Friday, June 7, 2013

Race Report: 2013 Tri Shark Triathlon Gone Du

The weather this spring in the Midwest has been cool and wet.  Recent heavy rains have resulted in a lot of runoff going into lakes and rivers.  This excessive inflow of water resulted in the lake being stirred up and caused bacteria levels to rise.  As a result, the race director cancelled the swim for the safety of the participants.  I was a little upset that the swim was cancelled because I really wanted the open water swim practice.  However, I think the race director made the right call and did an excellent job making this event great even with countless last minute issues. So the triathlon was switched to a duathlon which consisted of a 2 mile run, 13 mile bike, and a 5k run.  

My results are as follows:
Overall: 35th/489
Age Group: 12th/47
Run 1 Time: 12:41 (6:21/mi avg)
Bike Time: 37:42 (20.7mph avg)
Run 2 Time: 21:46 (7:01/avg)

For this being my first multi sport event of the year coupled with limited bike training rides I was pleased with the results.  I wanted to place in the top 5 of my age group.  Some days you have it and some days you don’t.

Run 1
The swim was now a fast 2 mile run.  I have only done one other duathlon so I really don’t know how to pace the first run or what the right strategy is.  Knowing myself I figured I would go out too fast and I did.  The first half mile or so I was running a 5:45 pace.  I did slow down a little because I knew I couldn’t keep that pace over 2 miles.  I felt really good on this two mile run.  Running fast and felt fresh.  I was a little surprised in how fast I ran it.  The last half mile was really congested.  You had all the runners spread out and the really fast runners and elites starting the bike.  All on the same road.  Bikers were weaving in and out of runners.  It was really dangerous and pretty scary.  

Transition 1
It was an uneventful T1 and it went smoothly.

Air Temp:  66 degrees
Winds:  South 15-20 w/ stronger gusts

I got on my bike pretty well.  By the time I was on the bike course the volunteers had already realized the dangerous situation of the mass amount of runners and bikers trying to share the same road.  They created, on the fly, 3 lanes with cones.  One for runners going out, one for runners coming back, and a lane just for bikes.  This was a great improvise and believe it worked out well.  After about a half mile I was able to settle in a good cadence and hammer.  

The first two miles were fast averaging 22 to 23 mph.  Mile 3 was the beginning of about a 4 mile stretch that was against the strong winds.  On this 4 mile stretch was averaging about 16-19mph.  This is where my lack of bike training finally caught up to me.  I just didn’t have the bike legs to have a consistent speed against the wind.  A little more training and I could have gone faster.  What kept me focused was the fact that the return back to transition would be fast with the wind.  

Mile 7 had a cross wind but was able to finally get up to speed.  Mile 8 was my fastest mile in which I averaged 33.8mph with a little help from the wind.  The remaining miles were indeed fast as I averaged in between 20-26mph.  It felt good to be flying.  The mile I did really fast was fun and was able to get up to 37mph.  I felt like Lance Armstrong on PED’s. The lack of bike training and the winds affected my bike time but I’ll take a 20.7mph for my first race of the year. 

Transition 2
T2 was also uneventful although I was a little slow getting my bike shoes off and running shoes on.

Run 2
After a really fast Run 1 and an exhausting bike performance I wasn’t sure how the last leg of this race would go.  It was a 5k run and my Garmin said it was 3.14 miles and I averaged 6:56.  This is a good time but I have ran faster in my brick training runs.  I had a pretty consistent pace throughout this run.  The wind also presented a little challenge as it did on the bike but I was able to power through it.  The beginning of mile 2 I sped up and was running hard.  It wasn’t until about the last half mile or so that I looked back and didn’t see anyone else gaining on me.  In fact, I didn’t see anyone.  At this point I backed off and coasted to the finish because I knew I could not improve or hurt my position.  Run 2 was disappointing as I was hoping to run it at around a 6:40/mi pace.  

Not my best race but pretty happy with the outcome.  I definitely know what I need to work on to get better this summer in preparation for Nationals.  

The race director, volunteers, and police/ems did an outstanding job once again.  After the race the participants were treated with all kinds of water, pop, and food.   The food was really good too.  Pulled pork, Avanti’s sandwiches, pizza, cookies, and tons more.  I didn’t stick around for the awards as I knew I wasn’t getting one.  However, the trophies did look pretty sweet.  I was able to do this race with 3 of my friends that I train with.  They all had good races too.  It is fun when you know some of the other competitors at these events.  

Hopefully, the Tri won’t go Du in 2014.

Train.  Race.  Repeat.