2012 TriFest Race Report

I’m not sure who’s brain came up with the TriFest idea, but it’s a good one. During the inaugural TriFest last year, there were Super Sprint, Sprint and Olympic distance races. This year, the “fest” dropped the Super Sprint and was combined with the annual Half-Ironman in Taylorsville. The 2012 TriFest featured Sprint and Olympic races on Saturday and a Half on Sunday. I decided long ago to do the two on Saturday and skip Sunday…turned out to be a wise choice considering it rained all day Sunday!

I was really excited to try and do two races back to back with minimal recovery time. I didn’t know what to expect from my body, but was looking forward to the challenge.
The weather was perfect. Temperature in the low 50’s and no rain. People were even wearing jackets while setting up their transition area before the Sprint race. I found a good location in the front row and started to get set up. The water temperature was in the high 60’s, so everyone (with the exception of one or two) was fighting to get in their wetsuits as the start time neared. We went off in two waves, men first, then women and relays. With only about 25 or 30 in the first wave, it was about as calm as an open water swim start can get. We were doing a single loop of an out and back course…nothing complicated. I was swimming a little faster than what I would consider “comfortable” because it was only a 750 meter swim. I noticed that I was pulling to my left quite a bit. I don’t remember this happening in Knoxville last weekend, but it may not have been as noticeable then because the buoys were further apart. Seemed like every time I looked up to sight, I was a little left of where I expected to be. I assumed that my right arm was crossing my mid-line, so I attempted to correct it. Needless to say, I probably swam more than 750 yards. In the end, another disappointing swim time.
750 meter Swim time = 15:01.8 (1:50 / 100 yd)
3rd out of 6 in my Age Group
19th out of 59 Overall
I exited the water and ran up the boat ramp to the transition area. I unzipped my wetsuit and pulled it down around my waist as I ran. I got my legs out once I got to my bike. I pulled on my socks, put on my sunglasses and helmet and was out quickly. No problems in T1.
T1 time = 0:54.4
1st out of 6 in my Age Group
6th out of 59 Overall
I had a small problem getting my left foot into my shoe and had to stop to get it in. This was just for about 3 seconds and although I was frustrated, it didn’t cost me much time. As usual, I was behind after the swim. I was 14th overall out of T1, making up 5 spots with a quick transition. I began to pass people almost immediately as the course starts off with a very steep incline. So steep that some elect to walk their bike up the hill. A friend of mine, Charlie Fell came out of T1 just after me and the two of us battled on the bike for most of the 12.4 miles. I was pushing it hard the whole time and made it a point to stay in my big chain ring even on the hills. Charlie pulled ahead over the last mile or so, but I was able to pass 4 people and came off the bike in 10th.
12.4 mile Bike time = 37:08.9 (20.1 mph)
1st out of 6 in my Age Group
9th out of 59 Overall
T2 was quick other than some initial confusion as to which way to enter the transition area. We’ve always entered at the top in every other race I’ve done at Taylorsville Lake, so that’s where I was heading. I was directed to go to the bottom of transition at the last minute. Fortunately, I still managed to pull off a very professional looking rolling dismount. I racked my bike, took off my helmet, slipped my shoes on, grabbed my race number belt and hat and headed out. Once again, no problems in transition.
T2 time = 0:40.8
1st out of 6 in my Age Group
11th out of 59 Overall
I started out on the 5K run with the goal of finishing in the top 10 overall.  I had counted bikes on the out and back course and knew that I was close. I thought that I was in 11th starting the run. I passed two people early on and then just did my best to keep Charlie within striking distance. I was passed by someone with a little less than a mile to go and then dug deep to try and catch Charlie, but I ran out of real estate. He ended up beating me by 11 seconds. I was happy with my run and knew that I had given this race all I had.
3.1 mile Run time = 22:25.6 (7:13 min/mile)
2nd out of 6 in my Age Group
7th out of 59 Overall
Apparently I can’t count to 10 because I thought that I had come in 10th, but turns out I was 9th. Either way, I was tired and ready to relax…oh, wait…I have another race to do in less than an hour. Crap.
Total Sprint Triathlon time = 1:16:11.6
2nd out of 6 in my Age Group
9th out of 59 Overall
So I sat down down for a few minutes drinking some water and then walked to my truck to get the bottle of Hammer Perpetuem that I had. This was about 300 calories worth of nutrition that I knew my stomach would be ok with (I used this on the bike during Ironman last year). I set up transition (again) while I was sipping on my tasty orange carbohydrate mix. It’s really weird trying to set up transition AFTER a race. I had to go over everything in my mind several times to make sure I wasn’t leaving anything out. Thanks to Daniel Blandford for reminding me to shift to a lower gear so that I wouldn’t struggling to pedal out of transition.
I squeezed back into my wetsuit and walked back down to the water as the Olympic distance race was preparing to start. I was feeling ok, but fully expected to hit the wall on the run of this next race. I chatted with a few people and then slipped into the water to jockey for a starting position. I was not happy with my swim time in the first race and wanted to do better this time. At the suggestion of fellow triathlete, Bill Marks, I decided to swim heads-up for the first 25 or so meters so that I was sure to head straight for the first buoy. Notice me in the picture below. I felt pretty good this whole swim and we surprised that my time wasn’t faster. I did the Olympic distance race as part of TriFest 2011, so I had a swim at this distance, in this lake before. Last year’s time was 32:13. This year was 30:19. So even though I wasn’t happy with the time, it’s still improvement.
1500 meter Swim time = 30:19.2 (1:51 / 100 yd)
4th out of 7 in my Age Group
30th out of 77 Overall
Same thing as the Sprint race. Stripped off the wetsuit on the run to T1. Took an extra tug or two to get my feet out, so that’s probably where the added time came in. Other than that, no problems.
T1 time = 1:00.6
1st out of 7 in my Age Group
8th out of 77 Overall
My flying start was flawless this time around. I ran past the mounting line, jumped on my bike as it was moving, got my feet on my shoes and slipped them both in while pedaling. It’s nice when this works right. I felt some deja vu as I pushed it up that first hill for the second time in two hours. Even though this bike course was twice as long, I pushed it at the same pace as I did during the Sprint distance race. I made up 7 spots in T1 and was in 23rd out of the water. I was passing several guys, but was also passed a few times. I was surprised by this considering how slow my swim was. I ended up playing the same cat and mouse game during this bike ride, this time with a guy that I didn’t know. He would pass me on the uphills and I would pass him on the declines. We went back and forth for nearly the whole ride. Based on the results, I think his name was Chris Reeder. Either way, he pushed me on the bike!
24.8 mile Bike time = 1:14:31.2 (20.0 mph)
3rd out of 7 in my Age Group
11th out of 77 Overall
Another fantastic flying dismount into T2 (someone needs to get this on video!). I had no issues here and somehow managed to shave a few seconds off of my T2 time from the Sprint race. How five people did this faster than me, I don’t know.
T2 time = 0:34.5
1st out of 7 in my Age Group
6th out of 77 Overall
My legs were toast as I started the run. I shuffled up the hill…again. I made it to the top and started to find a good pace as the rolling hills started. I passed a guy at the top of the hill and even though I never looked back, I knew that he had stayed just a few feet behind me. The 10K course is an out and back. As I mentioned before, I’ve done this distance race on this course before – so I knew approximately where the turn-around point should be. As I ran down the gravel road, I saw a cardboard sign saying “Turnaround” with a arrow in the shape of an upside down letter U. I knew that this was way too early for the turnaround and as I approached the sign, I saw two guys running towards me…from behind the sign. The first guy told me that the actual turnaround was a orange cone up the road further. So I ran past the sign and turned around to let the guy behind me know that the sign was not the actual turn around. We reached the cone and the turnaround point was verified by the blue spray paint that had marked the rest of the course. On my way back past the sign, I pulled it out of the ground so that anyone coming by after me wouldn’t be as confused as I was. I started the run in 14th place and after passing a few people early on, I ran out of “rabbits” to chase. What I didn’t realize was that I was the rabbit. The guy that had been right behind me the whole time eased past me in the last mile. I tried to hang with him, but I couldn’t keep the pace. I kept him close and despite gaining some ground as I sprinted to the finish, he took 11th place by 8 seconds.
After talking with several people after the race that were wearing GPS watches, sounds like the first 8 runners all turned around at the sign, making their run approximately 5.3 miles. Those of us that ran to the cone had an extra 1/2 mile or so, making it a 5.8 mile run. Neither are the 10K (6.2 miles) that the course was supposed to be, but that would be ok if everyone ran the same distance. A few people even missed the cone and ran further. The race directors, Headfirst Performance, always do a great job and I’m not sure why the course was short, but they did indicated that the sign was put in the wrong spot by a volunteer and that there was supposed to be someone there to tell runners where to turn around. Oh well…
5.8 mile Run time = 42:48.0 (7:23 min/mile)
3rd out of 7 in my Age Group
12th out of 77 Overall
I was happy with my race and was definitely spent by the time I reached the finish line.

