Advertisements

Race Report – Vincentown SuperSprint Triathlon

Here’s a quick write-up on my last triathlon event for the season (back in August). This was something that just sounded like a lot of fun to all of my fast-twitch muscles – a super sprint! Even shorter than a traditional sprint triathlon, maybe I could truly manage to sprint in this one?

The Vincentown SuperSprint was held in southern New Jersey in the small town of Vincentown. The event was also on a Thursday evening, which meant it was easier to manage it around my work schedule. The race distances were: 200-yard swim, 5.75-mile bike, and a 1.3-mile run.

Packet pick-up was that evening, and they were also taking on-site registrations. The atmosphere was low-key and beginner-friendly. There was plenty of parking at the fire house (this was also where packet pick-up was hosted), and the transition area was just across a small bridge from there. I set up my transition area, choosing to go with the no-sock approach again for speed in transition. The race also allowed you to choose your own place in transition, so I got a good spot – pretty close to the bike in/out, but right next to the run out.

Transition map

I spent some time walking around and looking at the water next. The swim was going to be in a small lake, and there were already markers set up to mark the exit point. However, while standing there, it became quickly obvious that a horde of wasps was in the process of building nests in the mud at the shoreline. I brought this to the attention of one of the volunteers, and he had the fire department take care of the wasps.

It turns out that the swim start was in-water, but everyone had to wade in through the swim exit to get into position. The event was so small that rather than age groups, they just divided the competitors into two groups – men and women. The men started first and were quickly away with the women starting two or three minutes later.

Wading in, the water temperature was reasonable (not sure I ever heard what it was though), BUT the bottom was rather unpleasant and mucky. So while the course and distances were otherwise beginner-friendly, this part of the day was not. If you’re squeamish at all about murky water, this may not be the race for you. I tried not to think about it too much and figured I’d be out of the water soon enough.

The swim course was a short rectangle with two left turns and a return back to shore. The race director had said that we would probably be able to touch the bottom and stand if we were nervous in the water. One one turn, I did reach down and found the bottom before changing direction and continuing. I didn’t have any problems and came out mid-pack. The run to transition was very brief (just across the street), and I easily found my bike and headed out on the bike course.

I did hear of one person crashing at the beginning of the bike section. There was some type of plastic grate on the shoulder of the bridge just after turning out of transition. I believe the athlete who crashed was focused on clipping in and hit this grate with his front tire (at least it was at low speed). I think a few people got lost on the course too, but I didn’t have any problem following the directions from the volunteers.

vincentownsupersprint-343-ZF-0411-85184-1-001-002

The bike was a single loop, and as usual, I passed a lot of people on this part. I tried to race this more like a time trial, and harder than I probably should have. My heart rate was pegged around 175 – 180 for most of it. The road surface was mainly smooth and there was little traffic, although the roads were not closed.

I rolled back in to transition, stashed my bike, and ran out for a quick sprint. My legs felt better than they usually did at this point, maybe because the entire course was so short? The run course took me through town, up a slight incline, and out on a dirt road to loop around a field.

A couple of other women passed me on the run, but I knew I didn’t have much more speed to give. After coming around the back side of the field, the course retraced the outbound section, going downhill. When I knew I only had a short distance left, I was able to push harder for a strong finish.

The firehouse had snacks and drinks – pizza, bananas, and water. I don’t remember what the other offerings were. I hung around for a bit afterwards to find out my results, and yay – I ended up first in my age group!

20689641_10210846947504785_3070577645160937371_o

Advertisements

Race Report – NJ State Triathlon (sprint)

I finally found a little free time and am just catching up on some writing, so I thought I’d do a couple of belated race reports first. I raced in the New Jersey State Triathlon for the second time back on July 22, in the sprint distance event. I had participated in the same event last year, so this was the first time I’ve had a chance to compare my performance on the same event from one year to the next.

njtrimedal

Finisher medals from this event are huge!

This event consisted of a 500-meter swim, an 11.5-mile bike course, and a 3.1-mile run. The race was well-run and I had no trouble getting my race packet, finding parking, and setting up in transition. I’m starting to feel a little more accustomed to how this triathlon thing works and I think that’s helping with my pre-race sleep, although I’m still not a morning person.

Much of the race was identical to last year. My goals were to be faster in each discipline, but also in my transitions. I had hoped to fit in more specific training, but a sudden change in my work schedule made that impossible. I had only done a few short bike rides, a few 2-mile runs, and one swim session in the pool since Eagleman 6 weeks earlier.

The water that morning was super warm – 88 degrees Fahrenheit – but I was still cold until the very end. My lack of swimming leading up to race day was apparent when I felt rather winded on the final inbound leg. Oh well, the bike was next and that is where I’m strongest.

Transition1

Transition set up

For T1, I only threw on my helmet, glasses, and cycling shoes, skipping out on socks, gloves, drying my feet, water, or a snack. This worked well and I was quickly out on the bike course. This was much as I remembered it, with several turns and a nearly flat course. Police directed traffic at intersections, and cones separated the athletes from traffic. I passed a lot of people, but that was how 2016 also went, and fit with my expected swim slow–bike pretty fast–run really slow pattern.

Finally I returned to transition and had to leave my bike behind for the final section of the race. I swapped out cycling shoes for running shoes, still with no socks, and exchanged my helmet for a visor, ditching the sunglasses, but also picking up my race belt and number.

I don’t think that the air temperature was as hot as last year, but I still felt like I struggled on the run. I had hoped to run under 30 minutes for the course, but couldn’t quite do it. I still finished about 5 minutes faster than last year, so I was happy overall. And the no-sock technique helped my transitions, but I did get blisters on my feet in the last mile of the run. Fortunately they were not as epic as those from Eagleman.

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 805 other followers

%d bloggers like this: