.  It sounds like it was a blast!!!!    So did you do the swap at the closing ceremony???

2007-07-24 5:08 PM
in reply to: #899533

, Alabama
Subject: RE: ITU Age Group Long Course World Championships
Mimir98 - 2007-07-24 3:01 PM

So did you do the swap at the closing ceremony???

As a matter of fact, the pic of myself and the older woman in black and white is a New Zealander who just loved my Gold Coast Triathletes jersey and shorts the day we did our group ride, she traded her Triathlon New Zealand national Series tri top as well as a cycling jersey from the university at which she teaches.

Ya know, this is the first RR in the 4 years I've been with BT that I figured out how to add pictures to!  I just wish I knew how to label them so everyone knows who these people are!



2007-07-24 7:57 PM
in reply to: #899403

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St Petersburg, Florida
Subject: RE: ITU Age Group Long Course World Championships


2007-07-25 12:31 PM
in reply to: #899403

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Wife, Mother, Friend.
Subject: RE: ITU Age Group Long Course World Championships
great race and ggreat RR!! 
2007-07-25 12:34 PM
in reply to: #899403

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Williamston, Michigan
Subject: RE: ITU Age Group Long Course World Championships
Awesome job Sharon!! As usual

2007-07-29 9:16 PM
in reply to: #899403

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Extreme Veteran
Subject: RE: ITU Age Group Long Course World Championships

I am a day late (OK, maybe two weeks late) and a dollar short in commenting, but that sounds like an awesome experience!  It sounds very involved with the team organization and all of the ceremonies, too. 

You should've shaken each Coke bottle and then opened it above your head for the cooling fountain effect.    

2007-07-29 10:40 PM
in reply to: #899403

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