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Race Result

Racer: Kate McDowell
Race: Monticelloman Tri
Date: Sunday, May 6, 2012
Location: Lake Monticello, VA
Race Type: Triathlon - International Distance
Age Group: Female 20 - 24
Time: 2:38:45
Overall Place: 85 / 228
Age Group Place: 6 / 14
Comment: First olympic triathlon!



Race Report:

Well, considering my time goal was under 3 hours, I'd say this was a success!

This race is near Charlottesville, VA, where I recently graduated from college, so it was great to go back and see my friends who are finishing up their last semester and get back on those Virginia country roads.

Leading up to the race I was a bit nervous because (1) I have limited wetsuit experience (a HUGE shout-out to Amy Moore who very very generously lent me hers) and (2) I haven't run as much or as hard lately as I would have liked due to niggling injury.

Upon getting to the race site I immediately turned to the guy next to me in transition and said "Everyone here looks like an olympian! Where did all these superfit people come from?!?!" Apparently these early-season tris attract the hardcore crowd that raced through the winter. At any rate, there would be fast folks to try to keep up with!

- - - - - - - - - -

Swim - 25:20 (1:45/100m, 5/14 in AG, 11/79 in Women, 48/229 overall)

The course was triangular, with all right hand turns. We started on the beach and ran in, which I actually kind of preferred to previous triathlons I've done with an in-water start. Since we started on the beach, we were fairly spread out to start but soon converged as we swam toward the first buoy. I found some feet to follow, and tried to stay ahead of the toe-tickler behind me. After the second buoy we were very spread out, and I began to pass some of the swimmers from the two prior waves (4 and 8 minutes ahead). Honestly the swim was very uneventful, I credit this to last weekend's awesome OWS at Hammerman! After those waves, a flat lake was no problem at all.

- - - - - - - - - -

T1 - 2:37

I was worried about falling over while trying to get the wetsuit over my arms while running up toward T1, but this was a non-issue. The wetsuit came off super fast and after pulling on my socks, shoes, helmet, sunglasses, and gloves (and shoving down half a clif bar, which I'd broken in two prior to the race) I was off! I was surprised at how long this transition was when I saw the results, as it felt pretty fast. Maybe because of the long run in/out of the transition area? Or maybe I'm just slow :P

- - - - - - - - - -

Bike - 1:16:19 (18.9 mph - 5/14 AG, 13/79 Women, 74/228 Overall)

I had no idea what to expect in terms of terrain for this race. It's about 30 minutes away from the roads I used to ride in Charlottesville, and I'd been told that the hills were less steep but equally numerous. This was pretty accurate, there were some tough hills and a couple fast descents, but mostly just long gradual rollers. I was really pleased with my hill climbing here, I think all those rides on the half full course are paying off.

My goal on this was to maintain 17mph, and I totally killed it! I think that I paced things well, my second 10 miles was a little faster than my first which was great. I finished feeling ready to get off the bike, but with energy left to get me through the run. Success!

There was a woman in my age group who passed me at around the 8mi mark, we leapfrogged for a while before she ditched me on a downhill. I saw her exiting transition as I was coming in, but I couldn't make up the difference on the run.

- - - - - - - - - -

T2 - 2:02

Thank MMTC for RBR! My transition is definitely the better for it. Most of the time here was spent running into transition, the dismount line was quite a ways from the entrance to transition. I picked up my two GUs (Chocolate Outrage, is there even another flavor?) and pulled on my Kinvaras and headed out on the run.

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Run - 52:28 (8:38/mi, 6/14 AG, 16/79 W, 85/229 Overall)

This run was a lot hillier than I thought it would be! Luckily someone warned me before the race so I was at least a bit prepared. It was a lot of short rolling hills... I definitely want to work on my run speed before my next race, which is a sprint. It seems to be when I lose the most ground! But I was still very pleased with this run. I started out a little fast (8:00) but managed to bring things down to a more sustainable 9:00 for the second mile, then started chipping that down mile by mile until the finish, eating one gu along the way. The last .5 miles I caught myself thinking "Kate! You can throw up when you finish! Just keep running!" So I did. I even managed to get a little sprint in the last .3 miles (I was NOT going to be passed that late in the race.) Upon finishing I promptly downed two bottles of water, wandered around until my stomach stopped feeling queasy, and then stuffed my face with a piece of pizza and apple slices.

- - - - - - - - - -

Overall - 2:38:45, 6/14 AG, 16/79 Women, 85/229 Overall

I did it! My first olympic triathlon. I was so so happy with this result, I couldn't even believe it. Planning to do lots of speedwork the next couple of weeks to prepare for the Charlottesville Sprint in June.

Not fun: the 3.5 hour drive back home. My legs are ANGRY about that.

I would highly recommend this race. It was so well run, and had some great amenities for the athletes (like a water bottle handoff halfway through the bike). And you can't beat the Charlottesville area for cycling.