Tag Archives: Rumpass in Bumpass

2011 Rumpuss in Bumpass Olympic Distance Triathlon Race Report

Overall 2:23:59 (11th AG, 60th Overall)

I’m bummed out about this race, the weather was bad so that had something to do with the results but I know I am capable of a much faster time than yesterday’s race. This was the third year I’ve done this race, and was 3 minutes slower then last year. The 2010 and 2009 reports are: here and here.

Heading into this race I didn’t exactly have an ideal taper. I was in Atlanta all week for work, flew home Friday afternoon and then woke up at 4:30 to drive to the race site.

The weather forecast all week did not look promising with some strong thunderstorms and heavy rains forecasts for race day. Fortunately the thunder held off until later in the afternoon but starting around 7 it rained most of the day in varying intensities. 

Swim 29:56 (17th AG, 106 Overall)

The race directors were keeping an eye on the forecast to decide if they would need to delay the start for lighting but with 15 minutes to go they gave the go ahead for an on time start, so I got in the water to do a 10 minute warmup.


The water wasn’t horrible with a temp of 68 degrees but I decided to use a thick swim cap warmer underneath the regular cap they give out to keep some heat in and seemed to workout fine.


My starting wave wasn’t very big so I lined up on the front line on the inside which looking back was probably a mistake. I wound up swimming the first leg of the triangular course mostly by myself with no feet to draft off of and added some extra distance getting to the first buoy.  


During the second leg of the triangle the water started to get a bit choppy and I had trouble finding the next turn buoy and probably added some extra distance and again had no feet to draft off of, which turned out to be the theme of the swim.


Coming back to shore on the third leg was fine, and I think I took a good line in but was still swimming on my own most the way.


I got the dock and was very disappointed to see 29 minutes for my swim time. I knew I didn’t have a great swim but was really expecting to see 25-26 at worst. 29 minutes  for 1500 meters is a 1:50 per 100 yard pace and when I’m in the pool doing a long set or warmup I usually swim around a 1:40 per 100 yard pace. And in theory a wetsuit should give you a 10 sec per 100 yard time savings not a disadvantage, so I really don’t know what my problem was but it’s something I need to get fixed.    

T1 1:57 (13th AG, 76 Overall)

Because of the cold and rain I decided to wear a jacket but other than that it was a normal transition.

Run to bike while taking wetsuit top off:


take off rest of wetsuit:


put on coat:


put on helmet:


run out of transition area putting feet into bike shoes after getting up to speed:


Bike 1:10:11 (17th AG, 111 Overall)

The bike course was two loops of a rolling/flat area around the lake.


The race plan was ride first loop at a certain HR and then bump it up into the next zone for the second loop.


The first lap was fine and after settling the HR down in the first 1/2 mile I stayed right in zone for the lap but was surprised to see an average speed of only 21 mph. The roads were wet and it was a bit windy but I had on my race wheels and aero helmet so I would have expected to see a faster split. 


The second lap I was never able to consistently stay in the next zone and  as a result only averaged 21.3 mph for the loop.


I didn’t find the weather to be much of a problem, there weren’t a lot of puddles and the road didn’t get too slick (I only saw one person go down). The part that was a bit unnerving was the crosswinds on the some of the bridges. I had a disk wheel on the back and deep section rim on the front so I got pushed around by the wind. But knowing that it was coming made it possible to account for. 

One thing that didn’t work as well as I thought it would was my rain coat. The only one I have is a couple years old and at least a size to big. This leads to a lot of flapping in the wind which is bad and wastes energy, so I thought I was being clever and pulled some of the seams in and duck taped it together.


But I didn’t really get the shoulders right and the sleeves were still way to big so I was riding with what was effectively a sail.


T2 1:06 (4th AG, 13th Overall)

T2 was quick: just the normal flying dismount, rack the bike, slip on the shoes, and put on the race belt while starting the run. The rain had really done a number on the transition area, turning it into a mud pit. This is what my shoes looked like after the race:


Run 40:52 (5th AG, 37th Overall)

This was far and away the best part of the day. The run course was two loops and I got out in the first 1/4 mile and knew I had a good run in me. 


