Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Race Report - 2012 Tri Shark Triathlon

Swim Start

On June 2nd I raced in the 2012 version of the Tri Shark Classic.  The event takes place in Comlara County Park/Evergreen Lake in Hudson, IL.  It is a very popular event that often is sold out within weeks of when registration opens back in December.  Needless to say, but I have been looking forward to this race for a while.

This triathlon is a 600 yard open water swim, 13 mile bike, and a 5k run.  Overall, I did pretty well but I was a tad disappointed I barely missed placing 5th in my age group which resulted in not getting a cool trophy.  

Race Summary

Swim:                 11:19
Transition 1:          1:21
Bike:                   36:41
Transition 2:          1:05
Run:                    20:37
Total Time:    1:11:03

Overall Place: 45/490
Age Group:      6/38

The Swim

There were a couple of firsts in this swim.  It was the first time I have used my wetsuit in an event and the first time doing a wave start in an open water swim.  The water temp on race day was 66 degrees.  Prior to the pre race meeting I did a warm up swim in the lake to get a feel for the water and how the wetsuit would be.  After swimming for about 15 minutes everything was a go.

In this event all men age 39 under all started at the same time.  I positioned myself about halfway in the pack.  When the horn sounded we were all off and fighting for open space.  The first 200 yards was like a  giant washing machine with everyone kicking, punching, elbowing, pulling, and pushing each other.  It was actually pretty fun.  After the first 200 yards (or after the first buoy) things spread out a little and I was able to get into a more normal swim rhythm to finish out the remaining 400 yards.

As I exited the lake I immediately unzipped my wetsuit and pulled it down below my waist.  Another nice thing about this event was that there were strippers there!  That would be wetsuit strippers.  These volunteers are ready and willing to rip your wetsuit off for you.  All you have to do is lay down and put your feet into the air and they do the rest.  Just remember to hold onto your shorts.  They stripped my wetsuit pretty fast  and I was off to T1.

My swim time includes the run up from the lake, the wetsuit stripping, and the remaining 15 yards to the timing mat before T1.  I was hoping for a faster swim time since I had my wetsuit on.  My times in the pool for 600 yards are a lot faster, but no one is kicking, pushing, and hitting me either.

Transition #1

T1 was uneventful as I was able to locate my bike with ease and get out with my bike with no issues.  My transition spot was close to the bike-out and bike-in which was good for me.

The Bike

The 13 mile bike route went around the lake, out through the country, and back around the lake.  The roads were in good condition and relatively smooth.  It was a little windy on this day and seeing the wind turbines spin around didn't help me mentally.  Most of my mile splits averaged in the 20-25mph range.  There was a stretch of 3 miles were my average was in the high 19mph average.  One mile was brutal with a 17.5 mph average.  The rest of the miles I was hammering down and felt really good.  On the way back to transition the bike traffic picked up a bit.  I was weaving in and out of competitors and some of the competitor's bike shoes as they fell off when they unclipped from their pedals.  I made it through the carnage and proceeded into transition #2.  

Transition #2

I got a little lost finding my rack in T2 and went past my rack by about 15 yards.  Once I found it it was a pretty smooth transition to the run.

The Run

 The 5k run took you out of the park and out on some country roads.  It was a simple out and back course with a few rolling hills, but it was generally flat.

I was able to get a pretty good pace from the beginning.  During the first mile my calves felt like they were cramping a bit but they quickly worked themselves out.  First mile average was 6:41.  The 2nd an 3rd mile were about a 6:30/mi pace.  I only got passed once during the run but luckily he was in a different age group.

About a quarter mile from the finish I caught a guy in my age group.  I stayed behind him for just a bit as I tried to time my pass so that he would not catch me at the finish.  As we got a little closer the spectators were cheering and I got a burst of energy.  I decided this was my time to go.  So I passed him and sprinting to the finish.  Ended up beating him by about 13 seconds.

Overall this was a really good event and was well ran.  Competition was fierce and the volunteers were great.  It was nice to do the wave start because you are actually racing with the person next to you.  The post race food was great and results were posted almost immediately.
Now onto the next race.....another open water swim!

Train.  Race.  Repeat.

Age Group Awards Trophies.  Pretty sweet!  I'll get one next year =)

Swim Course Pano

1 comment:

  1. Great recap Mike! I felt like I was there while reading it! Congratulations and a job well done! You da' man!!