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Sep12

Race Report: Hy-Vee Age Group Triathlon

Hy-Vee Age Group Triathlon Race Report – 9/2/12 – Des Moines, IA

Overall: 1/959

Division: 1/15

Official Results

Swim: 20:05 (1:14)
T1: 1:46
Bike:  1:00:22 (24.6)
T2:  1:13
Run:   36:57 (5:58)
Total:   2:00:21

Pre Race:

First off this race was quite an experience for me with all of the pre-race logistics of packet pick-up, mandatory pre-race athlete meeting, bike check-in and the like.  It really took me out of my comfort zone of pre-race prep and forced me to get ready to race in a different way.  I feel that I handled the situation rather well and didn’t let any of the unique situations interfere with my goals and objectives for race day.

Swim:

The build-up to the swim for this race was as up and down as I’ve ever had it.  On Friday they reported on the web-site that the water temperature was back up to 79* from the 76* that they reported earlier in the week with the warmer temperature that they were having.  At the pre-race athlete meeting on Saturday they announced that the water temp. was at 78.4* and still not wet-suit legal.  Personally I wasn’t sure which way I was hoping it would go to be the most advantageous for me but in the end they announced on race morning that the water temp was down to 76.8* and made a lot of athletes happy to have a wet-suit legal swim.  Unlike the rest of the Age Group Race the Elite Division did have a wave start so 30 or so male and female athletes lined up along the sandy shore of Gray’s Lake at 7:37 with great anticipation for a good race.

During transition set-up I had heard rumblings throughout that the water dropped off quickly within the first few feet of shore so I made sure to watch the Elite Start of the Championship race to get a better idea of the conditions and noticed that the athletes that tried to take more than one step into the water ended up tripping into the start rather than a more efficient dive.  I staged myself rather well and had a good straight shot to the first turn buoy.  As the horn went off I got a rather good dive into the water, using what I’d learned from the Men’s Elite start as a guide, and found myself in front of the pack with one or two other swimmers.

After the first turn buoy about 200 meters into the race the pack had completely fallen off except for one other competitor who stuck with me throughout the whole backstretch of the course.  The two of us did however make one sighting error half way down the back stretch where we mistakenly swam toward an orange sighting buoy on the opposite side of the course but we were quickly guided back on course by a kayaker.  After the second turn buoy I was able to complete the pass on my competitor and then started to pick away at some of the straggling swimmers from the final wave of the Championship race which started almost 20 min. before me.

Overall I feel I had an ok swim and ended up with the fastest individual split in the Age Group Race and a 10 sec. lead over the next elite racer.  I did however get quite warm in the wetsuit and was glad to be in transition getting it off.

http://connect.garmin.com/activity/218285687

Bike:

On Saturday after my warm-up run I was able to drive a good portion of the course to get a feel for what I was going to face on Sunday.   I’m really glad that I did because the elevation profile that I found online did not give me a very good feel of the actual condition that I found.  Also at the Athletes Meeting the Race Referee really stressed how closely they were going to be watching for rule violations.  With the first 5 miles of the course being fairly technical with a number of tight 90* turns and two 180* U-turns in addition to the fact that I found myself leaving transition in the middle of the Athena wave from the Championship Race I knew I would have to be at the top of my game as far as bike handling skills were concerned.

I focused on trying to settle into a good rhythm on the bike and made smooth deliberate passes to avoid being considered for a penalty.  At the first out and back I was able to put a clock on Kyle Serreyn from MN who I thought was going to be my strongest competition in the Elite Division.  I ended up with a 1:20 lead.

At the second out and back I again clocked him at 1:20 so I knew that we were riding fairly even so I was able to refocus my attention into producing a strong consistent effort to maintain my lead or stretch it out a bit. I did however find it difficult with all of the passing I had to do and all of the turns to stay focused on keeping the pressure on.  I found myself looking down at my watch to find my cadence too high, speed too low, and needing to down shift to keep my pedaling as efficient as possible.  At the final turn around just after mile 15 I was once again able to clock Kyle and found that the gap had not changed significantly but I really wanted to have a strong finish on the bike and I knew that the route back to transition was mostly downhill so tried to step it up for the final 10 miles.

Overall I feel I had more for the bike but as I have mentioned I really found it hard to keep the pressure on myself with no close competition.  I ended up with the fastest individual bike split by 2 sec. and increased my lead over Kyle by 2 min. who at the time was in 2nd place.

http://connect.garmin.com/activity/218285690

Run:

Prior to the start of this race I wanted set a goal to have the run be the jewel of this race and the token of my hard work and training this season.  The goal was to go out with around 6 min. averages for the first half and strive to negative split the second half of the run even though I knew that the final 3 miles were going to be a gradual climb/false flat with a nasty hill at the finish.  I started the run feeling very good and my legs ready to run from the get go.  Not sure if that’s an indication that I really should have pushed the bike harder or result of spinning the legs out well coming into transition.  Either way I was glad not to have to fight though the Herman Munster feeling that I normally have at the start to the run.

I was keeping a very close eye on my pace the first mile to avoid going out too hard and ended up with a split of 5:54, touch fast but pretty much where I needed it to be.  At about 1.3 miles into the race we had the first out and back turn around and it again gave me an opportunity to put a clock on the competition and I found that I had a 3 min. lead on Kyle at which point I was fairly certain that I was going to be able to come away from the race with a win but I wanted to continue to push the run for personal pride and accomplishment.  At mile 2 the split came up as 5:57 which gave me confidence that I was doing what I needed to do it reach my goals however at mile 3 the 6:00 split gave me a slight amount of doubt, having fallen off on the pace over the first three miles.

However, I was able to refocus my efforts and push forward with 5:53, 5:55, & 5:54 splits for a strong finish and the ability to raise the tape over my head as the winner of the Hy-Vee Age Group Triathlon.  Overall I think I had a well executed run and ended up with the 6th fastest run split.

http://connect.garmin.com/activity/218285692

Overall:

While slightly disappointed that I didn’t break 2 hours and knowing that I probably could have gone faster if I would have had closer competition, I’m really happy with my performance and race execution on the day.  I also think the big race experience that I got in this race will prove very valuable in the future.  This race was an incredible capstone experience to a season that has exceeded my wildest expectations.  I couldn’t have possible imagined ending this season as competitive as I’ve been and with 4 overall wins, definitely something to be proud of.

A huge amount credit for my accomplishments this season has to be attributed to the overwhelming support that I have received from my family, especially my wife Jamie who has been my biggest supporter and cheerleader and has allowed me to dedicate the time that was required to chase my goals.  Also this couldn’t have been possible without the incredible guidance of my coach Jason Digman of Dig It Triathlon and Multi-Sport Coaching and Don Abresch of Broadway Cycle for always making sure my bike and gear were always in tip top condition.  And I can’t forget all of the members of the Buffalo Tri Club that supported me and pushed me to train harder then I thought I could at times, you’re all the best.

imagrs

2 Comments

Justin Lindteigen

January 8 2013 Reply

Congratulations on a great finish. Hopefully you can shave 21 seconds off next time to meet your goal!

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