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Rage Triathlon 2017 Race Report

Created: Saturday, 22 April 2017
 
 
The main goal leading up to any race is to arrive strong and healthy. Unfortunately, I had pulled my hamstring 2 weeks earlier, and it had not healed yet. I felt I was able to race the first 2 legs (swim and bike), then take it easy on the run. I ignored all the advice for me to drop out the race, and showed up ready to race and have fun. There were multiple races going on simultaneously. I signed up for the Olympic distance: 0.93 mi swim, 25 mi bike, 6.2 mi run. Despite jogging the run, I finished 90/183 among all the men and 12/22 in my age group.

Pre-Race

 
Since I’m living in a hotel in L.A, I drove up to Vegas on Friday, the day before the race. The check-in at a local bike shop was very quick and smooth. It was nice to see that Hammer Nutrition sponsoring this event! I already had all my Hammer nutrition needs, so I grabbed my race numbers, swim cap, and headed to my hotel to relax. I kept waking up throughout the night, fearing I would oversleep. When the alarm finally went off at 4:30 AM, I felt ready. I ate some fruit, and grabbed some Hammer Gels and Bars to consume for my fuel prior to the race start. My sore leg felt like it handle a 10k run.
 
I didn’t know what to expect when I arrived to the race site at 5:30 AM. Volunteers guided me down to Boulder Beach, on Lake Mead. Parking was in a sandy lot, so small cars had trouble getting around. Racking the bike was first come, first serve in the assigned section. There was only one aisle for all the bikes, no matter which race they were participating in. I racked up my QR PRsix bike, ¡Rayo! Since the bike course starts on an uphill, I made sure I set my bike gearing accordingly. It was soon time for the race start.
The lake was cold, 67º. Most everyone wore wetsuits. I went in for a practice swim, and learned how appropriate the name of the beach is. This was the rockiest beach I’ve ever swam in! Worse than Chattanooga Full. Every step was extremely painful. If I had known, I would have worn water socks. Walking really sucked. I made every ugly face possible trying to get into the water. Once in, I was fine and relaxed.

Swim

 
I was in the second wave. All men over 40. I entered after the fast folks, and off to the outside so that I would stay clear of the scrum. Again, the rocks tore my feet up. Once I started swimming, I remained relaxed. My practice swim times have been steadily improving, and the newly learned techniques showed. It was hard to sight, the waves were larger than I’m used to in a lake. Instead of worrying where the next buoy is, I just followed the caps in front of me. I thought I got really off course, but my GPS shows that I swam in a pretty straight line. Looking at some of the competitor’s GPS data, I swam a much shorter distance than half of them! My open water training & races payed off. Usually, I’m way in the back of the pack. I passed a few swimmers, and there were several red caps behind me when I finished!
 
 

T1

When I exited the water, there were flip flops & sandals lined up. Oh, I wish I had mine waiting for me. I’m now torturing my feet trying to get to my bike. In pain, I took my time getting my wetsuit off. Grabbed my brand new Smith Optics Pivlock Arena Max sunglasses, helmet, shoes, bike, and I’m off.

Bike

 
There was not a single section of this bike ride that was flat! The entire race was either a steep climb, or steep descent. On top of all this, the wind was FIERCE!! I saw that everyone else was being tossed around by the wind to, so I stopped complaining about it. Focused on what I could control. I crushed the bike! Although the climbs did not discourage me, the fast downhills had be gritting my teeth. I often had to slow down, as the faster I went, the more the crosswind would catch my front wheel and jerked me off my path. I leapfrogged with 2 other cyclists for most of the race. One was an excellent climber. Another flew down the downhills, weighing 40 lbs more than me. Yeah, we talked about that. Overall, my bike was faster, and I finished before all of them.

T2

A cyclist was questioning me why I was removing my shoes before I got off the bike. This is my favorite part of the race. If I can’t win any of the legs, I’m going to try to win in transition. Only 2 in my AG got through to the run faster than me. Yes, I take much pleasure in my little victories.

Run

I knew if I ran like I normally do, I would pull my hamstring again. So I basically jogged the entire 10k. I ensured I did not stretch out my legs by keeping my strides short. It was
disappointing to see folks pass me, but I stuck to my game plan. I received at least 20 compliments on my new Team Zoot kit! I did get confused when I was seeing folks multiple times. I asked a runner, why folks are doing circles around me? That’s when I learned the Olympic distance had 2 loops. Oh! I should have read the Athlete Guide more carefully. I did my second loop, then started to pick up the pace as I headed toward the finish.
The finish line was on the beach. Sand and rocks. There were a few folks cheering everyone on. My legs were sore, but I did not injure myself, nor make my hamstring any worse than it was. I was very pleased with my performance. Big thanks to my sponsors: Zoot for the cool kit, shoes, and wetsuit; Hammer Nutrition for the Heed, Gel and bars, Smith Optics for the high performance shades, and Garmin for the most useful multisport watch on the market, the 920xt.
After the race, I went to Hoover Dam, then ate lunch on the Vegas Strip at the Paris casino. No chance to relax, I had to hustle back to to LA to fly to D.C. for a business trip the next day!
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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