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Tugaloo Triathlon 2018 Race Report

Created: Tuesday, 09 October 2018
My 8 year old God-daughter has been swimming and running, and told me “Uncle Derrick, I want to see you race!” How could I say no. Although I haven’t raced in Georgia since 2015 when I completed my first half Ironman in Augusta, I signed up for the Olympic Distance Tugaloo Triathlon. Huge thanks goes out to Hammer Nutrition for sponsoring me in this race. Although I had a lot of stress entering the race, I was relaxed by approaching the start line treating it as an Ironman training day. My only goals were to have 3 excellent legs, and don’t suck!
Why was I stressed? 2 weeks ago, I crashed my bike on the Silver Comet Trail, 45 miles away from my car. My front wheel slipped on some wet leaves near Cedartown, and I went airborne. I landed on top of my bike, ripping out the water bottle screws from the frame, then skidded a good 10-15 feet on the asphalt. My Quintana Roo PRsix absorbed the impact. I only had a few knicks. I completed the 100 mile ride, with half of my water capacity. In the following days, two major cracks were found in the frame in addition to the 2 ripped out grommets that left some flaking on the carbon surface. With 4 points of damage, I was now riding this bike at risk. So that’s why I was stressed going into the race. Will my bike survive? And what will I ride at Ironman Maryland, which is exactly 3 weeks later?
Major crack in my carbon frame.

Pre-Race

 
Hammer Fuel! Heed, Gel, Bar, Seat Saver, Anti-Fatigue, adn Endurolyte Extreme capsules and powder.
I prepared 3 bottles of Hammer Heed. 1 for pre-race, and 2 for the bike. My primary bottle also included Endurolytes Extreme Powder. I was trying it out for the first time. I also packed Hammer Gel in a flask for the bike, with additional Gel packets in my race belt for the run. Finally, I included Hammer Bars, Anti-Fatigue capsules and Seat Saver. I was all set. I drove 2 hours to the race, arriving at 6:15. Plenty of time to get organized before the 8:00 start. Smart move, since it’s a long walk from the parking lot. After checking in, in loosened up with a short run, and some stretching.
30 - 15 minutes before the race, I fueled up with a Hammer Bar, 1 Gel, and a bottle of Heed.

Swim - 0.9 mi

 
Swim start in my Zoot speedsuit
The water temperature was 85º!! That’s warmer than bath water. I decided to wear my Zoot speedsuit. It was a time trial start by bib number/ estimated finish time. No one really cared to get lined up in order other than the first group of speedy folks. So I didn’t worry about it either. I entered after about 2/3 rds of the racers had entered the water.
My plan was to implement my improved swim techniques. It worked! Between my better form, and my speedsuit, I was gliding well through the water. I passed a bunch of folks, which never happens. The water was warm and calm. There was little contact with other swimmers. The only issue was swimming directly into the sun after the last turn. I just followed the other swimmers, and that kept me swimming straight. In my last race, IM Ohio 70.3, I was in the 93 percentile. Today, I was in the 73 percentile. I didn’t suck.
Time: 40:09 AG Rank: 14/19 Pace: 2:13/100 yd

T1

I had no problem finding my bike this time! (Last race I had trouble) I removed my skinsuit with no problems. Grabbed my helmet, bike shoes, bike, and I was off! Despite having to take off my outer layer, I had the 8th fastest transition time.
Time: 2:53

Bike - 26 mi

 
T1 - Getting redy to fly!
This is my favorite leg of the race. I didn’t know what to expect, so my goal was to just demolish whatever the course gave me. I did just that. The course was loaded with hills. 1,100 ft in just 26 mi. No one passed me. Well, a couple tried, but didn’t stay in front of me for long. They just wore themselves out for no reason. I used my Gel every half hour. Unfortunately, I lost the flask when I didn’t secure it inside my bento box. Good thing I have have spare at home. I only used one water bottle. The other was just dead weight. I reached top speeds of 37 mph, and averaged 19.7! I was very proud of my race. My cracked bike still performed well. I was the 6th fastest in my AG.
Time: 1:20:29 AG Rank: 6/19 Pace: 19.5 mph

T2

I removed my feet from my shoes while clipped in, before approaching the dismount line. My goal was to have a super fast transition. I ran barefoot to my transition area. I was the first one back on my rack. Threw my bike on, grabbed my shoes, twisted the Boa strap for a quick tightening, and I was off!

Run - 6.2 mi

 
Beginning of the run
My legs definitely felt like bricks at the beginning of the run. My legs loosened up after a couple of miles, and pace started dropping. The run course was a ton of out then turn around. 4 turn around points! The course was also hilly. Plenty of folks were cramping up and walking. I didn’t pass anyone the first half of the run, but that changed the second half. The Hammer fuel kept me strong! I stayed strong as I reached the finish line! My God-daughter and her mom, Shea, were cheering me on. Thanks! This race is for you! Y’all are the best cheerleaders, and thanks for the photos.
Time: 1:04 Rank AG: 10/19 Pace: 9:40
Finish Time: 3:04:42 Rank AG: 8/19 Rank OA: 40/159
 
Earned that medal!
 
My Support Crew!
 
 
 
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