|Jerry, Shawn, Chuck, Todd, and HML (Dr. Hammer)|
STC put on a strong showing at the Jamestown Sprint and Oylmpic Tri in Williamsburg last weekend. The team had five members competing in the International distance, and two members competeing in the Sprint distance.
Strong storms rocked most of the Mid Atlantic Friday and Saturday nights, and caused the race crews to scramble, ultimately cancelling the swim. The race was changed to a duathlon with a one mile run start subbing for the swim. This really changes the dynamic of the race, and favors the strong runners. Did I mention there was additonal running and it was hot and humid?
STC managed to overcome the conditions and put five people on the podium.
Jamestown International Results
Jamestown Sprint Results
Race Reports Below:
Chuck Alt - 2:02.43 - 7th Men 45-49 - International Distance
I landed on the red-eye from LAX on Friday morning happy to finally be back on my own time zone. After a week of +6 and then a week -3 my body clock was a mess. Friday I got the lawn mowed, swam a quick mile and took a short nap. Saturday morning I went for an easy STC ride and a quick run. It was my first ride in 11 days. Oh well – race time tomorrow and I feel OK - though just overall run down.
Jerry arrived at my house around 4:30 and Todd a few minutes later. We were rolling by 4:45, on our way in darkness. While driving up 64 on the peninsula we started to notice storms on the horizon – just where the race was to be. Jerry started getting texts from friends at the race site – rain and storms going on there. We saw some spectacular lightning on the way in. Would this be another Breezy 2011 with a complete cancel? When we arrived at 5:45 they just told us to park. It was raining but the lightning seemed to have subsided. The packet pick up was not open yet at this point so we waited in the car. More texts arrived and we found out there was a 30 minute delay. It seemed the race was still on.
When the sun came up we saw not so bad weather and even the sun peeking out a few times. Most were optimistic about a full race. Then those dreaded 5 words came over the loudspeaker “the swim has been cancelled”. For me personally this is a complete game changer. Without the swim to gain some advantage on the faster runners, I typically lose about 5-10 places on a good day. On a hot day like today I really feel like I won’t be running too fast so I make a mental game plan change and decide to use this run as training in the heat for the Patriot ½ coming up in Sept. I also thought it would be a good test for Dr. Hammer’s Rx, prescribed the night before. I didn’t bring any endurolytes, but had the prescribed amount of HEED on tap for the race.
When the gun went off for the third wave of runners I wasn’t sure I should go – I was waiting to hear about dark green caps – but there was no comment about that from the starter. I started running and looked for other people with 45-49 written on their leg. I saw a few and then saw Rob. Good. I had started in the right wave. I jogged this out, not wanting to push too hard for this opener. Wow, this is really just 1 mile – it seems awfully long? I ran the last ¼ with Jason Lloyd – apparently he had the same start slow strategy.
So I fly through T1 thanks to my #1 bib number and great bike placement. I’m out on the bike course feeling pretty good when Jason passes me. I keep him in sight and then pass him going up the bridge. He passes me again later and then I pass him again. I’m leading through the turn around and most of the way back when he passes me again. I keep him in sight and then get messed up with two cars that won’t pass the bikes, but are impeding us as well. I finally get around the cars on the right and they never passed us – at least before I turned. They were just a rolling roadblock going about 15-20 for everyone!
Back into T2 its time to really see how much the bike took out of my legs and how hot it really was. No heat issues on the bike – but then again I never feel overheated on the bike. I start out feeling pretty good on a moderate pace. I see Todd, then Jerry heading for the sprint finish. Wow, I wish I was with them – the heat is starting to kick in already! By the sprint turnaround I’m starting to overheat a little despite a reduced pace. Then heading into the forest. Nice shade and nice scenery. If it wasn’t for the steam coming off the wet bridges I would have said this was paradise. I guess on a dryer day it would have been nicer. In the woods I see Jason, Rob and Shawn. Exiting the woods, the mile 5 sun bake was really killing my pace. I can see Shawn off in the distance but I don’t seem to be gaining on him. I’m really overheated at this point so I stop at mile 5 for a water and some to pour over my head. Apart from a water stop at mile 3.1 turn around this was my only quick stop for a drink. I’m feeling just too full. At this point I am really wanting to walk, but I keep recalling Bob’s HOT Boston Marathon and his will to “just not walk” so I keep slogging along. In the last mile Larry passes me, looking on good form. Finally I can see the turn down the main road and I am able to pick up the pace a little. Chris Crerar passes me in the last few 100 meters and then I see Jerry and Todd cheering on the finishers. I squeak out just a little more energy for a strong finish.
