Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Rocketts Landing Tri 2011 - STC Conquers The Hot Tub, Hair Dryer, and Sauna On The Way To Championship

Sunday, June 24, 2011
Rocketts Landing Tri - Presented by Richmond Multisport
Weather: 92F, Sunny, Hot & Humid

Eight members of STC travelled to Richmond to compete in The Rocketts Landing Tri. Rocketts is an international distance triathlon with a 1.5k swim, 40k bike, and 10k run. This race was also the Mid-Atlantic Regional Club Championship, with $5200 of prize money available.

The story of the day was the weather. Temperatures in the most of the Mid-Atlantic had been in the 100's for three days leading up to the race. Race day temp was forecasted to be 94F, with high humidity. We arrived at the venue and found out the water temp was 91F (Hot Tub without the bubbles). Some rain the night before helped keep temps done early in the day, but the mercury quickly rose as the sun burned through the clouds.

Results - Here

STC put on a display of awesomeness and came away 5 podium spots. That earned us enough points to take home the Division III Mid-Atlantic Championship. Not to brag, but STC had enough points to take the Division II Championship as well.

Congrats to everyone who trained and raced hard to bring home the bling!

Next Stop... National Club Championships??? http://races.ultramaxtri.com/2011/halfmax/info/

Individual race reports below:

Chuck Alt - 176th Overall - 9th Men 45-49 - 2:41:01

The trip started with a very relaxed cruise up to Richmond Saturday evening with Shawn and Rob.  It was nice to have company for the ride and we ended up with a decent nights sleep in the Homestead.
The two things I will remember most from this race were the heat and my Plantar Fasciitis.  I don't think I've ever tried to swim a 1500 in a hot tub before, but now I know what it feels like - the river temp was 92.  When I pulled myself onto the dock I got a little light headed.  Fortunately they allowed us to swim without caps - this was a good thing.  My swim went pretty well - I can't complain.  The run from the dock to T1 was up a long flight of stairs from the river to the bluff and then about 1/8 mile.  This barefoot running really felt great on my heel!  Onto the bike in already 85 degree weather, it actually felt cool with the breeze on my wet tri-suit.  That was the last of the coolness.  I guess Richmonders would call it a rolling course.  Us Southsiders would call it a hilly course.  I hit the first hill too hard and about 1/2 way up was red-lined.  I decided to take the rest of the hills a little easier.  Jimmy and then Rob passed me on the bike somewhere during the first 5 miles.  I hung behind Rob till the turn around but didn't want to get my calves too tight if I wanted to complete the run so I backed off a little.  Todd, doing the Aquacycle that also started in our wave, passed me in the last few miles.  He started talking to me in T2 and I just wanted to stay in there and hang out with him.  Running that time barefoot on the pavement bringing in the bike was even worse than the cruise to T1.
I started on the run in what was now a very sunny and hot day.  About 1/3 mile in the heel pain was bad so I walked a little.  Started running again and had to stop again, maybe 3/4 mile.  At this point I really felt like turning around and going back.  I knew I wouldn't be able to run - a walk-run would be it for me.  I decided to keep going, thinking I should at least experience the whole course for next year.  When I hit the first staircase I thought this may have been a mistake.  When I hit the second set of 4 stairs I knew I was cooked.  I kept my run/walk thing for the rest of the race.  One by one everyone on the team passed me.  66 minutes for a 10k...
At least I finished and was excited to get some PF Changs.  Alas, they only had lettuce wraps and my stomach wasn't feeling that great from the heat so I only ate one.  I did get some of the Tarahumara Chia seeds, which were really good in fruit juice.  I'm not sure they did much for my recovery even though I drank two small cups.
I drove home with Rob and Shawn dejected.  I was glad for the company and we even stopped at Pierce's for a delicious recovery lunch.  Before we left, I didn't even look at my results.  I was very surprised I to find I made 9th in my age group.  I guess I got far enough ahead on the swim and bike to make up for the run/walk thing I did.  Also, a lot of people were taking walk breaks with the heat.  And the run was more an "adventure" run along the river/tunnels stairs, doors, through walls, etc that I don’t suspect anyone had what they would consider a good 10k time.
At least I know what to expect for next year if I do it.

