Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Splash n Dash Race Report

 Well ,like all good things, they must come to an end.  And this was the end of the triathlon season for me, so where else to end it at but the "home" course.  Again, this was going to be my 3rd tri in about a month, and my 3rd "odd" distance race as well, but that is ok, since next year going to concentrate on the Olympic length races.  The Fort Riley Splash and Dash was a nice low cost, low frills race here on Fort Riley and I was hoping that none of the "studs" from Manhattan would show up, but I know that just won't come to be!

Since this was so close to my house, my wife and I rode our bikes over to the race site and luckily we did, as I went to pick up my packet, I overheard one of the volunteers ask if someone didn't have a helmet, if they could race, and since my wife wore her helmet, I let the nice lady borrow it so she could race.  So I hope I got good karma points for that.

I got my bike inspected, body marked and heading into transition to rack my bike and set up my area.  That being done, I headed out for my warm up ride and ended up giving directions for a few folks.

With the warmup complete, I headed to the pool and I was in luck, the pool was 10 lanes, which meant one way lanes.  I hate going down and back in the same lane, too much possibility for head on collisions! 
Me in my swimcap about to push off!

SWIM: 09:32 (estimated) (1:44/100m) 550 meters

We all got into numeric order based off of our estimated swim times and I guessed about right for me, but as I looked around me, there looked like a lot of fast swimmers, so I let them know just to tap my feet if they wanted by.  I hopped into the cool water, and after my 20 second countdown, I was off, and feeling fine!  I felt strong the entire swim and passed one person during the swim.  I know with more practice and pool time, I'll get faster, but I felt good the entire swim.
Gotta suck that gut in!  I think it was the light effect!
T1: 0:30 (estimated)

Again, this was estimated and this was a weird transition setup.  You exited the pool but had to run to the far end of transition and enter through the middle.  I understand why, to make it fair for folks who racked in the back, but still just odd.

Flying mount: NAILED IT!!!
BIKE: 41:11 (21.3 mph) 14.6 miles
I did have my Garmin for this, since the race did not have but one split, so at least I know my own data.  The bike felt great and since I have ridden the course more than once, I knew where to push and where to relax, but it seemed like I cooked myself a little bit too much on the bike, but I did pick off 7 riders ahead of me, mainly on the climbs.  I could tell many were not ready for the hills on the bike course as a few of them were "paperboying" (weaving side to side up the hill) as I maintained a nice steady uphill roll.  It was nice to go all out on the bike on this course, but again, I think I might have pushed it a little bit too much, but oh well, it was the last race of the year!

Heading in to T2 with a guy on my tail.
T2: 01:00 (estimated)
Again, with the fairness for the race, you had to hit the dismount line, run to the far end (for me, that is in shoes still) and back up the middle.  Ugggh, I think I might have underestimated my T1 and T2 times, but oh well.  It seemed like it took me forever to get out of T2, but I got my shoes and socks on, grabbed my Garmin and rocketed out of T2 like I was chasing someone down (which I was).

Heading out of T2 in chase mode.
RUN: 30:33 (6:59 ave) 4.3 miles
Another longer run, almost like Salina's run, but with WAY more hills.  Like a ton more.  But I chased down the guy who I beat into T2 only a few meters out of the chute and poured on the speed (6:28 first mile!! Yikes!!) maybe a bit much.  But I made sure I hit each water point to at least dump some water on my head, which helped.  The 2nd mile brought the hills and just prior to hitting the 3 mile mark, I was caught from behind.  This was the first race all year that someone passed me on the run that I hadn't passed.  Bummer, but come to find out, not only was he not in my AG, but was almost half as young as me!  But still, I had getting passed.  I maintained a visual on him until we hit the twisty 3rd mile area, and lost contact, but I knew with the TT swim start, I still might get him at the line, even though he was ahead of me.  So I maintained a hard pace and kept cruising and got my butt across the line as fast as I could and I was spent!
Uggh!  I feel exactly like I look!
OVERALL 1:22:37 (4th overall, 2nd in 30-40 age group[odd breakout for ages])
I ended up missing the guy who passed me by about 5 seconds for third, and both Ric Rosenthal and Marek Dvorak (the two aforementioned studs from Manhattan) took 1 and 2, just like at the Apple Tri.  Overall, I think I let up on my training towards the end of this month, but I gave it my all and after a short break, I am going to get back on it with more run focused training.  I enjoyed this season, had a few missed opportunities (Nationals, Kansas 70.3, Branson), but I am going to step up my game next year for the longer distances, get a bit better equipment, and keep working towards racing well.
In the next few days, I will post my post-season observations for all to read and hope that the reflections will help me and you readers with your next races!  See you soon and thanks for reading!

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