Buckhead Border Challenge Race Report

This disaster of a race started with a text at 11:22pm the night before. It was from the race director and it woke me up…then I couldn’t get back to sleep. Things only got worse from there…
But instead of making this a post about all of the things that went wrong yesterday, I will flip my frown upside down (yes, I said it) and tell you about all of the good things that happened.
The race was delayed an hour because they were waiting on EMS, couldn’t figure out where to put the swim buoys, ran out of buoys and had to move them to the Sprint race, were waiting on Bill Marks to get to the start line. No one really knows what the problem was, but it was good to sit around and chat with all of my triathlon buds…something that I don’t get to do that often.
This was the worst swim I’ve ever had in a race. I was completely lost and the lack of buoys made it impossible to get back on track. But, I did get in a nice 30 minute swim at race pace. I probably ended up swimming somewhere around 1,750 meters between all the back and forth I was doing across the rive.

1500 meter swim 
30:47 (2:03/100m)
13th out of 20 in my Age Group
113th out of 219 Overall

Swim exit – thanks to Jeremy Brown for the pic

I had a very fast T1 and had no trouble getting my new Aero helmet on quickly. I even got to see Jessica and the kids and gave them a quick wave and yell.

2nd out of 20 in my Age Group
8th out of 219 Overall

Great flying start on Flash and I was on my way. Despite my bike computer deciding not to work, I had my fastest Olympic Distance bike split ever. With no computer, I had to ride by feel…which means I pushed it pretty hard. I knew that my swim was going to prevent me from getting the top 10 finish that I wanted and most likely keep me out of a podium spot in my age group, but I just started picking off riders one at a time to see how much ground I could make up.

40K bike
1:02:17 (23.9 mph)
3rd out of 20 in my Age Group
21st of out 219 Overall
Thanks to Josh Couture for the pic
I was really excited to see my bike split, but due to the lack of a volunteer or sign indicating where the dismount was, I had a bit of an “incident” getting off of the bike. I ended up cutting my big toe open. 
I sped trough T2 and knew that my goal of a sub 2:25:00 race was attainable.

1st in My Age Group
14th of out of 219 Overall

I was surprised to see Jessica and the kids again as I started the run. It was a nice little boost to get me started. I noticed the pain in my toe almost immediately, but I tried to block it out. I was running 7:40-7:50 miles for the first 3, which is slower than normal. My legs were feeling good, no cramps like last race, but that toe was killing me. I looked down at my shoe at the two mile mark and noticed the bloody mess. At the turnaround, I started doing the math. Finishing under 2:25 was going to be close…just like last race. It was all I could do to maintain an 8 minute per mile pace at this point. Miles 4 and 5 were in the 8:20 range and when I was passed by two guys with about a mile and a half to go I decided it was time to dig deep. I made it a goal to keep them close and then pour it on at the end to try and catch them. With about half a mile to go, I knew that I could reach my PR. I put my head down and sprinted (it probably didn’t look like a sprint, but it was all I had left). I passed several people down the stretch, but just couldn’t catch one of the guys that had passed me earlier. He bested me by 3 seconds (the picture below is about 20 feet from the finish line – note the effort on my face – I kicked too late). As I crossed the finish line I knew that I had set a PR for the distance and despite all of the things that went wrong, I was able to find that extra gear at the end to reach me goal. 

10K run
49:57 (8:02/mile)
6th out of 20 in my Age Group
35th out of 219 Overall

Thanks to Josh Couture for the pic
I was a little scared to take my shoe and sock off to access the damage. It didn’t end up being too bad and all the blood made it look worse than it actually was. I have about a 1-1/2″ long cut right up the edge of my toenail and onto the end of my big toe. It will heal in a few days…no big deal.

My shoe isn’t supposed to be red on the end

Overall Time
6th Out of 20 in my Age Group
28th out of 219 Overall
The most disappointing thing about my race was that with even a decent swim, I could have moved up into the top 20 overall and been in contention for a top 3 spot in my Age Group. I learned a valuable lesson yesterday…never leave the large group that you start the swim with, even if you think they aren’t taking the most direct route. Being all alone in an open water swim is never good…unless you are out front!

Gear used:
Aqua Sphere Kayenne goggles
Louis Garneau Elite Lazer Tek Suit
Tifosi Dolomite sunglasses
Argon 18 E-112 Triathlon bike
Bike Javelin aero helmet
Asics Gel-Noosa Tri 7 shoes

Nutrition used:

  • (1) Medium Sweet Potato
  • Water bottle with NUUN tablet
  • (1) Clif Chot Blocks – ate about 30 minutes one hour before race start


  • (1) 24oz. bottle of water
  • (2) GU Roctane gels (one at 15 minutes, one at 45 minutes)


  • Water at every aid station, Gatorade at last two aid stations

One Response to “Buckhead Border Challenge Race Report”

  1. Manish Kumar July 22, 2012 at 11:20 AM #

    Here you have providing very useful information Thanks for such an incredible site!


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