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Race Result

Racer: Mike Tine
Race: Reston Triathlon
Date: Sunday, September 10, 2006
Location: Reston, VA
Race Type: Triathlon - International Distance
Age Group: Male 35 - 39
Time: 2:11:37
Overall Place: 16 / 481
Age Group Place: 4 / 62
Comment: Great race. Not perfect, but pretty close.

Race Report:

Swim - 26:08
T1 - 1:14
Bike - 58:45
T2 - 0:47
Run - 44:44
Total - 2:11:37

Iíve been excited for the Reston Triathlon all year. Itís exciting to me for several reasons: itís local, so easy to get to; itís local, so there are a lot of people I know competing; itís local, so I get to race Kevin Kunkel! This last one is funny for both of us. Kevin and I are mere days apart in age, similar body types, we have similar times in races, and most importantly, he beat me by 5 seconds in the 2005 Reston Triathlon. Kevinís been training hard for the Chesapeakeman Iron-distance triathlon in a couple of weeks, so I was worried about his biking. Iím always worried about his running since thatís his background. Iím absolutely not worried about his swimming ;-) Basically, I knew the race would come down to this Ė Iíd get out of the water ahead of Kevin, lose some of that time on the bike (how much?), and then try to hold off Kevin in the run.

Seriously, while beating Kevin was a sub-goal of mine, my main goal was to improve on my performance from last year. Last year, I was very happy with my swim, somewhat happy with my bike, and not at all happy with my run. However, Iíve been training for the NYC Marathon, so I hoped that would at least help my endurance on the run. I also got new weaponry for the bike (Litespeed Saber, Renn 575 disk wheel, aero helmet) which I hoped would offset my lack of cycling this year.

Given my new weaponry, I was still somewhat surprised to see the upsurge in high-end tri bikes with high-end disk and aero wheels as well as aero helmets.

I dropped Karen off at T1 at 0-dark-thirty, and arrived at T2 at around 5:30am. I parked in one of the last few spots in the convenient parking lot above the transition area, picked up my chip, and went to rack my bike. By getting there early, I got a prime spot in my row, set up my transition, and went to use the ďsecretĒ port-o-potty next to the track. My one question Ė why do people mess up the toilet seats when there is a convenient urinal in the same stall?!? Anyway, when I got back to my transition spot, Kevin Kunkel and Will Waskes were there setting up. We chatted for a bit, and then said weíd meet at T1. I headed off and ended up being the ďlead lightĒ for a few cyclists. Seriously, itís far too dangerous to bike in the dark without at least a flashlight in hand; I donít understand how people couldnít bring flashlights for this trek. When arriving at T1, I saw Karen who instructed me to drop off my bike and then get body marked. I was happy to see that I was one of the closest racks to the exit, giving me more time to get off my wetsuit, while still giving me a short trip to the exit. After a bunch more milling about and a quick kiss from Karen (to those guys gathered around her at body-marking, NO, you canít get a kiss too!), I entered the water and warmed up quickly. The water temperature was excellent. Very comfortable.

When the horn finally blew, I tried to stay in Dave Cascioís wake, but to no avail. He took off (and I think came out of the water in 3rd place!). I settled into a rhythm, and swam at the pace that I thought would be fast but allow me to be reasonably well-rested for the bike. There were no surprises on the swim, so I enjoyed it, and got out to see Michael Smith directing (and cheering) us in. Thanks Michael!

It was an easy T2, and reasonably fast at 1:14. I saw Brady come in, so I knew it would be only a short while before he caught and passed me. I didnít see Dave Orton who apparently came in only 2 seconds behind me (so you were the one tapping my feet!). The only mishap was that my sunglasses fogged up as I left T2 due to the water dripping off of me (same thing happened last yearÖitís the only race for which this happens to meÖany thoughts?). That was fixed within 50 yards of moving on the bike.

The first half of the first lap of the bike course was tough, but I expected that since the same thing happened to me at the Capital of Texas Triathlon. Brady passed me on Lawyers as expected. I passed several people and got passed by several people, but overall I netted a positive result on the bike and felt smooth and strong. Still no KevinÖI wonder how much time Iíve got before he catches me? My position on my tri bike felt very comfortable, so that made me happy too. Beautiful day for a bike ride :-D

As I approached Ridge Heights, I kept pushing, but eased up on the gearing a little to loosen up the legs. I took out one foot just before the turn into the high school, and the other foot out about half way down the road. Then pedaled to the dismount point, jumped off, promptly lost a shoe from my clips (first time that happened), started to head back to pick it up, the volunteers said theyíd get it, so I kept going. The shoe was back with me in transition despite a blazingly fast 47-second T2!

It was good to see Karen as I came out of T2, and while somewhat tight, my legs felt good. I passed a couple of guys as I ran past the elementary school, and kept on running, hoping for about a 7-minute pace. After about a mile, I started mild cramping in my quads and hamstrings, and mild cramping in my sides. I did some breathing exercises (breath in one, breath out threeÖ) and tried to use my hip flexors to ease these pains. This worked after about a mile of doing this and, of course, slowing down. Then the feet started to hurt. Uh oh, big blisters on the insteps. I ran through it, looking forward to the downhills for pace and ease, but not for the pain on the blisters. At the turnaround, I timed the distance between me and Kevin Kunkel. 2:20. Okay, can I fend him off for 3 more miles? I donít know. My pace picked up, though, because my cramps were gone, and my marathon endurance kicked in! I got passed by some speedsters, but passed a couple of them back. With about ĺ mile to go, I passed one more guy (who had passed me near the turnaround) and pushed the pace little by little. I dropped him, so he was about :20 back by the time I hit the track. I picked up the pace again to make sure I wouldnít get caught, and finished strong in 16th place overall. Kevin finished about 1:20 back, probably because he basically trained through this race for Chesapeakeman. Next year, Kevin, next year!

My thoughts on each section, in summary, compared to last year:

My swim was slower by about 1-1/2 minutes. I havenít trained as much this year, nor have I lifted as much. Iím a power swimmer (vs. finesse/technique), so this hurt my time.

My bike was faster by several minutes despite not training as much as last year. Apparently, getting more aero helps :-D

My run was definitely faster than last year, although not as fast as I hoped. This was mainly due to the mile of cramping that I endured. Still, though, not a bad day of running.

My stretch goal was top 10. My main goal was top 15 overall, top 5 in age group, and to break 2:10. I got 16th overall and 4th in my age group (well 5th if you include the 2nd place person overall) in 2:11:37, so I almost hit my main goal and dropped about 4 minutes from last yearís time. The only reason I missed it was because of the mild cramping in the middle of the run. I had great transitions and an overall good race.

Somewhat sore today, and the blisters hurt.

Awesome volunteers, awesome race swag, awesome run course marking! Thanks to all for putting on a great local race!