Sunday, June 5, 2011

Tri Ridgefield Sprint Race Report; I won my Age Group!

Today was simply a great day. Some people might scoff at a sprint distance race, but I am telling you, they hurt a LOT more than a Half Ironman. Why? Because a sprint is just that: a sprint from beginning to end! If you aren't redlining it, you aren't going hard enough!

Well, in time that is what should be done, but I certainly wasn't doing this at my first sprint race, which happened to be exactly 3 years ago. I still remember just surviving the swim, having a fun bike, then wanting to just be able to run the entire run without needing to walk. Finishing was the goal that day. I was a different athlete back then!

Back to today, the weather was perfect! Low 60's and NO humidity. Just perfect. I also won my age group today! It was a REALLY great day!

So here we go:

Overall Time: 1:10:48, 17th/364 overall (top 5%!!!), 1st/19 in age group.

Pre Race:
The shorter the race, the longer the warmup. Get it? Race started @ 7AM, so I made sure to get in a 2 mile easy easy run, then a 10-15 min swim and arm stretch to get as loose as I could. This race was going to hurt no matter what, so whatever the warmup did, I guess helped?

Swim, 880 yards: 13:24 / 1:31 avg
They lumped all males 44 and under into one swim wave. Out of 300 or so folks, that is one HUGE swim wave. Well, time to put on the big boy pants and realize that I will be sharing a small pool with 3,000 of my newest closests friends at Lake Placid, so what did I do? I lined myself up directly in front and to the right. Basically I made sure I got mowed over and kicked and punched. It was awesome!!!

The swim itself thinned out by the first turn and it was just autopilot from there on. Because of the huge swim wave that was mixed with all ages, it was impossible to tell who was who.

T1: 2:03
Proportionally to your overall time in a sprint, your transitions actually make a difference. I am a terrible TERRIBLE transitioner. In a sprint, to do it right, you gotta have your shoes on the bike. Me? Nope. Wetsuit removal? Oh yeah, I am a spoiled little princess and I have had my suit stripped off of me at the past 5 races. Fortunately I remember how to do it myself ;) Unfortunately my cappucino machine was broken on my bike :(.....bad joke, I know.

Bike: 12.5 miles, 34:00, 22:08 mph avg
This HURT. Because the water basically ices your legs and the fact that you are gunning it from the get go, there is no time for the blood to get into your quads, so they basically seized up from the get go. Sooooo, I pushed through the pain and it hurt even more :)

Eventually there was nobody in front of me, nor behind me. Was this a good thing? I guess. I knew I passed some folks in my age group, but there was no way to know if some fish who could also bike was ahead of me. I didn't worry about it and just hammered it home. Turns out I wound up passing 3 or 4 others in my age group early on and put in the fastest bike split for my age group.

T2: 1:18
Remember how I am a terrible transitioner? The way to do it right is to remove your shoes on the bike and do a flying dismount. I know how to do this! I just haven't practiced this in 2 years. Bummer. Also, I should have not worn socks on the run and had shoes with Yanks style laces. Time saved in transitions is money in the bank. Overall, I really didn't care since Lake Placid is the big picture this season and transition times are meaningless. But it is still good to know there are other things to improve.

Run: 3 miles, 20:05, 6:41 pace
The first 1.5 miles of this run course is all uphill. It blows and it HURTS. Good thing everyone has to do these same 1.5 miles of uphill. I survived as best I could, elevated my heart rate to ridiculous, and hung on until the half way point when you go back down hill. I hit the gas on the downhill and hung on for dear life.

Around mile 2, I passed my buddy, Rudy, who is a Lance Armstrong clone on the bike, who passed everyone including three elites from the first wave. When I passed him he said that there was only one guy in front of me who was under 30. What I heard was, "You are winning your age group!"

THAT went straight to my head and I picked up the tempo even more. I never looked back to see if anyone was right behind me, I just kept looking forward and just gunned it as hard as I could. I actually elevated my heart rate running downhill!

Post race:
Crossed the line in 1:10:48, ~6 minutes faster than two years ago (told yah I was a different athlete back then!). When Rudy caught back up to me, he said, "Yeah, there was one other guy in front of you who was under 30." DAMN!!!! So I (im)patiently waited for them to post the results. I found my name, 20th overall, and then 1/19. WHAT?!?!?!? SWEET!....guess there wasn't another under 30 guy afterall? Or it was part of a relay?

