Tag Archives: race report

2014 Smithfield Sprint Triathlon…Race Report

It was a beautiful day for a triathlon, 70 degrees and sunny. Once again Setup Events put on an awesome and very well organized event held at The Luter Family YMCA in Smithfield, VA…300m pool swim, 10-mile bike, and 5k run.

Pre-race

It was a late start race, 10am, so we drove down the morning of from Stafford. For 569 participants to embark upon a small town YMCA, you would think that the parking and traffic would be a nightmare, but not-at-all. We arrived at 9:00am and parked right across the street from the Y. Seriously… Setup Events has event organization down to a tee. I met up with my Training Partner, Jesse Mastrom (TriFitJesse), picked up my packet, and setup my transition area all within 30 minutes. My swim time was at 11:05am, so I had just over an hour before my start. Tossed down a pack of Power Bar Energy Blasts about 15-minutes before the swim.

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Swim

For those who have not done a pool swim before, here’s how it’s done. During registration you’ll enter your estimated 100m-swim time, which, for this event, will place you into 1 of the 5 categories listed below:

0:50 – 1:20 : Super Fast: In contention to win the race and you swim competitively.
1:21 – 1:45 : Fast Enough: Still starting in the first 1/3 of the event. (my group)
1:46 – 2:10 : Average Swimmer: Swim well enough and don’t need to stop at the end of each lane.
2:11 – 2:44 : Novice: Still getting used to this thing called triathlon.
2:45 – 4:59 : Complete beginner: I want to start at the back.

Swimmers enter the water one-by-one, in order of bib #, and begin swimming every 10-15 seconds. After each set of 40 swimmers there is a break to clear the lanes. The swim is done in a snake pattern through the lanes and passing is allowed but can be tricky. If you are fast enough to catch the person in front of you, gently tap their feet to communicate that you want to pass. You’ll need to pass on left, but being cautious of the swimmer coming the other way.

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My dislike about a pool swim is that there are those that believe they swim much faster than they actually do. I was #224. The person in front of me and behind me chose wisely, however I found myself having to pass two people during the swim and catching up with the feet of a third at the end. Your swim order, and the swim time selected by those around you can greatly affect your swim time, which in-turn affects your overall swim time. Swim Time: 05:32.

Transition

Hopped out of the pool and ran to the transition area, on the wrong side of the racks, went under the bar, shoes, sunglasses, helmet, out. That was it. T1 Time: 01:12.

Bike

Ran out of transition, hit lap on my Garmin 910xt, jumped on the bike, and then realized that my Garmin was in swim mode…WHAT?!?! For a girl who needs to know what her numbers are, this was not going to work. It definitely hurt my time on the bike when I slowed a bit to switch to bike mode. This was a quick 10-mile course with small rollers.

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During the pre-race meeting, the event organizers note a steep incline after the sharp left turn onto Bethany Church, which is not quite as steep as made out to be. I pushed through the course, averaging around 20mph. A BIG mistake, however, was underestimating the need for water on the bike since it was only 10 miles. The air was dry and so was I. I took a Power Bar Energy Gel at mile 5 which also helped to soothe my dry throat. Bike time: 30:58.

Transition

My T2 was not as smooth as T1, which was not smooth either. I had too much going on. Normally it would be shoes, visor, and run out of transition with race belt in hand. However, I needed to drink some water and adjust the mode on my Garmin, adding about 15-30 seconds. Not to mention that my bib ripped on one side, so I ran the course with my number hanging. T1 time: 1:34.

Run

The run was good, not great, but good. My legs felt loose, which I’m attributing to keeping a higher cadence on the bike (90-95), so that was good, but I really believe that I could’ve pushed harder. I wouldn’t call the course hilly, I would say rolling since there aren’t really any big climbs. The run was an out and back 5k, closed to traffic, and through a few neighborhoods. The locals are awesome and cheered as we ran past. Run time: 24:41.

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Overall

Setup Events always puts on great events, I have never been disappointed. I was looking for a short and fast, early-season tri to work out the kinks, and I found it. It was a diverse group of participants too, including youth, collegiate, competitive age groupers, and first-timers. I placed 1st in my age group and I will definitely be back next year to PR the course.

IMG_0031Ripped my bib coming out of T2. Yep, I ran like that.

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My Pig Trophy!

2013 Revolution3 Williamsburg 70.3

Once again Mother Nature has blessed another of my Rev3 races with rain. So with Rev3, I am 3 for 3…rain. Getting to the race was half the battle. As an emergency department supervisor I have a 24/7 staff, and when duty calls I have to answer. The day before the race, when I was supposed to be leaving for Williamsburg with a fellow triathlete, I was instead on the road to Manassas to work. Luckily I was able to leave at noon, getting me to Williamsburg around 2:30p. The Rev3 expo and T2 were setup on the College of William & Mary campus. I checked-in, picked up my race packet and swag bag, dropped off my bike-to-run transition gear, and met up with some of my Team Z friends, Tracy (T-Racer Girl) and Maureen (my roomie for the race).

