Thursday, June 26, 2008

Hy-Vee Du..errrr Tri

Swim? Yes....No.....Yes.....No.

Jeez, so this past weekend I raced in the Hy-Vee International Triathlon. Leading up to the race I was all ready to have a fun triathlon and test out where I was in terms of swimming. Olympic distance tri's are my main focus for the next few years so its nice to see where I've come along. Well about 1.5 weeks before the race the race directors decided that the swim would be cancelled due to heavy flooding and high bacteria levels in the water. As much as I wanted to see where I was with the swimming aspect involved...I was PSYCHED to have a duathlon! I figured that I would be extremely hard to beat in the race with the way my cycling has been going. My run has been a little weaker due to a nagging ankle injury after Duathlon Nationals, but I've been getting stronger and stronger each week. So leading up to the race I was beaming just thinking about the race. Since the swim was cancelled, my little brothers (Jason-10 and Alex-7) wanted in. They (like me) cannot swim too well. We are working on that right now...but they have been running 5ks constantly lately and getting pretty good at them! So as soon as it was changed into a duathlon both my lil bros registered for the race. many know, the race was changed back into a tri a few days before the event. I give so much credit to the race directors for getting everything organized and changed on such short notice. It was a magnificent venue and everything seemed to run perfectly.

So I drove out to Des Moines, Iowa on Friday afternoon with my dad, lil bros, and Jacqui. Jacqui was doing her first Olympic distance tri ever!!! We got into town and thanks to a great friend and teammate, Jimmy Becker, we had a home to stay at. We watched a movie and hit the hay for the night to get ready for the kid's race the next day. Luckily the kids race stayed as a duathlon so both my brothers were able to participate. We got them all ready in the morning and set up for their races. First up was little Alex. He was racing in the 8 year old division and there were 60 total racers! The gun went off and they all went flying! The race distance was a 200 meter run, 1.5 k bike, 200 meter run. He came into transition around 5th place and thanks to a speedy transition came out on the bike in 2nd! Unfortunetely on the bike turnaround, another racer went down and Alex moved out of the way and went down too. Around 10 racers passed him just from that mishap, but he still plugged away and finished up the 2nd run finishing in 9th place. It was really exciting and fun to watch.

Gina, my dads friends daugher, went next. Unfortunetely for her, swimming is her strongest in the three event race. She still went out hard and hung in there tough with a bunch of the other girls. She raced in the 10-11 year old division and did the distance of 600 meter run, 1.5k bike, 600 meter run. Gina passed a bunch of girls on the bike due to being a great cyclist, and managed to come away with an 8th place out of around 55 girls!

Jason went last in the 10 year old division. He did the same distance as Gina and had around 60 boys in the race. I tell you..there were so many kids racing! I think there were around 500 total!! Looks like the future in triathlon sure is bright! Anyways, Jason went out just like we told him and sat back a little. He was in around 5th and made a move almost catching the first runner coming into transition. Jason didn't have such a great bike rack spot since it was all the way on the end making him run more than everyone else. Onto the bike he had to play catch up and ended up catching the leader!! He had a great bike split and was in contention to win the race. But again, because of the bad transition spot, a few guys passed him in the transition and got a gap on him. For the last run Jason repassed a few runners to come away with 4th place! He just missed out on a podium finish!!

The most important thing was that they all had so much fun and are begging to sign them up for another race! It was definitely a highlight of the weekend watching them race and be excited to be out there. Next up we have to work on the swimming so that they don't end up like their big brother and get crushed in the swim at every race!!

Here are a few pics from their races:

Alex, Jason, and Gina Pre-Race

Lil Alex tearin up the bike course

Finishin' strong!

Gina finishing like a champ

First run comin up the hill strong!

Jas tearin' up the bike!

Jason comin up into transition

So that was a really fun and exciting day! The rest of the day I got my packet, did a little workout, and got my bike all set up in transition for the big race the next day.

