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Spirit of Racine -- another way short swim
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Swim was walkable the buoys were slow close to shore. For sections I had to shallow my stroke to avoid scraping against the bottom.

I PR-ed my swim by 10+ minutes and I have a longish history of consistent 36-37 minute half swims and that was with a long, long beach run.

The bike course was changed a bit, but I don't know whether I like it or not. It was accurate within 1/3 of a mile. I was swallowed up and spit out by 3 draft(20-30 member) packs. Frustrating. What is the purpose of not racing your own race? My bike was a little slow, but since CdA I have not felt right on the bike.

The run was the same as last year so I assume it was accurate. I improved last years time by 10 minutes, which I felt really good about. I did trail off a bit at the end as for a few early miles I was running with a 1:30 guy and that is 4 minutes beyond my open-half PR.

Generally the course was well protected and HFP provided good organization and good value, but dangit get the swim accurate. I have done it 4 out of 5 years and the last 2 years it has been way short. Last year they had an excuse, but this year...

General notes:
  • Weather was awesome cloudy and coolish with just a little too much wind on the bike
  • Water was 62 degrees
  • Heed is disgusting, but I passed on it almost entirely based on the weather
  • Volunteers were plentiful
  • They had nothing smaller than a large when I checked in(I declined it), but for $100 for a half you can't beat the price.
  • I'll be back next year even if they can't get the swim right ;-)



Swim - Bike - Run the rest is just clothing changes.
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Re: Spirit of Racine -- another way short swim [linhardt] [ In reply to ]
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I had a very similiar swim story. My watch said 28min when I came out of the water--NO FRICKIN' WAY WAS THAT 2112yds.

Had a similiar situation on the bike. I was chewed up and spit out at around 20 miles. The one consolation is that the marshal caught up to them at around 25 miles. They had to get busted. The motorcycle stayed with them for quite a while. The problem for them was that it was such a large pack that the main body was not able to bust up because they were so bunched together.

I was quite happy with the course and with the organizer. Well run event. I can't imagine anyone not PRing today. Perfect temp, no wind and a short swim=half hour off my last half.

"You can quit, and no one will care if you do. But you will know."
~John Collins, Ironman founder

Member HED Mafia
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Re: Spirit of Racine -- another way short swim [linhardt] [ In reply to ]
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BTW, any idea when they post results online? I forgot to look at the results board onsite and only have my unofficial watch time to go off.

chris

"You can quit, and no one will care if you do. But you will know."
~John Collins, Ironman founder

Member HED Mafia
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Re: Spirit of Racine -- another way short swim [christian1] [ In reply to ]
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Swim was short, a little annoying I suppose for strong swimmers, I can hold my own though swimming and I won't throw up to much of a fuss besides the fact there seemed to not be enough buoys for a crooked course, it was tough to find buoys when placed in a half moon crescent shape along beach. My bigger beef is the amount of time the court marshals spend at the front of the race where little drafting occurs because of the caliber of the athletes and room for dispersion. On my way back in it was pack city watching the other athletes still going out with little monitoring from officials. Maybe spend some time policing those 40-44 males or in today's case the 25-29, 20-24 females.
Last edited by: sppnet: Jul 19, 09 19:27
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Re: Spirit of Racine -- another way short swim [sppnet] [ In reply to ]
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This race frustrates me to no end. I saw the marshals for about half the race, and the bike course is so crowded it's really hard to avoid the groups. Plus, it's so flat and fast everyone is going the same speed. I got boxed in a few times and couldn't get out of the group quick enough to avoid penalties (at least I'm guessing I got penalized since my time is off). It's very frustrating because I go out of my way to avoid drafting and ride within the rules, but it's tough when you have to spend the whole bike leg trying to avoid people and penalties and you can't ride your own race.

