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Race Result

Racer: Charles Barnes
Race: The Nation's Triathlon (TNT)
Date: Sunday, September 13, 2009
Location: Washington, DC
Race Type: Triathlon - International Distance
Age Group: Male 40 - 44
Time: 2:26:46
Overall Place: 295 / 2480
Age Group Place: 49 / 459
Comment: Didn't drown, rocked the bike, solid run

Race Report:

Swim 32:10 (1:58min/100yds)
T1 3:07
Bike 1:05:47 (22.6mph on the Merlin)
T2 2:01
Run 43:42 (7:03min/mi)

Transitions were good and fast, but times are high because transition area was MASSIVE to hold 4500 racers.

Total 2:26:46

I'm quite please with my result, but as always, I know I could have done better.

I have real mixed feelings about this race. The course was excellent (among my favorites!), but the size made it a logistical pain in the butt. It was just too big. The Saturday bike drop off was necessary I concede but a pain. I drove to the mall, rode to the Hilton above DuPont for the race briefing and packet pickup, and rode back down to check my bike, then race back to the car -- the warmup was nice, but it just took forever.

Hopefully Nation's and Reston will be on different days next year. I'll probably opt for Reston next time figuring it is way easier logistically and costs half as much (assuming I get in).

There were 31 waves to start the 4500 athletes, so the waves were BIG. Since the waves were 3min apart, the last wave to start was 1.5hrs after the first wave, so the elites were out of T2 by then! I was in wave 13. They caged all athletes in a 'swim pen' 15min before wave 1 -- those in the last wave were stuck there for 2hrs before starting (thankfully that wasn't me!)

My swim was OK. Since there were so many in the water it was 'washing machine' start to finish. I got and gave plenty of kicks, foot grabs, head knocks, etc. About halfway through I got a heel to the left eye. My goggles didn't come off, but instead was pushed on so tight I thought the suction would pull my eyeball out -- no leak, but it was very uncomfortable. I was glad I put the goggle strap under the swim cap.

The water was actually quite nice. I could see toes and bubbles from people in front of me.

Uneventful, just a long long run to get to my bike. I took time for gloves since I was on my road bike.

I've been training for SavageMan on my road bike so I opted to use it for this race. I pushed pretty hard the whole way and averaged 22.6mph per official timing. The course was excellent, but at times too narrow to hold the number of racers. Occassionally I had to slow and wait for a gap to pass.

Some guy was blatantly drafting me and another right out of T1 to when I dropped him for good on a long slow rise around mile 18. Ticks me off. He ended up beating me in the overall by 3 seconds. Stefan Zarchari of Coral Gables, FL (#2609), you are a cheating pig. HA!

Uneventful, fast with a long long run to my rack. Switched shoes and ran!

I was a little concerned I put too much into the bike, so I started out easy at a 7:30ish pace then slowly brought it down to a 7min/mi to cruise. I accelerated for the 2nd half, but couldn't sustain a 6:30 pace (my non-tri 10k pace).

They had peanutbutter and Nutella sandwiches. :)