Tuesday, May 27, 2014

2014 Woodstock Sprint Triathlon Race Report - May 25, 2014

Race Details:

750m Swim
20K Bike
5K Run

Last year when I did this race, it was close to freezing when I left my house.   This year, the air temperature was warmer for sure, but because of the cold winter and spring, the water temp was still only 59 or 60F.

After arriving at Pittock Conservation area, I quickly got myself organized and did a short ride/run to warm up and then got my wetsuit on and made my way to the chilly waters.

After getting in the water, it was indeed cold, but it was such a nice sunny day, I knew it wasn't going to be too bad.   I did a short swim and got some water in the wetsuit to adjust things up a bit and then waited for my wave to kick off at 9:08, which was the 3rd wave of the day.

When the horn blew, I tried to put in a good effort to get some space, but this only moderately worked.   I still fond people grabbing my legs and bumping up against me for likely a few hundred meters.   I found the water so murky that I couldn't keep in good contact with other swimmers around me, so drafting wasn't working all that well.

I eventually made it to the first turn buoy and started running into slower swimmers from other waves.   After rounding the last turn buoy, I made a push back to shore and when I was finally able to stand up, my Garmin said 12:00 right on.   This was a bit disappointing, as I was hoping to be around 11:30 or so, which is what I believe I did last year.   It's always hard to tell in the swim if the distance is exactly the same, but overall, I was in a decent position, as I don't think there were too many white caps around me as I was coming back.   It turns out I had the 4th fastest swim in my AG race day.  I think the colder water slowed most people down a bit.

Swim exit
Into T1, and I think I did a decent job.   I had a bit of a struggle getting my wetsuit off my left arm, but I did get it before I got to my bike.   I didn't have too many issues getting my wetsuit off either, so it wasn't too bad.   In the end, T1 took 59 seconds.   How the fast guys manage to get in and out in less than 40 seconds is amazing to me.

Onto the bike, we once again had the tricky run to the mount line and then a slow and rough climb out of the park.   I waited until we were completely out of the park before I slipped into my bike shoes.

Once in, I started hammering!!   The first 3K is mostly uphill, and the watts were pretty close to 300 at this point.   We faced a mostly cross wind going up this stretch to country road 33.   Once on county road 33, we enjoyed a fast tailwind, but the road surface wasn't great.   I continued passing lots and lots of other racers at through this stretch.

A few K down the road, we made a right turn and had a fairly fast and smooth trip down to the turn-around point at 10K.   After the turn, it was back into a slight headwind/cross and I continued to make my way through the field, holding about 290 watts or so on average.   I was able to pretty much hold those watts all the way back to the park, which was good to see.

Heading out on the bike
Once back at the conservation site, it was a no pass zone to the mount line, so we had to take things fairly easy down the hill and around the corners, as there was still quite a bit of gravel on the roads also.   I stopped my garmin just before the mount line this year, to get a better reading for the bike portion of the race.   Here is the Strava ride file for the race.   It was good to see that absolutely zero people passed me on the bike, and that I had the fastest bike split in my AG (32:16) and 10th fastest in the entire race.

2014 Woodstock Sprint Tri Bike File

T2 went fairly well and I was in and out in 37 seconds.   One of the fastest in my AG.

I started the run with the weird feeling in my feet like I had last year.   It felt sort of like my insoles were bunched up, but at least it went away quickly.   

The first K of the run is on some loose gravel trails, uphill slightly and into the wind.   I pushed pretty hard to make sure I got a good start and the first K went by in 3:58 and I was feeling better as the run went along.

At this point, I was seeing lot's of the elite guys from the first wave coming back and I was watching the legs on the guys I was passing to see if anyone was in my AG.   I didn't see anyone in my AG the entire run, so I was taking this as a good sign.   This year, there wasn't anyone on the run that passed me either.

Last year, the turn-around was slightly long, but this year it seemed like it was bang on.   On the return trip to the park, I tried picking up the pace a bit and with only 1K to go, I pretty much put it all out there and finished the last K with a 3:45 average.   I crossed the finish in 1:05:47 and a final run time of 19:28 for the 5K.   My finishing time was just under 2.5 minutes faster than last year which was good to see.   The better weather played a big part of that, but I did have a faster overall bike and run this year compared to last.

Finishing up the run

2014 Woodstock Sprint Tri Run File

After finishing I grabbed some chocolate milk and food and chatted with a few other racers before checking results.   In the end, I finished 2nd overall in the M40-44 AG and 16th overall in the race which was an improvement over last year.

2014 Woodstock Sprint Triathlon Overall Results

40-44 AG Podium
As this was the first triathlon of the year around this area, the competition in Woodstock was pretty high.   The top two finishers in the race are totally capable of podium spots in most 70.3 races around the world.

Up next is the Waterloo Classic with my H&P teammates.   This one is going to be a good time for sure!!   Then I am doing Syracuse 70.3 again on June 22nd in hopes of grabbing a Mont Tremblant 70.3 World Championship spot.   So far so good though!

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