Larry Bowers - 86th Overall - 1st Men 50-54 - 2:23:27

The day started off dark, very dark, and humid.  But what can you expect, its late July and in the early hours of the morning.  Jimmy P and I depart his home about 340AM and set course for Richmond.  Traffic, as expected was light and we made it to one of the parking lots at Rocketts Landing in plenty of time to check in and set up our gear in the staging area.  An hour or so later I am tip toeing over and through rocks to ensure I don’t slice the bottom of my feet before I get wet in the James River.  And what a warm water body it was.  Nothing like finishing the swim … “in a sweat.”  Well the swim went ok but I recall more folks passing me than me passing them … plus a swarm of pink caps passed me at the end which obviously was some female age group that flattened me out.  I quickly exited the dock/water area only to be stuck behind people walking or slowly jogging up the single lane carpet that was laid over all those rocks that I feared.  I dear not pass them by stepping off the carpet.  I finally hit asphalt and a wider path (i.e., a dadgum road) and was able to accelerate up to the transition area.  I changed gear (yep, dipped my feet in a bucket with water and actually put socks on but said the heck with the shirt/top), grabbed the bike and headed for the exit route … where ever that was.  The open road was great but it was not that open.  It sort of when up, then down (rollers they say), then sharp left and then sharp right and then behind cars and dogs.  It was fun in spots but a bit hairy in others.  I am soooooooooo glad I did not have my new Tri bike on this route.  I would have been slower and likely would have tasted pavement.  I need more practice in my new QR Cd 0.1 before I take it to a race.  They said they briefed us about the RR tracks just outside the transition area (and downhill when coming into the transition area from the bike course).  If so, when?   Next time I will just have to hit the brakes and/or lift up on the handle bars when I hit some RR tracks in the opposite lane at 41 MPH.  A very scary scene for this flatlander.   I cannot imagine doing the same thing on Tri bike while down on the aero bars … yikes.  Well, I blasted through the transition area but not nearly as fast as Jimmy or Ashley with their 40 some second transition time (geez … did they jettison their bikes in the woods or something?).  Got my shoes laced up and hit the road again, running this time.  I don’t know why, because it’s my strong stage, but the run was just plain tough.  Blame it on pushing too hard on the bike, the heat, the humidity (I am a native Floridian … so that can’t be the reason), or all the darn zig and zaggs and steps and pedestrians walking across the path.  I think it was mostly the latter though.  I felt much better with last year’s half IronMan in Williamsburg during a run twice the distance.  I have no clue, but the Rockett’s run was just hard.  I tried to increase my stride (i.e., final kick) the last 200 yards or so and caught a massive hamstring cramp … just like what happened to me in the half IronMan last year but at least I did not pull myself completely off the course and start beating my leg (as I did last year).  So I sort of limped in … so much for a show of force at the end.  Then I was able to regroup with Jimmy, Rob and Todd (and Ben and the kids) at the finish line to root for the rest of our team.  And we, as a team, did very well.  Yeah!!  After some rest and liquids and food in the post-race area it was time to hit the road again, this time in a car with the bikes in it.   Jimmy and I headed back to Chesapeake and swapped some stories and Gatorade.  It was a great feeling and sense of accomplishment.  What’s next?

Shawn Buddenhagen - 280th Overall - 36th Men 30-34 2:46:34

I stood on the dock adjusted my goggles, and jumped in. It felt like jumping into a crock pot. The 91F water was cooking all of us like a chuck roast for Sunday supper. That enough griping about the hot water.

This was my second tri, and first in water swim start. I lined up near the back, and let the chaos go, so I could settle into my own rhythm. Since my last disastrous swim (1k in an hour), I have been working on my swim technique 3-4 days a week. The practice paid off, as I was relaxed the whole time, and swam the 1.5k in 34:00. That is over a 100% improvement.

I made the long trek up the river bank to the transition, and slowly transitioned to the bike. The bike course was a blast. It had nice rolling hills, little wind and some shade. The hills were mostly short, and there was always recovery on the other side. After the race I checked my max speed, and it was 41mph. By having a slower swim time, I passed a ton of people on the bike. It feels good to pick people off two and three at a time. I finished up in 1:06:23, with some gas left in the tank.

The Run (Sauna) - I jump off the bike put on my shoes, smile for a picture, and take off for the 10k. I made it about a mile in before I started to overheat. My running endurance fades away like MC Hammer's career, when the temps rise. The rest of the run was a slow slog from water stop to water stop, trying not to pass out. The one highlight of the run was the finish. I was passed by someone in my age group with about 100m left, and I decided to sprint it out. It was an all out Usian Bolt type type effort, and I probably ran like a 9.87 100m to pip the guy at the line. I know that is close to world record speed, at least as I remember it. I cross the line expectorate most of the liquid in my stomach, and call it a day.

Todd Holwick - 2nd Mens Aquacycle - 1:31:48

Jimmy Parrott - 17th Overall - 2nd Men 35-39 - 2:10:58

First, I know some of our team had difficulty with the name of the race, so to clarify, it was/is Rockett's Landing Triathlon. As far as I could tell, no one with a vitamin D deficiency (Rickets) was racing. LOL. Now on to my "personalized" race recap.
The World Cup; US women playing awesome; my soccer team; not awesome. Nevertheless, I always go hard, and for my efforts tweaked my knee and was debating going to the race. Fortunately, a short jaunt around the neighborhood--and a call to our own personal physical therapist Rob--I decided to make the trip (which I am glad I did).
Larry and I decided to "beat the morning traffic" and were on the road by 3:45. With plenty of time to spare, I was able to get a coveted spot in the port-o-john line (always priceless). After a warm up swim in the 91 degree water, I was ready to go. it was great to have six other teammates around, if for nothing more than to tell you how you are suppose to go around the buoys;)
The swim went surprisingly well, at least for me anyway, and I got out with only 100-150 people in front of me as opposed to the obligatory half the field. One great thing about being an abhorrent swimmer is that I get to see all my teammates on the bike or run (usually). Everyone looked strong on the bike, and the rolling course was challenging, but fun. Knee felt good the whole bike, so I was looking forward to trying to catch a few more racers on the run.
The run was...warm, and segmented with stairs, 90 degree turns, more stairs, one zig zag hill for the turnaround, and then back the way you came. About mile 4 was when my I really started feeling the knee, but with Chuck gutting out a case plantar fasciitis (which I actually "acquired" at last years race) I knew I had to keep plugging along.
The finish line was a glorious sight, and after some fluids and some cheering on the other teammates, it was on to the food tent. Overall, I think I did as well as my training and knee allowed; 2nd age group and 16th overall. We had some age group winners as well, but I will let them recount their tales of splendour for their race report.
Finally, thanks go to Chuck for being the liaison for this USAT club championship, which I just found out that we won, YES WON! Hopefully we can all look at Myrtle Beach in October and take a shot at being crowned National Club Champions as well.
That's it for this report, and from the world of NASCAR, " if you ain't rubbin you ain't racing." 

Rob Riek - 64th Overall - 8th Men 40-44 - 2:24:15

Ashley Stanley - 78th Overall - 1st Women 30-34 - 2:26:47

1 comment:

  1. Awesome job by all, particularly Shawn with the included pics. Expectorate, nice, very nice Shawn. Let the lexicon battle begin my fellow meshuggener!