Hanging out after the race with everyone was quite nice in comparison to the sparse attendance at Breezy point. Unfortunately all I want to do is go to sleep. I sit down on the grass and wonder if I will be awake for the ride home.
I made two big water bottles of HEED, each with 2 scoops in them. I drank maybe a 1/3 of the first before the first run. Then on the bike I tried to drink one whole bottle over the 1 hour ride. My plan was to hit the other bottle in transition before heading out on the run. Unfortunately I was unable to consume the whole bottle on the ride. I liked the taste and it went down fine, but I was just too full. The last few hits felt like they were going to come back up. I attribute this not to the HEED but to the fact that my GI tract was still on another time zone and was still full before the race. In fact, I think the HEED did work pretty well as I never felt any significant fatigue levels or cramps coming on during any part of the race. Unfortunately it did nothing for my overheating problem when running.
Retrospect after the race. When I saw my bike split of 61.5 minutes I knew why my quads were so tired later in the day. I really hadn’t planned to push that hard on the bike, but it felt good and I was going back and forth with Jason so I went with it. I think the lack of fitness on the bike, the over-reaching pace on the bike and the hot weather really killed my run. 8:15 is my “easy” training pace, which is what I achieved so at least I know I can fall back on this. I hope to be able to hold this pace for the Patriot ½ but am not sure depending on the heat.
Like Rob I really need some help on heat management during the run. I plan to do plenty of long runs in the heat this summer to prepare for the worst if it happens in the ½. Any advice here would be really appreciated.
Larry Bowers - (HML, Dr. Hammer) - 1:58.33 2nd Men 50-55 - International
The big surprise, other than the weather which went south as soon as we arrived, was that our 12 year old (in 5 days) daughter, Alyssa, came with me to the tri. It was an “on and off” thing with her. On Sunday morning she actually got up before me. I intended to let her sleep until 4AM and then move her into the car quickly, but she was up about 320AM. Alyssa was eager to help out at the tri and wants to volunteer at one of the aid stations (or as she told me – handing out the medals at the end). It was unfortunate she did experience an “entire” tri though … we did not even get to the beach/river, drats.
Now back to that “other” big surprise. I didn’t expect much sleep the night of the race and Mother Nature stepped in and ensured that. At about 1AM all heck went loose with a storm which promptly woke me up and of course it caused a bit of stress because I knew my alarm(s) were set to go off in a mere 2.5 hrs. Notta good start. So as Alyssa, Rob and I were driving up to JTown at o dark thirty, we see flashes of lighting coming from exactly where were heading. Geez, why couldn’t the foul weather be coming from an opposite direction AND why didn’t it get it out of its system only a few hours ago. Derek texts us and says he is in the parking lot at the race and it is pouring. We are 15 minutes away and I text back and say “this bites.” I have never had to deal with an “altered” tri so this was my first. Rob said they may cancel the swim and/or delay the race.
Fast forward, the swim is cancelled AND the race is delayed. The second decision was valid; the first, in my opinion, I thought was not. Anyway, after a bunch of grumbling and complaining, it was time to take a chill pill and just go with the flow. The weather forecast stated that by 9AM we would be heading back into record heat (and sun) and here we were at a tri we have trained for and could not even get into the dang water. Back to the chill pill.
