TriFest Triathlon Race Report

A little background info first:
I make the 40 minute drive from my house down to Taylorsville Lake fairly often, maybe 8-10 times a year or so. I’ve done a total of four races there over the last two years and made several other trips to get in training rides/runs on the hills that surround the lake. The roads leading there are mostly two-lane roads with farmland on both sides. There is a small town that you pass through, but other than that it’s just rolling hills of wide open space. The speed limit is 55 the whole way with the exception of the mile or so stretch through the town. If you go 55 on these roads, you will be tailgated and then passed as soon as the oncoming lane is clear. I usually don’t even pay attention to my speed, it’s one of those roads where you kind of just go as fast as you feel you can safely go – usually somewhere between 65 and 70. Now that you know all of this very useful information, I’ll get on with my race report.
I packed up all of my race gear the night before, like I always do. Everything was in order and I was able to get a solid six hours of sleep. I woke up at 5:00 am and ate a sweet potato while mixing up my nutrition for the race. I loaded up the car and was on the road by 5:35 am. The race didn’t start until 7:30 am, but I like to get there early and take my time setting up transition.
I was cruising along, jamming some Def Leppard when I noticed a police car sitting on the opposite side of the road, facing oncoming traffic. It was still dark out and he was just on the other side of a hill, so I didn’t see him until I was about 100 feet away. I immediately looked down at my speedometer – it read 72 mph…uh oh. I got that sinking feeling as I let off the gas and slowly eased on the brake. I checked my mirror and I saw him turn on his headlights. I knew what was coming. He made a u-turn (which is illegal, by the way), and came up right behind me. I turned off my Def Leppard in disgust and began looking for a spot to pull over before he even started flashing his blue lights.
The inevitable happened and I found myself sitting on the side of the road, getting my registration and proof of insurance out of my glove compartment. He came to the window and told me that he clocked me going 75 in a 55. I explained that I had just come down a big hill and didn’t realize how fast I was going. He just asked for my paperwork and went back to his car. I knew that I was going to get a speeding ticket and while I wasn’t happy about it, I was more concerned about getting out of there and to the race!
I sat there in my car…waiting…and waiting…and waiting some more. I looked at my watch when he pulled me over. It was 5:52 am. At 6:05 am I started to wonder if I should go back and make sure he hadn’t suffered a heart attack and wasn’t slumped over the seat! It was starting to get light by this time and I could just make out some movement in his car, so I just waited…and waited some more…and watched cars and trucks with bikes racked on the back pass me by. My fellow triathlete’s were headed to the race, no doubt wondering who it was the was busted my Johnny Law. The officer FINALLY opened his door at 6:08 am (16 minutes after he walked away from my window!). But he wasn’t walking towards my car. He went back and opened his trunk. Then opened the rear door on the passenger side, leaning in to look for something. What was this dude doing?!? I was getting very agitated by this point. When he finally made his way up to my car window things quickly went from bad to worse!
Here’s a direct quote from the officer:
“Well, we’ve got two issues here. First of all, my printer ran out of ink (showing me his empty printer cartridge), so I called someone to bring me another. I can’t print your citation until he gets here. The other issue is the fact that your license is expired.”
Really? I was just at the Driver’s License Branch a few months ago to have the restriction for glasses removed (I has Lasik surgery a few years ago and finally remembered to get this done). I had assumed that my license was renewed at that time. Apparently not. It clearly showed an expiration date of 5-20-2011. I explained this to the officer. His response:
“Well, it’s expired…and I can’t let you go.”
What? I can’t go. What does this mean. Am I under arrest? Will I be spending the morning in the Taylorsville jail instead of racing?
He then explained that he couldn’t let me drive with an expired license and that someone would have to come and get me. Fantastic. He also made it a point to tell me that he was “doing me a favor” by not taking me in. Driving on a expired license apparently warrants some time in jail in Spencer County, KY.
So I had to call my wife and make her scramble out the door with a 10 week old baby to come and get me and take me to the race…hopefully getting me there before it started!
I’ve already made this story way too long, so I’ll just skip there rest of the details and tell you that she is awesome and somehow got me there by a few minutes after 7:00 am.
By the time I got all my gear unloaded in transition, it was time to head down to the water. The water temp was 80° F, so now wetsuits required (or allowed). We listened to the pre-race instructions and then with just a one minute warning, we were off!
My nerves were still out of control and my pulse was higher than normal thanks to the stressful morning that I had already had. I started close to the front of the pack and headed towards the first buoy. The course was shaped like a triangle and we were to make three loops around it to complete the 1500 meter swim. I felt like I was getting passed a lot early on, but I tried to get in a rhythm. There was the typical punching, elbowing and kicking that comes along with an open water swim, but nothing too bad. I settled in and felt good during the swim, increasing my turnover and power on the last loop. I was actually surprised when I exited the water and saw 31 minutes and some change on my watch. I though that my pace and sighting were right on and that I would be done in under 30 minutes. Oh well. No time to worry about what’s already done. Time to ride.
Official Swim time (including run from the water to T1) – 32:13.6
5th out of 9 in my age group and 24th fastest swim out of 68 total
I ran up to T1, put on my socks, race jersey, race belt, helmet and sunglasses. I hopped on my bike and peddled out of the parking lot with my feet on top of my bike shoes, which were already clipped in.
