Did the NJ state triathlon on Sunday in and around the very pleasant Mercer County Park. Since the race started at 7:30am and packet pickup was required the previous day I drove and split a hotel room with another DCTri guy, Rudy. I kind of liked the general organization I was forced into because of this, though I'd still prefer my own bed (and free accommodations). After a 5 + hour drive that should have been 3 I made packet pickup with a 1/2 to spare and then hit the DCTri dinner of pasta and salad. Perfect pre-race experience and I got to meet a few more DCTri'ers which is always a good thing.
Got everything set up that night and got to bed around 9:30 or so. Didn't sleep great but that's pretty much my M.O. the night before a race. Woke up to a bagel, cliff bar and headed to the course. Set up my transition area and walked the swim to T1 course, the T1 to bike course and back to T2 and finally the T2 to run. Pretty simple and straightforward so I downed half a banana and headed to the swim start about 300 meters down the shore. Got a nice 250 or so meter warm up in the water to try and get rid of the initial shock of the swim.
My wave started 3rd and I did what I could to tread towards the front of the pack. The start was a bit crazy and the swim was the most aggressive I've done yet. A lot of pulling, scratching and general crap going on in the water by people all over. I felt like I was swimming alright but despite my efforts to go a bit harder then I usually have I still ended up 90th overall on my swim time. I swam up on the group in front of mine but that just made things more difficult since at no time during the swim could I get clear of the rest of the pack. Not sure if that was due to the short distance or what.
500 meter swim: 8:25
Overall Swim Rank: 90
T1 felt like it took me forever, though I'm really not sure why. It took too long to put on my helmet glasses and race belt but it shouldn't have. I may have just been a bit winded from the run from the lake since I sprinted past a few people on the way up the hill.
The bike course was a great fast and flat course made for high speeds. It did feel like there was a pretty solid headwind the entire way but I feel like I had a pretty good ride. I continuously passed people on the course, some on mountain bikes and some on sweet tri-specific rigs with aero helmets (or sperm helmets as my girlfriend likes to call them) and zipps. If I had to guess I'd say I rolled up at least 50 riders though I wouldn't be surprised if that were a low ball estimate. The course was packed and I was certainly not surprised to see some drafting penalties issued from what I saw. A couple of times I dolled out some watch the drafting warnings when I'd pass some larger groups of riders. Probably should have ridden the turns a bit more aggressively but with the number of riders that were on the course, and more importantly the number of shaky riders, I stayed a bit more reserved. At the finish of the bike I pulled my feet out of the shoes since there was a longer and somewhat hillier re-entry to t2 which went smoothly though may have taken a bit longer then necessary and a few guys I'd just passed passed me back to the dismount.
11.5 Mile Bike: 29:00
Speed: 23.8 MPH
Overall Rank: 16th
T2 was better then T1 though still should have been faster. I had a little trouble getting a hold of the lace to pull it tight with the new lace system but not too serious. Should be solidly under 1 minute in both transitions though, especially t2.
The run portion I wanted to make sure I didn't go out too hard since I didn't know the course at all and at General Smallwood I basically cracked from going out to hard to start. I felt pretty good on the start though didn't get moving too quickly. I still was moving well though and was running down people in front of me pretty regularly. I noticed one guy ahead who was keeping a steady distance between us and made it my goal to pick him off. It took probably 2 and a half miles but I did manage to catch him. During the middle of the run I definitely lost focus as my stomach bloated a bit from trying to throw what I thought was water but was actually heed down my throat. The cold towels at the aid station felt incredible though despite the fact it wasn't nearly as hot as it could have been. When I caught my goal runner I ended up unfocused and just running right behind him for a little bit before waking up mentally and picking up the pace to run by and drop him quickly. My final mile was almost definitely my fastest as I regained my focus a bit more there but still I didn't break the 20 minute mark. The fastest runner on the day ran a 15:59 (overall winner) followed by 17:11 (2nd overall) so I've definitely got some room to improve on my running. The fitness is there though, it's just the mental part that kills me.
5k Run time: 20:47
Overall Rank: 32
Overall another solid race with with strong run and bike and a somewhat less then stellar swim.
Overall Time: 1:01.14
Overall Placement: 15th out of 1020 finishers
Overall Men: 14th out of 549
Division (Men 25-29): 2nd (3rd?) out of 33
The second I assume was out of registered age groupers in my division while the 3rd is overall age group. The first place in my age group was 2nd overall (7+ minutes faster then me) and the 2nd place of my age group was 4th (about 5 mins faster) though so I've got some serious work to do on catching those guys... Once again though I see where the time can come off when I put my mind to it. Mentally I need to get better on both the bike and run (especially the run) and physically I have GOT to work on my swim!
Results Links: Overall
No pics up yet... Brightroom was there though. I was bib 352.