First some of the good. It is great that two guys that have never put on a race, have put up so much to try and launch a national series. They really needed to hire a real race director, or at the very least make Dave Scott earn his money and be at the venues to give his 30+ years of triathlon racing input. I love that they are doing the small free race to get 1st timers, it will be a great feeder to their pay events if they can get their shit together. I just looked and they have results up online just hours after the finish, but need to get the timers to add a run split to their software..
Went to the pre race meeting last night, and it was a total bust. Spent about 20 minutes on how great it is to have the series, the founders stories, ect., which is ok, but that was about it. They did figure out that you cannot start the sprint and olympic races at the same exact time on the same courses, and announced that there would be a 30 minute delay now between. I did ask one question about a swim warm up, and got a little stink for it, so left the rest of my questions alone.. Nothing about any of the courses, intersections, race details, ect. Meeting over. I saw Charlie Crawford in the corner(top refree from USAT and all round nice guy), and he was also suprised that he was not called up to give a little rules lecture. Oh well.
Race morning was brisk, they announced the water was 60. It was at least 57, one guy i say said he measured it at 54, it was butt cold. This i do not care about, but i just like it when they say what it is, i'm sure colder than the worlds they cancelled in vegas last month. And to all you folks that were there, for gods sake, get in and warm up when it is that cold, I along with about 6 others were the only ones to get in before the start on do a proper warm up. Took nearly 10 minutes to get rid of the ice cream head and face ache for me.. And teenagers in kayaks are not lifeguards. I hope everyone was ok, a friend said one of the kayaks had so many people hanging on that it was nearly swamped. Swim course was not good either, a straight out and back on a single turn buoy, so for sure lots of folks just turned around when they felt gassed. I lead the swim with a few friends of mine, Michelle Jones was there and a guy in the 50+ that is an old timer too. There was no swim staging area, and since the turn buoy was at an angle to the beach, it made sense to move up the beach. You have to have an inner stop if you have a beach start like this. So all the folks just followed me up the beach until someone finally said stop. Four of us were in line until Mike the leader got tangled in a loose rope, then i hit it, and i'm sure many others later one. Another rookie mistake, you need one rope and one heavy anchor for buoys, not several with loose ropes surrounding them. And please do not put up the next days buoys and tell us to just ignore them, it gets really confusing on the water, especially since there was no lead paddler. Lucky for them i was 1st to the turnaround and i was about 60% sure it was it, but figured if i turned everyone else would too, so that was the course.
I won the swim prime(glory) but was already depressed as I knew that i was going to lose 40 seconds for no reason. They set up one of the old style transition areas, where folks at one end get a huge advantage over the folks a the far end. I was in the last row, and looking at the T1 splits of the guys i was running up with, lost exactly 40 seconds. Another rookie mistake, just needed a 100yd channel along the fence to make it the same for everyone.
Got on the bike after riding the entire course just before the race. Not a mark on the road, cone, sign, or anything just before the race, so was really hoping they had a plan. When i passed the big truck with all the cones and signs at 3 miles, I knew then something was bad. Guy in the truck almost took me and Michelle out too, think he was panicked with bikers passing him, and he lost his mind. Good thing i can ride a corner in the dirt. So im sitting 4th or so, know the exact course as i live there, and take the last turn fast to what is supposed to be the turnaround on the bike, only to see nothing for a mile, and then looking back and seeing the cop waving his arms wildly at me. They decided to change the turnaround to the intersection, good call since it was still in the back of the truck we passed earlier. So now I'm down a 1;10 for mishaps. Course was completely open, which is ok, just would have liked to know, something for the pre race meeting next time. ANd thank goodness for the local cops, they got to the intersections just in time, and did all the heavy work until the volunteers and cones arrived. The 4 of us up front probably have over 2000 triathlons under us, so we all took it in stride.
Run transition was good, worked out the way it is supposed to for both of them. Not sure if there was supposed to be any aid, none that i could see, no mile markers, and the run turn around was very confusing. Almost all of us in the lead 10 crossed the road in front of traffic, and had to cross back. No one was there, just a cone on each side of the road with a sign, so it looked like you needed to do both, but still not sure. And I do not think races olympic and under need aid, but someone said there were supposed to be one every mile.
Finished the race struggling with my fat ass trying to remember how to run, not sure of a time, no clock i could see. Hung around for a bit, not a calorie to be had at the finish aid station, just water, and something i had to spit out. One of those jugs where they put 5 times too much powder i think.
All in all glad i raced, but certainly they need to get their shit together before they get any big numbers. Really lucky for them the fields were small. I hope everyone was ok in the water, probably a very high rescue rate for a small sprint. I could see the awards were going to be late, so didn't hang around. I'm sure others here who raced can chime in on how that went.
So i was stoked to have won the swim, having only had to pull water for about 200yds, but i got passed in the last mile by a guy in my AG who was 2nd at nationals. Unlucky for me, it was a lot less than the time i had to give away for nothing, but that's how it goes. I should just lose 10 more lbs and run faster, that's my real excuse. For all of you that were waiting to see if it was really going to happen, i hope you give them a try in your respective towns. Let us see if they are willing to learn from their mistakes, and forge ahead with new gusto. And hopefully others that did the other races will get in here and give their takes too, it can only help them to see where they can do a better job
And lastly, I love the shirts that you guys have done for yourselves, the kind of rainbow design ones, do one like that next time. People can tell when you try and save money on the shirts. (-;
DAY TWO observations: So i just got back from watching a lot of the 1/2 and full races, still going on for most folks. I rode the entire run course, and there must be 5000 cones, man what i would have given for just one of them for yesterdays bike turnaround..A great overkill today, and i talked to over a dozen of the racers to see how they felt things went today. Only complaints about the course were that there was no calorie drink on the bike ride, just plain water. Several of the top 10 guys were completely fried from this, hope the ironfolks stop for some hard calories.They did have mile markers out today, but unfortunately the were almost all off. That was really pissing folks off, as the only reason to have a marker, is to be able to use them for your pace. Couple guys i rode with did a 6;30, then a 7;20 without any pace change. I guess i'm glad i didn't have any yesterday after all.
The day here is beautiful, bit chilly in the morning, but perfect running weather. They only had to be ready for a few dozen folks in each race today, so hopefully they will be well stocked. I did notice bananas, cookies, and pretzles at the aid stations, same stuff i buy at costco for my camps. Stopped to talk to some of the aid folks, but over half of them don't speak english. Looks like they robbed the horse venue of many of the employees for the aid stations. This is where having a good local presence would come in handy, a local volunteer force to really do the heavy lifting on the course. No one seemed to be lost, so that is a good thing, just complaints about the rough sections of road. Not really in the RD's wheelhouse, just one of those things we all deal with on courses.
It was super spread out today, one of the rare races you really just get into your own head and just grind it out. I will be interested to hear some more of the RR's of the 1/2 and full, couldn't find Jay out there though.