Reston Area Triathletes RATS.net Logo

Race Result

Racer: Rob Weitzel
Race: Columbia Triathlon
Date: Sunday, May 23, 2004
Location: Ellicott City, MD
Race Type: Triathlon - International Distance
Age Group: Male 35 - 39
Time: 2:28:48
Overall Place: 133
Age Group Place: 21
Comment: Hot-Humid-Hilly

Race Report:

Racer: Rob Weitzel
Race: Columbia Triathlon
Date: Sunday, May 23, 2004
Location: Ellicott City, MD
Race Type: Triathlon - International Distance 1.5K swim 40K Bike 10K Run
Age Group: Male 35 - 99
Time: 2:28
Overall Place: 133 / 1200
Age Group Place: 21 / 133
SWIM = 29:13 83rd agegroup
T1 = 2:13 15th in agegroup
BIKE = 1:11:12 avg 21.4 mph 13th agegroup
T2 = :56 12th agegroup
RUN = 45:15 7:17 pace 13th agegroup
Comment: I concur with the Hot Hot and Hot and Hilly

Race Report:

Well here it is not to bad considering that temps hit 94 and humidity was probably the same. All of the times were really slow this year, the hills were really tough on both the bike and run as this is probably one of the most challenging olympic distance tris in the country. Peter Reid seemed to be even caught off guard a little by the course barely going sub 2 hours, and he had some local talent right on his heels. I was only off about 4minutes from PR on this course which I'll gladly take considering the conditions since I run best at about 70-75 degrees.

My swim time was about a minute slower than I wanted, but about what I expected considering the last (2) timetrials I had done in the pool, and the day before in Lake Audobon in my new wetsuit (for the first time). The swim was a nice easy counterclockwise 1500 meters. I did not get pummeled at all, and seemed to be able to sight the downward buoys fine even though the morning sunrise was glaring right in my face. The water was cool and almost perfect. Not to much goose crap or dead cicadas. I did take the swim somewhat conservatively because I knew what my swim training had been like and I did not want to be totally exhausted on the bike. I felt very smooth in the water and not overtaxed and held my line well.

T1 from swim to bike was tough for some reason. My legs felt rubbery, and my heart rate was skyhigh. I had a relatively quick transition, but I was breathing really hard the first 15 minutes of the ride, and tried hard to get my HR down and get into a nice race rythmn. I was able to finally get into it, and I was biking well, I did have some problems on the hills with my gearing. Everytime I dropped it into my easy gear the chain would pop off wildly, and on one occassion popped off enough to almost jump off and get mangled around my crank. Each time it did this though I was fortunate enough that the chain simply popped back into place and I was able to keep riding. I did lose some time these incidences happened, but the chain never popped all the way off. I got passed by one bike the entire ride, and I got passed by another but over took him and did not see this guy again until he blew by me on the run. While I do not like biking the hills I did work hard this off season to do better on the hills and I think it paid off. Now if I could have only spent more time in the pool to get my swim time down a few notches that would be great.

I had a very speedy transition in T2. I opted to go sockless for the run to save time. This was a huge chance for me because I usually blister badly when I get wet feet. I was surprised to find that my feet felt great the entire run. The first hill is just outside of T2 and is a real mental downer particularly in the heat and your HR is already up from T2. I mustered enough energy to climb the little hill and then reach the summit to descend into the shade and try to climb my pace back up to race speed. This worked as long as I was in the shade, everytime I hit a sunny patch my pace dropped dramatically. I was relegated to stopping and walking at least 4 times on the hills as I could feel myself slowly blowing up. As I climbed out of the neighborhood I knew that there was probably only one more hill (a very hard one) before the downhill towards the finish. I tired desparately to open my pace back up, but the sun zapped my strength. Over the last summit and down through shaded trail I was able to pick my pace back up, but to little to late. I was able to sustain until the finish. I was pretty tapped out. I was surprised to find that my run time was well under 50 minutes, it felt like an eternity, but I do not think I could have mustered much more without totally blowing up. I think the one thing I really did wrong in this reace was not drinking enough on the bike. I realized post race as I was tearing down transition that my aerobottle was still full to the brim and I had only taken a few sips out of it. This probably was significant to my breakdown on the run, and very atypical of me in a race scenario where I'm very anal about monitoring my fluid and caloric intake.

This was a very well run event, and it is always nice to see so many people that I know each year. WIth the growth of triathlon in this region it has also increased my network of friends, and this is one of the main motivators for getting out and doing this day in and day out.