Official T1 time – 1:11.5
2nd out of 9 in my age group and 17th fastest out of 68 total
I’ve done all three of my races this year with my bike shoes already clipped in the peddles. My new peddles have a larger surface area and it’s harder to get my shoes clipped in…so I figure it will be easier to get my feet in the shoes on the bike than try and clip them in. This plan worked well for the first race, but not so well on race number two and even worse this time! Instead of trying to get my feet in while still on the fairly flat parking lot, I focused on passing someone and then decided that it would be a good idea to try and get my feet in while climbing a very steep hill…bad call. I got my left foot in, but lost all of my momentum in doing so and nearly came to a stop. I peddled a few more times and then tried to get the other foot in. The shoe had flipped over (I forgot to attach it to the frame with rubber bands because I was so rushed in setting up my transition area). While trying to flip the shoe over I lost all speed and came to a stop. I tried to unclip my left foot in time, but I couldn’t. So anyone that’s been on a bike with clipless pedals knows what happened next…I fell over. Yep, I fell over like a four year old trying to learn to ride. As other riders continued to pass me, I got up, uttered a few cuss words and tried to figure out what to do. The hill was too steep to just start riding and try to get my feet in the pedals. So I walked my bike off the road to a wooden post and leaned against it while I got my feet in the shoes and clipped in. I then had to ride on the grass about 10 feet before getting back on the road. I felt like I was going to wipe out at any moment, after all, Flash is no mountain bike! Fortunately for me, my buddy Charlie (a fellow triathlete) was volunteering for this race and had a front row seat while all of this was going on. He graciously pointed out to me that I had lost my bottle off of the back  of my bike when I fell, so I had to walk back and pick that up too. He snapped the following picture of me during my first attempt at getting my foot in the shoe.
Once I was rolling again I was angry. This day was going horrible. I figured a flat tire and cramps on the run were in store for me! I hammered down on the bike, not worrying about blowing up my legs and having nothing left for the run. I only shifted into my small chain ring once, just mashing up the hills, burning my quads. I finished the bike in an hour and fifteen minutes, but I guarantee that I lost about two minutes at the beginning, so my average moving speed was over 20 mph. This is pretty quick considering that the course is ALL hills. I passed a good 15-20 people on the bike and since it was a straight out-and-back course, I was able to count the riders as they went back the other way. At the half-way point on the bike, I was in 15th place overall. I passed two more riders on the way back and knew that I was in 13th place off the bike.
Official Bike time – 1:15:15.9
2nd out of 9 in my age group and 8th fastest bike out of 68 total
I had a quick T2, taking off my helmet and quickly slipping on my run shoes and hat. On the way out of T2 I noticed that my jersey was unzipped. I had forgotten to zip it up after putting it on in T1 and had ridden the whole bike with my jersey open, acting as a parachute. Not that slows you down or anything!
Official T2 time – 00:37.1
2nd out of 9 in my age group and 7th fastest out of 68 total
I started the run and immediately found two people up ahead that I set me sights on. I passed one at the top of the hill and then another around mile 2. The run was also an out-and-back, so I once again counted racers as then passed me going the other way. I counted 10 and then right before the turn around I saw a guy up ahead. I really wanted a top 10 finish, so I told myself that I WOULD catch him. I hit the turnaround at 23:35, which is a pace just above 7:30 min/mile. I was feeling good and despite pushing it hard on the bike, my legs felt pretty strong. I just concentrated on keeping my form good and my cadence high. I started to feel some cramping in my calves on the way back, so I switched to Gatorade at the aid stations. With just under a mile to go, I had gained considerable ground on the guy in 10th place…then I saw him start to walk near the top of the second to last hill. He turned around to see if anyone was behind him (a clear indication that he’s worn out). He saw me and immediately started to run again. My competitive side came out as I said out loud “oh yeah, I got ya now!”. I increased my speed and caught him within a few minutes. I gave him some encouraging words as I ran by and I just held that pace until the end, never looking back. I ran the second half of the course in 22:39 for a pace of 7:18 min/mile an a good negative split! I’m running back down the huge hill in the photo above, so don’t make fun of the way I look, I’m trying to keep from falling forward!
Official Run time – 46:04.5
2nd out of 9 in my age group and 9th fastest run out of 68 total
I crossed the finish line and as soon as I stopped running my hamstrings and calves cramped up. I grabbed some bananas and water and walked it out. Jessica and Adrian were there to meet me. I knew that I had finished 10th overall, so I figured that it would have been good enough to place in my age group. So we stuck around and sure enough, I ended up second in the 30-34 Male age group. Adrian and I went up to get my medal. It was a good moment and everyone enjoyed seeing my little chubby buddy go up there with me!
Official Total time -2:35:22.6
2nd out of 9 in my age group and 10th out of 68 total
Despite the way the morning started, the race ended up going well. I clearly need to work on the issues I’m having coming out of T2. The 9th place finisher was over 3 minutes ahead of me and the 1st place guy in my age group was probably loading up his gear by the time I finished, so it didn’t cost me anything other than my overall time.
This was a good race and all indications are that there were no problems on either day. Hopefully VO2 Multisport and Train Smart will do this race series again next year!
Official Results:
Swim (1500m) – 32:13.6 (2:09/100m pace)
T1 – 1:11.5
Bike (24.8 miles) – 1:15:15.9 (19.8 mph)
T2 – 0:37.1
Run (6.2 miles) – 46:04.5 (7:24 min/mile)
Total – 2:35:22.6

