Buffalo Trails Triathlon – Race Report

I haven’t had the best of luck this year when it comes to triathlons and the weather. A very cold (25F) Sprint in Shelbyville back in February, as it always is. Then a cold and rainy day in Knoxville, followed by an unseasonably warm (85F) Half-Ironman at Taylorsville. I was due for some good racing weather. Most people would consider low 40’s too cold, but not me. The chilly morning was just what I had hoped for as I set up my transition area for the Buffalo Trails Triathlon this past Saturday in Maysville.
My daughter Kate and I made the 2-1/2 hour drive up on Friday afternoon.  She slept the whole way, so I just drove right on through…trying to ignore the need to stop and pee. We rolled into my brother’s house around 5:00pm and after getting settled in we loaded up all the kids (his two boys, plus Kate) and headed out to pick up my race packet and get some dinner. It took a while for everyone to get settled down after we returned home – it was close to 10:00pm before all of the little eyes were closed.

I woke up around 6:00am and heated up my plain sweet potato (pre-race standard). I loaded up my bike and gear and got down to transition around 6:45am. I found my rack and had plenty of time to get set up and socialize with all of the other peeps from Louisville. We boarded the trolley and drove 1/2 a mile upstream to the swim start. I ‘slipped’ my wetsuit on and we all jumped on a barge that pulled us out into the middle of the Ohio River. The picture is just before they pulled out into the river. All of the racers from Louisville raised their hand.

The horn sounded and we jumped in. I had to pause for a second to keep from jumpin right on top on people. My plan was to dive in, but I ended up just jumping in feet first. Once I got in the water, I started to swim hard, trying to pull away from as many people as possible. I tried to slip in behind some of the faster swimmers, but just couldn’t stay on their feet. As usual, I found myself all alone on the swim. Not fast enough to hang with the speedsters, but too fast to be in the large pack behind me. I couldn’t believe how fast I was going, the current was pretty strong and it seemed like only a few seconds passed as I went from buoy to buoy. I existed the water and checked my watch, it was a little under 11 minutes…crazy fast half mile! I ran up the dock and got to the timing mat outside of T1 for my official swim time.

0.5 mile swim
11:09.5 (1:23/100m pace)
2nd out of 11 in my Age Group
11th out of 67 Overall 
I had a pretty quick T1 (my Dad will be happy to see this). I managed to get out of my wetsuit without any problems, put on my socks, grabbed my helmet and bike and was gone.
1st out of 11 in my Age Group
9th out of 67 Overall
The bike starts off flat, so I had plenty of time to get my feet into my shoes while pedaling down the road. I immediately set my sights on a few riders up ahead of me and started to try and catch them before the big hill at mile 9. I passed a few people pretty quickly and felt strong as I hit ‘Big Hiney Hill’. I geared down and concentrated on keeping a high cadence and a smooth pedal stroke. I was able to ride the whole hill seated and still felt good at the summit. The rolling hills after the big climb were tough. They are too short to change gears, so I just stood up and hammered up each one – trying not to lose momentum. Once I finally reached the steady descent, I kept pedaling, trying to let gravity help me as much as possible. I checked my overall average speed near the end and worked in the final stretch to try and get it up to 22 mph…didn’t quite make it. But after downloading all of my data from my Garmin, I did manage to set a new high for average power over a 60 minute period (244W).

26.1 mile bike
1:11:30.1 (21.9 mph)
Average Power = 240W
1st out of 11 in my Age Group
7th out of 67 Overall

I cruised into T2 and hopped off my bike at the dismount line. I really didn’t know what place I was in at the time, but I only saw a few other bikes racked when I pulled in. I threw my bike on the empty rack and it started to tip over. I grabbed it quickly and it took me a few seconds to get it set back up. Once I had it secure, I pulled off my helmet, got my shoes on, grabbed my race number belt and headed out. I lost a few seconds messing with the rack, but overall, it was still a good T2.

2nd out of 11 in my Age Group
7th out of 67 Overall

I started off feeling good on the run. I was running at a 6:30ish pace and while my breathing was up, my legs felt good. My quads had been sore all week from last Sunday’s brutal 13.1 mile run, but they were feeling good coming off of a strong bike. With this just being a 5K run, I wasn’t concerned about my heart rate or breathing – it’s basically just go as hard as you can and try to hold on! I was still on my own. No one was with me in transition and I didn’t see anyone ahead of me on the road. I was even wondering if I was still on the course at one point. My first mile was done in 6:40, but mile 2, which included a run up a steep set of stairs, was well over 7 minutes. Once on top of the flood wall, we were running on grass. I felt like I was trail running because I never took my eyes off of the ground. The ground was very uneven and had lots of holes. I was struggling at this point and trying to hold on. I heard some footsteps and was passed with about a half mile to go. Getting passed gave me a little boost and I found a little speed at the end to average under 7 minute miles. My running legs are still not there – getting my running fitness back will take some time.

3.1 mile run
21:19.1 (6:52 min/mile pace)
2nd out of 11 in my Age Group
11th out of 67 Overall
I’m happy with my overall race and pleased to take home some hardware and finish in the top 10. It was cool to see my brother and his family, as well as Kate at finish line. It was a great weekend and I’m already looking forward to going back next year! Special thanks to Emily and Kevin for opening their home up to the Landsharks for a post-race cookout. Good times!

Total Time
1st out of 11 in my Age Group
6th out of 67 Overall

Gear used:
2XU C:2 wetsuit
Aqua Sphere Kayenne goggles
Pearl Izumi Select Tri Suit
Garmin 910XT watch
Argon 18 E-112 Triathlon bike
Bike Javelin aero helmet
DeFeet Running Socks (once again – no blisters!)
Asics Gel-Noosa Tri 7 shoes

Nutrition used:

  • (1) Medium Sweet Potato (about 2.5 hrs before race)
  • Water bottle with NUUN tablet
  • (1 pack) GU Chomps – ate about 30 minutes before race start


  • (1) 24oz. bottle of water
  • (2) GU Roctane gels – at 0:15 & 0:45 – followed by 8-10 oz of water


  • Nothing
Louisville Landsharks Post-Race (lots of awards!)
Kate and I after the race.

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