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Race Result

Racer: Andrew Jones
Race: Montclair Triathlon
Date: Sunday, June 28, 2009
Location: Montclair, VA
Race Type: Triathlon - Sprint
Age Group: Male 30 - 34
Time: 2:00:12
Overall Place: 145 / 300
Age Group Place: 3 / 12
Comment: My first race!

Race Report:

Pre-Race & Course Description:
This is my first full triathlon; I’ve been on triathlon relay teams but never the full event. I picked this race because I grew up in Montclair, I knew the roads, the hills, and I felt I had a home field advantage compared to some random other race. I previewed the course the day before after getting the race packet. The location of the race packet check-in was also the place the organizers asked the athletes to park on race day. The school parking lot was about 3.5 miles by bike path/road to the race site. So if you didn’t pack it in your bag, forget going back for it so pack wisely. I chose to park in the parking lot of a nearby shopping plaza, to save time and stress. Driving the course on Saturday, I noticed the road was in good shape, not many holes, cracks or bumps. The run was along the bike course on the sidewalk, much narrower than a bike path and could prove to be difficult to pass on the run. The transition area was very large. You would have to get your bike up a small but slightly steep grass hill, so there was potentially an area where it could turn to mud. The “steep hill” that all reports spoke about coming out of T1 also had to be considered when setting up your bike. I left it in the small ring up front and the 19 cog in back.

The swim (1000 meter)
Time: 22.27
Category Place: 8/12
Overall Place: 175/300
The swim is in Montclair Lake starting and ending at Dolphin Beach. An excellent place for a race start, the in water start was easy with the sand beach and shore, no stepping in mud or muck. The water was clam, but dark, you also swim with the sun in your eyes due to the start time, so wearing the smoke goggles was very helpful. One bad part of the swim is trying to site the finish are. The clown wind sock wasn’t very large so trying to use it to site was difficult; it caused me to drift off for the most direct route back to the finish.

Transition one:
Time: 2.40
Category Place: 8/12
Overall Place: 235/300
Coming out of the water, you run on sand before crossing the parking lot to the grassy transition area. I counted the number of bike rows to know where my bike, no sweat. Good transition area. Leaving the transition you climb a slight grassy hill to get out onto the road, it wasn’t slippery but it was getting wet from all the athletes. Lastly you do have to prepare for the climb on the bike right out of the transition area. I left my bike in the little ring, and 19 cog in the back, it was easier to stand and pedal up than trying to sit and spin up it.

The Bike: 30K
Time: 51.00
Category Place: 3/12
Overall Place: 52/300
After the initial transition hill you quickly leave the neighborhood and ride on the divided 4-lane parkway (Waterway Drive) for 2.5 loops. The course was the left lane of each side of the Parkway; cars were still driving in the right lane next to you, only cones splitting up the road. Police controlled all intersections and traffic quickly backed up along the road. With nearly 600 athletes, the course was very congested. Riding is my strength and I passed many riders along the course. Having to consistly call out passing and slowing down before passing was a disadvantage due to my swimming weakness. You can ride in the big ring for most of the course; I only got out of it when spinning up “Knob” hill, passing other riders trying to power up the hill in the big ring. The turnarounds at each end are pretty tight, and a good place to pass riders not prepared it. The course is fast due to the slope of the road, keeping momentum after the down hills was key to a fast bike time.

Transition Two:
Time: 1.43
Category Place: 5/12
Overall Place: 201/300
Coming back to the transition you have to navigate the steep downhill you had to ride up coming out of T1. Other riders were coming down at different speeds, athletes starting the run, and spectators were all over the place, so you have to be ready with the brakes. The dismount line was soon after the bottom of the hill and it bottle necked going back in the grass and bike racks. I should have paid more attention and ran passed people instead of lining up behind them; I should have had a better T2 time.

The Run: 8K
Time: 42.23
Category Place: 6/12
Overall Place: 199/300
Leaving T2 you run up the same hill you had to bike up, the run paralleled the bike course for most of the loop. The hill definitely gets your legs muscles going and I felt if made an easier transition from bike to run. Running on a sidewalk with other athletes again proved to be the most difficult piece. Passing and trying to run a pace was harder than I thought it would be. The run up “Knob” really broke up groups; athletes were walking and moved over into the grass for the most part. The water stops were in good areas along the course. The finish was at the far end of a dam and you could see it from a far distance, on both laps I used the finish line as inspiration to increase my pace.

Time: 2.00.11
Category Place: 3/12
Overall Place: 145/300
Overall I was very happy with my time and place in the race; especially for my first race. I felt the course was very well suited for a strong cyclist with good bike control. The course has hills and you can use them to your advantage. The water stops, transition area and course were well planned by the organizer.