Landsharks Triathlon Race Report

Subtitle: You get out what you put in!

I thought maybe all the training I did up until the beginning of August would be enough to carry me through. I thought maybe I could cheat a little on my diet and still be able to slim down enough the week before the race. I knew better…but I thought it anyway.
After my last triathlon, the Tom Sawyer Sprint, on August 5th, I kind of “mailed it in” for the season. I wasn’t even sure if I was going to do the Landsharks Triathlon because the date had not been finalized. I knew that I had a vacation coming up and I wanted to start getting in an extra run or two each week leading up to The Bourbon Chase (200 mile running relay race), which is at the end of September. My bike training in-particular has been very lackluster. I’ve only been out on the road once in the last month and my Trainer workouts haven’t exactly been tough. Keep all of this in mind as you continue reading.
I am a creature of habit. This is never more true than on race morning. I pack all my gear the night before so I don’t lay in bed thinking about what I need to do in the morning. I get up, visit my porcelain throne, eat a plain sweet potato, and hit the road. I always get to the race site way too early and take my time setting up my transition area. This race was no different.
With the water temperature announced at 78F, that meant that the race was wetsuit legal. I don’t mind swimming in cold water, in fact, I actually enjoy it. But I will always wear my wetsuit when given the chance, for it’s added buoyancy. Jessica and the kiddos showed up just before the race, so it was good to see them before I entered the water (I think Daddy is a little scary in his wetsuit, swim cap and goggles!).

Bill Marks and I before the race

The swim was two loops of a 750m course in Taylorsville Lake. I planned to stay with the lead group as long as possible. I went out hard and managed to stay on someone’s feet until the first turn (around 400 meters). For a long time after that I was all alone. I could see swimmers up in front of me, but I knew that I couldn’t catch them, so I just focused on maintaining good form and sighting often enough to not drift too far off course. On the second lap, I was caught by someone and I managed to slip in behind them and draft for a good while. At the final turnaround, I saw Mike Purvis (eventual race winner) on my left side. I decided to try and hang with him, which I did until we exited the water. I came out of the water in just over 25 minutes, which is my fastest 1500M swim time in the lake.

1500m swim
26:35.5 (1:46/100m) – includes run up the boat ramp to T1
2nd out of 3 in my Age Group
11th out of 36 Overall

Exiting the water. Thanks to Carlos Mendia for the pic.
I had a pretty fast T1 considering I had to strip off a wetsuit.

1st out of 3 in my Age Group
7th out of 36 Overall

I got my feet into my shoes before I hit the first big hill (which is always tough to do on this course). My breathing and heart rate were through the roof by the time I reached the top of this hill. I did my best to get into a gear where I could get things under control. I managed to reign things in before I exited the park (around mile 3). As usual, my goal was to set my sights on riders ahead of me and try to catch them. I was picking off people pretty steadily all the way to the turnaround. Right after the turnaround, there is a long (nearly 2 miles) climb. The whole course is hilly, but this climb (2-3%) is brutal. The lack of riding, and specifically hill training came back to bite me in a big way once I started this climb. I was with a friend of mine, Bill Marks at the turn around. As we started up the hill, he left me in his dust. I was pushing hard but my legs weren’t there. I was passed about half-way up the hill and began to get angry. I hung with this guy (Gary Morris), for a while, but eventually he pulled away. After I crested the hill, the rest of the ride was equally as difficult. My quads were useless and I was just trying to get back to transition.

40K bike
1:17:44.1 (19.2 mph)
2nd out of 3 in my Age Group
7th out of 36 Overall

Finishing up the bike. Thanks for Carlos Mendia for the pic.

I quickly racked my bike and grabbed my hat and race number belt once in T2. I also grabbed my Garmin GPS watch. With the exception of Ironman, I’ve never worn my Garmin during a race. I knew that this run was going to be tough and that there were no mile markers, so I wanted to know what kind of pace I was (or wasn’t) holding.

1st in my Age Group
9th out of 36 Overall
Just like the bike, the run starts off with a big climb. I did my best to keep my cadence high and just make it to the top without walking. My legs were already in pain and I was curious to see how this 6.2 mile run was going to go. I tried to block out the pain and hold a pace close to 8 minute miles. I’ve run 7:30’s on this course before, but I knew that was not in the cards on this day. I caught up with Bill and Gary as we approached the turn around. Shortly thereafter, my legs really began to ache and I was slowing down. Both Bill and Gary ran past me around mile 4. I was determined to stick with them. I was in some serious pain, but I knew that this was my last triathlon of the season and I didn’t want to sit around all winter wishing I had pushed it harder. I kept them both within range and with about a little over a mile to go, I decided to “empty the tank” and run as hard as I could. I managed to catch Bill and was gaining on Gary. As we crested the last hill before going down the descend to the finish, I was only a few seconds from catching him. I was sprinting, but just as I was closing in, Gary turned around and saw me coming. He started to sprint and I couldn’t gain anymore ground. He ended up beating me by 10 seconds.

10K run
49:19.10 (7:56/mile)
2nd out of 3 Age Group
14th out of 36 Overall

Final push at the end of the run. Thanks to Carlos Mendia for the pic.

This was my slowest run on this course, but I kind of expected it. Despite all of the extra running that I’ve been doing lately, the bike shredded my legs to the point that I couldn’t run the pace I wanted. Mile splits from my Garmin – 8:38, 8:03, 8:07, 8:38, 8:20, 7:28

 Total Time
2nd out of 3 in my Age Group
9th out of 36 Overall

I’ve done this exact course almost 6 minutes faster in the past, so I am a little disappointed in my race. A podium spot in my Age Group and a Top 10 Overall finish is always my goal…so thanks to the small race size, I walked away with hardware.

Gear used:
2XU C:2 wetsuit
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) GU Chomps – ate about 30 minutes before race start


  • (1) 24oz. bottle of water
  • (2) GU Roctane gels (one at 20 minutes, one at 40 minutes)


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

This is what running in pain looks like (doesn’t this look fun?!?!):


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