So the race turned out like this: I was in 4th or so coming out of the water, I tracked them down early in the bike, and it was game over from there. See kids, its fun data-picking the results!

So it was a good day! Got not only my first podium, but also my first big W all at the same time!...actually its the first race I have EVER took first place in in in my whole life. And one final braggadocio (since this might be the only time I ever win a race since I am age grouping up to the uber competitive M30-34 next year): Apparently they take the top 20 from the previous year and stick them into the 'elite' wave for the next year. Daunting? YEP! I gotta get a LOT faster!!!! (more on this in a future post about my future in triathlon)

I'd like to thank Heinz
After the race, I treated myself to a McDonald's breakfast and hit the road for Quassy, CT to spectate for some awesome people @ Rev3. Stay tuned for my spectator report!!!


  1. Frickin awesome dude!

    What did you say in your victory/acceptance speech?

    I absolutely love a good sprint tri now that I have done longer races. Balls to the wall from start to finish.

    I actually tried the flying mount/dismount earlier this week to see if it would help me. Yeah. No such luck. I think I would have lost time with how long it took me to actually get in my shoes once on the bike. haha. I guess I have to practice that more.

    Now, I gotta get my butt in gear and my race report up.

  2. Congrats on the win! Simply awesome!

  3. seriously your numbers are kinda sick...22 mph and 6:40 run you were smoking! and you still had time to stop by are too funny! That is so cool to actually get 1st....not 2nd not 3rd... 1st! and 20th overall smoking

  4. "elevated my heart rate to ridiculous"



    way to GO!
    well earned W

  5. Why to go buddy!!! Loved your descriptions of going through transitions! I started to spin out of T1 on the bike like it was a HIM today and quickly remembered it was a sprint too!!! Hurt like hell the entire bike!

  6. Internet High-5! You deserve this for how hard you work. I loved the part on the run where you said "I elevated my heart rate to ridiculous." Cause there's no better way to explain a ridiculous heart rate. LOL!

  7. Wow, super fast stuff! Congratulations! That run time is sick! Well done, and thanks for checking in this weekend, most appreciated!

  8. Wow!! Congrats how cool is that!! And in the elite group next year....go for it!

  9. Congrats on your big win and huge PR!!! Sounds like an awesome day all around!

  10. That's awesome! You had a fabulous race! It's fun to see how far you've come.

    And I'm super jealous that you went to Quassy! I know you saw Mandy a few times...

  11. Heck yeah!!!!!! Way to go! You're the man, and that was an AWESOME race. Way to hammer through the pain and stick it to all the other age groupers. Nice work. Congratulations, and enjoy your recovery.

  12. Awesome job! Congrats on the big win! Starting in the elite wave next year will be uber-cool.

  13. You freaking ROCK!! I am so stoked for you. You just keep getting faster and faster!!

  14. I dont scoff at any distance. You are right, sprints HURT ALOT!!

    Congrats, great race and super congrats on taking your age group

  15. Dude, I love sprints. Why? YOU NEVER EVER LET OFF THE GAS ONCE!

    It is balls to the wall. Granted I can't do an IM distance like anyone else out there, but a sprint, I can go hardcore for an hour or so and then die.

    LOVE SPRINTS. I took a lot of crap for doing sprints last year but to be honest, where can you mimic that speed work?

    Your points were 100% right too, in sprints, transition time is HUGE! I have speed laces on all my shoes regardless, but yeah, have to actually worry about transitions haha.

    Awesome job, feels good to open the flood gates and crush it! LOVE the medals too!!!

  16. that's awesome!! congrats on the big win!

  17. Congrats on the win. Awesome news.

    Your description of the sprint is exactly why I am afraid to do them again after having done them all of last season. The prospect of 195 bpm for 1 hour is frigtening now.....LOL!

  18. Kaboom! (sonic boom)
    That is fantastic. Congrats!

  19. Congrats on your win! Okay, you just made me nervous, my first tri is this August, a sprint!!!!

  20. Woohoo! Awesome job! Congrats on winning your AG!!! That is just awesome!!
    Sprints are so much fun, but they do HURT!!

  21. Wow. Congrats on your first podium! You've earned it buddy!

    Sprints are scary. There is nothing easy about them!

  22. Congrats on the AG win and the kickass overall performance!

    I agree that the sprint hurts in a totally different way, but I think they're a fun mental break from 70.3/IM training. Doing my only one of the season next weekend and I can't wait!


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