Thursday, August 16, 2012

Tuckahoe Race Report

2012 Tuckahoe Sprint Triathlon Race Report
August 12th, 2012


Location: Beesley’s Point, New Jersey
Distance: 0.28-mile swim/12.2-mile bike/2.1-mile run
2012 Triathlon Race Number: 8
Career Triathlon Race Number: 122
Conditions: Mild for July in NJ.  Mid 70s.  Cloudy, very humid and little wind.  78-degree water temperature.  Lots of mosquitos.

Four weeks since my last tri and only 7 triathlons done and it’s mid-August—soooo--I felt I needed to get a few race experiences in before Kona.  Of course, this year has been a bit strange with RAAM and RAMROD, but I was feeling the racing itch.  Alex and I had just gone to Minnesota to visit my Mom, Bro and a bunch of my cousins—and my Uncle and Aunt so things were all mixed up with the two 10-hour travel days.  I was in week 6 of my Kona IM build and did a brick with a 15.5 mile run on Thursday so I was definitely coming into the race a bit unready to race but here we go!

Funky little race, which has, as it’s main attraction a very short 2.1-mile run.  I didn’t know much about my 8 competitors in my AG, which I assumed was good news from a competitive standpoint.  Overall, 205 souls lined up to do the individual triathlon this morning.  This marked a continuing decline in participation in the race over the last four years: 335/258/222/205.  It also marked my fourth straight year in the race.  I had finished 2nd in each of the prior three years in my AG—to different gentlemen each time.  I had hopes of finally breaking through.  Lastly, the course was changed yet again and so while I’ve done the race four years in a row, in reality, none of the times are consistently comparable.  That said, we had over 200 folks showing up to lay it down—let’s get it on!

The Swim

This was the second year that the swim was to the west of the old route 9 bridge.  I went out before the race and swam the course and noted that the current was pretty solid and against the 2nd of the 3 legs of the swim course.  My guess is that it added some 5-15 seconds to the swim.

The old guys went off in the 3rd leg after all the chickies and I started way to the right as the buoy structure was such that it made sense and I could also benefit from looking at everyone on my natural left-hand breathing side.  My swim was very pleasant and uneventful.  There were a handful of folks in front of me and I was content to cruise along up near the front.  I had felt very queasy before the race so I was intent on just being solid on this swim.

Bottom line I had a respectable swim.  My elapsed swim time was 6:22.  The competition in this race seemed a bit swim heavy but if I am to believe my Garmin data, I did pretty well on this swim—especially given the current.  Here are my wetsuit/open-water swims this year:

         Race                Min/Mile      Stroke/Min      Yds/Stroke

Rumpass                      23:27            37              2.02
Devilman                      22:58            37              2.09
Hammonton                  21:56            36              2.23
Tri-It                            24:24            37              1.94
Lake Lenape                  24:13            37              1.97
Tuckahoe                        23:05                37              2.09

From a competitive perspective, I had the 23rd fastest swim (89.3 %-tile), which surprisingly was my least effective (competitively) showing of my 4 Tuckahoe triathlons.  However, I enjoyed a substantial advantage vs. my AG competitors:

1.  Christofferson                    ---------
2.  Leisure                             + 0:45
3.  Venella                             + 1:59
4.  Delaney                            + 2:57
5.  Graham                            + 3:21

Transition One

The transition set-up at this race is awkward and you basically run a little more than a quarter mile (0.28 miles) to the transition area.  I labored through that run passing a lot of the slower women but getting passed by several of the younger men.  My total elapsed T1 time was 3:27, which was 32nd OA (84.9 %-tile) but was substantially better than any of my AG competitors.  Here is where we stood after T1:

1.  Christofferson                    --------
2.  Leisure                             + 1:49
3.  Venella                             + 2:28
4.  Reilly                                + 4:19
5.  Delaney                            + 4:21

The Bike

For the fourth straight year, the bike course was different so it’s not valid to compare my times from year to year.   I was a month removed from my fastest OA bike split at Lenape and I secretly harbored the thought of making it two in a row, but that hope was quickly dashed as Brian Duffy came blasting by me on his way to an overall victory.

I settled in and felt pretty good.  I was spinning real well and I was able to get my HR up reasonably well.  However, I noted that my power just wasn’t quite there—I seemed to be missing about 10 or 15 watts.

The ride was uneventful and I spent it passing quite a few of the women who went in the first two waves.  I completed my bike split in 31:00, and I clocked a total distance of 12.22 miles, which works out to a 23.7 mph average.  This is pretty descent given the first and last part of the course has a 0.2-mile section where you are slowed down by having to ride single file.

Overall, I averaged a disappointing 246 watts (vs. 261 in 2011 and 258 back in 2009).  My normalized power was 250 watts.  My HR averaged 164 bpm and my average cadence was 89 rpm.  Competitively, I had the 6th fastest bike split, which is at the 97.6 %-tile (vs. 95.6 in 2011, 99.6 in 2010, and 97.6 in 2009).  I was much faster than anybody in my AG and here is where we stood after the bike:

1.  Christofferson                    --------
2.  Venella                             + 5:36
3.  Reilly                                + 8:31
4.  Leisure                             + 8:53
5.  Delaney                            +15:03

Finally, here is the data from each mile of the bike:

1: 21.5mph/163bpm/86rpm/277wattsAP/289wattsNP
2: 24.0/166/90/232/236
3: 24.7/164/91/242/242
4: 24.8/165/90/234/239
5: 25.0/163/89/241/241
6: 23.7/162/88/230/236
7: 22.8/163/87/267/267
8: 23.1/165/89/251/252
9: 23.7/164/89/238/238
10: 23.8/165/92/242/248
11: 23.5/164/89/244/244
12: 24.7/163/92/244/246
.2: 19.9/166/70/270/276

Transition Two

I had an uneventful transition and completed the bike to run transformation in 51 seconds.  This was 51st OA (75.6 %-tile) and once again, substantially better than my AG competitors:

1.  Christofferson                    --------
2.  Venella                             + 5:48
3.  Reilly                                + 9:23
4.  Leisure                             + 9:42
5.  Delaney                            +15:24

The Run

I felt very sluggish on the run right from the start.  My guess is that I still had the long run from Thursday still in them.  I could also tell early in the run that I had a big AG lead.  As a result, I never really got rolling on the run and just chugged along.  My total run time was 16:59 for the 2.1-mile run course.  This is a very poor 8:05/mile.  This turned out to be the 64th fastest run OA (69.3 %-tile) and surprisingly, it was the 2nd fastest in my AG (88.9 %-tile).  I ended up finishing the race in 58:39, which was good enough for 15th OA (93.2 %-tile).  Here are the final standings in my AG:

1.  Christofferson                    --------
2.  Venella                             + 5:52
3.  Reilly                                +11:05
4.  Leisure                              +11:58
5.  Delaney                             +13:42

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