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Race Result

Racer: Fabrice Guillaume
Race: Columbia Triathlon
Date: Sunday, May 18, 2008
Location: Ellicott City, MD
Race Type: Triathlon - International Distance
Age Group: Male 30 - 34
Time: 2:33:50
Overall Place: 243 / 1120
Age Group Place: 39 / 143
Comment: Finally got my swim and bike together - run was so so though

Race Report:

Time: 2:33:50
30-34 AG Rank: 39 / 143
Overall Male Rank: 243 / 1120
Overall Rank: 284 / 1722

I did this race as a training race (B race) in prep. of Morgantown HIM in June. I am also comparing my race split times to Luray that is the other OLY race I did last year in a semi hilly type of environment, very comparable to Columbia just as a way to gage on my improvements.

Picked up my race packed and got my bike checked and racked a day before the race.
That's the first tri where both my bike and helmet are actually checked.
And I am actually quite happy since they found a crack in my helmet - so that was useful!
Got a brand new helmet and I was ready for the race...

Race Day:
Woke up at 4am. got a regular breakfast + took a banana and power bar to eat on my way to the race.
I got there early and it was already packed. Had to park on the side of the road before the entrance as things were not moving.
I got there eventually, got marked and met Tracy that was just all smiling and ready to go :)
I also met Loyed, another RATS later on. That was nice to see a few RATS.

On the size of the race, I guess I took full measure of this event when I realized how many of us were in the transition area.
We were over 1700 (race limit is 2100, not sure really how many we were total). I don't think I have seen that many triathletes in a single event.
The bikes were racked just a couple of inches from each other. Not really too much place for the bags either.
But who cares. The mood was good, I was feeling great.
Plus I was going to see very closely some top triathletes too which is just awsome.

So I set up my transition area and headed out to start seeing the first waves swimming.
I was in Wave #7, almost an hour after the first elite wave so this gave me plenty of time to see them.

It was just great seeing Chris MCCORMACK getting into T1 and chagning really fast (17 seconds total) - he finished eventually 3rd.
Same with our local triathletes Margy SHAPIRO that finished 3rd too. Desiree Flicker also is just beautiful to watch - finished 5th although she cam out of the water quite late.

Now back to my race... :)

Swim: 25:56 for 1500m (1:43/100m pace) 55/143
The swim was a 1.5 km in a lake. Temp was actually ok, around 61 I guess. It was a rectangle shape course.
I had prep. mentally myself for the swim to swim easy and smoothly and avoid hyperventilating like my last race.
I also made a point to not stop and keep swimming with a 2 strokes breath instead of 3 to give plenty of oxygen to my muscles so I could push strong and for a long time.
Well this paid off. I really did not suffer during the swim, kept a nice pace the whole swim.
I even surprised myself feeling just great. I usually tend to be in survival mode in the swim, waiting for it to end.
And for the very first time, I quite enjoyed my swim. I think I also managed to keep some straight lines with sighting the bouyes better than last race.
Overall, I am quite please with my swim as I finished under 30mn with a 25:56 time.
Compared to 32:28 (2:09/100m pace) at Luray last year, this is a 6mn30 improvement - 26 seconds faster / 100m
So I'm getting there, slowly but surely.

T1:2:47 30/143
Nothing really special here. Took out the wetsuit with no pb - thanks PAM.
Put socks and shoes on and ran to Bike Mount section.

Bike:1:16:05 for 41 km (20mph avg speed) 40/143
The bike was a 41 km loop (25.6 miles) and a bit hilly.
I had as a strategy the following: keep some energy up hill and go strong as soon as I reached the top and fly down the hills.
Well this paid off too. First I had a lot of fun with the hills.
With tour de Skyline the week end before (and my very first century) I was ready for it.
Second, I did not bother about people around me. I passed a lot of them from previous eaves and got passed by a few with aero helmet/nice bike looking very strong. Well done to them.

Funny thing is about some people that I leap frogged with.
On that note, I still remember talking about that with Reid and I was thinking about his experience at Kinetic that was similar.
The people I would leap frog with for a few miles would pass me up hills and I would pass them on top of the hill or right after.
I will from now on stick to that plan as this saves a lot of energy and makes an overall speed average higher.
In the end, I got them eventually except 1 guy that I chatted with from Team Z - he had the same strategy, same pace so we ended up together.
Quite fun to race with him...

Only mistake I made in this bike portion was not taking any electrolytes.
although the weather was not hot with clouds, I sweat ed too much on the bike and starting cramping out in the last 5 miles.
I think I over - compensated there by drinking a lot of water. This caused me some issues on the run...

But at least, my bike portion was decent compared to Luray last year with a 4mn30 improvement.
Average speed was 20mph although it was a bit hilly.

T2:1:39 46/143
Nothing special here either. You just get out of the bike, stretch out for 3-4 mn, get a beer,.... oh no, that's not there yet.
You have to speed up here.... :)

Run: 47:25 for 10km (7:38/mile pace) 47/143
Aie aie aie.
This is where things hurt.
It's probably one of the most challenging 10k races I did. The hills were very steep.
Too bad I drunk on the bike so much water to address cramps because both my legs and heart were feeling good.
I could hear the "flak flak" from my belly and that + gas, it felt like it was about to explode.
I think I probably looked like my sister when she was 6 months pregnant. No kidding I was looking at my belly that was just like a balloon.
So I took it just easy for 4 miles until finally after stopping and releasing some gas - sorry - things went back in order and
I finished strong, able to go up and downhill without holding back anymore.
Of course, with that my running time was just a disaster, 2mn10 behind my Luray time last year.

But at least I finished strong and all energized and happy about this great event.

Post race:
I got to see Loyd that had done a 6mn PR compared to the previous year. Well done!
I did not see Tracy or Erik or other RATS...
I grabbed my stuff, headed o my car and got to see Michale, that lives just 2 miles from my house.
I wish I knew he was racing. We could have come together.
We exchanged our race feedback. It was nice chatting with all of these folks.

Lessons learn t:
1- don't buy a used helmet. Buy a new one
2- get electrolytes to avoid cramping even though it is not necessarily a hot day
3- take a camera to take a picture of the pros...

I am quite happy that I finally got my swim and bike together.
It's a first time I swim and bike strong the whole swim/bike segment. I usually crap out a bit at the end of the swim and bike/run.
Yes my swim is still very slow I know... But Tri is all about personal achievements right? :)

I also need to do a better job on the nutrition plan to not over hydrate myself while fighting cramps.

I am now in my last 4 weeks preparation for my very first HIM in the hilly Morgantown in June...
More later...