Not to mention to roads were horrible and the swim and bike were short. The race is well organized, but I don't think I'll race it again. I hear Door County is really good and I don't think they get such a big turnout.
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Re: Spirit of Racine -- another way short swim [Supersquid] [ In reply to ]
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I am interested to see the penalties handed out. I was overtaken by a large group around mile 16, totally PISSED...i think yelled more than few times and called some names. Race marshall drives by and doesn't even slow down....even MORE pissed..About two minutes later another marshall comes by and I am pissed enough to get a little lippy with the guy. he said "don't worry, they have all been DQ's on the road." Was he jsut appeasing me or did DQ them? I am no sympathy for anyone that was blatantly drafting today....there were alot of them for sure.

Not sure the swim was too short, my wife ran the beach twice to catch all of us out there today and said it was every bit of a mile fro m yellow to yellow. There was a fairly strong current out there today.....it is what it is i guess, we all did the sam course....I was shocked when I stood up at 22:xx!!

Overall a great day, major PR mostly because I raced smart for the first time at a half distance race.
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Re: Spirit of Racine -- another way short swim [Supersquid] [ In reply to ]
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Yeah, my time is off as well. If it is a penalty I am going to be ticked. Like you I tried like crazy to stay away from the draft packs, but when they surround you on a corner what the heck can you do?

chris

"You can quit, and no one will care if you do. But you will know."
~John Collins, Ironman founder

Member HED Mafia
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Re: Spirit of Racine -- another way short swim [medium pace] [ In reply to ]
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Swim was definately short - as in olympic distance length....

Bike was close, not a ton short, but maybe a little - no big deal honestly.

Run was spot on.

Timing was horrible - there must be tons of "bad" time - I especially like the girl in F25-29 that bike 2:21 (4 minutes faster then Lisa Bentley 2 years ago) - and 18 minutes faster then her split at NO 70.3.

I had a good race, but definately felt let down by HFP: lack of an accurate course two years in a row on the swim (although I give them a freebie last year)*, appearant timing problems, and I was also disappointed by the lack of a competive pro field, this was my 5th racine, and I may look for a new race next summer

Side note on the top folks - Blake Becker was a rockstar today.


*I was particularly disappointed with the swim. Short, shallow, I mean really if I wanted to do a swim where I could walk the whole thing I wouldn't do a race in Lake Michigan - COME on
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Re: Spirit of Racine -- another way short swim [sentania] [ In reply to ]
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This is pure speculation and I have no inside information to support this, but, I suspect what happened at Pewaukee last week impacted the swim course today.

If there are no dogs in Heaven, then when I die I want to go where they went. - Will Rogers

Emery's Third Coast Triathlon | Tri Wisconsin Triathlon Team | Push Endurance | GLWR
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Re: Spirit of Racine -- another way short swim [JSA] [ In reply to ]
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It would not surprise me, but it does not change my opinion.
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Re: Spirit of Racine -- another way short swim [linhardt] [ In reply to ]
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I've seen plenty race walkers but never seen people walking the swim. This was a first.
Last edited by: swimfan: Jul 19, 09 19:01
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Re: Spirit of Racine -- another way short swim [sentania] [ In reply to ]
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You were the rock star.

chris

"You can quit, and no one will care if you do. But you will know."
~John Collins, Ironman founder

Member HED Mafia
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Re: Spirit of Racine -- another way short swim [sentania] [ In reply to ]
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oh and I forgot - DRAFTING.

I didn't see much at my end of the race, but when I was out on the run course around mile two I saw a HUGE pack come in. Side by side about 15-20 people deep.

Something needs to be done - USAT handed out 100+ penalties, but that was worthless. Break the field up into smaller waves, or limit the size of the field. It was totally redicoulous today.


