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Race Result

Racer: Kevin Shaw
Race: Colonial Beach Triathlon
Date: Sunday, July 13, 2008
Location: Colonial Beach, VA
Race Type: Triathlon - International Distance
Age Group: Male 45 - 49
Time: 2:07:58
Overall Place: 55 / 208
Age Group Place: 4 / 22
Comment: A nice improvement over last year!

Race Report:

Swim Rank 7AG/82overall
Swim Time 13:52
Swim Pace 3.25kph
T1 Time 01:13
Bike Rank 6AG/63overall
Bike Time 1:07:14
Bike Pace 22.1mph
T2 Time 01:01
Run Rank 4AG/40overall
Run Time 42:35
Run Pace 7:06/M

Last year this was my first “real” triathlon, meaning an open water swim. I had a great time doing this last year but in the interest of doing something different, I originally was not going to do this one again. However, my family had such a good time the whole weekend, that they talked me into coming back. I think renting a golf cart and driving around was the prime motivator for my son!

We stayed in the Days Inn right at the transition area which was very convenient. At packet pickup I was told that the water temps were around 85F so that meant no chance of a wet suit swim this year. However, race morning the USAT referee announce that the temps were right at 78F so wet suits would be allowed. Being right at the transition area meant that it was easy to get there early and get a good bike rack. I got at the end and was in the row closest to the bike in/out, perfect!

I met DebiB who I only know from the trirats message board, so it was nice to put a face to the emails. Debi was the Female Masters winner last year.

There was actually a bit of a breeze race morning and a slight chop. The word was that there was a slight current, running down the long part of the swim so that would give us a slight push as well. Which makes sense since the swim is in a river, but it is what I think of as the lower tidal Potomac river so it is possible to have no current or even a slight reverse current.

The swim started right on time and I got a good position near the front, slightly to the outside and a bit up current. Heading out was pretty uneventful and I concentrated on swimming with a nice “V” stroke. I hit the turn buoy and headed down, out in this part of the river I started feeling some large swells that made the swim a bit more difficult but I still felt pretty strong and I began to pass some folks and started to see fewer caps around me, I thought that was a good sign for a nice strong swim. Hitting the last turn buoy and heading back to shore, I concentrated on strong pulls and began to kick a bit harder. As I got closer to shore I really felt that I had a good swim, for me and I was eager to see how the bike was going to go.

The transition was pretty uneventful; I was able to get the wetsuit off pretty easily. My only mistake here was not leaving the Velcro on my bike shoes open, but it didn’t cost me too much a and this was my best T1 time ever.

I was using my Garmin 405 for the first time in any race. The 405 does not have a multisport option so I was testing out how my different screen settings were going to work and how I was going to manipulate the watch. The touch bezel on the 405 has been an issue, it tends to lock up when sweat gets on it, so I was going to test locking and unlocking the bezel and switching to my run screen at the end of the bike. Also the bike mount is not as easy as I had on the 305 so this would be another test. I got the watch turned on and synced very early in the ride and was able to switch to the correct screen to see my bike information. Now to concentrate on the actual biking …

I was hoping to average 22 mph or better on the bike for this race, which would be a slight improvement over last year. I felt pretty strong over the entire course and played leap frog with a few people for the first 8 or so miles. Debi passed me at just about the same place as last year however this year a couple of minutes later I picked up the pace and passed her back, along with about 4 or 5 other riders. I have no idea where this burst of speed came from but the longer I kept up this pace, the more I was afraid of the impact it would have on my run.

I cruised back into town and switched my 405 over to my run screen and locked the bezel so my sweat wouldn’t cause any problems (the new 405 has a touch bezel that sometimes gets locked up due to sweat hitting it). I slipped out of my shoes with about .2 miles to go and rode on the tops. Coming back to the transition area I turned left and saw my son, waving and running down the sidewalk. I saw my wife, who took a great picture and turned right and coasted down to the dismount line.

Now how easy would it be to get my watch off the bike and onto my wrist, no quick release mount for the 405.

I jogged into T2 and easily found my rack, slipped on my running shoes (no socks) grabbed my bib number belt and hat and then fumbled off my watch, stopping the bike timer. As I jogged out of T2, I hit the reset button on the watch and then the start button right on the timing mat.

I cruised down the road on the run while strapping the 405 to my wrist. By the time I made the first left turn the watch was on and I saw I was running a 6:30 pace. I knew I would never be able to sustain that so I slowed down. I saw my wife and son and knew they were heading to the golf cart to chase me around the run course. What a great mental boost that is, seeing them at 5 different points plus the start and finish.

Mile one was into a very slight breeze that felt good and turned out to be 7:15 m/mi and I felt pretty good about the effort. But I there was no sign of my wife and son. I was wondering what happened to them, perhaps they had problems getting the golf cart going. I was passed by one guy that I ended up passing back in mile two: mile two was 7:07 m/mi, a bit fast but I felt pretty strong. Still no sightings of my golf cart paparazzi. There were ample water stops just about every mile and the volunteers did a great job getting water to us. The third mile, over on the bay side, has some very, very small and short little hills, more bumps than anything else but it is also shaded and the slight breeze was now at our backs so this part of the course (on the “bayside”) was very nice. I hit the turnaround at a 7:03 m/mi still no sign of the golf cart crew. I was passed by the same guy from before, so I decided to tuck in behind him and have him block the slight headwind. I was able to stay with him for a little while but he eventually pulled away. Mile four clicked off at 7:10 and I knew it was time to dig deep.

Back at the south end of the point I finally saw my wife and son with the golf cart! They were cheering me on when I saw my friend DaveB (no relation to DebiB ;) ) I had forgotten that he was going to be here! We cruised back up toward the start with the wind at my back and it started to get hot, no shade and no cooling breeze. I saw my wife and son a few times as they popped in and out from the side streets taking pictures. I hit mile five at 6:57 m/mi pace and Debi cruised past me, running nice and strong.

For the final mile I was able to keep Debi in my sites but did not have enough to pass her back. I made the final turn and then sprinted to the finish line. Mile 6 was run at a 6:52 pace and the final sprint was somewhere around 5/30 m/mi.

I crossed the line in 2:07:58, two minutes under my goal time and six minutes faster than last year.