The initial mile run which I thought was very odd (make it a challenge, make it 3 or 6 miles or something) was fine. I just wanted to make sure I did not trip over someone seeming there was no warm up for it, and as expected it was fast paced. Came into T1 and got a bit confused about what to do (though I mentally prepared for it the previous 20 minutes). Did find a large cricket in my bike shoe that I almost pulverized. With my mind in reverse, I get all my gear on and head out of T1 onto wet roads (more grumbling, more chill pills req’d). I was at the back of the pack/last wave so I had a chance to see the other STC riders during the turn around. I saw most of them but missed a few. I was not thrilled about the narrow, wet, hilly, bumpy side road that we rode a few miles just before the 180. I backed off a few potential head on’s with incoming bikes on two of the downhills. My opinion, not a safe road, change the route for that segment.
Nothing major to report about on the bike other than I did start checking back behind me to see about the motorcycle drafting police each time I would sling shot around other riders. I can’t stand it when they sneak up behind me just as I am entering the draft zone (for less than 15 seconds of course) and slinging around the rider. From their perspective, it could appear to be drafting but I promise you it is not. I do see two pack of riders near the front that appear to be drafting or semi-drafting (right at the 3 bike length but still getting advantage by being in a group of riders). Oh well. Anyway, I do nothing but pass bikes on the ride. Easy to do when you start in the last wave. At first I passed a boat load of slow bikes, toward the end it gets harder to pick off the faster riders. No one passes me. Odd. I start stressing thinking that I am wayyyyyyyyyyy in the back.
I roll into T2 and decide not to slip out of bike shoes while on the bike as I have been training to do. Why run in my socks in mud and then put my running shoes on? So I get to a familiar T2 process, don my running gear and blast out. I also toss down more endurolytes and some other Hammer supplements (anti fatique caps and endurance amino) WITH water to ensure I don’t have the same experience that Rob had. He coughed up a pill that sort of exploded on him. I only see Chuck on the run just beyond mile 3 going the opposite way. I see no one else on the run and again think, geez, I am really pulling up the rear of this event. The ONLY time I stop moving in the tri is when I take in water at the aid station (slow walk/skip actually). Otherwise, it is all motion. Things are starting to get hot and take in the req’d amount of water at 3 aid stations (I skip the other stations). At mile 4, I ramp up the pace just a bit but still keep some energy in reserve (just in case). At mile 5 to 5.5, I say this is the time to empty the tank and keep an eye on muscle twitches which always precede the infamous Larry leg cramps. Amen, no cramps. The heat is on, I want to get this race done and the cramps are at bay. My endurolyt count was 2 about 1.5 hr before the event, 3 at T1, 4 at the end of the bike before T2 and I used some endurolyt powder (1 tiny scoop) in my Hammer Perpeteum on the bike and the same inside my Hammer Gel flask on the run – 11 tablet equivalents which is a bit high for a two hour event for my body weight (8 should have been fine). But it worked and I was happy. So I head in and see Chuck at the end. I also see Todd and Shawn (I think) cheering the last STC types in. Done! Seemed like a sprint to me because I am used to 3 to 4 hr work outs. But am none the less very happy to be done, period.
Lots of podium finishes! Five I believe. Way cool. And almost as cool as Chuck’s Number 1 bib number!
Now where is my high protein Beach Bully bar b q? drats, none. I pass on the fat laden pizza and quickly down my Hammer Recoverite that I just mixed with cold water. And I eat lots of the fresh fruit they had. Back to training for another Half apparently, and hopefully not in 100 plus degree weather.
Go team go.
Shawn Buddenhagen - 2:08.58 - 8th Men 30-30 - International
I will keep this brief, as nothing too expectional happened during the race. The family and I headed up the day before the race to hit up some Busch Gardens. I did get to ride Verbolten for the first time, as the line was wasn't an hour plus, as it had been the weeks prior. (inside tip - Go to Busch Gardens when the forcast is for 100F temps, that keeps the crowds down.) (Inside tip #2 - Not the best idea to go to a theme park and walk around in 100F temps the day before a race.)
We left BG around 5:00 and headed to packet pick up. I walked around quickly to survey the layout. It was a long run up to transition from the swim, but that eventually didn't matter. The family headed to the hotel to shower and head out the dinner. On the way back from dinner, my mom calls and said there are tornadoes on the ground in James City. I told her not to worry as it is still clear where I am. We got back to the hotel and twenty minutes later the storms rolled through. It would storm on and off until the race start the next morning. Between the thunder and the idiots down the hall that yelled and slammed their doors all night, it was difficult to get some good sleep.