The run plan was to run the first two miles a certain HR, bump it up for the next 3, and then increase it again for the last mile.


I got going and averaged a 6:29 pace for the first 2 mile section feeling great, like I hadn’t even biked or swam.


The next three mile section I slowed a bit to a 6:34 pace but that included an off road section on some slick mud. It was really tough to navigate and keep up the speed in my racing flats that basically have no traction.


Then I picked it up for the last mile and brought it in with a 6:34 pace including the off road section again. I was getting tired and never really hit the high HR levels the plan called for in the last section but I was still pushing it.




After crossing the finish line I was initially very disappointed with my results but after thinking about it more I’m still not happy but I can at least rationalize the bike results. This winter / early spring was spent really focusing on my run and I have made big time progress, this was a 5 min triathlon 10k pr, but it has been at the expense of some biking. It wasn’t until after the Atlanta Half marathon that things switched from bike maintenance mode to really adding some serious intervals and long rides. This was first race of the year and is not really a priority for me, so if the run can stay where it is and the bike gets back to or past where it was at the end of last season I’ll be happy.


The swim, I have no excuse or rational for. I just needs to get better if I want to reach some of goals I have.     

Rumpass in Bumpass Sprint Distance Race Report

I didn’t get enough racing on Saturday so I decided to make it a double race weekend and do the sprint race on Sunday to.

(Updated with times when results are posted)

Overall (1:11:19, 19th, 4th age group)

Swim (13:21, 50th overall, 11th AG)

The course made the same triangle just not going out as far before turning right.  The race directors did make improvement over yesterday’s race and had every start in a line between the dock and buoy so it’s wasn’t a mess of people at the first turn buoy.


But the start of the race was still very interesting. While treading water waiting for the gun to go off someone had a panic attack, cramp, passed out, or something and one of the kayakers had to come and get them out of the water and I think the person went off in the ambulance. This added about 10 minutes of treading water before the start which would have sucked if that’s something you aren’t good at it.DSC00921

The wind wasn’t blowing so the water was a lot calmer then Saturday and this swim was better then yesterday’s but was still a little slower then I was hoping for. I used the tinted goggles so I was actually able to see where I was going. And I took much better line coming back towards the dock and saved myself some time.


T1 (1:33, 35th overall, 7th AG)

This transition sucked. It took forever for me to get my wetsuit off. It was chilly out so I decided it would be a good idea to put on arm warmers under my wetsuit to have for the bike. But when I took off the wetsuit they were soaked so I took take the time to get them off too.

Bike (33:33, 16th overall, 3 AG)

Not having the arm warmers made the first few minutes of the bike ride chilly but after a few minutes it went away.

DSC01006 DSC01005

I passed a bunch of people in the first two miles and then would see a person a few hundred yards up the road and slowly reel them. I did this until about the 9 mile mark when I saw two people up the road who I wasn’t able to catch before the end of the course. Part of the reason the course was so empty on the bike is only 6-7 other people had finished the bike before me.


The wind picked up on the bike today and was much steadier. This was backed up by my power meter and is one of the reasons I really like having it. Today I averaged 270 Watts and went 22.4 mph, yesterday I average 256 Watts and averaged 22.6 mph. So by having the watts, which is independent of the weather conditions I can see that I had a strong ride on Sunday even though it’s not reflected in the speed. If I didn’t have the power I could say it was winder but would know how much an impact it had or maybe assume my legs were tired from Saturdays race when that wasn’t really the case.

T2 (0:54, 10th overall, 1 AG)

Run (22:00, 37th overall, 4 AG)

This was a frustrating run. I improved from last years time but it still wasn’t enough. I got run down with about a 1 1/2 miles to go and came in 4th in my AG just missing the podium.


I came out of transition feeling really good and when I got through the trail and onto the road the course was EMPTY. I saw one person a half mile up the road and that was it. I was running by myself until I got passed by someone a mile into the run. After hitting the turnaround I got passed by a group of four people that included someone in my age group and I tried keeping pace with them but wasn’t able to hold on and slowly watched them run away from me over the last mile.


