Monday, April 23, 2012

Race Report - 2012 Sullivan Civic Center Triathlon

On April 22, 2012 I participated in the Sullivan Civic Center Triathlon.  I finished 15th overall and 1st in my age group.  Below are my official times:

Swim – 8:10
Transition 1 – 1:10
Bike – 33:36 (20.9 mph average)
Transition 2 – 0:52
Run – 20:51 (6:44/mi average)

Total - 1:04:40

The temperature was 53 degrees with a NNE wind between 15-20 mph.

It was also nice to see some familiar faces and meet some new people from my hometown doing their first triathlon.  Witnessing someone finish their first tri and immediately becoming addicted to the sport is fun.

The Swim

The 400 meter swim was indoors at the Civic Center.  It was a time trial start then snaked up and down each lane.  One thing I do not like about pool swim triathlons is that some people think they are fast swimmers and falsely state their times during registration.  What this does is put the slower swimmer in with the fast swimmers and causes congestion in the pool.  It’s neither here nor there just part of the game.  The good thing about this pool swim was that the lanes were wide enough to maneuver around people if you needed to.

The pool was bath water warm.  They stated it was 85 degrees.  It was almost a little too warm. 

I got passed once in the pool but I did pass several people throughout the 400 meters.  My swim included the run out of the building to the timing mat just before transition.  My actual watch time for my pool in/pool out was 7:50 which is about where I have been in during practice.  All in all I was happy with my swim.

Transition #1

T1 was uneventful.  I was able to locate my bike successfully and put my helmet and bike shoes on without falling over.  I probably spent about 20 seconds drying off.  Not sure why I did that, but I guess that is why I am a little disappointed in my T1 time.  I usually just head out on the bike wet.


The bike course was a 5.9 mile loop done twice.  The course started out through town heading east, then out through the country, then back through town.  Local police and volunteers did a great job of stopping traffic.  At the beginning of around mile 2 there were no more cones separating the vehicular traffic away from the participants.  This is not a big deal but it was something you had to be mindful of when passing other cyclists.  Some of the turns were pretty sharp, but I thought the corners were well swept and manned with appropriate volunteers.  Overall, I enjoyed the route despite the wind.

My early season rides have yielded around a 19mph average so I was pretty pleased to come in at this race averaging 20.9 mph.  Not too bad for this early in the cycling season.

Transition #2

T2 was also uneventful.  The last few triathlons last year I started running with no socks in an effort to save time.  It paid off then and I continue to do that now.  A little body glide and baby powder in the shoes goes a long way.  Also, using lock laces helps save time by not having to tie your shoes.  Overall it was just another average T2.

The Run

A 5k run that took you through a nature trail and through a city park.  It was actually an enjoyable run.  The part that was on the nature trail had a lot of turns.  The event organizer did a great job of placing directional arrows and tape to keep us on the right path.  There were a few small hills but it wasn’t anything too bad.

I was a little surprised with my run time.  I thought I would be a little slower since I pushed a little harder on the bike.  I got into a nice pace about a half mile into the run and did my best to maintain that pace.  About mile 1.5 I started to lose focus and slowed down a little.  I won the mental battle and picked up the pace to the finish.  This run was comparable to my late season triathlon runs last year.  My early season triathlon runs in 2011 were around a 7:15 to 7:30 pace so I am pretty excited to be running this fast this early.

Race Recommendation

I signed up for this early season race not expecting much.  It is not USAT sanctioned which is probably why the cost of entry is lower.  I usually don’t race in too many races that are not sanctioned by USAT (USA Triathlon) due to my quest to qualify for the USAT National Championship Race each year.  To qualify for nationals and have your races be counted in the national rankings the race must be sanctioned.  So I took a chance with this race and I was pleasantly surprised.

This is a great early season triathlon for experienced triathletes and those wanting to test waters in triathlon.  Good course, good competition, and very well organized.  The event is convenient and the entry fee is reasonable.  Race swag was an event shirt.  Post race food consisted of Subway sandwiches along with cold pop and cold water.  The top 3 male and female finishers received Yurbuds, a generous gift card to Spin City Cycles, and a medal.  Age group medals were given 5 deep and the first place finisher in each age group also got a gift card.

Good event!  If it fits in my race calendar next year I will probably do it and you should too.

Until the next race….Train.  Race.  Repeat