Sunday, May 30, 2010

Pelican Fest 2010

It has been a few years since I race in a sprint triathlon. I have been working on my pace and speed and wanted to have a trial run on a short course to test this effort. My goal for the race was to push a max effort and be able to sustain it for the entire race in each discipline.
The race was in a small town called Windsor in northern Colorado. It was a small local race but in years past has had good attendance from some of the better racers in the state. I liked the look of the race with a point to point on the swim, a fast bike and a seemingly flat run.
I was in the first wave start and lined up on the beach with my heart racing. I was very excited to toe the line today and felt really good at the start. The siren sounded and off we went running through the water. I hit the water and started swimming at a very fast pace. I was able to jump on some feet and was working to keep up with them past the first turn. The feet could not keep a straight line and so when they drifted to the left I held the line and was able to pass just swimming straight. I was alone for the moment and worked on a smooth hard stroke. I was feeling the results of a hard swim from the start. I passed another few guys and then found a second pair of feet to follow. He was a kicker and it was easy to follow him and he kept a straight line so I relaxed just a bit and let him pull me to the finish.
Out of the water and a fast run to my bike rack. I took my goggles and swim cap off with one hand and was able to pull the top of my wetsuit off with ease. I found my rack, dropped my wetsuit top and worked to get the bottom off. Seconds later I was ready to put my sun glasses and helmet on and was running through T-1 holding my bike seat in hand passing swimmers as they finished. The first 4 miles of the bike was up hill and usually I would take it pretty easy but not today. Last week I did hill repeats up Deer Creek and in the 3rd hour on my 3 repeat I was instructed to ride as hard as possible. I kept my HR between 175-190 for over 45 minutes after doing 3 hours or riding already. So to say that I was going to take the bike easy today was not possible. I was to build on the hard swim and take the bike even harder. I slowed down on the bike after a few minutes only to put my shoes on and then I was off again hammering up the hills like I did last week. Usually this time in all my races I am the pretty fast swimmer that gets passed by many faster bikers. So when the first pass came I was OK with it but I was also reminded that I am not that guy anymore. I picked up my tempo and cadence even a bit more and tried to relax my upper body. The first 4 miles went really fast and I was only passed by one. I felt OK about that since in the climb I was able to pass two riders myself. The next 4 miles was down hill and fast. I took a drink and dropped my gears until I had no more to give. I kept a very aggressive pace and what seemed like just a few minutes I was on my last few miles before T-2. Just as we were in our last half mile left on the bike I was passed by a guy that would win my age group. I wanted to stay with him to the end so we hit the dismount line within 3 seconds of each other. I ran faster then normal to my rack and had my helmet off in seconds. I slammed on my shoes, no socks and grabbed my race belt and hat and was off. I made eye contact with the guy that just passed me and he was still working on his transition. Out of T-2 and on the flat run course. The game plan here was to take the first mile pretty fast and then drop it like it hot but today I was racing and I did not have time to take it easy. I was in max run effort out of T-2 and wanted to make the guy work to get past me again. It was just at about a half mile in that he blew by me running what seemed like a low 6 minute mile. I know that I am not that fast and so I watched as he ran away from me. I still had to finish and so I relaxed my upper body and rolled my shoulder forward and put my head visor down and went to work on the last few miles of the race. This course was an out and back so I was able to count how many runners were in front of me in my wave. I could see 5 ahead of me and they were not that far in front of me. I counted one, then two and three were pretty close and then a break. I was approaching the turn around and was passed by the guy that I raced out of T-2 and then one other. I also at the turn checked to see who was trying to chase me down and I had a fairly big gap between me and the next guy. I was pretty tired at this point and had to focus really hard to stay relaxed and in good form. I passed T-2 and was on the last mile of the race. I picked up my effort for the last bit and was definitely at my max effort. I held that all the way to the finish line and as I was approaching the finish shoot I saw the race clock and it had just turned to 1:04. I smiled crossing the line and was very pleased with myself. I wanted to come in somewhere between 1:09-1:11 and I killed that goal.
I cheered in Holly, Julie and John as they came across the finish line. Everyone seemed to have a good day and raced well. After some pancakes and a cookie I went to see the results. I knew that I had a good day and was even more pleased to see that I had taken 2ND in my age group and 14Th overall. It was my fist time ever ranking this high in a race and for the next hour I soaked it up. The awards were really fun for me and for some reason it was a bit easier waiting around for the awards ceremony to start.
I enjoyed this race and would recommend it. I felt safe on the roads, the volunteers were in mass and were good at their jobs. The event was a success and was really fun. Good job Pelican Fest I will return again.
800 yard swim - 13:12
T-1: 1:32
10 Mile bike: 26:28 22.7MPH
T-2: 1:06
5K Run: 21:52 7:04/Pace
Total: 1:04:08


  1. Nice job Tyler, way to go! - Anthony

  2. Boo Yaa!!

    Congrats Tyler-way to kill it!!