Lake Samish Sprint Triathlon Race Report (Multisport Lesson #2)

Lake Samish Race Report

Multisport Lesson #2: There’s more to this shindig than mere sport fitness.

Pre-race: Hung out with my friend Brett (who I haven’t seen since prior to Alaska) and my brother a little late last night, and couldn’t get to sleep until about 2am, with a 4:30 wake-up. Made a cup of oatmeal and consumed, and headed to the parents. Pops, sis and I left promptly at 5:15, getting to Lake Samish at 6:30, allowing us to easily register and set-up. Amazingly, my transition set-up did not cost me any time (if only the same could be said about the transitions themselves). Hopped into the water for a 500-600 meter warmup, and enjoyed my first swim in the DeSoto First Wave wetsuit. I might have to trade the size 6 top in for a 5. That will be determined soon.

Swim: The swim went… swimmingly. Starter did a piss poor job of letting us know the clock had started, and nobody started for 10 seconds after he “yelled” to start. I positioned myself front and center, and went out probably too hard; there was no scrum to speak of, though that should be expected in a wave start of ~80, and pretty soon I was right at the front. My siting is pretty terrible, but got better as the swim went along. I saw three guys aways ahead of me and a few parallel, and decided to break for it. I led a pack of about five guys out of the water, and this where I enjoyed the first of several mishaps that will improve with time: I spent about 10 seconds struggling to get my wetsuit top off before crossing the timing mat, and this was reflected in my overall time; 4 guys passed me while I struggled. I should’ve finished 4th on the swim! Ack. Course was supposedly 800 meters, but talking with guys afterwards, they said it felt 50 meters long, so good on me (and my time)! Overall Swim Time: 12:04, 8/183 OA, 1/13 AG

T1: T1 wasn’t actually all that bad… I just need to get my mind straight as to what I need to do to get prepped. Jogged from the mats on the beach (over pebbles… ouch!) into T1, where I had positioned myself right next to the bike exit. Bodyglide will help get the wetsuit off 10 seconds quicker, but this is clearly just a matter of experience and getting myself together more quickly. Left transition with my bike, had about a hundred yard dash in my cleated shoes before the mount line, which sucked. Overall T1 Time: 1:40, about 20-30 seconds slower than most of the top dogs; two people passed me in transition.

Bike: The start to the bike was terrible. It took me a solid 20 seconds to mount (at least)… clearly that needs practice. Got going and passed a couple of people quickly, and settled down. The bike is the big wildcard for me… I had no idea what to expect with essentially no training, and kind of took it easy, just feeling out the gears.

A handful of guys blew by me on decked out rigs, but I stayed steady. Course took us out of Camp Lutherwood (T1/T2 area), and twice around Lake Samish, and the second time around I started to hammer a little harder. I caught up to the “Try-a-Tri” racers, and passed my dad (who eventually flatted about a mile after I did so), and my sister (who was struggling a little after destroying the women’s field in the swim by 40 seconds). I need to practice gear shifting a little more… I think that me and Mercer Island have some dates in the near future. The roads were a little slick, as the rain was drizzling (in August?!?), so I got out of aero on steep descents, as a crash a couple years ago still haunts me. This will improve with practice and confidence in my aero handling skills.

Heading back to Lutherwood the second time around, I had more trouble dismounting than I did mounting. After unclipping about 500 feet too early (costing me a solid ten seconds while cruising), I decided to undo my shoes as soon as I jumped off the bike, to make the run to T2 easier. This failed epically, and I spent a half minute struggling. So all-in-all, while my actual biking was decent (my Garmin had me at 21.5mph for the duration of the bike itself, which is satisfactory considering I have no bike miles in me), the transition aspects that still factored into the overall bike time. I’m optimistic though! Overall Bike Time: 43:12, ~20.48 mph, 23/183, 3/13 AG

T2: Worst part of the day, by far. Two other people in the top 100 were slower than me. First off, I racked up in the wrong place, and started putting somebody else’s shoes on (they were the same spikeless flats) until I realized they were too small. Then started leaving when I forgot my race belt. Then exited the wrong way and had to circle back, struggling with my Garmin the whole way. T2 took 2:00, when the rest of the top 25 were all under 1:00. Frustrating, when I could’ve moved up a couple places OA. Learning experience though, so no freaking. Overall T2 Time: 2:00. Need to drop AT LEAST a minute. Two people passed me in T2.

Run: Went flying on the run. Was stunned at how fast I was moving. Unfortunately, I had to stop and tie my shoe twice in the first mile, which cost me pretty badly, maybe 20 seconds each time, as I struggled the first time while trying to move too quickly, and double knotted both the second time. Passed at least 4, maybe 5 or 6 people.  A giant hill welcomed us at the start of the course, and while looping back, we had to go up the opposite side of the hill, which killed. Course was definitely long, as well… I clocked 3.2 miles, and I’m pretty sure I started my watch a little late. Finished with a 20:04, which probably would’ve been close to a 19:30 if not faster due to shoe lace fiasco, on a pretty rolly course that was maybe 20 seconds long. Maybe I need to hammer the bike harder? Kinda bummed I didn’t kill myself in the last stretch to break 20, but oh wells.? Overall Run Time: 20:04, 6/183, 1/13 AG

Overall: 1:19:02, 13/183 OA, 1/13 AG

Thoughts: Supremely happy with my first competitive tri. I was in the mix with some of the top guys, won my age group, and came away with a good result despite clearly having a lot of things I need to work on in addition to just training. In short order, I could easily cut 5 minutes with the same fitness level if I practice open water swimming and siting, nail my transitions, learn to mount and dismount a bike, tie my shoes properly, and, of course HTFU. The race was the best learning experience I could’ve hoped for!

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~ by cdviking on August 8, 2010.

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