Sunday, September 26, 2010

Amica 19.7 Newport Sprint Triathlon Race Report

This weekend was the Amica 19.7 Series sprint triathlon in Newport, RI.  Despite having a bit of a rough week and not feeling so hot and being burried in work stress I figured what the hec!  And I went for it anyway.  I just wanted to get one last race in before the end of the season.  Here's how it went....

Pre Race:  I went through my usual pre race routine in the morning with one exception.  I forgot to eat breakfast.  I realized this about ten minutes after I crossed the finish line.  I felt a bit out of sorts getting ready for the race in the morning.  I'd packed my things in a hurry two days prior to the race when I had more time and then spent the two days after that burried in work and work stress.  I had planned to head down to Newport on Friday night to meet up with a friend of mine also racing so we could drive the bike course and go to packet pickup together.  However work had other plans for me and by the time I was able to leave Providence packet pickup had long been closed.  Fortunately for me though I stayed with a friend of mine in Newport so I was only ten minutes away from the race in the morning. 

Once I arrived and went through packet pickup etc I headed over to transition to get setup.  Once that was taken care of I took a little walk to the beach to check out conditions.  WOW.  The ocean looked MEAN!  There were large whitecaps out as far as I could see.  Although the waves were not large, they were coming in very quickly.  It looked awful out there.  I've been swimming in the ocean in a variety of conditions all summer.  I've swam on days that made me pretty nervous, but I've gotten through them just fine.  I'll be very honest though and say that I really didn't like the look of the conditions out there.  It looked scary frankly.  I was still going to swim it, but I wasn't gonna like it!  Not long after that walk rumours started to fly through transition that the swim was cancelled.  However nothing official had been announced and noone seemed to have heard this directly from an official.  Not long after that though the announcement went out that the swim was cancelled due to dangerous ocean conditions and riptides and that it would be replaced with a 1/4 mile beach run instead. 

So I set about figuring out how to redo my transition plan to accomodate the beach run.  I tried the run barefoot and decided I'd rather do it in sneakers.  On the plus side all I had to do in T1 was remove my sneakers, put on my bike helmet and then go as I was leaving my shoes clipped into the pedals.  So with all that figured out I headed to the race start.

Swim: (Which was actually a 1/4 Mile Beach Run)1:29 (rank 93/ 351)

They lined us all up single file and we walked over the timing mats to get our chips registered, and then they pooled us together and then started the beach run together on a ten second countdown.  Once we were off I took my time with the beach run.  Some people went out really hard and it just looked super tiring and painfull so I went hard but at the same time easy and kept a good solid pace.  A quarter mile goes by fast so it wasn't much later I was into transition.

T1:  :53

T1 was fast!  Off with the shoes, on with the helmet and then out of the bike exit.  I got into a nice groove, got my feet in my shoes and was off and running in no time.

Bike: 16.1 Miles 48:04 (rank 59/351)  Top 16%

The bike course was actually a lot of fun and quite challenging.  16 miles was a new race distnace for me.  But I figured it was close enough to shorter sprints that I should still be able to just give it 100% and not hold anything back and be fine.  The course had a good mix of hills, descents, and a couple of short flat sections.  It seemed like all the descents ended with a sharp 90 degree turn that would kill your speed followed by a climb.  This pattern repeated through the whole course.  The winds that were causing all that nasty chop out in the ocean appeared on the bike course in the form of some pretty intense crosswinds.  My 60mm deep front wheel was challening to handle at times when the crosswinds would kick up.  And when the course turned into the winds it was pretty brutal!  I spent most of the bike course playing leap frog wiht someone else in my age group.  The two of us kept passing each other nonstop.  At one point he looked at me when I passed him and said "Oh yeah!  Its On!".  And then passed me back five minutes later and said "Lets Push Each Other!".  So we did.  We both continued to pass and push each other the whole course.  It wasn't until the last climb that I dropped him and left him behind.  I don't know this gentleman's name but he was a class act as he came and found me at the fnish line and congratulated me and said thanks for pushing him on the bike course and I said the same.  A classy move I thought.  It was great to have such a friendly rivalry going to push each other and good fun too.  All in all though I'm pleased with my bike.  It went well and I had a lot of fun. 

T2:  :33

T2 was very fast for me.  The bike in / run out were both very close to my rack in transition as well which helped.  So I just racked my bike, lost the helmet, on with the running shoes and I was off again. 

Run: 3.1 Miles (5K) 19:13!!  PR!!  (rank 17/351) Top 5%

The run felt really painfull for me.  I just felt exhausted through all of it but I pressed onward and fought for it the whole way.  The course was somewhat rolly and I did my best to crank up the hills.  On the plus I was enjoying the fact that I was passing lots of people again and I did my best to reel in anyone in my age group that I saw.  After the turnaround I came across two guys both in my age group running side by side and pushing each other.  I snuck up behind them and drafted them for a bit as they had a nice pace going.  When we hit the last aid station they slowed to get a drink and I cranked past them when they weren't looking.  I don't even think they saw the age on my calf.  When I rounded the last turn and could see the parking area I gave it one last crank and put it all out there and went sprinting across the finish line.  I felt like the run wasn't all that great.  If you'd asked me to guess my time I would have said 21 minutes.  I had no idea I'd logged my first official sub twenty minute 5K.

Overall:  7th of 38 in my age group, and 34th of 351 overall which is good enough for top ten percent of the field.  Its hard not to be happy with that.  Especially considering how little training I did in the week leading up to the race as I took three days off to recover from the TDD and let my heel that had some mysterious pain in it heal up after the TDD.  Definitely a very competitive field at this race and my age group was well represented in the top ten overall.  Once again someone from the 40-44 year old age group won the overall spot.  All in all a great race and once again Tri-Newengland was well represented out on the course as there were several other club members racing out there. 

Next up...    well now thats a good question!  Look for some posts soon on a season wrap up, offseason training plans, marathon training, and a look at whats on the shopping list for 2011.  I know there were a few photos taken at the race so hopefully I'll update this post with some pictures soon. 

I have to say that I'm a little sad at the thought of no more triathlons on the radar for 2010.  But with 5 done and behind me in my first season and a bright future ahead of me I'm pretty excited to get cranking on training for next season.  But first...   a recovery week!

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