Waconia Triathlon Marcus Stromberg


Race Report: Lake Waconia Triathlon

Lake Waconia Triathlon Race Report – 6/24/12 – Waconia, MN

Division: 4/23
Overall: 4/317

Official Results

Swim: 10:36 (1:13)
T1: 0:55
Bike: 48:28 (24.8)
T2: :49
Run: 25:01 (6:16)
Total: 1:25:46


The elite field had a wave start for this race, unlike the age groupers which had a time trial start.  At the start I positioned myself in the middle of the start line with a straight shot to the first turn buoy. Unfortunately, when the gun went the guys on each side of me came in on me and I had to battle for a place to swim. Within about 50-75 yards though I was able to find some clear water, get into a stroke rhythm, and found myself at the front of the pack.  As I approached the first turn buoy I say a couple of swimmers moving ahead of me on my left.

We were all swimming at the same pace and I figured it wasn’t worth fighting to retake the lead so I hooked on to a set of feet for the remainder of the swim but continued to make sure the pace remained where I wanted it. I came out of the water 3rd with a group of 4 so I was happy with the outcome of the swim.


The bike started off a bit rocky for me this race. Since this was a USAT race we were required to wear our race number on the bike, or at least that’s what the race officials I talked to indicated, so I decided to put my number belt on under my wetsuit so I didn’t have another thing to worry about in transition. Problem was when I went to mount my bike at the line the belt caught in the notch in the back of my saddle preventing me from getting on the bike. But after having narrowly missed Jerry’s announcer table I was able to get on and get the bike underway.

This course I wouldn’t classify as technical or hard but having never ridden it I did find that all of the turns, the stretches through the urban streets, and the rolling hills made it difficult to get into a rhythm and build some speed. I was out of T1 still in 3rd place behind Nick Madrinich & Alex Hooke and was able to get my shoes on quickly and pass Alex within the first ½ mile to take 2nd. The first mile of the bike on this course has two small hills and one larger one, cemetery hill I guess as they call it, and I tried to calm my heart rate down and get comfortable on the bike for a good strong ride. I believe I was fairly successful at that and was able to catch Nick at about the 1 mile mark to take 1st.

Stromberg Waconia tri bike

Unfortunately, that didn’t last long and Alex came whizzing back by me to take over the lead. I was actually ok with that as I knew he was a strong competitor and a good biker so it would give me someone to pace off of. Well it turns out he is a very good biker. I was able to keep in touch with him through the urban streets as we left Waconia but once we hit the open roads he was able to steadily pull away from me.

I remained in 2nd through about mile 7 or 8 on the bike when I was caught by Matthew Payne to push me back to 3rd. I again was able to stay with him for a while but once we exited the urban street through Mayer it was like he was shot out of a cannon and was gone.

On the longer straight a ways from Mayer back to transition I really tried to relax, get comfortable, and develop some power to have a strong finish to the second half of the bike. I just couldn’t get any consistency and with about a mile to a mile and a half left on the bike I was passed by Sean Cooley to push me back into 4th into T2.


As I exited T2 for the run my legs felt like cement blocks and I seriously questioned whether I was going to be able to complete the run for a short period of time. After the first small hill out of transition I heard foot step closing in quickly and without even looking I knew that Patrick Parish was closing quickly and as he passed me to push me back to 5th I knew I wasn’t going to see him again until the finish. Up ahead of me though I saw that Sean was looking to really be suffering and I was beginning to close the gap on him. I focused on him rather than how my legs were feeling and I was able to close the gap and pass him at about a mile and a half into the run to retake 4th.

From there on I was running scared I knew I couldn’t catch 3rd for the automatic invite to Best of the US but I didn’t want to give up the 1st roll down spot. Without any data I had no idea how the run was actually going but it did feel like I got stronger the second half of the run. In the end I was able to hold on to the 4th spot and finished just 15 sec. ahead of Kevin O’Connor.


So back to my mixed feelings on this race. I’m happy overall with my performance at this race, I came in 4th as I expected and my finish time was pretty much right at the goal time I had laid out for the race but when Dan Hedgecock scratched from the race I really thought I had a shot at an automatic qualifying spot for to Best of the US. I completely underestimated Alex Hooke though and now have another strong athlete I need to be prepared for at future races.

The swim went well and set me up for a good race. The bike was not exactly what I was hoping for in that the first 5 miles were slow at 23.5 avg. but do to the nature of the course I don’t know what more I could have expected being so unfamiliar with the course. The next three 5 miles splits were consistent at 25.3 avg. I would have liked the bike to be faster but I think the TT I did on Thursday may have taken more out of my legs than I thought and my inability to get into a consistent rhythm really prevented me from hitting the level that I was hoping for.

As far as the run goes I’m disappointed with my average pace but ecstatic that I was able to push through the pain, pick-up a position, and finish, at least by feel, stronger than I started. I think that if I had run data to review I would see that the first mile up the hills and out of transition were 7:00-7:30 and the final three were probably sub 6:00.

I want to extend a huge thanks to Don, Lisa, Grace, Pam, & Tim for coming out to cheer me and the rest of the BTC crew on. The cowbell was awesome.

Looking ahead I’m determined to continue to work the run and do what it takes to be sub-6 avg. at Hy-Vee. With the final four races I have left I have every intention to compete for the win at each one of them, but believe I that I’m going to have to do so at HOLT, Graniteman, & Green Lake on little if any rest, similar to this race, in an effort to reach my ultimate goal of standing on top of the Age Group Elite Podium at Hy-Vee. And having looked at the week of training ahead I’m excited for some tough workouts that are going to continue to move me forward toward my goals.


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