I awoke at 4:45 to the sound of more thunder, and check my phone and saw more storms were coming. Strangest weather ever. I take care of the 4th sport of triathlon, wake up the family, load the car and we are off to the race.
The swim - NOT - 8:30
After getting my transition set up, I go and chat with Chuck. During our conversation they announce the swim will be cancelled. It was a bummer, as I have been working on my swim religiously over the winter, and was looking forward to let it rip. Oh well, we line up for a one mile run, I run it lesuirely at 8:30, and that is that.
The Bike - 1:02.20
I decided to crush the bike since the swim was cancelled. The first couple of miles I settled into a 23mph pace, and was picking people off steadily. At the second turn the first place women came flying by me. Then a couple minutes later the second place women came by. Then she slowed, then she passed me, then she slowed, and you can guess what happened next. I was keeping a steady 24 mph going at this point and she was started to fray my nerves. Right before the bridge, I put in a 31mph effort and then hammered it up the bridge. Finally, she is off my wheel.
In the next couple of miles, I see the first place women, and pass her right before the turn around. I tell her she has about 1:30 on the other lady. She says thanks, and drops back. Then a couple miles later she comes around me. I thought to myself, "not again". After a couple of passes back and forth, I finally decide to sit back and let her pace me in. This was probably a mistake, as I may have been a minute or so slower, but the pace felt good.
I did manage to have the fastest bike split for my age group. I will take a victory anyway I can get it.
The Run - 55:04
My goal for the run was not to melt in the heat. There were still some clouds keeping the temps reasonable. I went out at a reasonable pace, and kept it there until the turn around. The course was great with some nice wooded sections. It even rained for 30 seconds, which was super nice.
Jason Lloyd came by and smacked me on the butt around mile 2.5. I told him when I grow up, I want to be able to run like him. A mile or so later, I see Rob come by, and he says he is having GI issues. He gets 50 meters ahead of me and lets out a primal scream from the backside. Thanks for the warning.
I reach the turn around and see Chuck is about 2 minutes behind. I thought I would run steady, and when he caught me, I would let him pace me in. About a mile went by and he did not catch up. So I picked up the pace for the last 2 miles to make up some time. I felt good, and knew then I had held back too much during the run. Coming through the last turn, I see Jerry and Todd cheering, so I turn up the style and finish strong.
Overall it was a good race. I treated it more as a training day, without the swim. I felt really good on the bike. The run I held back too much. With the heat I was afraid to overheat, and and have to walk if I pushed too hard. I need to do another cooler weather Oylmpic to see how far I can put myself in the hurt locker on the run.
Jerry Berman - 1:10 - 3rd Men 40-44 - Sprint
My wife left town for vacation last week with three of our four kids and said to me "bond with your daughter this week and make sure she gets to lacrosse camp". It was only a brief conversation after that to clarify the meaning of that phrase. It absolutely did not mean it was ok for the babysitter to come over at 0415 so I could go workout! I quickly moved to plan B for race week....Drink beer with the neighbor and meticulously study the form of Michael Phelps, the Tour de France riders, and some very manly track women at the Olympic Trials. Six days and two quick swims later, Chuck, Todd, and I arrive at a very soggy Jamestown in the midst of a thunderstorm. Uh oh.....
Good company. Always fun. Congrats to all who battled the long course!
Todd Holwick - 1:06:13 - 5th Overall, 2nd Masters Men
After almost a year of recovering from my phantom knee issue, I figured it was time to pick a race. With most of the team doing the Jamestown International distance, I decided to play it safe with my knee and just do the Sprint. A few weeks prior to the race there were plenty of slots open, but then it seemed like overnight, the race was sold out. So, I am force to pay double for one of the charity slots. Oh well, I guess I can use it as a tax deduction.
