2009 3Sports Sprint Triathlon – Race Report

The 3Sports Sprint Triathlon just outside Richmond, VA is a great entry-level triathlon. It consists of a 300m pool swim, 20k bike, 5k run. I continue to perform poorly on the bike, and excellent on the run. I always have spent more time on my feet than on my ass.

300m pool swim, 20k bike, 5k run

The course

It’s identical to that of the HHHunt PowerSprint which takes place in May. So if you’re looking to see how you’ve improved from one race to another, these two are just far enough apart to get some decent training in-between.

The Swim

My swim was almost identical to the PowerSprint. I ended up being a few seconds faster. This race only had 10 seconds in between each swimmer (as opposed to 15 sec), but the pool was no more crowded than it was for the PowerSprint.

The Bike

I tried something new. I had my shoes already attached to my bike. When I entered T1, I threw on my shades and helmet, and ran barefoot to the mounting area. My feet were on top of my shoes (not inside of them yet), and I pedaled out onto the course. As I was coasting, I worked my feet into my shoes.

Doing what the elites do = Fail

I saw the elites doing this, so I thought I’d give it a try. It makes sense to cut down on total time because you’re putting your shoes on while moving, instead of while standing still. But it’s definitely something you should practice before doing it in a race. It took me almost 3 full minutes to get both shoes on, and one of them still wasn’t securely on my foot. It probably cost me more time than if I had just put them on in the transition area.

My chain popped at about mile 2. Stopping, putting it back on, and getting back up to speed, probably cost me about 2 minutes total time. A little bummer, but the fact that I got it back on and successfully finished the next 10 miles is something I’m proud of. I’m far from the world’s greatest bike mechanic.

The run

Hot damn. I continue to surprise and impress myself. Completed the run in 22:54 (a 7:22/mi pace). I did take the bike a little easier, and focused on pushing myself on the run. But that’s still a great time for me. And it makes perfect sense because I’ve been running 40-50 mile weeks for the past 5 weeks. Training works.

Smart (or dumb) training

One other note to mention is that I ran 22 miles the day before the race. So I wouldn’t say I was well-rested, but when I needed them, my legs came through.

This will probably be my last tri of the season. I’ll continue to focus on my training for the Old Dominion 100 in June 2010. I’ll most likely either continue training for ultra runs, or try my hand at some longer distance tris.

The result

300m Swim, 6:25
T1, 1:27
20k Bike, 43:12
T2, 0:41
5k Run, 22:54
Overall, 1:14:38

2009 Smithfield Sprint Triathlon – Race Report

This was my first triathlon… ever. I started with an easy one, where the swim was only 300m, and took place in an indoor pool. It was fantastic weather, and a beautiful, rural location. A much different experience from the standard road running race.

300m pool swim, 10mi bike, 5k run

My first triathlon… ever.

The weather, beautiful. The course, a great one for beginners. Overall, a great first race.

The swim

I began the swim nervous. Butterflies kicked in with 4 swimmers ahead of me. We started in 15-second increments. To my surprise, after 100m, I had caught up to the woman in front of me. I ended up passing a total of 4 people before I exited the pool. If you’ve seen me swim before, you’d understand why this was a nice confidence booster.

A lesson in transition

I hit the transition area and couldn’t get my top on. This cost me about 15-20 seconds. I learned for next time, just wear the whole thing from the start.

The bike

The bike course was very flat with a few rolling hills. Mostly rural area, farmland, very little traffic, beautiful scenery. Maybe I spent too much time taking it all in. 37min+ for my bike time… ouch. But I knew this was my weakest area, so no real surprise. And my chain popped yesterday on a short practice run when trying to switch into the bigger gears, so I was tentative. I never touched the big ring.

The run

Solid transition to the run. Under a minute. I was worried about the jelly-leg syndrome I had heard rumors about. Going from the bike to the run using different leg muscles. I think I experienced it for the first 1/2 mile or so. After that, I fell into a nice zone and finished strong. For the remaining part of the run, I felt great. Finished the run in 24:07, a 7:45 pace. This is fast for me even on a good day.

Overall, great experience. A little different than the standard running races I’ve been used to. But equally, if not more, fun. Looking forward to a few more this summer. Ironman still in my sights, but man do I need some serious work on the bike first.

The result

300m swim – 6:30
T1 – 1:57
10 mile bike – 37:47
T2 – 0:59
5k run – 24:07
Overall time – 1:11:18