Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Lawrence Triathlon Race Report

It wasn't until a few weeks ago that I decided to compete in this race.  I had registered back in June since it was a free race offered by to those who were signed up for the KC Tri, which was cancelled due to thunderstorms. Once Brian and Dane registered, I decided to make it official and add another race shirt to my collection.

As mentioned in my race preview, the plan was to go easy on the swim, hammer the bike, and see what happened on the run.  Let's see...

We got to the race site around 6:30 or so.  Brian pulled in right behind us in the parking lot. Surprisingly, the transition area was right next to the parking lot. It seems there is normally a half mile to mile walk to the transition area.  Some races even have buses for participants/spectators to ride to the race site.

Working on my transition.

They had 3 rows of racks that were pre-marked by bib #.  After getting setup, Dane had shown up and we chatted about how there were quite a few people putting on wetsuits.  Really?  The water was 80 degrees (probably more).  Then again...  are they really enforcing it?  How are they checking numbers when your wetsuit is covering your number?

Swim - 1500 Meters
After dipping in the water for a bit, Brian and I went over to the start corral.  Our wave (35+ males) was to start at 7:30.  The weather was overcast and, naturally, my goggles were fogging up.  This was going to make for an interesting swim.

Once the start horn blew, we ran for the water.  We then continue to run for the water and continue, and continue.  I felt like I was about 150 meters before finally diving in.  Clinton lake was pretty low and shallow.

The wave wasn't huge so I didn't have too much trouble finding free space; however, I noticed I was really close to the safety boats on the right.  I kept trying to swim to the buoys but they just seemed far off.  I knew I was in trouble.  I had taken a poor line at the start.  It didn't help out it was cloudy with foggy goggles and then the buoys were very far apart. When there are probably 20 buoys used for the 1000 meter swim at Shawnee Mission Park Tri to roughly 6 used for this 1,500 meter swim, it becomes a challenge to sight.

Once I got past the first turn, naturally I was concerned I would eventually miss the turn back to the beach. Fortunately there were a couple guys with me (one in a wetsuit, by the way) and we managed to figure it out together.  Similar to the start, about 150 meters to the beach the water got shallow again.  I could walk faster than swim but eventually it got waist deep again so I dove back in.
Not sure if I'm in this photo, but you can tell how shallow the lake is

Time: 35:46 / 2:24 per 100 meters
Age Group: 8 of 17

Poor sighting killed my time, but when you consider I was still 8th of 17 in my age group, the course may have been long.

Transition 1

Relatively short run to the transition area but it was muddy at times.  No real issues with the transition.

Time: 1:19
Age Group: 5 of 17

Tucker did some recon on Saturday and drove the bike course with his Garmin to record the elevation.  It didn't look horrible but not good.  I knew hammering it on this course probably wouldn't reflect in the average miles per hour.

Only a few hills would be considered steep but the ones left were long and tiring.   I just tried to push through it.  The only reprieve to the pain was the view.  With the sun peeking through the clouds, it was really a pretty sight.  

I ate a couple chomps on the course when I knew I wouldn't need to grit through the pain of the hills.

The course wasn't closed to traffic and there were a few precarious moments when it got congested with cyclists and an RV.


Time: 1:10:34 / 21.1 average mph
Age Group: 5 of 17

Transition 2
This was longer than normal because I brought my Mizuno Inspire shoes, which weren't prepped for triathlons.  It had regular shoe laces so I had to actually tie them.

Time: 1:10
Age Group: 10 of 17

The heat was definitely rising at this point and the humidity was rearing it's ugly head.  

The two loop run course was part trail, part road through a campground, and part crushed gravel/dirt road.  

Brian, being an awesome open water swimmer, naturally beat me out of the water and I had finally caught up with him in transition 2.  But my lead on him only lasted about one minute as he caught me in the run. After about a mile, Dane caught up with me as well.  Dane even started 10 minutes after me.  I was just hoping to hold him off a little longer!!

There was one aid station on the course which was passed a total of 4 times on the two loop course.

The legs were not as snappy as they had been in the past.  I was expecting this and figured I would hit 8 minute miles.  I actually managed to average 7:50 minute miles.  

Time: 48:31 / 7:50 minutes per mile
Age Group: 6 of 17

Time: 2:37:17
Overall: 33 out of 121
Age Group: 5 out of 17

I didn't exactly go easy on the swim and, according to Garmin, I probably added 150 meters to my distance with all the poor sighting.  I'm also hoping that maybe the course was long as it appeared that many people were over 30 minutes.

I got the results I was expecting on my test to crush the bike and see what happens.  I still enjoyed the bike considering my plan and the hills.  My average heart rate was 159, which means I probably could have pushed it a little more.

Compared to my plan:
Swim: 6 minutes over goal -> Poor sighting
Bike: 5.5 minutes over goal -> Didn't account for the hills but still hoped to get on target
Run: 1.5 minutes under goal -> Fine with me

Decent post-race food options.  Fruit, fruit cups, granola bars, Power Ade, water, finishers pint glass, and immediately available printed results were waiting for participants.  Otherwise, this was pretty bare bones.  It seemed like only a few volunteers out there but it didn't detract from the race.  It was a first time event although experienced race director.  I actually liked the experience.


Brian, Me, Dane

TKB's partner-in-crime today.  Dane's Dad!

Dane starting his run.  He'll catch me in about 3 steps even though I started 10 minutes before.

Brian coming in for the finish!
TKB calls this guy my tri-doppelg√§nger.

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