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Race Result

Racer: Mike Tine
Race: Capital of Texas Triathlon
Date: Monday, May 29, 2006
Location: Austin, TX
Race Type: Triathlon - International Distance
Age Group: Male 30 - 34
Time: 2:22:31
Overall Place: 106 / 1226
Age Group Place: 18 / 144
Comment: Awesome swim/bike, cracked on 2nd lap of run

Race Report:

Swim - 22:17 (10th in AG)
T1 - 2:42 (huge transition area to run through)
Bike - 1:04:14 (14th in AG)
T2 - 1:51
Run - 51:22 (48th in AG)

This was a fun race. It was huge, with 2500 competitors overall, 1226 finishers of the Olympic race. There were 144 competitors in my age group! Although I'm only 34, USAT rules moved me to the 35-39 AG this year so I'm young for my group.

Let's get the excuses out of the way first. I haven't had much time to train due to work and travel. Additionally, the time I've spent training has been in mostly 60-degree and 70-degree weather.

With that said, I went into this race hoping for a good showing. I wasn't nervous, and was looking forward to an interesting multi-lap race. I was in the 2nd to last Olympic wave, to be followed by the Sprint waves, so it might be crowded out there given the 4 laps on the bike! Thankfully, it was a 6-lane road closed to traffic, so easy to avoid drafting.

When I got to the transition area in the morning, I noticed my front tire had blown sometime overnight. Oh well, at least it was the easier one to change! The athletes next to me were kind enough to lend me their pump and levers as I'd forgotten those at the hotel. On to the race.

It was a deep-water start, so we hopped off the dock into the Town Lake. There were about 75 of us in this wave, and I started up toward the front. When the gun went off, I pushed the first 50 meters to get ahead of the pack. It worked, and I was swimming with a group up front. Then a pack of 3 swimmers or so pulled away without my noticing, and I pulled away from the rest of the pack, so I was in no-man's land between the leaders and the pack. But open water suits me well, so I got into a smooth rhythm, looking up every 30 strokes or so. Long and strong was my mantra. It worked. Without feeling too strained, I laid down a 22:31 1500m open water swim with zero warmup due to my late wave.

T1 was nothing special, but I managed to only go 6 seconds slower than the eventual winner, so I was ecstatic with the time!

On the bike course, I had trouble catching my breath for the first of four 10k laps. I was getting worried, but then I settled into a rhythm and dusted the rider with whom I'd been yo-yoing for a lap and a half. I was feeling great! Passing everyone, cornering exceptionally well - at least better than those around me - and generally just cranking through the course. As I neared the finish of the 4th lap, I took off one shoe, cornered around the u-turn at this point, pulled down into the transition area, took off the other shoe, and cruised into transition. Several bikers from a prior wave got in my way at transition, but I ran around them and headed to my bike which was about 40 racks into transition. I ended up with a 23.1 mph average which was good for this course.

T2 was generally unremarkable, but I decided to wear socks due to the hot and humid weather that had appeared. This was a good decision that may have cost me a few seconds in transition, but so what, especially since I had the exact same T2 time as the winner even with the extra time spent on socks.

I started feeling the heat (95 and humid) during the first 5k lap, but still felt good. About 2 miles into the race, kilt-wearing Angus asked to run with me since we were about the same pace. He kept me cranking through the remainder of the first lap which turned out to be around 6:45 pace. Then I think somebody dropped a piano on me. I just cracked. I started getting light-headed and had chills, never a good sign in 95/humid weather. So I slowed down to maybe 8-minute pace. Then walked. Then slowed down further. Then walked. I was toast. Overall, I ended up averaging 8:16, so I did about 9:45 pace for the 2nd lap. Oh well, I finished and didn't end up in the medical tent.

Given my level of run fitness, this wasn't a surprising outcome, but I was still disappointed because my swim and bike were so great even without much training. I calculated that I was in about 50th overall (including pros), and somewhere between 5-10 in my AG before the run, and even 1/2-way through the run. Given that there were between 1226 and 1500 competitors, I was ecstatic with this. I'm happy with 106th and 18th respectively, but disappointed in the cracking on the run. I was only 3 minutes from 10th place, which I easily could have hit with even 7-minute pace at the end.

Afterward, I had to sit in the shade for about 15 minutes rehydrating, sucking on popsicles, and recuperating. So, what did I learn? Basically that I need to run more. So I've begun.

I highly recommend this race to anyone. Well run, great swag, lots of competitors, great city (Austin, TX).