Wednesday, October 3, 2012

OBX Triathlon - Sprint & Olympic Distance Race Report

OBX Triathlon
Olympic - Saturday Sept. 22, 2012
Sprint - Sunday Sept. 23, 2012

Rob and Derrick

Derrick Baskin - 6th Men 25-29 - Olympic - 2:36.36

Next year I will be considering staying in OBX the night before this race because 3:15 came mighty early.
I rode down with Rob and the drive was easy. We arrived at the course and did the usual packet pickup, hit the port-o-jon, and got set up in transition.
Rob let me borrow his sleeveless wetsuit for the race, which was very welcome given that the water was a bit chilly at 7:30.
Started off well and to the first buoy very easily. The current and chop picked up a bit on the way to the 2nd buoy which seemed to take almost an hour to get to. I drank a lot of water and had to resort to a few minutes of side stroke to sort myself out. I definitely identified the open water as a significant area of improvement as I came out of the water in 36:40. My rank in the swim was 145 / 185.
Finally, back on land, I had a decent transition with only a few hiccups getting out of the wetsuit. It was only the 2nd time attempting to get out of one. Onto the bike, I felt like I hadn't even swam. I settled in on the bike and did nothing but pass people on the out and back. I saw Rob cranking down the road a few miles behind the overall leader. He was moving fast which I assume was due to his aero wheels. The ride was nice and the course was in decent shape. I cruised into transition in 1:12:30 (avg 20.3 mph) which made me happy. I threw on the running shoes and hit the road. I find out that my bike rank was 31 / 185.
At this point, I knew my overall time goal was out of my reach because of my dismal swim effort. I take note of my time as I head out of transition in order to calculate my pace as I go. Side note: I need to find some racing shoes that do not cause numerous blisters when running barefoot. Running at this point feels like 8:30 pace but I manage a 6:45ish effort over the first mile. I see Rob coming back the other way about 2 miles or so ahead of me and realize that he is putting down a great effort. I had only seen a handful of OLY athletes ahead of him. As the miles pass, I slow to an average of 7:06 per mile and a total time of 43:59. Running rank was 6 / 185.
This was good enough for 6th AG and 29th overall. It provides me with good reason to spend some extra time in the open water for swim practice.
Rob Riek - 1st men 45-49 - Olympic - 2:22.40
I finally got everything prepped around 10 PM and settled into limited, intermittent periods of sleep since Ryan (our 3 week old) was not feeling well.  I end up getting up around 3.  Derrick arrives right on time at 4:05 as planned and we roll out towards the OBX in my van at 4:15 as planned.  I am pleased as I rarely roll out at my target time.  Ride down is uneventful. Check in goes smoothly.  However, when we finally get around to putting our bikes in transition we realize that there are no assigned racks and we are just about the last ones to get to transition. We both get lucky with some polite fellow triathletes and are able to rack our bikes near the bike out exit.  We have plenty of time after setting up as the 1/2 IM starts 45 minutes before the Olympic.  I had a great swim (it was shallow enough to run/wade through the water for a good couple hundred yds but I think it was more energy efficient to swim) and exit the water in 26 minutes.  Bike start was a little rough as I thought I had a flat in the first 1/4 mile so I stopped to check it out.  No flat, so I get back to business.  We have a decent headwind on the way out and I'm not feeling the love until I finally get into a rhythm after clearing the uphill on the bridge.  I hold back anytime I feel my pace is taking too much energy out of my legs and only get passed by one person near the turn around.  The ride back on the bridge rewarded us with a good tailwind and I am able to hit 34-35 pace for a short while on the downhill of the bridge.  I paced myself well through the swim and the bike (1:06 bike split) and feel good heading out on the run.  I  came out of transition with 2 others but could not catch them.  I ran my goal pace through the first 5K but fell off the second half 
which was my fault mentally for not pushing hard enough.  I was far enough back not to catch the leaders and far enough ahead of those behind me that the could not catch me. I ran a disappointing 47:40 10K (goal was 45 minutes).  Anyway, great day overall. I was 1st AG and 5th overall.  I'll let Derrick give you his race report in more detail but he had a great run and finished 6th AG.

