Paul Bunyan Triathlon
1 mile/ 20 mile/ 5 mile
July 18, 2015
It took a lot of effort to get to this race. Originally, I had registered (and paid) for the Annandale Heart of the Lakes triathlon but a family get-together and a Monday meeting up north made this race a better fit. Also, I almost backed out in the last week. The weather looked like it was going to be stormy, and I had no interest in running another converted duathlon. But, the weather predictions cleared up, so the family and I piled in the car and made the trip up north. In order to make the trip, we also had a hitch installed on the car ($200) and purchased a bike rack ($60). We stayed with my folks, and my brother's family came up for the weekend as well. Since the house was crowded, I stayed in a hotel the night before the race ($190).
Going into the race, I was hoping to break 2.5 hours and not finish dead last. Twenty nine people ran the long course; so dead last was a distinct possibility. The times needed for a 2.5 hour race seemed possible based on my training times. However, this was going to be my first 2+ hour race, so I had no idea how my body would react to the time and length.
Goal: Under 2:00 per 100 yards
Actual: Crazy fast; maybe too fast.
I wore my wet suit again, and my swim times in the suit are fast. All the long course racers went off in one wave. It was a little thick in the water at first, but it thinned out after a few hundred yards. I sight terribly while breathing to the right, and I veer right due to the terrible sighting. All is well on the left side, but I have to switch sides once and a while due to shoulder fatigue. In the lap pool, I breath the same side for an entire lap, and then switch sides on consecutive laps. Works great in the pool, rubbish in the open water. Something to work on before Marion (4 weeks). Anyhoo, it was two laps around the markers and I zipped around pretty good. I saw some ass clown cut a corner on the first lap. That made me kinda mad, but it's not like I was going to be fighting for a podium spot. My time was fast; it was probably too fast. Either I went out too strong and hurt myself for the rest of the race, or the distance markers were off. I think the latter.
Swim Time: 25:48 with a 1:28 per 100 yards pace
Swim Ranks: 14th out of 28 overall
11th out of 24 males
4th out of 5 age groupers
Goal: Under 3 minutes
Actual: Who knows?
The timing system for the "swim in" failed. So, there was no official T1 time. That, by itself, is not a big problem. However, this race's organization left something to be desired. The T2 timing was also wrong, though the race claims it is accurate. The sprint awards started before I finished (I get it, I'm slow). Also, when I did cross the line and finally found a volunteer, I was told the finisher medals were in a box by the bananas. Anyhoo, I think I timed out T1 pretty well with my Garmin.
Bike (20 miles)
Goal: 18.5 mph
Actual: Slowy, slow, slow
Comming out of T1, I knew that I was about 10 minutes ahead of a 2 min per 100 yards swim. Also, I knew I had won about a minute in T1. I had driven the bike course the night before, so I knew it was a relatively flat course with only a couple climbs around miles 6 and 14. It was mostly an out and back course, and just like in Clearwater it was tail wind at the start and then head wind on the second half. I thought if I held back a bit on the front 10, then I'd have something extra left for the back 10. Nope. When I made the turn, I had nothing in the tank. It wasn't a strong wind, so maybe my training just sucks. Either way, at the turn around I could see that I had about 20 minutes on last place, so that was one goal achieved. I think there were 8 racers behind me. So, I struggled into T2 with a 17.3 mph average on the back 10 miles (19.4 mph on the front 10). I didn't hit the lap button on my watch when I hit the T2 mat, so I have to believe the official bike time. It sounds about right.
Bike Time: 1:07:22 with a 17.8 mph average
Bike Ranks: 21st out of 28 overall,
18th out of 24 males,
5th out of 5 age groupers
|Elevation for the entire race; the last five peaks are the run.|
Actual: Who knows?
My official T2 Time is posted as 1:24. What a pile. Even more silly, my time is listed as the fifth fastest in T2. This transition area was tiny. There is no way it took me a minute and a half to rack my bike and run out. No chance. The T2 times are all wrong. By my watch, I think the run and bike times are correct, but both transitions are goofed up. I'm not sure how that happens.
T2 Guess: 30-45 seconds
Run (5 miles)
Goal: 9:18 min per mile average
Actual: Not even close.
Again, I had driven the run course the night before, so I knew there were a couple hills. I didn't have much in the tank for the run. You start the run on a wooded hill climb, and then we did an out and back of 2.5 miles on the road. I fought a stomach cramp for the first couple miles, then decided to walk it off. At that point, I was only at a 10 minute mile pace anyway, so a little walking wasn't killing a personal best. At the turn around, there was a street cone and writing on the ground in chalk that said "Turn Around". Seems like that would have been a good place for a volunteer. After I walked off my cramp, I ran a couple more miles then walked through the water stop and up a hill. I ran the last mile and change. A lady passed me with about half a mile to go. She had a great pace, no chance to catch her. Driving back after the race, I saw her again running down the road for some extra miles; crazy. Anyhoo, the family was at the finish line and it felt good to get cheered to the line.
Run Time: 51:14 with a 10:15 pace
Run Ranks: 22nd out of 28 overall,
19th out of 24 males,
5th out of 5 age groupers
Total Time: 2:26:46
Position: 22th out of 28 finishers
19th out of 24 males
5th out of 5 age groupers
Below is a comparison of accumulated times. This has to be taken with a grain of salt because the transition times are all screwed up. It still gives a good idea of a comparison to the field and male averages. In both cases, my faster swim almost evened out my slower bike to make my time about average going into the run. Leaving T2, I was 39 seconds behind the field average and 3:22 behind the male average. After that, I blew up my time on the run.
My watch time and the official time were exactly the same. The transition times were messed up, but tech will fail once and a while. There were plenty of volunteers, and they did their assigned tasks very well. However, the organization of this race left something to be desired. I probably won't be back.
Lake Marion is 4 weeks out and I will be running the olympic course. I don't think there is any way the swim course at Bemidji was actually a mile, so I'll have to keep up some training to see if I can swim a good time at Marion. I got a new watch (an impulse buy from my wife, $300), the Garmin 910xt. Lots of bells and whistles. It can be set up specifically for a tri, with planned timing for transitions. Sounds fun. We'll see if I can figure it out.