2012 Culpeper International Triathlon Race Report

 

Better late than never.

Pre-race:

Once again Set Up Events provides me with a race that close enough for me to drive to the morning of. I was able to get an excellent night’s sleep the night before, 7 hours. The race didn’t start until 8am so I was able to wake up at 4:30am and leave at 5:30am. Same routine as every other race morning, two pieces of toast and a cup of coffee with a bottle of water on the way to the race.

Race Site:

The Culpeper race site was good, but not great. Mountain Run Lake Park is beautiful and the parking was great, but the NO SWIMMING signs posted around the lake were a bit of a turn off. Haha… I guess triathletes will swim anywhere. The terrain was a bit difficult to navigate too when you are pushing a bike as well as lugging a pack full of gear. There is a short, but steep hill to walk down from the parking area to transition and check-in. Although the terrain is not optimal, Set Up Events did the best they could with the area they had. Check-in and packet pick-up was done smoothly and quickly, just something to be expected by Set Up Events. Nice swag too, bag full of trial goodies, t-shirt, and Culpeper Tri socks. The transition area was a grassy area set up by race number and there was plenty of room for each person to have their own space. I was very happy with the room I had to set up. The bike course is across hilly, country roads and the run is hilly and in residential areas so there aren’t many places for spectators to view the racers during much of the course without sitting on someone’s lawn.

Swim:

The swim, oh my, the swim. Be careful when you enter the water here, the shore is rocky and after you get past the rocky you get into the squishy. Let’s just say that I was happy to not see what my feet were planted in. Ewww.

The water temp was a toasty, NO WETSUITS. The swim course was marked well, counter-clockwise, but could have posed some issues if you’re not sighting. No worry about currents here. It was in in-water start, so remember what I said about he lake bottom, it was either tread water or let my feet sink into the goop and not move.

I started in the front left of the group and immediately got into a great breathing rhythm. I felt really good about my swim as I passed up a lot of the wave in front of me, 39 & under + military men. Yeah, I was rockin’ it. I was 4th out of the water in my wave. My Ultra Speedzoot was on again, easy on, easy off, and a smooth glide through the water.

What I would do differently?

Nothing.

T1:

I made sure to be extra careful getting out of the water because of the rocky shore. The run to the transition area was not very far, I should have run a little harder. No sand on my feet to rinse off. Slid the speed suit off and my bike equipment on. The run to the bike mount area is a steep, grassy hill. I ran with my bike shoes on, but I think that I would do better to practice getting on the bike with the shoes on the bike.

What would I do differently?

Not much. Overall my T1 time wasn’t too bad, but running with shoes off may have helped. My setup in T1 works well and I got my gear on quickly.

Bike:

The bike course was good, but with some potholes and rough surface. The local law enforcement controlled the traffic very well, but once again I did not like that the roads were open to traffic. Some passing cars were not exactly cyclist friendly and driving over the speed limit seems to be the norm. It made it difficult to pass having to pay attention to upcoming vehicles.

This is a hilly ride, notice the emphasis on the word hilly. I think I could have pushed it a little harder on the bike. I had a Gu towards the end of the bike to kick in for the run. The 5th fastest bike split isn’t too bad, but certainly could have been better.

What would I do differently?

Push harder!

T2:

I moved pretty quickly through T2. I have a good setup and got my gear on quickly. But, I dropped my Gu.

What would I do differently?

Don’t drop the Gu.

Run:

The run course was hot, hilly, and hot. Starting out you have to run up a steep, grassy hill to get to the main course. The course is 2 laps through a residential area. Local law enforcement handled the local traffic very well and there were a lot of awesome volunteers. There were 3 water stations set up at each mile, but no porta-potties.

Once again I started to get a cramp in my side and my legs felt like bricks. I blame this on not enough salt the night before and not enough bricks in my training. I wasn’t the only one that was moving slowly though, there were more than a few that were having problems due to the heat.

What would I do differently?

I will definitely make sure to take in more salt and water before to avoid cramps during the run. I’m also going to try some more stretching which may help with my legs feeling so heavy going into the run. More brick workouts in my training will also help.

Overall:

Once again Set Up Events has put on an awesome race. Registration, packet pick-up, timing, volunteers, through posting the results, all done smoothly. I would suggest a porta-potty be added to the run course for those just in case moments. Although I did not like the hill climb from transition to the bike and the run, overall I give this race an A.

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