Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Race Report: 2012 Fishers Area Sprint Triathlon

On Sunday September 16th, 2012 I participated in the Fishers Area  Sprint Triathlon (F.A.S.T) in Fishers, Indiana.   It is a 500 meter swim, 10 mile bike, and a 3 mile run.  This is an event I did last year so I was looking forward to seeing how I have improved.  My goals were to finish in under one hour, place in the top 3 in my age group, and qualify for the 2013 USA Triathlon Age Group National Championship race.  I am happy to report that all three of these goals were achieved.

Race Summary
Swim:                 10:00
Transition 1:       0:53
Bike:                   27:47 (22.5 mph avg)
Transition 2:       0:52
Run:                    20:08 (6:44/mi avg)
Total Time:   0:59:41
Overall Place:   11 /314
Age Group:      2/21 
The company that did the timing this year was different than in years past.  Planet Adventure was in charge of the post race entertainment and official timing.  There was a lot of confusion with the final results as they changed several times.  There was an issue with the race chips transmitting in the pool area.  They completed a thorough review of the times with their backup system and got everything corrected.  It was a bit frustrating to have to wait for this but I appreciate Planet Adventure taking the time to make sure everything was correct.  The official times now match what my watch said. 

The day before the race I stayed at my older brother's house again which is great because his house was only 15 minutes from the race site.
I was one of the first few to arrive at the race site.  Once I got my packet picked up I began to setup my transition area and did my usual warm up routine.  I headed inside the high school where they were staging the participants to be taken to the pool in groups of 50.  Your race number was the order you started.  The race numbers were based on your estimated 100M swim time when you registered.

Finally my number was called and I headed off to the pool.  As you walk into the pool area you walk in front of the stands where spectators where sitting.  It was fun to look up and see my family there. 

The Swim (500M - 0:10:00)

It's a time trial start and athletes are sent off every five seconds.  Last year I swam this in 11:20.

The swim was 500M in the 50M indoor pool at the high school.  Congestion was  somewhat of an issue on some of the laps although it was better than last year as I believe I seeded myself better.
I felt great in the pool.  Maybe because I didn't push as hard as I should have.  My practice time trials at this distance have in the low 9 minute range.  Anytime you can take over a minute off your previous in one leg of the race it's not too bad.

At the end of the swim I climbed out of the pool and exited the pool area through the door leading to the outside.  The transition area was about 20 yards from the pool building.

Transition #1 (0:00:53)

Transition # 1 was pretty uneventful.  I felt like it went fast and it was.  It was my fastest swim to bike transition.  I didn't bother drying off and just threw my shoes, helmet, and sunglasses on and headed out to the bike course.  I tried to do something different this race and that was to wear my watch the entire time rather than taking it off my wrist and putting in on my bike.  I believe this saved me a few seconds.

Bike-10 miles (0:27:47 - 22.5 mph avg)

Once across the timing mat I mounted the bike with no issues and got up to speed good. 

The conditions were good.  The wind was generally light and the course was flat with a few inclines.  The only issue I saw on the course was some broken glass.  I was able to maneuver around it on the first lap and totally avoided it on the second lap.

Once I got up to speed I settled into my aero bars and hammered on.  My goal was to average 23mph and I came close (22.5mph).

The course was setup in a way that a mile from the school there was a 4 mile loop you did twice then headed back to the school to get the 10 mile distance.  

I never got passed and I did a lot of passing.

Once back at the school I had a good dismount heading into transition for the run. 

Transition #2 (0:00:52)

Pretty fast. 

Run - 3 miles (0:20:08 -6:44/mi avg)

I improved this run by 9 seconds from last year when my run time was 20:14. 
The run route was relatively flat.  The first mile was on the sidewalk (run/walk path) and it had a steady incline most of the way.  The second mile winded through a subdivision that was pretty flat.  Then the third mile was in the subdivision then around and behind the high school. 

There were two water stations on the course.  One right out of transition and the other about halfway through the course.  It would have been nice if the volunteers were actually holding the water for us.  It is much easier to grab that way.  Trying to grab a cup off a table while running fast is hard.  I took out an entire row of water on that table and a drop never made it to my mouth.

I was pleased with my run but I was hoping to average closer to 6:30 miles.


This race was well ran and organized.  Planet Adventure did a nice job with the finish line entertainment and commentary.  Live results were available on screens for participants to view after they finished.  The accuracy of those times and rankings initially were debatable, but they ended up getting them right in the end.  The awards ceremony was held near the finish line which was a lot better than in the gym like it was last year. 

The post race food had a wide variety of hot and cold foods and various types of drinks including my favorite, chocolate milk.

For the most part the volunteers did a wonderful job in directing the athletes on all corners of the bike and run routes and were energetic and supportive.  My only recommendation is that they all wear similar shirts.  It was hard to tell who was who was suppose to be directing traffic.

Great event, great race!  Yes, I would do this event again.

I am very happy that I have qualified for the 2013 USA Triathlon Age Group National Championship race.  It takes a lot of pressure off my final two races for this year.  Now I just have to wait and see where Nationals will be held in 2013.

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