Age Group National Championships (Olympic distance) was a little over 2 weeks ago so the race report is a little late but I wanted to get the pictures in before doing a report. First things first, I have to say that USAT put on a very classy event. They were able to handle tons of athletes and get them through the check in process, to the start line, and through the course with little to no problems that I can speak of. The course was absolutely gorgeous and a ton of spectators made it out to support all of us.
Pre race dinner
Because some of you who know Ross Turner, this wont be a surprise. The day before the race I’m sitting in the truck waiting for transition to open and I can put my bike in. After killing some time on the internet I browse on over the facebook and who should come across my news feed… none other than Ross in a picture with Chrissie Wellington (multiple x Ironman World Champion) who was speaking at the prerace dinner in Milwaukee. I immediately sent him a text and we were able to get dinner that night before the race. So it turns out you can't get too far from home without running into someone you know. What I thought was going to be a solo trip turned into a pretty interesting evening and got to meet a few new people while catching up with good friends.
Swim – 1500 meters – 23:12
The swim took place in a protected cove off Lake Michigan. We started with a mass age group in water start with about 150 of my closest friends. The swim started out wide but we had to funnel the entire group through about a 25 yard wide gap in the cove. This lead to some pretty aggressive swimming by all the racers. It was a situation where you never swam by yourself and there was always an arm or a leg that was knocking you around. Luckily I managed to escape the water with no significant damage and felt solid the whole time. The past couple of races I feel like I have been going out too hard in the swim, loosing my breath, then having to play catch up for the remaining 1000 meters. So this time I focused on the pace and tried to maintain something solid. There was so much passing and hitting that I don’t think I was able to draft in the water very effectively but that didn’t keep me from trying a couple of times.
Bike – 40K – 1:03:57
Once out of the water I felt great and made my way through the extensive transition for which some reason I was unable to find my bike for about 45 seconds (over 2500 bikes in there, not saying that’s an excuse, but just a perspective). It turned out that I hadn’t ran down the aisle in transition long enough to get to my slot. No worries though, once the Shiv was located I mounted up and started hammering. It was a pretty flat course with only 3 hills that would be worth counting. The wind was the enemy of the day. Since the course was situated along the waters edge we had a pretty strong head wind a times but since it was an out and back we also had a tail wind at times to help us along.
I stayed with a pack of about 3 guys, not drafting, but staying more than legal distance away from each other. This distance race is a little different than ironman or half ironman. The intensity is higher so there is no real chatter on the bike. I used to other riders to gauge my effort and make sure I didn’t let them leave me behind basically.
When it was all said and done I averaged ~250watts for the bike ride. I know that’s not stellar but it’s a new metric for me to keep track of and hopefully I can get those watts up in the future.
Run – 10K – 41:21
Now the time of the run is not something that I am particularly proud of. I ran a 36ish 10k in Charleston earlier this year and had a 38 10k at the Bluegrass 10,000. It seems my run has been getting slower all season. Not to worry though, running has made my problems list for things to work on in the winter. But what I was most proud of on the run was the consistency. I was able to maintain consistent mile through out the race without running a 5:30 at first only to be slowed to a crawl by mile 5. I started out with pacing in mind and played it smart the whole day.
76th in the AG 25-29
In the end I’m pleased with coming in the top 100. I know its not a stellar result to come in top 100 in your age group but when it’s the National Championships it kinda puts things into perspective. I’ve already put this race on my calendar for next year I had such a great time.
I want to say thanks to all the support from friends who followed me during the race to family members that have given so much support and for some reason continue to put with all the long hours. I could not do it without you! Also huge shout out to TriSports.com for all the support they have given me this season. They were represented well in WI and from what I hear the team had a great experience representing.
Only a hand full of races left on the schedule before we call it a season, but until then keep training!!