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Big Kahuna Triathlon - Triathlon1/2 Ironman

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Santa Cruz, California
United States
Firstwave Events
Total Time = 5h 44m 59s
Overall Rank = 414/815
Age Group = F20-24
Age Group Rank = 11/27
Pre-race routine:

There were already quite a few people there when I arrived (5:15?). Saw Donato and his friend, and snagged a spot on the end of a rack at the edge of transition. Ate, set-up a bit, got body marked, moseyed around. At 6am I’m setting up… looking around at what everyone else is doing… see wetsuits laid out… oh shoot, it’s still in the car!! Fetch the wetsuit, get back at 6:20 and hurriedly finish getting prepped, then head down to the beach at 6:30 as they’re trying to shoo everyone out of transition. As I walking down to the beach I see people still headed to transition to set up – really cutting it close in my opinion.

Down at the beach, I again spot Donato and Richard, Anne and Steve, and then Goeff (wieczynski). Go for a dip in the ocean – brrrrr! – and wander the beach looking for my parents. Finally see them ~5 minutes before my wave starts and they snap pics of me in the wetsuit. Then I hurry off to the starting corral. There’s a lot more people that I had anticipated – looks like about 100+ in my wave. Yipes! I line up at the back right (inside) since there’s not much open space elsewhere.

Event warmup:

Quick dip in the ocean. Does that count?
  • 36m 9s
  • 2112 yards
  • 01m 42s / 100 yards

Gun goes off, and we charge. It’s mighty cold (59F) and does not feel good on my face. Between the shock of the cold, and the run from the beach, I’m having a hard time getting in my groove. Eventually I find it, and start swimming easily – though I can’t see the buoy as it is nearly ½ mile away! Face and arms go numb from the cold. Must keep swimming. I start to wonder why I’m doing this, and wonder how I could possibly do an Ironman. My progress to the first buoy seems soooo slow – the downside to an out and back swim, I guess. It would have been nice to have more than 2 buoys out there to break up the swim. Had more contact with swimmers that I had anticipated. Some guy from the previous wave was zig-zagging his way through the course, and swim right into my side, grabbing at my back. I had several people grab at my feet, or not sight and swim right into me (I felt my feet make contact with something other than a hand or arm once). Finally the beach – and crowds – came into view. Hooray!! I swam at far as I could then got up and hauled ass. Tearing off my cap, goggles, and suit as quickly as I could. Up the beach, then off course to grab my sandals (with my mom trying to get me to stay for pics! HA!), then jogged up the sidewalk to T1.
Transition 1
  • 07m 3s

Got to T1 and saw big tubs of water – not sure what they were for, but I dunked my feet in anyways! As usual, had a heck of a time getting my wetsuit off (I blame it on my well-muscled calves from trail running!). Struggled with my socks, then with my gloves (I like comfort), then ran out.
What would you do differently?:

Put gloves on bike.
  • 3h 01m 20s
  • 56 miles
  • 18.53 mile/hr

The bike started right at the base of a small incline over a bridge. Not big, but the mount line was right where the road started to go up, and the photographers were at the top. It was nice having all of the intersections managed by cops – and I tried to thank as many as I could. Finally got out to Hwy 1. Man, it was packed out there. This is the biggest race I’ve done – at the start they said there were 1,100 people – and it was evident on the bike course. At times, it was impossible not to be in draft zones, and I was afraid of USAT officials giving me a time penalty. I also saw a few people who looked like they were drafting on purpose. Grrrr. Some of the rollers were bigger than I had remembered, but I realized that I was also going faster than when I had previewed the course, and not stopping either. The flat section seemed to go on for too long. Around mile 18, my bubble of “I’m doing great!” popped when I was passed by a guy on a mountain bike, with fat nobly tires, toe-clips, and aero-bars! He was one heck of a biker! Got passed by a LOT of people – but men 35+ had all started in later waves, so it was to be expected. At the turn around, I check my watch, I was a good 10-15 minutes ahead of my predicted time (6:10-6:15). Hmmmm… was 6:00 in reach? I tried to keep a hard effort, but I could tell I’d pushed a bit too hard on some of the rollers, and hadn’t been eating or drinking much. Scarfed down some Shot Bloks, and continued on. They kick in, and I was able to pick things back up. Saw the sign marking 40 miles, and was so relieved. I knew I’d be back at T2 in under an hour. Checked the watch again, it was only 2:56 into the race. Yeah, 6:00 was gonna happen… but then I realized that if I held my pace, and turned in a good run, I could get 5:45. Hmmmm… Flew through town and into T2. I caught my parents by surprise, since I was 20+ minutes ahead of the times I’d told them.
Transition 2
  • 01m 18s

Quick. Changed shoes, grabbed everything and ran like I was being chased.
  • 1h 59m 10s
  • 13.1 miles
  • 09m 06s  min/mile

