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Race Result

Racer: Kevin Kunkel
Race: Reston Triathlon
Date: Sunday, September 11, 2005
Location: Reston, VA
Race Type: Triathlon - International Distance
Age Group: Male 30 - 34
Time: 2:15:40
Overall Place: 25 / 508
Age Group Place: 6 / 41
Comment: Fun race, decent time, learned a lot!

Race Report:

Time for the race reports of race reports: The Reston Triathlon 2005. My first, of what I hope, many Reston Triathlons. Since this is my first season in the sport, and this was my longest race to date, I really didnít know what to expect, other than I think the swim is too long and the bike too short; now you know where my preferences are if you didnít hear me spout off about this before. I apologize in advance. I know this report will be a long one.


On Saturday it was nice to see a lot of familiar faces from the RATS, RR, and RBC. From the great volunteers to fellow competitors, everyone seemed pretty psyched. The preams handed out seemed pretty nice (as they should be for $90+). I heard from Steve that the race my not be wetsuit legal. I guess I really didnít care. It was a trade off between a poor swim, or an even poorer swim.


SWIM (29:58):

I seemed pretty relaxed and casual as I waded my way into the pristine waters of Lake Audubon (yea right!). This is quite unusual. I donít usually look forward to the swim. Recently Iíve began to enjoy swimming. I think itís because Iíve started to see some improvement thanks to Will Waskes and Dave Cascio encouraging me to do intervals from 100-500 meters. I canít tell you how much stronger thatís made me. Now if I could only improve my technique I could become more than simply a competent swimmer. The swim went great. Although I only breathe to the right I seemed to find the rope and buoys consistently on my left. I never even really remember looking up to sight. I had a few folks who were consistently in front of me. I tried to speed up a couple times but I couldnít seem to get past what appeared to be three individuals swimming side by side. I kept hitting their feet with my hands. I suppose I was comfortably in their draft but I felt I could have gone somewhat quicker. My stroke rate was pretty slow. I was surprised when I passed three people from the silver wave, but then again I got passed by two who were in the wave behind. The swim went by pretty quick which was surprising considering it was more than twice as far as Iíve ever swam in a race. The longest part was from the damn drain to the boat dock. The results posted a 29:58 which Iím elated with. I thought in a best case scenario I MIGHT break 30:00. I was surprised when I did.

T1 (1:28):

Now this is another story. I was wearing a brand new sleeveless wetsuit that I hadnít even tried on before. I got it the day before and it wasnít my first choice. I really want the sleeveless Orca P-Flex. I have a full Predetaor2 and I like the way they fit. The salesman at All3Sports convinced me to get a QR Hydrojohn. I found the wetsuit to be adequate and allowed my arms and shoulders to do their work without interference. It doesnít seem to have the varying degrees of stitching and density of my Predator but I found it too be great until I tried to remove it from my ankles. What a pain in the *ss. I hope this was just because it was the first time but it seemed to take me :45 just get my feet out. Maybe I should learn from Brady and just sit down from the get go and get it off. Needless to say I could have got under a minute and Iíll be working on this a couple weeks down at the Outback Big Lick. How in the world the ďbig dogsĒ like Orton and Smith can do this :40 quicker than I is beyond me.

BIKE (59:27 not from the website, but by subtraction):

Before this year I never used a bike for more than commuting. Iíve found it to be a lot more enjoyable than I thought possible. I still have a lot to learn about training techniques and the like, but Iím looking forward to more cycling in my future. I agree with Steve. The bike course is not hilly but itís not exactly flat either. I wouldnít describe it as rolling either. I think the best way I could describe it is that for the most part the first half of each loop is generally slightly uphill and the second half slightly downhill. Itís not entirely but if you can look at your bike computers youíll notice that on the second half of each loop is probably 7-10 mph faster than the first.