Total Olympic Triathlon time = 2:29:13.5
3rd out of 7 in my Age Group
12th out of 77 Overall
It was a fun day of racing and now that I’m in my third full year of racing, I know most of the people that race around here.  Hanging out and racing with this close-nit triathlon group is lots of fun. I love hearing people call me by name to cheer me on and it’s cool to race alongside people that you know.
For what it’s worth, of all the people that did both the Sprint and Olympic distance races on Saturday, I had the third fastest combined time…3:45:25. WELL behind speed demons Daniel Blandford (3:11:48) and Jeremy Brown (3:17:01).

Gear used (both races):
2XU C:2 wetsuit
Aqua Sphere Kayenne goggles
Louis Garneau Elite Lazer Tek Suit
Tifosi Dolomite sunglasses
Argon 18 E-112 Triathlon bike
Asics Gel-Noosa Tri 7 shoes

Nutrition used (Sprint):

  • (1) Medium Sweet Potato
  • Water bottle with NUUN tablet
  • (1) PowerBar Energy Blasts – ate about 30 minutes before race start


  • (1) Bottle of clear water
  • (1) GU Roctane gel (one at halfway point)


  • Water at every aid station

Nutrition used (Olympic):

  • Water bottle with one scoop of Hammer Perpetuem


  • (1) Bottle of clear water
  • (2) GU Roctane gels (one at halfway point, one near the end)


  • Water at every aid station

2 Responses to “2012 TriFest Race Report”

  1. Mike May 17, 2012 at 2:46 AM #

    Awesome back to back races! Nicely done.

  2. Chris February 6, 2013 at 7:45 PM #

    Great description. This helps a lot since I am registering for the 2013 race and know better what to expect.

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