I was running by myself the rest of the way and just keep pushing to finish line.


This is the fourth weekend of races I’ve done and this location and like always I really enjoyed it. This is a really nice location for triathlons and I look forward to coming back in the fall for the Giant Acorn race weekend.

Rumpass in Bumpass Olympic Distance Race

I finished in 2:20:xx but I would have really liked to get under 2:20:00. Considering how the day started and the fact I took 5 minutes off my time from October on the same course I can’t complain to much.

(I’m going to update times and places once the results come out)

Overall (2:20:27, 45 overall, 9th AG)

Swim (28:56, 133 overall, 16 AG)


The water was 66 degrees and I didn’t think it felt too bad. With the weather front that went through the night before it was windy and the lake had lots of little waves in it making the water rough. DSC00751

This was an extremely disappointing swim for me. I was expecting to swim much, much faster. I’ve been seeing lots of improvements in my pool times and on Friday I swam a 1000 yard time trial in the pool with my wetsuit on and averaged 1:21 per 100 yards which is way off from this swim result.

I was probably swimming in the mid 1:30’s but went so far off course I swam a lot of extra distance. The race didn’t start until 10 so I made the mistake of thinking it would be ok to not use tinted goggles. Why I thought this was a good idea I don’t know but it was a big mistake. After making the first turn I was having trouble seeing more then 200 yards ahead because of the sun reflecting off the water so I was doing a lot of zig zagging  and around the last turn buoy I took and extra long line to get to the finish.

The one complaint I have about this swim was the start. In the past they have had everyone line up between the dock and first buoy and start that way with the first turn maybe 400 yards away. Today they have decided to have everyone line up at the dock, swim ~75 yards and then make a right hand turn at the buoy, which caused a lot of congestion that wasn’t necessary. They did change this for Sunday which made things a lot nicer.


I used my new Garmin 310 for the race and it does a good job of getting the outline of the swim course fairly accurate. It’s not intended to give you a good GPS reading while you are swimming because the signal drops in and out with each stroke as it is submerged but it is waterproof so you can get swim times and not have worry about putting on a watch in transition.



T1 (1:17, 25th overall, 5th AG)

Biking (1:04:05, 38th overall, 5th AG)

I’m happy with my ride and I hit the watts I wanted without having to work to hard and I did a good job of staying hydrated. This ride went like most of my Setup Event races, I pass all the swimmers who can’t bike in the first 5 miles and then I don’t see anyone else for several more miles and ride by myself. This course was two laps and the second lap was more crowded with the people in latter waves but after getting through the first 5 miles of the second lap things cleared out again. And I finished up feeling good.



T2 (1:02, 36th overall, 11th AG)

Run (45:09, 65th overall, 10th AG)


It was nice to see all my running this winter pay off with an improved run time. This was a 3-4 minute improvement over last fall and 7 minutes over last spring on the same run course.


The course started by coming out of transition and going on trails to get to the main road and I was nervous about this section because of my rolled ankle from earlier this spring. But I watched where I was stepping and didn’t have an issues on the way out or back on the trail. After the trail it’s two loops on some rolling country roads and I keep a steady effort, I slowed a little the last couple miles but that’s expected.


Post race

I was really bummed out with the swim because I could have been in the 1:17-1:16 range if I swam like I’m capable of and that would have been a big improvement in time for me. The biking was fine considering I took most of the winter off to focus on running and the run was a big drop in time too. To improve the swim I think I’m going to sign up for the Reston lake swim in May to get as much open water swimming in as possible so that I can improve my ability to swim in a straight line and getting better at drafting which I am still horrible at. One thing I’m going to look into is prescription swim goggles. My eyes aren’t that bad but since I don’t wear contacts and use prescription sunglasses for the bike and run this is something that might help.

While getting some post race food and checked the race results I ran into DC Rainmaker who’s blog I enjoy reading.