Also - I'm not planing to leave my complaints on ST - working on a "nice" email right now...
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Re: Spirit of Racine -- another way short swim [swimfan] [ In reply to ]
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The packs were effin unreal. I was in the second wave and was out of the water in 25 minutes. About 1:20 into the bike I got hit by the first pack and had to sit up and stop pedaling, almost had to break, a marshall came by and I looked at him with a "what the hell" look. He took off up the road and nailed most of the pack. The worst was at about mile 45 or so when I got swamped by a group of 35ish riders I think mostly from the 30-39 AG's based on how long it took to catch me and it was shit, I actually did have to break to get out of the back. At that point though I think all of the marshalls were out looking at the bigger part of the field.
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Re: Spirit of Racine -- another way short swim [sentania] [ In reply to ]
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Not going to name names but I haven't been smoked by a female in quite some time on the bike, my ftp is about 315 watts and I weigh about 155 lbs... It is painfully obvious that there was drafting including by the female winner. All you have to do is look at lauren jensen, she got smoked by 1.5 mph to some AG girls. I don't think so. Those who went out early or those who are decent swimmers were out their by themselves while the peleton reeled them in
Last edited by: sppnet: Jul 19, 09 19:31
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Re: Spirit of Racine -- another way short swim [linhardt] [ In reply to ]
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I had a PR race and had a great time.

I think the swim was short too but how much does the current take off the time?

There was a nice lady that said "Hi" to me during the run, I can not think of who it was...I'm sorry.

jaretj
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Re: Spirit of Racine -- another way short swim [sppnet] [ In reply to ]
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In Reply To:
Not going to name names but I haven't been smoked by a female in quite some time on the bike, my ftp is about 315 watts and I weigh about 155 lbs... It is painfully obviously that there was drafting including by the female winner. All you have to do is look at lauren jensen, she got smoked by 1.5 mph to some AG girls. I don't think so. Those who went out early or those who are decent swimmers were out their by themselves while the peleton reeled them in

So you got "chicked" and now assuming the winner was drafting? I don't know my FTP but if that helps my dick is 7 inches and a lot of female athletes passed me. It wasn't your day was it? First the Tshirt now getting chicked. ;-)

It's a race it's supposed to be fun, there are a lot of other things to be pissed off.
Last edited by: swimfan: Jul 19, 09 19:23
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Re: Spirit of Racine -- another way short swim [swimfan] [ In reply to ]
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The girl rode a 2:39 3/4 months ago, and rode 2:21 today.

WTF?
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Re: Spirit of Racine -- another way short swim [sentania] [ In reply to ]
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In Reply To:
The girl rode a 2:39 3/4 months ago, and rode 2:21 today.

WTF?
So you got "chicked" too? ;-) Without knowing hard to make a good judgement. If you seen her then its OK, but it could be a bad day for her a month ago?
Last edited by: swimfan: Jul 19, 09 19:32
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Re: Spirit of Racine -- another way short swim [sppnet] [ In reply to ]
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Regarding the age group girl (s) in that group. I was verbally trying to break them up. I would ride past them verbally shouting "I am passing all thirty of you by myself and when I do I will pull to the right when I am clear" "why don't you guys try it"
I feel like I ran a clinic out there on the course today with that big pack. There were three age group girls in it that had no problem hanging on.
One of the times I passed them I asked the whole group how they slept at night knowing they are cheeters. No one even looks over at me. It is really sad. some of those people took home someone elses award today.
The positive is that there were way more penalties given this year than last year. Many DQ's for drafting. This whole thing sickens me. Here is a great test to challenge and race each others fitness level and it is turned into something else.
To the drafters today, and you know exactly who you are, you are everything bad in this sport. You are our cancer. What will you stop at?

"injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere" MLK
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Re: Spirit of Racine -- another way short swim [swimfan] [ In reply to ]
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Chicked would be putting it nicely - I was emasculated.
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Re: Spirit of Racine -- another way short swim [sentania] [ In reply to ]
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It was being sucked along at 24 mph. Cheating! No bad days here ot there. I saw it and rode through it for 45 miles today

"injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere" MLK
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Re: Spirit of Racine -- another way short swim [sppnet] [ In reply to ]
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My wife raced in the elite wave. She said some of the guys were definitely drafting a bit when the marshalls weren't around, but not too bad. Friends who started in the AG waves said the packs there were crazy and it was near impossible to not get caught up. If you tried to pass the packs, they'd catch you and if you sat up, someone would slide in front of you over and over. Not sure what the marshalls could do - they had a big crew and they handed out a lot of penalties.
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Re: Spirit of Racine -- another way short swim [Uncle Phil] [ In reply to ]
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In Reply To:
Friends who started in the AG waves said the packs there were crazy and it was near impossible to not get caught up. If you tried to pass the packs, they'd catch you and if you sat up, someone would slide in front of you over and over.

This was my experience today (this was my first Racine). When the packs went by I would sit up and soft pedal. But then people just kept getting sucked by and it was impossible to keep 3 bike lengths without coming to a complete stop for like 1/2 mile at a time.

Given my slow status I rarely get frustrated with others drafting. I just focus on myself staying clean. But when it becomes so bad that you can't avoid it yourself that sucks. I would say I was more aware of trying to ride clean than any race I have ever done and yet spent more % of time unclean than any other (except IM races).
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Re: Spirit of Racine -- another way short swim [sentania] [ In reply to ]
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Encourage everyone to do the same:

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Shannon and gang
I wanted to offer you a few pieces of feedback from today’s SORT race.

First off – I am a huge fan of your races. I have done SORT 5 times now, and have done the TTT 4 times, and plan to do it a 5th next year. Up until this year I considered SORT to be equal to or only slightly behind Ironman races in terms of quality, organization, and support.

The first was the swim. Why was it so short? Why was it so shallow in places that while swimming I was able to touch the bottom? As I told a friend – if I wanted to be able to walk the entire swim, or a large portion of it – I wouldn’t sign up for a race in Lake Michigan. At a race of the stature that you promote Racine to be, a short swim is unacceptable (in fact at any race IMO) – last year – no issues as the fog was crazy and you did the best you could. This year – inexcusable. If I wanted to swim 1500 meters, I would have done an Olympic today.

Second – the drafting today was horrendous. Words simply cannot describe what I saw when I was at mile 2 of the run, and I saw two groups of riders, 2 wide 15-20 deep cruising towards transition – I only imagine what else was happening out there. Up in the elite wave it was pretty honest. Obviously a boatload of USAT officials giving out 100+ penalties didn’t do jack. You can’t count on the participants to be honest, so YOU need to do something. Smaller waves, larger intervals between waves, a smaller field, something. Fix the problem by preventing it.

Third – I am not sure if there were timing problems in some of the waves, or if it was a sheer effect of drafting, but some of the Female bike times were insane, I haven’t looked at the Men’s times close enough to form an opinion there. I observe that an female AG “winner” rode a 2:21, nearly 24 miles an hour. Out splitting me by 2 minutes – last year at IMWI I rode 31 minutes faster than that participant. Just 3 or 4 months ago she rode a 2:39 at NO 70.3. Not only that, but she rode 4 minutes faster than Lisa Bentley - the year she was 3rd in the World at the Ironman.

Give. Me. A. Break.

Lastly – I was personally disappointed in the lack of a deep competitive pro field that we have seen in years past. It would have been fun to see David Thompson, Luke Bell, Chris Leigh, Jordan Rapp, or any other speedy guy out on the course dishing out the hurt with Blake.

While I fully intend to return to the TTT again next year, I am currently doubting my return to SORT, despite it being in my backyard and the timing of it in my usual training schedule – I see a lot of potential in taking a drive up to the Door County half and hopefully enjoying a much fairer race.

I am disappointed to have to send an email of such a negative tone to you guys, but the things I mention above were a HUGE spoiler on a day that saw me execute my best “half” in a couple of years. See you next year at the Triple T, and hopefully when I will feel confident that SORT return to its past form next year when I chose a race for this weekend.

Scott Bowe

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