Friday, June 8, 2012

Breezy Point Race Report

Breezy Point Tri - June 3, 2012


Chuck Alt - 1:13.33 - 6th Men 44-49

The 4 weeks prior to Breezy Point Tri found me in Miami, Cleveland, Central PA and Houston looking for places to run and wishing I had the opportunity to get some rides and swims in.  While I had been able to develop a decent cycling base earlier in the season, the month of May was difficult to get anything done except running.  To make matters worse, on the last trip my eardrum burst during the flight.  At first I thought this was an ear infection of some type but after getting out of the pool on Friday before the race I realized it was something more.  I went to the local PF and he confirmed that there was a small tear in the ear drum.  “No swimming for you” he says.  I said – no way – I’m racing Breezy on Sunday.  He said this would probably be OK if I wore an earplug.

Sunday morning of the race was absolutely perfect weather (contrary to last year!).  A nice cooling breeze from the NW, low temps, low humidity and 71 degree water.  There would be some fast times today.  I met up with Mike and Jeff before the race and we chatted for a while and got all zipped up in our suits.  While standing around waiting to swim I’m feeling the on and off waves of dizziness associated with a burst ear drum.  It wasn’t really all that bad – kind of like a light buzz – but hard to stay focused on anything.

We lined up in the water and the horn went off.  In the first few strokes a guy knocked my goggles right off.  I found them and was able to get them back on amidst all the thrashing but now found myself in the middle of the pack.  For the first leg out into the wind and waves I was really having a lot of problems getting around everyone.  It was not until the first of the buoys that I was able to break free and start to get into a decent stroke.

I made it out of the water feeling pretty good and got the top of the wetsuit off with only slight difficulty.  When arriving at the bike I struggled with the legs.  Finally the right one came off but the left one was really stuck on the timing chip strap.  This reminds me why I really prefer to swim without the suit!

Out onto the bike the weather is perfect.  One guy in my age group passes me while I am putting my feet in after the mount.  I can see him ahead for most of the course but never catch him.  Nobody passes me on the bike course after this guy.  The bike went relatively smooth – I probably could have pushed a little harder but was reluctant to do so on not well trained legs.

The run started off as usual with the tight legs but they transitioned well and was able to develop a decent pace.  I saw Jason going the other way on the run so he was a minute or two ahead already.  I hoped he was in 1st place so that I wasn’t that far back!  Stefan, the new German guy living in Chesapeake passed me just before the seawall – coming from a later 40-44 age group.  He is pretty fast and won that age group.  He also placed 3rd overall masters at Smithfield which was his first tri.  Would like to get him on our team!  Nobody else passed me on the last ½ mile of the run which felt pretty good.  This makes me question the results of 5th place guy who supposedly beat me by 0:34?  Maybe he passed me earlier and then slowed down?

After the race there were no results to be found.  As I don’t normally mess around with a watch during races I found this quite frustrating.  All in all the race was a bit disorganized compared to Betty’s management.  There was never a list posted showing who was in what wave, etc. so it was hard to know what was going on in the course.  I headed over early to the Beachbully spread and had a Yuengling while waiting for results.  Jeff and Lorrie sat with me as we waited and we talked about the race, etc.

Finally the results were posted on the beer truck by about 11:15.  I used my best squinting abilities to see through the massive crowd that I had come in 6th.  No need to stay so I headed home to mow the lawn.  I never did see Mike again at the post race party.

In looking at my results when they were posted late Sunday, I converted the swim time to 1000 m and saw I was about  1:30 off my normal time.  This was mostly due to the goggle mishap but I’m sure lack of training played in here as well.  My bike time was about 0:45 off my normal time – lack of training here as well.  At least I hit a PR on the run beating my best time by 1:34.  This time seemed more real to me than the awesome Smithfield time on the probably shortened run course.  All things considered I think it was a good race.

Jeff Rodarmel - 1:33.41 - 27th Men 40-44


Alright, so I’m clearly the new guy of the group as this is my second full sprint triathlon I’ve completed in my life.  One day I can only hope to gain the wisdom and training of HML!  The good thing about this year is that every Tri that I complete in will be a PR!!  Next year will be another story. 
So Sunday morning my wife and I wake up at 5:30am in preparation for the event.  We are without child for the weekend, so I think we actually got some sleep.  I get dressed in my newly minted STC Tri-Suit and pack up my gear, load our bikes on the Explorer and head out to Norfolk Naval Station.  The weather is beautiful as Chuck said.  I was a little worried with the Tornado that hit Hampton earlier, but things were great. 
The Swim – So this is my first open water swim since my days in the Coast Guard.  Looking forward to drinking some salt water.  I see the buoys out, across and back with a light chop coming straight in to our starting area.  Like Chuck, when we start, I’m trying to get into a groove and run smack into the back of someone who just stops dead in the water.  The group and current made the first 250 a little difficult, but once you go past the first buoy, it was on.  I got moved around a little, but was spread out enough that I could get into a rhythm.
The Bike – The transition went better than I thought with a wetsuit and started out strong on the bike (at least for me).  I was actually passing a few people and there was a few folks passing me.  We get about 9 miles into it, Mike passes me and offers some words of encouragement.  Thanks Mike!!  I finished with a better mph avg. than Smithfield, so I’ll continue to put in the work!
The Run – Can back from the bike and had a good transition.  I noticed a lot of folks at Smithfield had their run bib on a belt and bought one for this race!  Started out a little fast and got into a groove once the breathing settled down.  My run time was a little disappointing as the course was not really marked that well.  Either way it was a great time and another one under my belt for experience and looking forward to the next one.
The Food – My wife and I sat with Chuck and some other folks and talked about the race.  The food was great and was in an area everyone could get in and get out of pretty easily!  I’d recommend doing this race every year!
Mike Bruwelheide - 1:20.43 - 5th Cylesdale

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