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Race Result

Racer: Kevin Kunkel
Race: Smith Mountain Lake Triathlon
Date: Saturday, May 7, 2005
Location: Huddleston, VA
Race Type: Triathlon - Sprint
Age Group: Male 30 - 34
Time: 1:13:32
Overall Place: 28 / 394
Age Group Place: 3 / 46
Comment: Edit: I forgot some "3s"

Race Report:

The ď3Ē Report

Number of disciplines in a triathlon: 3.
Total number of triathlons that I have competed: 3.
Number of RATS @ Smith Mountain Lake Triathlon: 3.
Number of RATS staying in Cabin 18 (divisible by 3): 3.
My age: 33.
Age of fellow RAT Mike Tine in cabin: 33.
My bib #: 33.

Do you see a trend here? There are many more 3s to follow through the course of this race report. There are probably some for which I havenít even thought. That will be left to the number master Karen Tine (Mikeís wife) to figure out. The woman is a mathematical genius. You tell here the date youíre born and she can tell you the day of the week in less than ď3Ē seconds. No lie! If you want some more strange coincidences I came to find out over the course of the weekend that Karen and Mike were born 12 days apartóand I was born within the 12 day period! What are the chances of that? OKÖOK back to the race report. I may start divulging too much personal information if I keep it up.

Will Waskes and myself arrived at 3:30 on Friday. We checked out the newly renovated cabins they have there at the lake (very nice, but shhhh, we donít want everyone to know). They are about a mile and half from the start/finish area. We managed to jump on our bikes and ride the bike and run course just to check it out on our way to packet pickup. Even though this was only Will and my 3rd triathlon, this was going to be the hilliest both for the run and the bike. Packet pickup was uneventful other than the aforementioned cold waters (60F). The race director said it was the coldest water conditions in the 8 year history of the race. Will and I also managed to swim about 500m of the course after packet pickup. We managed to draw a crowd of 20 on the beach. They must have thought we were a bunch of wackos who canít get enough. Trust me when I tell you Will and I need all the open water swimming practice we can get. We both stink but for very different reasons. We were just hoping that our wetsuits would dry before we had to put them on in the morning. Luckily, they did.

Race morning Mike, Will, and I headed down to the start at 6:30 knowing that the start was at 8:00. We were all surprised to find that most people were already there. Will and I had bib numbers THREE apart. He was THIRTY and I was THIRTY THREE. We set up on the rack next to each other knowing due to our different strengths and weaknesses that weíd see each other out on the course.

The nice thing about this start is that all THREE of us got to start together on the first wave. As the race started I attempted to get in more clean open water on the left side of the course. Since I tend to breathe to my right I figured I could see the buoys and other swimmers. This worked for the most part. I may have swum a little extra but I didnít care. I didnít need some people climbing over my back as was the case at Lake Anna two weeks earlier. Will went even further out. I think he must have swum at least an extra 20m. Mike of course, being the strong swimmer that he is, dusted us both. I managed to come out of the water knowing that I swam better. My only complaint is that I didnít keep my face down in the water like I should have. The damn water was just too cold. I managed a 15:25 (126th out of 272 men) for the 750M, which placed me as a solid MOP swimmer. I still need to work on this a bit. Iíd like to shave a couple minutes off this by the end of the season. This put me 2:10 behind Will, and 3:45 behind Mike.

T1 was pretty slow. I managed to take nearly THIRTY seconds just to latch my helmet thanks to my frozen fingers. Karen was yelling at me to hurry up. She could tell I was still pretty new at this. Thanks to the uphill start of the bike course I managed to fall and roll over with the bike as I was attempting to clip in. Iím sure everyone had a good laugh at that. I learned after the race that there were many other spills here as well.

For the bike leg I decided to use my road bike. The importance of easy access to the brakes and shifting canít be underestimatedóespecially on a hilly course. For some reason I canít do the aero thing just yet. The course was nice and rolling. I got to see Mike and Will often. I was making more time on Will than Mike but I figured with such a short bike portion there was no way Iíd have a chance of actually catching them. The two leg out and back did allow you to monitor your progress against the field quite nicely. I rode for a 37:23 (22nd out of 272 men).

I rode into T2 noticing that Will was in there. I was able to get out of there before he did but by only a couple seconds. He quickly passed me up only to stay between 100-200m in front of me. This time on the run I was able to start passing people. I figure on the bike I passed about 20 or so. I probably passed that many on the run here. Thanks to the bike leg being as short as it was my legs had no ill effects. I reeled off a 19:23 5K (14th out of 272 men) on a pretty hilly, and now quite warm, course. Since triathletes put their age on their calf I did mange to pass THREE others in my age group during the run. On the results I noticed they all THREE finished right behind me. This should improve with the summer as I start to do some speedwork, which to this point Iíve done virtually none. Thanks to Will having some GI problems (you donít want the TMI explanation) I caught up to him right at the finish line. Two weeks in a row we have crossed the finish like practically together.

At the finish I felt much better about my effort than I did at the Kinetic Sprint a couple weeks ago. I placed, what else, 3rd in my age group. Not to shabby. I enjoyed the rest of the weekend up at Smith Mountain Lake. On Sunday morning Will and I did an 11 mile run in and around the park. It finally looks like spring is here to stay. I liked the Park so much Iíve decided to do the Outback Big Lick Triathlon there in September. Iíve even reserved cabin number 18 again. Now I just need to keep building up with some solid weeks of training. Next up: the Bath County Triathlon. Maybe this time weíll have more than THREE RATS there.

I forgot, there were some more "3s" to report:

Number of RATS winning age group awards: 3.
Correct height on Will Waskes Bontrager seatpost: 3.3
Number of miles drive to "Famous Anthony's restaurant: 30
How many times Will, Mike, and I saw each other during the race: 3.
Total time of race: 1:13:32

I'm sure there are more 3s that I simply forgot.