The run didn’t start out quite as bad as I had expected. I was moving around 9:40-10:00 pace, but felt OK. I knew I’d have to push it to 9:00 if I was going to go for 5:45. Blew through the first AS, grabbed some shot bloks at the second. Stopped at 2 AS to get a refill on my water bottle – which the volunteers were great about. Out to the tiki statue, turned around, and headed back. Began picking up the pace, and passing lots of people. I was really flying the last 3 miles, getting in some 8:20s. Back into town, around a corner, and onto the beach. Ugh! As soon as I hit the dry sand, I felt like my pace dropped to 15:00. Nooooo! Ran along the hard pack until the finish chute – and back to the dry sand. Saw my Dad and sister – and heard them cheering. Crossing the mat ~10 yards from the finish, I see the official clock: 5:54:48 (my wave was 10 minutes after the start). Oh so close! So hard to do a finish sprint in sand! I passed under it just as it ticked over to 5:55 (5:45 for me)!
Post race
Warm down:

Wandering through the thick sand.

Profile Album

Last updated: 2007-08-08 12:00 AM
00:36:09 | 2112 yards | 01m 42s / 100yards
Age Group: 0/27
Overall: 0/815
Suit: QR Ultra John
Course: Out and around the big pier.
Start type: Run Plus:
Water temp: 61F / 16C Current: Low
200M Perf. Remainder:
Breathing: Drafting:
Waves: Navigation:
Time: 07:03
Cap removal: Good Helmet on/
Suit off:
Wetsuit stuck? Yes Run with bike: Yes
Jump on bike: No
Getting up to speed:
03:01:20 | 56 miles | 18.53 mile/hr
Age Group: 0/27
Overall: 0/815
Course: Out and back on Hwy 1, north from Santa Cruz to Pigeon Point. Great views, some big rollers, and some rough patched of pavement. Thankfully very little wind.
Road:   Cadence:
Turns: Cornering:
Gear changes: Good Hills:
Race pace: Hard Drinks: Not enough
Time: 01:18
Riding w/ feet on shoes
Jumping off bike
Running with bike
Racking bike
Shoe and helmet removal
01:59:10 | 13.1 miles | 09m 06s  min/mile
Age Group: 0/27
Overall: 0/815
Course: Dirt and paved trails up the coast to the tiki god. Great views and lots of yummy shot bloks.
Keeping cool Drinking Just right
Post race
Weight change: %
Overall: Good
Mental exertion [1-5] 5
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]

2007-09-10 1:14 PM

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Subject: Big Kahuna Triathlon

2007-09-10 3:08 PM
in reply to: #958350

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SF-Bay Area
Subject: RE: Big Kahuna Triathlon

Right on, jesswah!  Congrats!  Great report.

I too had estimated a 6:00-6:15 finish, and surprised myself with a 5:40.  We had very similar splits.

Didn't it seem like a million miles to the Tiki turnaround?  Certainly did for me.

BTW, the water was closer to 51F Sun. morning.  Yikes!  And, I agree on the scarcity of the buoys?  What, can't the RD's afford 3 or 4 more buoys?

Did you have other UC Davis teammates racing?  Cause, if not I think I may have seen you on the run or bike course. 


2007-09-10 5:07 PM
in reply to: #958623

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Subject: RE: Big Kahuna Triathlon

Isn't it so nice to finish that much faster than anticipated??

Yea, the Tiki turnaround seemed really really long. I kept thinking it'd be around the corner... then I realized I hadn't come to the 6 mile mark.

I'm pretty sure I was the only UCD tri peep out there. At least I didn't see any UCD Tri uniforms...
2007-09-10 5:09 PM
in reply to: #958350

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Goodyear, AZ
Subject: RE: Big Kahuna Triathlon
WTG Jess! You blew away your goal time That has to feel good! Awesome race- all your hard work really paid off  
2007-09-10 5:26 PM
in reply to: #958350

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Extreme Veteran
Bay Area- California
Subject: RE: Big Kahuna Triathlon
Hey, way to just smash your estimated time by miles!  Very cool.  Congratulations on such a strong race.
2007-09-10 7:40 PM
in reply to: #958350

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San Francisco
Subject: RE: Big Kahuna Triathlon
I already had 4 replies to your thread on RW, but congrats again!  It was great to meet you and hang out.  Awesome performance on your first half IM and great race report.

2007-09-10 11:07 PM
in reply to: #958350

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Los Angeles
Subject: RE: Big Kahuna Triathlon
Hey congrats on finishing so strong... Finishing with 8:20 miles for the last three miles is quite remarkable! Congrats and it was great meeting you this weekend.
2007-09-12 11:51 PM
in reply to: #958350

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Lafayette, CA
Subject: RE: Big Kahuna Triathlon

What a great event for you. You were going so fast you were smok'n!  You should be proud of the time that you got.   You worked very hard to get here and it shows. Now on to Iron Man!

It was great to see you again out there.  

BTW your sister did great at Pac Grove! 

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