Gear used:
Aqua Sphere Kayenne goggles
Pearl Izumi Elite Tri Top and Shorts
Tifosi Dolomite sunglasses
Argon 18 E-112 Triathlon bike
Asics Gel Foundation-9 shoes

Nutrition used:

  • Nathan Catalyst Electrolye tablet (1 in a 24oz water bottle) – sipped while sitting in my car waiting for the kind Officer to serve me my citation
  • Clif Shot Blocks – ate these while setting up my transition area – about 20 minutes before race start


  • Hammer Nutrition Perpetuem (2 scoops in one 24oz. bottle of water) – took two sips every 15 minutes, drank the rest of the bottle with a few miles to go
  • Millennium Sports Athlytes capsules (3 total) – one every 20 minutes


  • Clear water at every aid station during first half of run, Gatorade on the second half
  • Millennium Sports Athlytes capsules (2 total) – took them at the first and second mile aid stations so I could take them with water

  • Wicked Fast Sports Nutrition Recover-Ease capsules (Qty. 4)
Nutrition plan worked well. I had a gel with me on the bike and run, but never felt the need for either. I never felt dehydrated or fatigued until the last mile or so, and nothing matters at that point.
Next race is the Captain’s Quarters Half-Ironman on July 9th. Some very long brick workouts coming up in the next few weeks…and it’s starting to get HOT!

One Response to “TriFest Triathlon Race Report”

  1. Mike June 6, 2011 at 11:33 PM #

    Sucks about the ticket. It seems like no ink should equal no ticket. I’m also surprised he wouldn’t let you drive. Oh well.

    Great race and great bike time given the hills and shoe issues. Congrats on the top 10 finish!

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