Reston Area Triathletes RATS.net Logo

Race Result

Racer: David Orton
Race: Little Pepper
Date: Sunday, May 18, 2008
Location: Culpepper, VA
Race Type: Triathlon - Sprint
Age Group: Male 30 - 34
Time: 1:16:40
Overall Place: 7 / 394
Age Group Place: 3 / 8
Comment: Need More Speed

Race Report:

I followed the same plan from last year; got up at 5:00 AM and was out the door and on the road by 5:30. Pre-race nutrition consisted of a bottle of Perpeturm and a cliff bar along with SmartWater. We arrived at the race site and checked without (much) issue. I decided to warm up on my bike for this race rather than my normal run warm up. I brought my trainer and rode for 20 minutes in the parking lot keeping a high cadence and added four 30 second pickups. I felt good and was ready to race.

SWIM (9:55 - 5th)
I lined up at the front and I tried to seed myself near Mike Sevier, but he was no where to be found. I looked back along the shore and saw him running to make it to the start in time. He just made it to the starting line in time. The swim start was clean, no major issues or bumping. When I came to the first turn buoy, I felt someone on my inside and didn't cut the turn like normal. No need to make contact and I had a feeling it was Mike. He cut a sharper line and I tried to stay on his feet. After I few meters I decided to back off, he was flying and I wanted to swim fast but stay comfortable. I swam straight lines the whole way but was passed by Craig Lauinger in the last 100 meters. I came out 3rd feeling a bit wobbly but ok.

T1 (1:09 - 8th)
Elites were racked at the bike exit so we had a long run to our spots. Wetsuit came off without any problems and I grabbed my bike shoes and helmet. I decided against wearing sunglasses given the overcast conditions. The long run to the road took forever but I had Karolina and Shawn there to keep me motivated!

BIKE (44:15 - 14th)
The first four miles of the bike course are hard. You have an immediate downhill with a sharp 90 degree turn then another uphill all within the first 200 meters. It's then a series of rollers and false flats that favor stronger cyclists. I went into this race wanting to test my bike fitness and push the bike. I found this very difficult during the first few miles. Dave Cascio was the first person to pass me and I tried to stay with him as we moved onto the faster part of the course. He was riding very smooth and I kept him in sight for the next five miles. Jason Howard, (young stud biker) caught both of us and was hauling. I tried to stay with him for a few moments and realized it was a bad idea. It looked like he was spinning 60 RPMs out there! I tried to ride strong but never felt that speed I was looking for. Endurance was good, just no speed. I lost contact with Cascio during the final five miles and kept my head down as I came into transition in 6th place.

T2 (1:00 - 25th)
I jumped off the bike without issue and was shocked at how numb my feet had become. I didn't feel them as I ran down the grass hill to our racks. When I tried to put on my Newtons, I couldn't get my feet in the shoes because my little toe kept getting caught. I swear I almost broke that toe off trying to put on my shoes. I grabbed my race belt and was off about 35 seconds behind Cascio.

RUN (20:22 - 20th)
I didn't feel so hot starting the run. My stomach felt full and I needed to burp. I tried to get my numb feet going as the run started up some challenging hills. I could see everyone but Sevier going up the hill ahead of me. I also saw Geoff Paterson, Jason Goyanko and Jeff Cundiff were within a minute of me as I ran past T2 along the causeway. I needed to run fast! Once I got out on the road I started to settle into my stride and feel better. I wanted to run well so I focused on having quick feet and staying focused. The next chance to see the field was during the out-n-back hill on the run. Sevier was out of sight and Howard was running strong in second. Lauinger and McGarva came next with Cascio closing in on them. I tried to lengthen my stride and catch my breath during the downhill so I could really push my way back up to the main road. I saw Cundif running well followed Geoff and Jason. They all looked good and I needed to keep pushing the pace. As I approached the final turn around, I noticed that Lauinger and McGarva were missing. Did they go off course….how do you go off course here? Anyway, I stayed focused and kept pushing the pace. I knew the last section was almost all downhill so I tried to keep my foot on the gas. The final section went well. Nothing beats finishing a race with a downhill. Karolina and Shawn gave me some final motivation as I came down the causeway and I finished strong in 1:16:40.

FINAL (1:16:40 - 7th)
I was happy with my result because I dropped 3 minutes from last year (on the same course from August) and I finally landed on the Open/Elite podium. It was also great to cheer on Katie Davison (Back in the Game!) and Julie Clark (First Tri Evah!). The highlight of the day was the awards ceremony where we clearly had too much fun dancing to 70s music and set personal records for consuming pizza. Looking back, I was happy with my result but hoped to be a little faster on the bike and run. I felt like I lacked that "pop" needed to really go fast in a sprint tri. My coach later reminded me that my focus hasn't been on speed (yet) but on strength and endurance in preparation for Eagleman. In the end this was another great race with great friends. I look forward to doing it again in August.