Jeff and Todd
Jeff Rodarmel - 10th Men 40-44 - Sprint - 1:35.01
 So this was my 3rd Tri of the year and really 4th in my life.  My goal is to do better each time.  Although I don't make it out to train with you all that much, I will say the helpful e-mails on training and nutrition are very helpful and entertaining.  I have encouraged (tricked) my wife into doing these things with me so I have someone else that can give encouragement. 
We actually went down to OBX Saturday afternoon to check into the Ramada Oceanfront (I don't recommend it!) and then head to packet pick-up.  There is a 5 o'clock (pm) pre-race meeting, which we thought would be good to attend until we saw the wind.  EXHIBIT 1 PHOTO.  2 to 3 foot chop in the sound??  Wow, that buoy seems real far down the sound to be apart of our race??  The race director then says they will go get that one in the morning hoepfully after the wind subsides.  This where we also met the USAT "police" for the first time. 
On race morning we show up to the transition area and get marked.  It was nice to see Todd EXHIBIT 2 PHOTO and some other friendly faces in the morning.  The transition area was first come first served, which lead to a bit of problem as Todd outlined.
Swim - I started in the last (4th) wave, so as Todd and I are amazed at how far you can walk out to the first buoy, we start to walk out and are delayed a bit as all 3 waves in front of us, ok most of them, walked to the 1st buoy.  Then we start walking out and then I see Todd start dolphin diving and follow being him.  17:06  Not bad, feeling good.
Bike - The wind was rough this day my friends, going out it was a good thing and coming back it was rough!!  The bike course was a little rouch in sections and when going over the bridge, I was worried about the metal hinges that divided the sections every 20 yards.  I kept asking when my tires were going to go flat??  Over all, I felt better on the bike, one day I'll keep up with you all on Saturday mornings!  47:22 - Clearly an opportunity here for me to get better.
Run - This is usually my strong part, but after coming off the windy part of the bike and running in to the wind, I didn't get the start I wanted.  But I will tell you I ended well as I saw a frog uniform in my sights and made it a point to make sure I finsihed before they did, which happend!!  26:03 - All in all I really liked this race and want to try to move to the Olympic distances next year with some additional training. 
Windy Race Morning
Todd Holwick - 1st Men 45-49 - Sprint - 1:15.31
After a very busy day on Saturday, I finally make it home late in the evening, pack up my gear and head to bed. Alarm goes off at 4:00am and I am on the road by 4:18am. Gps says I am getting to the race right at 6:00am. Perfect, packet pickup starts at 6:00am. Good parking and quick check in. I am early into the transition area to set up, which is good, because there is no rack assignments. I run into Jeff and Lorrie and we all rack together in a good spot. Next, we are greeted by the USAT "police" who are already out in full force making sure that everyone is within the exact specifications on how to set up your personal space. We are told that there should be only 4 people per rack and 8 to a row. No problem, that gives us plenty of space. Then we find out that they were only talking about one side of the rack. Shortly later, a mass of people pour into the transition area and there are now 8 bikes per rack and not an inch to spare anywhere. The place is packed up to the max. The timing chips for this event are much bigger than what I am used to. They look like mini EZpasses. I can only imagine if this will be an issue with a wetsuit. Sure enough, the water is 70-72 degrees so it is wetsuit legal. I decided to wear a wetsuit even though the majority of the participants did not. Jeff and I are in the last wave, so as we are watching the other waves go off, we notice that the water is only waist deep and you can walk all the way out to the first buoy. However, we also noticed that those that chose to swim, were much farther ahead than the walkers. I did a few dolphin dives and swam. It was a very windy day, however, the winds had shifted to the NNE. This kept the water pretty calm being sheltered from the east. I thought that it was a very easy swim. Very minimal surf and current. I was happy with my swim 16/304. Then came T-1. As usual, my wetsuit pops right off except around the "monolith" timing chip that I struggled with for an extra 30-40seconds. I think I need some sort of Velcro or zipper quick release around my ankles. After my disappointing T-1, I am off on the bike. I feel great! I did not like the road leading to and from the bridge. Lots of potholes and ripples in the pavement. I'm surprised that I didn't get a flat. With the winds coming out of the NNE at 20 mph, we had an incredible tailwind going out over the bridge. I was able to keep a speed of 32-35mph for the entire length of the 2.65 mile long bridge with a max speed of 42mph. Then came the turnaround. Now, I am struggling to keep my speed at 20mph. There were times when I could not even keep a 17mph pace. Overall had a good bike leg. Second fastest bike split. ...T-2, not the fastest, but I have to put on socks for the run. The first mile of the run was through a field and straight into the 20mph wind. I felt great, but just could not get the pace up to my target goal. Maybe it was the wind pushing me back. I was hoping for a sub 22min 5k, but ended up with a 22:21. Not too far off from my goal. I was still happy with the run 14/304. One neat thing with the timing of the event, was that they had a computer terminal right by the finish line. You just type in your bib number and you get an instant printout of all your times and current placements. Being in the last wave, my placements were already accurate, except if penalties came into play. Overall finished 5th, 1st in AG.

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