Race morning I woke up and wow was I tired! 3:30 am wakeup is not my idea of sleepin in. I basically rolled outta bed, got my race gear ready and went over to the T2 in order to put my running shoes and race belt out. (There were two transition areas which was a little bit of a pain). Over at the swim Jacqui and I set up our bike area and put on the wetsuits to get ready for the big day ahead of us!

Gettin the numbers on!

Into the water...I was still basically asleep. I really wasn't in the mood to start racing. It was strange because usually I am all fired up and excited to have a fun day. I think it was the lack of sleep and long day before out in the sun cheering and watching all of the kids races. The swim was pretty uneventful. I got a position to the far right and had a straight shot to the first buoy. Let me tell you...the water was pretty bad. I could not even see my hand right in front of my face in this water. It seemed pretty dirty..but I guess clean enough to put on a race! I was a little tired near the end of the swim but came out of the water in 22:50. It ended up being the 45th fastest swim split out of the 1000 not too bad. I had a good transition and hopped onto my bike. I pumped hard from the start and set my eyes up ahead on Mark Harms (the eventual race winner). I was gaining ground on him and was motivated..but just didnt' seem to have the bike legs that I was used to this year so far. I have been so comfortable on my bike in every race and felt a lot of power with each pedal stroke. Well not this race...I was huffing and breathing hard just to keep going. I was still doing ok and told myself to keep pushing. After around 5 miles, things started to go wrong. I switched gears and oops...there goes my chain. I had to come to a complete stop, unclip, put the chain back on, and then off I went. Mark Harms was long gone and a bunch of racers that I previously had passed were also way up ahead. I was very disappointed and took off charging. I still felt very dead for the next 12 miles or so and then tragedy again. My bottle flopped out in front of a usat official. I did not want to risk a 2 min littering penalty, so I stopped agian, picked up the bottle, and went off on my way again. I can tell you that it is definitely not fun going from 25+ mph to a complete stop to get off and then start going again. I was not happy and just plugged away the rest of the bike. My bike split was just over 1:02 which was 24 mph avg. I had the 19th fastest bike split.

Transition two was blazing (fastest out of everyone). I kept thinking that all I wanted to do was get off my bike and start running. Well..I started running and felt great. My goal was to just catch up to a bunch of other racers and get into a decent position. It didn't feel like I was running too fast but I was still making ground on the leaders. I think I started the run in around 13th place. At the finish, I was 5th place and ended with the fastest run split out everyone in 33:00 (5:20 pace). I should be a little faster and it showed because as I crossed the line I was thinking thats it? I just couldn't come to push myself like usual. Because of the wave starts, I ended up with a 7th place overall finish in a time of 2:00:09. I would've been nice to break 2 hours and come in top 3..but oh well. It was a rough day and I still was able to finish in the top.

As for Jacqui..she did a great job in her first Olympic tri. The swim was her fastest yet out of all the training days that we've done, she averaged 18.4 mph on the bike, and ran 7:00 pace for the 10k. She finished as 9th in her age division and I was really proud of her finish! Whats even better is that as soon as the race was over she checked to see if the Lifetime Fitness triathlon was still open so that she could register! Sooo we both will be racing there in a few weeks. I think she has a bright future in the sport of triathlon with more training! She already is training hard and will see huge improvements in the next race!!!

Well that is about it for the race recap (look at that..less than a week and I have the race report up! )


Mathew said...

I heard there is a big contest happening on and they are distributing big money to all winners who play on their site. I found the contest is on ... it’s called Zapak Cash League(ZCL). I won Rs. 17000 till now.

Nettie said...

Pretty exciting race report all around! Go Jacqui go!

Hey, why don't you do running race reports? Every time I check the big race results in the area, I see your freaking name near the top! Congrats on the overall win today at Race to the Taste! You seem to keep getting faster and faster. Sheesh.

amy said...

awesome job! despite the bike mishaps you recovered very well! and i don't know why you're saying you're a slow swimmer, 45th fastest swim time is pretty speedy to me!

Anonymous said...

Good job at Hyvee, Ryan! The kid's pictures are the BESSSTT! I love it when the kids race!!! thanks for posting! Hope LTF went well too! Jennifer H