Going in I really wanted to break an hour but I didnít want to break my legs in doing so. Especially after what happened to my run experience a week ago at the RockíníRoll Ĺ in VA Beach I decided I was going to go a little slower and not punish myself up Lawyers and Glade. Since this was also my longest bike segment of a race to date I decided to take it somewhat easy. I ended up catching up to Alex Rouchette within a couple miles and we seemed to leap from each other throughout the rest of the ride. Iím happy to report I got passed by no one and I counted 18 that I passed. I was shocked when I read the results to find I had no time ;-) Actually I simply found out what was left since the timers managed to not capture a number of splits. I was even more shocked to find that I still broke an hour. This is going at about 90% with a road bike on trainers (wheels). I hope to finally have a full fledged tri bike next year and Iím sure some of you have read my posts about getting race wheels. I hope this can make the difference that is claimed.

T2 (:58):

Uneventful other than I still canít figure out how tight to keep those darn quick laces. I either have them too loose where they offer no support, or I have them so tight I canít get them on, which was the case this time. Iíll figure that out eventually. I wish I had the grass field experience to compare with the pavement. I ran on bare feet and found out after the race that I picked up a small piece of glass that went in to the front of my big toe. Also, I attempted the flying dismount so articulately professed to me by Mike Tine. The only problem was the guy right in front of me wasnít doing it so I nearly rear-ended him. I managed to lock up the brakes which picked up the rear end of my bike then dropping my shoe on the ground which I managed to pick up in stride entering T2. I broke a minute but Iíd like to be in the :40s with the aforementioned ďbig dogsĒ out there. I donít know how they do it. For example, Alex Rouchette did his T2 :10 quicker and I lost 24th place to him by :08. It only goes to show that transitions do matter.

RUN (43:51):

Entering the run I felt a lot better than I thought I would. My quads werenít trashed the way they were at Bath County. I felt really good and I picked a pace that was pretty strong. I noticed I began catching people quick. Within the first 2 miles I passed at least 9 peopleófour of them appeared to be running right next to each other. As a runner first, I have to admit that mile markers would have really helped me gauge my pace better. I donít use HR monitors and all the other fancy stuff out there. I felt I must have been going pretty quick because I counted a total of 22 people I passed on the run. Entering the stadium I had a LOT left, as was told to me by a number of people who saw me flying around the track.

I felt earlier in the run why push it? Youíre passing people. When I saw my time I realized I should have run harder. I really thought I should have broken 42:00. I find it ironic that I was better predicting my swim and bike times better than the sport for which Iím been competing and training for years!


In hindsight, Iím happy with my race. I thought going in I would be between 2:15-2:20. I came in at 2:15 so I shouldnít complain. Iím excited by the fact that Iíve learned a lot and I know what I need to do to improve. Thatís one of the reasons I love this sport so much. It is my new adopted sport. Iím ready to go to swim clinics and Iím actually looking forward to the Tour de Skyline already.

Kudos go out to my training buddy Will Waskes. He got me by 2:45, which is no surprise to me. The RT is long on the swim and short on the bike so this was expected. Itís funny, at every race prior to this one, no matter the length, weíd always end up meeting in T2. I realize that since he was in the silver wave and I was in the red, the same thing would have happened here had we started together. I really needed him. He would have pushed me on the run. Another interesting twist, when analyzing the results, our run and bike times negated each otheróto the second! The time difference coming out of the water was the exact difference at the end of the race. Now thatís weird. You couldnít even try and duplicate that if you wanted to. It only goes to show that Iíve got to become a better swimmer. ;-)

A couple observations and comments:

1. Have a light available for the ride to the T2 and T1 in the morning. Thereís Steve Smith with his LED headlamp.
2. Lubricate ankles with bodyglide to better assist getting the wetsuit off.
3. Was the run course possibly a little long? Iíve heard from some that the turnaround was further down the trail which would really make sense since T2 and the detour should have made the course longer, not shorter.
4. A shot goes out to Alex for keeping me entertained during the bike segment.
5. Thanks Mike Tine for giving so much valuable advice, sorry about the finish. I would have liked to one on one around the track. I could have used my old high school 400 skills on you. ;-)
6. Jamie Roberson and Keith Bohnenberger are awesome and inspirations to us all.
7. Damn 30-34 AG! Damn you Brady, Kyle, Alex. In the 25-29 I would have been 3rd.

Sorry I made you all endure my long report. Now on to the Outback Big Lick (Iíd like to know the history of that name). See all of you online and on the trails!