Tuesday, October 9, 2012

the Best 67.6 Mile Tri Ever

Goosepond Island Half Distance Triathlon

Just getting back from the trek home from Scottsboro, and my biggest concern is that I won't be able to explain just how awesome this event turned out to be.  It really seemed like two events, the race and the party. race link

The party, and the practice party

I don't personally know the race director, Parker Edmiston, but its obvious he spent a lot of hours orchestrating this thing.  From this athlete's prospective, it all started with the fully supported on-course race preview held just a couple of weeks before the race.  He basically held the race, for FREE, without the clock.  They had the buoys out, turns marked, aid stations stocked, and FREE BEER and grub after the training day.  Crazy thing was, while I was out on the bike course, a van stops a hundred yards ahead of me and out pops the race director, with gels and water in hand, to see if I needed anything.  I looked back as I passed and he was back in the van and headed down the road to find the next guy.  I finished up my day and really didn't want to leave the recovery tent. My favorites were the TruMoo and the FREE BEER.  And it wasn't junk beer.  He had good imports.  When I have a party, I buy domestic for the moochers.  

For the actual race, he had Smart Water at the bike aid station.  Not the cheap flimsy bottles you usually get.  There was a bit of a fumble on the run course. For the first few minutes, there was no water.  The aid workers had Gu and Gatorade, but no water.  By the time I hit mile 4, the water issue had been resolved and all was forgiven.  After the race, more & better everything.  There was free massages, and it wasn't a quickie.  I spent 30' in the tent with the rub down.  He had all the Domino's Pizza you and family could eat, some Cajun medley (I had the gumbo, didn't really browse everything else), lots of Coke products, and Girl Scout Thin Mints with various other cookies and fruit.

Race swag rocked with arm warmers, socks, tech shirt, and finisher's medal.  Age group trophies were beer mugs, and the overall was a pretty big hunk of engraved glass.  Oh yeah those $100 race photo packages at the WTC events, this guy had pics up the next day for free.  

He also left the course open for all finisher's and stuck around for one determined lady wrapping up her day in just over 10 hours.

Nicely done, Mr. Edmiston!

The Race Report

Before I jump right in, this was my first race with Accelerate 3 and off the Endurance Nation training plan.  The training has been great, and as you'll read, the racing is even better!

2012 is the first year for this event, so I was't expecting it to be a finally tuned machine.  I'll begin by saying that I absolute loved the race, I would do it all over again, and I will do it in the future.  So here goes with my race report.


31:36, 41/207 Maybe 1.1 miles, maybe
49F-54F air Temp, 69F water temp

   I never really mind the cold water with a wetsuit as long as I have time to warm up.  We were allowed in the water as the age group waves began staging for a deep water start.  "Deep" isn't very accurate as it was shallow enough to stand and only waste deep for the first hundred yards or so.  Thanks to the race course preview held a few weeks earlier, I knew to swim out to the deeper water to avoid all the weeds in the shallow water.  

   The swim was my best yet.  I was comfortable and calm with little contact.  I was able to focus on holding my form together and before I knew it I was pointed at the final buoy and headed in.  The exit is a bit tricky as you climb back onto the pier, but there was few guys there to jerk us right up.

...but I wasn't cold.

Transition 1

Its a quick scamper through the grass to a parking lot for transition.  There was plenty of racks and lots of space.  After my near DNF at Beach2Battleship from the low temps, I elected to really dress up for the bike ride.  I decided that if the worst thing about my day was that I got too hot, I would be happy.  I spent an extra 2 minutes getting dressed and then clickity-clicked my way across the mounting line.

Bike Course and Strava Data 

2:22:20, 3/207
The bike race seemed like a long wait for the run.  The roads were smooth except for 2 short sections.  There was 1 aid station that we saw twice handing up gel and Smart Water (not sure what was on the tables).  The turn around is a little funky as there is just an arrow on a narrow road at the base of a hill.  My power plan was pretty simple, so I just stayed in my power zones and adjusted my target by +/-5w by RPE.  The only real hiccup I had was just as I entered the park I collected a tag-a-long.  After a minute or so, I turned my head and asked if he was enjoying the draft.  :)  Oh, and there are 2 "bottle launcher" spots in town.  

Transition 2

I passed my buddy Jeff out on the bike course and he yelled "I'll catch you in transition while your undressing!"  He always out swims me, and sometimes I catch back up with him.  Unfortunately for him, I didn't waste any time getting undressed and was off and gone even before my draft buddy in just a tri suit was out of T2.

Run Course and Strava Data

1:24:22, 7/207
The course is described as "rolling" but I would say it is flat with a few climbs.  I started out conservatively shooting for a "feel good" first mile and hoping to see 6:45s by the 5k mark.  I was feeling very "concentrated" from not getting enough water on the bike, so I was counting on a good dose on the run.  Unfortunately, they were Gatorade only for the first 20 minutes or so.  Shortly after the 5k mark, I had got some water and was preparing to turn it on a bit.  

This is when the course gremlin got me.  The course is 2 loops around the park and through the camp area.  It's sorta marked and kinda easy to follow.  But when I am racing, these things aren't enough to keep me on track.  Before mile 4, I had stopped to ask directions once and retraced 90" of running from thinking I was off course.  By the time I actually was at mile 4, I was fuming mad.  The thing is, there was a few different "courses" posted so it was difficult to really know the official course.  It made matters worse that the volunteers seemed pretty confused about it too.  Regardless, I ended up with a great run and progressively dropped my pace for a solid negative split.  I was able to come in feeling like I spent my match sticks well, and I hadn't been miserably uncomfortable for the last hour.  I didn't feel like I could run faster, but I wasn't coming unglued either.
4:23:40 to take 3rd!

First Time to make the big podium at a Tri!  Thanks Accelerate 3!


4:23:40 3rd!!!!
The race was fantastic.  The host hotel, Comfort Inn, was actually really nice.  We were expecting a dump, but it was great.  The breakfast there was even good.  I couldn't be happier about the race.  The course needs some work, and the worst part is I think it may have cheapened the PRs for some of the athletes.  Regardless of 70.3 or 67.6, it was a great race.  Put it on your calender for next year!

official results

Love being an only child.
Dad is always the first one I see at the finish line.
Dr and Dr. Holland came out to cheer us on!
We love that they are representing T-Town.
Goosepond marked the end of the Alabama Championship series, so they presented the awards afterwards!
I nabbed first in the M30-34 age group, only 2 points from winning the overall :(
Along with a sweet trophy was free entry into next year's Goosepond!

The cool Tri-trophy is from the Alabama Championship Series.
The mug was the age group award, and the glass is the overall award.  Lots of goodies!

The smallest Borden had a great day after a long swim and just missed an age group award.

4 of us had a great race.  Glen had a stress fracture.  Sorry G.