Jack’s Generic Tri: Race Report

Taken from Colin’s Triathlon, a blog written by Rogue and guest writer Colin Moss

The day started out simple enough, alarm clock was blaring, Oskar was staring, and my third triathlon of the Texas Tri Series was starting in a few hours. I got out of bed, drank a half cup of coffee, showered, loaded the car with all of my gear and drove down to the Texas Ski Ranch for Jack’s Generic Triathlon. This time I remembered my water bottle. A really bad wreck on the highway diverted traffic off the interstate and added some stressful minutes to the trip. We had to park a ways away from the entrance to the event but by the time I got into transition I was good to go.
I ran into Dale, my roommates father, and he seemed pretty excited for his first triathlon. He had a great story about buying a pair of backup goggles the day before the race and then stepping on one of his pair of goggles the morning of his race. Lucky for him except I think he would have preferred to break the other pair. He would later tell me the goggles he did wear were the ones that leaked real bad. I also found my friend Tanner in transition. Tanner is a super fast triathlete who is scorching up these race courses. He is ranked 5th overall in his age group which seems to be the most competitive age group for each race and the whole series.
After talking with those two guys I finished setting up my transition mat, bike, shoes, put on sunscreen, grabbed my goggles and swim cap and headed out to do a little warm up swim. The water felt great and it helped to settle the nerves. About 30 minutes later we we lining up for the start of the race. My group was the third to go so I didn’t have to wait too long. Right before they let us in the water a guy in the group ahead of us had some difficulties early in the swim (at the very start) and had to exit the race. He got out of the water and they cut his timing chip off his leg right then and there. It was weird to witness especially right before our group started.

Setting my watch and asking directions

We got into the water and headed for the front of the pack. My theory was to sprint out the first 50 or 100 meters and then get into a comfortable pace. That way I wouldn’t have to pass anyone and the faster guys would have to pass me. I ended up being at the very front which was a little nerve racking. For some reason everybody was looking at me like I was the go to guy for the swim. To break the ice I looked around confusedly and asked the guys next to me which way we were going. A couple of them laughed but a couple of them either didn’t get that I was joking or didn’t think it was funny. One stretched out his arm and pointed his finger in the direction of the buoys and said, “Umm that way.”
The starting horn sounded and we were off.  I stuck to my plan and sprinted the first 100 meters. So did all of the other guys around me. Actually about 25 of the guys finished ahead of me in the swim. I swam the 500 meters in 10 minutes flat, but by the time I got out of the water I had some catching up to do. My friend Chris was a volunteer at the race. His job was to help the swimmers out of the water. He was on the left hand side of the swim exit so I headed for him. He grabbed my arm and yelled great job to me and then I was off.
I got through transition in 2:03 which is about a minute slower than the fastest transition time for my group. I need to improve a little on that. I clipped into the bike and headed out. Immediately I noticed there was something very wrong with my new water bottle. The Velcro strap holding the bottle in place had failed and I was stuck holding my water bottle with my left hand for the whole 13.8 miles. I couldn’t stand up for any of the climbs and I couldn’t shift out of my big chainring. Oh well. I still did the ride in 41:06 averaging just over 20 mph giving me 9th overall in my age group for the bike section.

Actor Reenactment
Empty Bike Racks
I got off the bike and entered transition cutting the number of guys ahead of me in half. I like getting off the bike and not seeing too many bikes on the racks. I had an average second transition time and then it was time for the run. Once again I tanked on the run. I had strength left in my legs but it was my cardio that cut out on me. I couldn’t breathe very well and my heart rate was through the roof. I need to figure something out to help me run faster and for a longer period of time. I ended up with a pace of about 8:41 minute miles which is about a minute and a half slower per mile than what I want and have been training at. It is very frustrating. My total time was 1:20:26 which was good enough for 12th place in my group. I did move up from 6th to 5th overall in the whole Tri Series for my age group which is very good news.
All in all I am happy with the race and I am learning a lot about triathlons and myself in this whole 10 month journey of training and racing. Some things I need to learn better. I need to learn to not start off the bike portion of the race in my largest gear possible. It makes it very difficult to get going. I am learning though. Two more races to go. Congratulations to everybody who competed at the race and thank you to everyone who came out to cheer us on.
Dale and I at the Finish
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