Thursday, July 5, 2012

Race Report: Lytle Park Triathlon (and 5k)

On July 1, 2012 I participated in the Lytle Park Triathlon in Mattoon, IL.  I also participated in the free 5k race just before the triathlon.

It was a very good day as I finished 1st in my age group in both the 5k and the triathlon.

I knew there was going to be a free 5k, but I did not have any intention of racing in that race.  However, when I got down to the race site my competitiveness took over.  I hesitated doing the 5k but then I talked myself into it by rationalizing my decision with the fact that I usually run a 1-2 mile warm up before triathlons anyway. I knew I wouldn't race it hard, but race at a nice steady pace and see where it shakes out.


Time: 22:15
Age Group Place: 1st/12
Overall Place: 11th/108

This was my fun 5k.  No PR attempt, no give it everything I had, just a nice steady warm-up pace.  The course was flat and took you through town.  The weather was very hot and the humidity was suffocating.

I held my pace the entire distance and finished drenched in sweat, but refreshed.

Once I finished the 5k I barely had time to check the results before heading over to the pool for the triathlon.  I checked the results and realized I got first in my age group.  I was pretty excited about that so I headed over to the triathlon start already pumped up with getting at least one 1st place medal.


Swim     5:05
T1         0:56
Bike     34:50 (21.5mph avg)
T2         0:44
Run     21:19 (7:06 avg)
Total  1:02:54
Age Group Place: 1st/4
Overall Place: 8th/63

The Swim

The swim took place in the Lytle Park pool.  It is a unique pool swim as it is a lot like an open water swim with having to maneuver around buoys.  Basically, you swim in a "M" shape.

My swim went better than expected and felt really good coming out of the water.  Once out of the pool you run about 50 yards to the timing mat at transition.

Transition #1

I am still trying to get faster in T1 and it will come with more experience and practice.  I always lose a few seconds messing around with my watch.  Overall it was an average transition.

The Bike

The 12.5 mile bike route takes you out of the park, through town, and straight north of town.  At mile 6.25 you turn around and head back.  The roads were in good shape.  I also felt really good on the bike.  On the way out we had a slight tailwind which was nice to get the average up a bit.  Coming back against the headwind was really that bad and was able to hammer through it. 

I think I got passed 3 times, but I wasn't disappointed with that as I was giving it all I had.  Since this is a non USAT race with no race officials, there were some participants drafting each other that ticked me off a little because these events are not draft legal.

The volunteers did a great job stopping traffic at all intersections. 

Transition 2

I was able to dismount very quickly and run into transition #2.  I racked my bike, threw my helmet off, switched shoes, and headed out for the run.

The Run

The 3 mile run was similar to the 5k that took you through town on flat roads.  About a half mile into the run the humidity was really thick which made it hard to get a good breathing pattern, but I kept trucking.  At that same time I passed the two pansies drafting on the bike course.  It was a good motivator and mentally helped me refocus.  About 1 mile into the run I was all by myself with no one in front or behind me.  Being chased or chasing down someone always gives me that extra boost of energy, but I didn't have that until around mile 1.5 when I noticed a competitor in front of me.  I did my best to catch him, but finished about 15 yards behind him.

Overall the run was mediocre.  I wanted to be below a 7 minute average, but given the weather conditions I was happy with my time.

After I was finished I stuck around the finish line to cheer on other competitors and especially the ones that I knew.  Once they finished I headed back to the pool.  This time to cool off.


Overall it was a fun triathlon.  I did this race last year but it was a duathlon because the pool was closed.  So it was nice to do the swim portion this year and it was a much better experience. 

This year's race was a little better organized.  There was plenty of post race water, drinks, and food.  The awards ceremony was done in a timely manner. 

It was a good race day.  Anytime you can sweep your age group in two different races on the same day is pretty good.

Train.  Race.  Repeat.

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