Colchester Triathlon Race Report

Colchester Triathlon Race Report

by 1K2GO-Onion River Sports on Friday, August 3, 2012 at 1:32pm ·

Colchester Triathlon Race Report

by David Connery on Friday, August 3, 2012 at 9:02am · 

Colchester Triathlon Race Report

 

 

 

The Colchester Tri, held in and around Mallets Bay and Colchester, is an 800 yd swim, 12 mi bike, and a 3 mi run.  This race is a piece of local glory for sure because it attracts a big field of 400 people, and some people only do this…all year!  Run by the  Parks and Rec Dept of the town, it is a low key quirky race that is very local.  In the past, I would not do this race because the “swim was too long”.  However, this year is the year of conquering swim demons, so I signed on.

 

Lining up for the swim, many friends were here: Dodds, Chris Coffey, Terry Collins, and others.  The swim is a triangle, moving out from the main beach about a 1/4 mile, short section parallel to the beach and then back to the sand.  I lined up on the front for one of the first times ever, and when the gun went off, got onto the feet of Dodds.  Drafting with the wind coming straight on made such a difference, it felt like cheating. I followed him out to the right turn, made a push to get onto Chris’ feet, and then after making the turn and seeing the beach, I turned it on.  The feeling of seeing the beach made me super happy and I started to increase the pace little by little and keep my breathing under control.  I hit the beach in 11:30 for 1/2 mile, and started the sprint across the beach and UP the path to the transition area.  This transition has a particularly big climb, and it was quickly evident as the adrenaline of the swim finish wore off and I had just sprinted about 150 yds straight up.

 

Wetsuit was down all the way to the hips when I arrived at the bike.  Rip the rest of it off shoes on, helmet on clipped, and bang we’re off running to the road.  Through the fence and cross remount and we’re off.  Out in 13:10, 40 seconds behind Tim Watson, 30 seconds behind Johannes Suppan, an 18 year old dolphin from Rice HS.

 

 

 

I started charging out with the goal of riding around 300 W.  I caught Johannes before mile 1, and started up the road to the intersection of 2A.  I was careful to watch the traffic develop at this intersection and take a good route with the police controlling traffic.  Up the short hill and back to the flattish 2A and I caught Tim Watson here.  Shortly afterward, I met a wonderful member of humankind who tried to run me off the road with his F250 towing a small black trailer.  I then spent the rest of the race repeating the plate number because this was not an accident.  It was intentional. I was holding 290-300 pretty well through this section, which is important.  It is rolling and false flat.  Once past 289 and onto Susie Wilson Rd, and then onto the final turn, the course becomes downhill and this is where the speed gets turned on.  I topped out at 37 mph for a section of this, finishing in 26:48.  A few years back I did this as a team with only the bike and went 26:25.  Bike leg was successful.

 

Into T2, and very glad I was first.  THere are no racks so you just drop your bike near your stuff and go. Helmet shoes off, and Brooks Green Silence on…but a little slowly.  I think I am going back to the T7s for Nationals. These shoes have a design that makes them hard to put on quickly.  I lost a few seconds, but came out of T2 gangbusters, looking to really drill the first mile.

 

Coming onto the course I was immediately harassed by old friend and Colchester Track Coach Zach Kramer.  A few feet later, Angie DeFilippi gave me a laser focused “ONE MINUTE LEAD” cue.  This run course is a MAZE!!! So many turns.  People have done it many times and missed turns on their 10th try.  I knew this and stayed super alert for signs, looking ahead constantly.  I got out quick, running a 5:54 first mile.  Through the water station and I stole a look back.  No one.  THrough mile 2 and Iwent 5:45.  Holding pace, and a second look back.  I could see Tim Watson about 400-500 yards behind.  I hit the last section and onto the bike path and was running super hard.  I didn’t know how quickly Tim could close and did not want to lose this.  I cross the line in 57:34, holding him off by 45 seconds.  This was a great run for me, with constant pace and all sub 6.

 

 

 

Bigger than the win, however, was the open water swim.  This has been a big big struggling point for me.  I have tried many things: dealing with starts above threshold and holding race pace without panic, modifying my wetsuit to keep pressure off my lungs, dropping my HRM to reduce constriction of the rib cage, and just plain swimming more yards to have a higher threshold and an ability to swim longer while processing any ingested water before it gets to my throat.  The essence of my swim disappointments was the panic of water getting into my throat.  Not only was I able to overcome panic today, but I swam with established quick swimmers to save energy and push ever harder when the time came.  It was an awesome feeling.

 

Everyone should try this race, as it is so low key and a great atmosphere.

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