Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Rose City Triathlon Race Report

Over two weeks late on this race report for the Rose City Triathlon in Tyler, TX. I did this race last year and finished 7th - it was some USAT Championship race, I can't remember which one - there seem to be so many different categories.  Club Championships, South Mid-West Regional Championships, State Championships - blah, blah, blah....  The difference is that when it's a championship race people who are interested in scoring points show up.

I did a race earlier this year and the Olympic distance was a championship (I did the sprint). I talked with a girl after the race asking if she was doing the WikiWiki Olympic distance and she said no, she hated that distance (but she had just raced it). At WikiWiki the Sprint was some type of championship - she did that one. Chasing those points for rankings.  I did the Olympic at that one because it is what fit in with my training schedule. Question: What do you do? Chase the rankings points or race to your schedule?

So... back to Rose City. This year I finished 4th overall - less fast people showed up - non championship race. Of course the ones that did show were super fast! Of the three girls who beat me, 2 are training partners of mine here in Shreveport. The other one is a girl who got dinged for drafting at River Cities. All of them are in their 20's. Made me feel pretty good. They could be my kids!

New venue for this year's race - on the other side of the lake. Much better. Picked up my race packet that morning. Wrong size shirt. Was able to leave it there and have them send me something that would fit.

I warmed up on the run and turned on my Garmin to measure where 1/2 mile out would be. Put a stick on the side of the road to mark it. Did a warm up swim and then proceeded to wait around for the last swim wave. Denise and Rachel both registered as Elite and went off in the first wave. I probably should have done this too, but they were giving prize money for Masters, and Grand Masters, as well as 1-3 Overall. I didn't know if I raced in the elite wave as to whether or not it would kick me out of the Masters/ GM category or not and didn't feel like messing with contacting the RD ahead of time to find out, so I just sucked it up and went last.

This is something that Denise and I had a conversation about, and I've talked to several others about it as well. Are Masters and Grand Masters considered part of the "overall" awards? For instance, at River Cities, I decided to race in the elite wave so I wouldn't have to go last and have as much congestion on the swim and bike course. By changing to this wave from the "age group" waves I thought it would pull me out of the Masters/GM awards. Typically if you race in the elite wave you are ineligible for an age group award, however a fast age grouper who starts later can take one of the top spots if their time is faster than an elite. Makes sense to me. But I was surprised when the race director called me and told me he has my Masters award. So, from what I have gathered so far you can race either in the Elite wave or in the Age Group waves and still qualify for the overall M/GM awards. What have your experiences been at races with this?

Crowded and choppy swim, had to go around a lot of people and on the long leg of the swim there was a lot of chop due to the strong wind. Onto the bike with no issues - didn't get to preview this new course - it was twisty and turny with short punchy hills. Not a fast course unless you got to ride it often and know where to expect the turns and climbs. Off the bike and onto the run. Used my new found running style and chanted "easy, light, smooth, fast" - it worked again. Felt amazing on the run and averaged 7:27 miles - sweet! Not a great bike split with a 20.8 average.

Didn't see my stick, may have gotten knocked off the road by the time I got there, but I saw the two black bike shop signs that were just past it and knew when to drive home. Denise came out onto the course to cheer me in. She yelled "strong arms", reminding me to drive the arms as I picked up the pace.

Me, Denise, Rachel, and Brian - Go Shreveport!!!

Won the Masters Catagory and a check for $100! Denise placed 2nd overall! Cobb Mobb teammate Rachel Olson won the event.  One of the guys who swims Masters with us won the Grand Masters Catagory. Shreveport did well!

Okay, now for the wierd and funny part of the race. As Denise and I were putting the bikes on the car a girl in an orange Boston Marathon jacket came walking by and called out "As soon as I get the swim down I'm coming to get you!" Denise said I responded with "okay?" I don't remember answering because it really caught me off guard. So I started thinking about who in the world it might be, and went looking at the race photos online and found her. When I saw her photo I recognized her also from the River Cities Tri. After that race I'd walked over to the East Texas Triathletes tent to say hello to the Cobb Mobb manager. A girl that I didn't know said that she and I had similar bike and run times, but I got her on the swim. It was the same girl that called out to me at Rose City. Hmmm...... guess I'd better watch out!