We arrive at Jamestown, of course in the middle of another storm, only to find out that the race site is still closed and that the race is delayed. Finally, the weather clears, the race site is open, and we find out the water temp is in the low 80's. Great, no wetsuit. Now, everyone piles in for packet pickup, in a big long line, with only a few people checking everyone in. Nice???....Now for some more disappointing news. It turns out, that all of the swim buoys placed the night before, and all of the buoys placed the morning of, have all blown away. With the potential of more storms, no swim. It is now a Duathlon. Not what I wanted to hear.
For me, the bike portion went well. I was happy with my time. Felt great. The only complaint that I had, was that I spent 90% of the time constantly wiping off the backs of my glasses that were in a constant fog.
Moving forward to the run. Feeling great off the bike, I was ready for a good run, but that didn't happen. Hoping to keep a 7 min pace was just not in the cards for me today. My legs just didn't want to move and the temperature was rising. Mile 1 7:18, so I speed up a bit, mile 2 7:26, well that didn't work, hum... so the last mile I just empty the tank and get it down to a 7:00. Thank God I am done and no knee pain. My body temp is almost maxed out and I am thinking of going down to the river and jumping in, but instead, I cheered Jerry into the finish and then went on to cheer the rest of the team coming in from the International.
At first I was pretty excited with my results, but after looking at the overall results, I now realize that this Sprint was just not that competitive. Most of my true competition was in the International. If we were all in the same race, my results would have been much less impressive for me.
Best part of the race for me,....no knee pain and having a good turnout from the team for support. The Frogs may have dominated us with quantity, but I think we dominated with the quality of our team performance.
Rob Riek - 2:00.23 - 3rd Men 45-50 - International
Derrick Baskin - 1:59.41 - 1st Men 25-29 - International
The alarm was set for 3:45am. It was miserable getting up this early, but I was ready to go. The lightning looks ominous on the horizon as we get closer to the race venue. As we pull into the parking area, it is raining heavily and I begin to think the race may not happen. I failed to check the weather report in the morning as I was busy making sure I wasn't forgetting anything. Nonetheless, we are instructed to park. After the rain clears, I get out to put my bike together and get my gear before heading to check in.
Check in was like trying to get through the downtown tunnel during rush hour. I make it through and set up my things in transition. I decided to try some Hammer endurolytes this race since Larry raves about them. I have had good luck with Hammer gels in the past, so I had grabbed a few of them as well.
We hear the announcement about the swim being cancelled, the start being pushed back to 7:30, and a 1 mile run replacing the swim portion to allow some separation heading into transition.
During the initial 1 mile, I felt pretty good and cruised in and out of transition without a problem.
Trying to get on the bike was another story. My speedplays must have gotten some mud in them because I had trouble clipping the left one in for at least 1/2 a mile. The road is wet, but it feels good to ride outside since I have been using the trainer for most of my bike workouts. I then realize that when I put the bike together, I forgot the speed sensor magnet and I am riding with no sense of how fast I am actually going. Oh well, I guess I'll just see what I can do. I was hoping to clear 20 mph average on the bike, but no chance of knowing this until after the race and the results are posted.
I get passed by about 20 riders on the way out but I pass a few of them on the return trip. Shawn passes me and offers some encouragement. I find out later that I averaged just under 22mph and was pleasantly surprised.
At T2, my legs feel as though I rode harder than I am used to, which I found later that I did. I make the transition, feeling that the end is near. I started the run feeling like I am running extremely slow. Again, I have neglected to look at my watch and have no bearings for pacing the first mile. I get some positive feedback as I seem to be passing a lot of people and have yet to be passed. I hit the turn around and just after I see Rob heading toward the turn around, I start to get a mean hamstring cramp. I pull over to the side, pop some endurolytes, get a quick stretch and continue on. At mile 4, I feel the endurolytes kick in and have taken away the cramp. I can see one guy in my age group that passed me when I was stretching and I start to catch up to him. At the last mile marker, he stops for water and I don't. I am able to pick up the pace in the last 1/2 mile and finish strong. Upon crossing the finish line, the hamstring cramp returns and keeps me from walking until I have stretched it for a solid 2 minutes.
This was my first olympic distance race. Too bad the swim was cancelled. I will attempt another in September (OBX Tri).