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Race Result

Racer: Kevin Kunkel
Race: Kinetic Sprint
Date: Sunday, April 24, 2005
Location: Spotsylvania, VA
Race Type: Triathlon - Sprint
Age Group: Male 30 - 34
Time: 1:35:21
Overall Place: 27 / 296
Age Group Place: 4 / 33
Comment: My first triathlon: a race report

Race Report:

Well, here we go. The weather was a might chilly down at Lake Anna on Sunday. I thought those of you who did the half the day before were in for the bad weather. It looks like you guys had a nice day. It was pretty cold and blustery. The worse part was the wind. I figured the first couple miles on the bike would be the worst. Suffice it to say, the triathlon was nothing like what I expected. As for race organization and logistics the services provided were excellent. The Set Up Inc. folks know what their doingóespecially for a race that is only $45. They even had ample food after the race including everyoneís post race favorite: pizza. I swear there must have been a 100 pizzas brought by the folks at Dominos. I need to stop, Iím getting ahead of myself.

First, I was most nervous about the swim since it is my weakest event, and just 6 months ago I would be hard pressed just to make it across a pool, let alone swim nearly a Ĺ mile. To put it mildly, the swim was rough and tumble. Within the first 50 yards I got whacked in the head twice, the second time nearly knocking my goggles completely off my face. Not a good start. My other problem was that every time I tried to get into my stroke I would end up running in to someone (catching their feet), or I would get off course. All the pool training workouts Iíve been doing didnít mean squat. In fact, I came away feeling that the 3-4 days a week Iíve been swimming 2000yrds were meaningless. I would estimate that for 80% of the race I simply wind-milled with my head above water swinging to each side. I was making progress, albeit very slowly. I donít think I was the only one suffering this way either. The wind created probably a 1ft of swell and I think this made my first open water swim quite difficult. During the awards presentation the race director mentioned they pulled 18 competitors out of the water. So in the end I should just chuck this up to some bad race conditions and not worry too much about it. Right?

T1, which I thought was going to be the most difficult, was quite uneventful. I didnít have much problem getting out of my wetsuit. I grabbed the helmet, bike, and sunglasses and was gone. Iíd estimate that I spent no more than 30 seconds in transition. This may be TMI but for some reason I couldnít pee during the swim and I needed to BAD. One I was cold and I needed to relieve myself in the worst way. I wish I could have because with the one-piece suit I was wearing I ended up carrying it around for the rest of the day. Next time I will give myself more than 30 minutes from time of arrival to race start. My time for the swim and T1 together was: 18th of 33, 17:48

On the bike, I knew I needed to hammer, and I did. I got passed by no one and I believe I passed around 20-30 competitors. I could tell how slow my swim was when I was passing people going quite slow on the bike. I knew I needed to make the most of the 18 miles. The course was rolling hills, certainly more so than the Reston course. My bike time was: 3rd of 33, 53:37.

When I got to T2 I managed to stub my big toe really bad. My feet were completely numb. I ran into T2 not being able to feel my feet at all. Next time Iíll wear toe covers or cover the vents on my shoes for a cold race. T2 was a disaster. Since I couldnít feel my feet I had a really hard time getting my shoes on. I spent nearly 30 seconds just trying to get one on. I must have spent at least a minute total in T2--a real disappointment.

Once running, I still couldnít feel my feet. My turnover was fast and I didnít feel like I wrecked myself on the bike, but my stride was very short and choppy. The Ĺ mile climb at the beginning didnít help either. I felt like I was still riding the bike when I was chugging up the hill. Since I came to triathlons from running, I thought I could handle this better. I ended up running 5 minutes slower for the 5K than my 5K PR. I passed 3 on the run and got passed by one(That one is the one who took the 3rd place in the AG away). I guess I really need to hit the bricks and I need to work on my flexibility coming off the bike. I may try some striders during brick workouts to lengthen my stride. Iím all ears from you experience folks. I know some of you may say that this was because I hit the bike hard but my pulse never went over 70% MHR, so I know I wasnít pushing it too hard. My time for the run and T2 together was: 7th of 33, 23:57.

All in all I had a mixed experience. I felt on the swim I couldnít really show what I was made of; on the bike, I felt I did what I could do; on the run, I felt like I forgot who I was. I definitely want to stick with the event but I need to address my open water swim skills and my running flexibility post bike. I finished 27th overall and 4th in my age group. I missed 3rd by a measly 29 seconds (damn shoe!) I hope you enjoyed the ramblings of this neophyte. Iím all ears and would appreciate any advice any of you, certainly more experienced, may have.