Giant Acorn Sprint Triathlon Race Report
Summary: 1:12:40, 46/339 male and 5/25 age group
I drove down to the event at the Lake Anna Marina on Friday afternoon, picked up the packet and drove the course. We were able to stay with my uncle who lives in Spotsylvania about 45 minutes from the race site. I had not see their new house yet and it was fun to play with their little kid and see the dogs (Scottish Deer Hounds).
Race morning was nice because the race did not start until 10 which meant I got to sleep in a little bit. We still got there early so that we could park at the marina because parking was going to be tight. I got everything set up and just hung around until it was time to warm up. The only problem with the venue was the transition area and the walk from the car to transition area had a lot of sand and when I walked my bike through there a lot of sand got on the tires, and because the clearance between the back tire and frame is small the back wheel was getting stuck. I was lucky I found that out when I was going to warm up instead of the start of the bike leg. I had to take the back wheel off and clean the sand off the frame. I made the decision to carry my bike out of transition to try and minimize the problem.
Swim (750 meters 15:31 (2:05 per 100m, 10th age group, 101 males)
To show how prepared I was for the swim I went swimming Friday morning just to make sure I remembered how to swim! I have been really lazy about getting to pool, no excuses I just haven’t felt like doing it. I plan on getting back into swimming four times a week in November.
The swim was unique because the course went around a peninsula so spectators had a good view of the entire swim. I was able to get a good warm up in before the start and seeded myself on the outside about a three rows back. The start was rough but it thinned about after a hundred yards.
The main reason for that was because I swam the course like a drunken sailor and was all over the place, I swam at least 800 yards probably more. I would get in a good rhythm, swim 10 strokes, look and see that I was off line, correct, 10 more strokes and then be off line the other way. I repeat that process most of the swim. I need to figure out how to figure out to swim in a straight line, other than doing more open water swimming I don’t know how I can improve that.
T1 (1:36, 8th age group, 81 males)
Uneventful, I carried my bike to the mount area so that I wouldn’t get sand on the wheels, and I didn’t have any issues.
Bike (12.4 mile 33:20 , 22 mph, 2nd age group, 38 male)
The bike went perfect for me, and the course was really nice. About a mile into the course you went across and earthen damn to the other side of the lake and it was a nice view. All the roads were void of traffic and it was very fast. I was only passed twice and just pushed hard the entire way. I started about getting comfortable in miles 1 and 2 passing all the swimmers, and then was able to settle into a grove for miles 3-9. At about mile 7 I caught up to the first place woman and kept her in my sights for a couple of miles and then at mile 9 I picked up the pace and average 25 mph and 26 mph for miles 10 and 11. I settled it down a little bit at the end to get ready for transition and the running.
T2 (0:59, 9th age group, 67 male)
One spot that I am wasting time is on clipping my bike shoes and running into transition with them on. I need to learn how to the “flying” dismount where you slide your feet about of the shoes when you get near the finish, swing one leg over the side and the jump off the side running. I probably lose 20 sec compared to someone that does that. I tried to practice it on Friday I didn’t feel comfortable doing it in a race.
Run (3.1 miles 21:15, 6:55 min/mile, 10th age group, 53 male)
This part was frustrating because coming into the transition area I could see the leaders leaving so I was about 2 minutes behind the overall leaders at the start of my run so I figured I was in a good spot in my age group (I was third). I started running and was feeling fairly good but got passed by someone in my age group about a mile into the race. The course was an out and back course so at the halfway point I could see I was ~1/2 mile behind the leaders now. At the two mile mark I got passed again by someone else in my age group, and then I just cruised in to the finish line in a good time for me. Looking back I probably should have tried to go with the first kid that passed me because I had a feeling that was it for being on the podium, it turns out he ran an 18 minute 5-k so I couldn’t have kept up very long but it was a short enough race I should have tried.
Considering I hadn’t been swimming a lot the swim went well and the race was right on the time I was expecting. I was only a minute behind the third place finisher in my age group, and I still have a lot of room to improve so I think next year should bring even better results. Looking at the splits it’s clear to see where I need to improve to get better, swimming and running. The running has been getting better and once the marathon is over it is going to be all about getting faster (A lot of this is weight; everyone that pasted me on the run was at least 25 pounds lighter than me) I need to be running under 20 minute 5k’s and under 44 minute 10k’s to competitive and I don’t think that is too far off. The swimming has mostly been a product of not swimming at all, I really need to be consistent with my swimming and I think I should start seeing results.
Overall this has been a great first triathlon season and I have surprised myself with some of my results. Once the marathon is over I am going to write up my thoughts about the entire season and how things went, both good and bad.