T2

T2

Miss Pink in T1

Miss Pink in T1

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Bikes needed to be dropped off in T1 that evening by 6:30 down by the James River swim start, so we caravanned down there…in the POURING rain. Seriously? Oh well. Bikes dropped off…check. Being friends with members from Team Z has its perks, especially when you get invited to dinner. Since, Team Z was represented by 150 triathletes at the race the Rev3 organizers played their part at dinner bringing with them two professional triathletes, Lauren Goss and Andrew Starykowicz. A special thank you goes out to SimplyStu for putting me on the spot by announcing by pre-race faux pas to the crowd while modeling the finisher medal.

Public humiliation by SimplyStu.

Public humiliation by SimplyStu.

Just before the Rev3 Knoxville swim start I decided to wind up my arms to warm up for the swim. My arm went back and knocked Stu right in the face. I felt so awful.

Modeling the finisher medal.

Lauren Goss on the pro panel.

Lauren Goss on the pro panel.

Pic with Andrew Starykowicz

Pic with Andrew Starykowicz

We stayed at the Fairfield Inn & Suites Williamsburg, just down the road from the transition area. The hotel itself was great, but our location in the hotel, not so much. We were in room 1, right by the lobby on the first floor. Not everyone has the same sleep schedule so sleep to not come easy, I’m not sure that it even came at all. You know those nights where you think you might have slept, but then you’re really not sure. It was one of those nights.

Pre-race

Good Morning Williamsburg! Once again poor planning on my part left me without my usual pre-race meal. I had a small cup of not-so-good coffee, a few bites of Maureen’s oatmeal, and thank goodness for my can of FRS. We headed out to the T2/Expo area to take the bus to the swim start. This is the point where I realized that the cup of coffee and the FRS were a bit too much for my itty-bitty bladder. Unfortunately looking for a porta-potty was out of the question since we were in what seemed like the longest-line-ever to get on the buses. I do hope that next year the transportation to the swim start is improved. I don’t believe there were enough buses operating to serve all of the triathletes, getting them to the swim start in time. People were still getting off the bus as I headed down to the swim start.

Swim

The swim temps were up and down during the days leading up to the race. With an official swim temperature just under 78 degrees I opted to wear my sleeveless Xterra wetsuit. The swim start was the most interesting start I have experienced. It was a beach start and as the horn sounded we all ran into the water and then preceded to walk about 100 yards out into the water before we could even start to swim. It was so shallow.

The current was pretty rough and kept pushing us off-course. Navigating around the first buoy turn was quite a challenge amongst the chaos. A lot of swimmers were struggling and pulled from the water, the current and the swells were too much. I kept chugging along. The movie Finding Nemo came to mind, “Just keep swimming. Just keep swimming. Just keep swimming, swimming, swimming.”

 

I finally reached the last buoy turn and brought it in, walking the last 100 yards. That was the longest 1.2 miles ever, especially since my Garmin said 1.79 miles, swim time 54:46. I was so happy to be on dry, well semi-dry, ground. The swim was rough, rougher and even emotionally draining for some. A fellow triathlete broke down in the transition area, and just as I was about to reach out to her, one of the awesome Rev3 volunteers was there for her to cry on his shoulder. Have I mentioned yet the awesomeness of all the volunteers?

What I would do differently?

Honestly, there was really nothing I could have done differently to prepare for that swim. I finished the swim, that is all.

Transition

My T-1 time was 5:24, it was another long run from the swim finish to the transition area. Normal transition, nothing too exciting.

Bike

The bike course was really nice. It was a nice mixture of flats, rolling hills, and a couple of climbs. The rain had stopped, but the cloud cover remained, which was nice. The sun made its appearance just as I was finishing up the bike. Course time 03:11:47.

What I would do differently?

Nothing. I feel good about my bike time and strategy for this race.

Transition

My bike-to-run transition was 02:60. After quick stop at the porta-john, I was out on the run course.

Run

With the sun beating down after the rainy morning, it got really and really humid, really fast. My run started out so-so, but then had to slow a bit from the heat. I was also having an issue with my little toe on my left foot. I’m not 100% sure why it kept hurting, but I’m going to guess it was my new shoes. The course was hillier than I thought it would be. There was a steep hill that we hit twice since it’s a two-loop course. Luckily, I ran into a friend and Team Z’er on the course, Meghan. Since the race we refer to each other as each other’s angel. We really pushed each other through the course. The temperature kept climbing. I picked up ice and water from each aid station. I learned a trick that Mirinda Carfrae mentioned during an Ironman World Championship highlight special. She puts ice down the front of her tri shorts to cool down her core when she’s running. It really works! Thank you Rinny! Run time 2:21:32.

Finisher.

Finisher.

What I would do differently?

Do NOT wear new shoes to a race! I know better.

Overall

It was a great race and great course. The swim was tough, but I feel tougher for finishing it. I do hope that next year the transportation arrangements to the swim start area will be improved. I’ll be back to race again next year.

Finisher Medal

Finisher Medal