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Armed Forces Triathlon Champs 2013 race write up
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Saturday, June 1st, Pt. Mugu Naval Air Station (an hour north of LA) hosted the 2013 Armed Forces Triathlon Championships (AFTC). This is probably the most unique “amateur” event in the country in that not only is it an ITU draft-legal style Olympic Distance Triathlon, but it is also a Team Competition. It pits each of the four service branches against each other and with any USCG members folded into the Navy team. Amateur is in parentheses because each team might have one or more members who are USAT card carrying pros including certain members of both the Air Force and Army who may be part of their branch’s World Class Athlete Program (WCAP). This program allows high level service members in those branches only, who show potential for Olympic or International impact, to live and train up to four years to help the USA through their sport.

Also unique to the event, is the fact that the Canadian military sends a strong contingent down each year as well. Normally this race is the qualifier for either the World Military Games or CISM. Unfortunately, being an off year from CISM (only held every four years, always the year before the Olympiad, the next being in Mungyeong, South Korea in 2015) and no country willing to host the World Military Games for triathlon, this race was strictly for Service Branch pride.

Navy men returned as defending champs with a very strong team. Air Force men were looking to take back the title they had two years ago. Army and the Marine Corps had solid men’s teams as well with athletes who could potentially make an impact on the final results. Air Force women also returned as defending champs, but with individual defending champ, Kathy Rakel (Air Force) absent, as she is now a full-time professional triathlete and having left the Air Force. The men’s defending champ, Nick Van Dam (Army), part of the Army WCAP, was unfortunately also absent from this year’s race due to his current deployment overseas. Two men’s former champions, however, would be in attendance, Derek Oskutis (Navy) and James Bales (Air Force) and in the mix. Another possible contender would be Nick Sterghos (Army, WCAP, 2nd last year). Coaches from both the Navy and Air Force knew the competition would be so close that they even looked up the rules for a tie-breaker.

The scoring for the event is done similar to cross-country: displacement scoring, whereby as each athlete finishes they receive a point value equal to their placement. Each team brought 10 men and 6 women and scoring went to 7 deep for the men and 4 deep for the women. The tie-breaker was the 8th place person. Your top finishing athletes’ scores are tallied and the lowest point total wins.

All personnel arrived on-site Wednesday to acclimate to weather and time zones changes as athletes and their service delegates came from all over the world including as far away as the Czech Republic and Germany. Strangely, Pt. Mugu was in the midst of a heat wave of sorts and curiously absent was its usual “May Grey” and “June Gloom”. Thursday and Friday were filled with various team activities including group rides to familiarize themselves with pacelining with their teammates, swimming in the 60 degree Pacific Ocean, and a Social Ice Breaker to introduce each team’s members and have the opportunity to catch up with old friends and meet new ones.

Saturday morning arrived and fortunately, the heat wave broke, June Gloom appeared, and the weather was 60 degrees, marine layer overhead, and light winds. Normally the race is at 1030 after the citizen’s Admiral’s Cup Sprint Triathlon, but due to sequestration, all other Morale Welfare and Recreation (MWR) events at Naval Bases Ventura County were cut. This allowed the AFTC to slide earlier to a 0900 start. The course was a 2 loop inverted triangle swim of 750m each, 4 loop ride of approximately 5.5 miles per loop with 6x 90 degree turns per loop and pancake flat, and a 2 loop bowtie (double out and back) run course that was also nearly pancake flat. This format was definitely spectator friendly and allowed coaches to give feedback to their athletes. The National Anthem was at 0855, men start at 0900, and women at 0905.

Right from the gun, Tommy Brown (Navy) and Oskutis took the lead in the swim, with Sterghos, Bales and all the other 80+ men following behind. Oskutis (21:18) led Brown by :03 out of the water, followed by Sterghos :56 back, and Bales 1:39 in arrears. Out onto the bike, the Navy duo of Oskutis and Brown built up a lead of 1:30 over the 1st chase pack of 5 including Sterghos, Bales, Nate Dressel (Army), Brad Pigage (NAVY-USCG), and Ken Corigliano (Air Force). Then came the 2nd chase pack of 4 men 2:28 back of the leaders led by Cam Loos (Navy), then Sean Sullivan (USMC), Mike McFerron (USMC), and Ian King (NAVY-USCG); however the 2nd chase pack was nearly eaten up by the 3rd chase pack consisting of top biker Brad Williams (Air Force, 52:02) and 6 others. After that came the 4th chase pack of 8 men 3:33 down on the leaders, the 5th chase pack of 6 men 5:01 down, and the rest of the field scattered in smaller groups and soloists.

Onto the run, Oskutis took the lead and it looked like it was just a question of whether or not he could hold off runner supreme, Sterghos, sitting in 6th, 1:35 back, with Brown, Bales, and others packed in bwtween. For the team competition, Navy and Air Force had the top 20 packed full of their two teams with Army and a Marine or two to break up the action. As Sterghos ran through the field, Oskutis had a :50 lead at mile 5, when a cramp took him to a standstill. Sterghos, Bales, and Brown passed before Oskutis could begin again. This ended up being the finishing order with Sterghos (top run of 32:27) taking gold at the 2013 AFTC in 1:49:21. Bales earned Silver :36 back, and Brown took Bronze :59 back. For the team title, the men came sprinting in back and forth between Air Force and Navy. Navy placed 3-4-8-11-12-13-14. Air Force placed 2-6-7-9-10-15 through their top 6. For their 7th and final spot, the race’s self-proclaimed elder statesman, Greg Price (USMC) just outran Kidd Poteet (AIR FORCE) for 16th place. Poteet’s 17th place adding to the team score gave Air Force 66 team points and gave Navy the 2013 AFTC Men’s Team Title. Don’t worry, Poteet is moving to Aviano, Italy in three weeks for three years and will quickly forget being outsprinted by Price!

2013 AFTC-Men’s Individual (1500m swim, 22.5mi bike, 6.05mi run)
Gold-Nick Sterghos (Army), 1:49:21
Silver-James Bales (Air Force), 1:49:57
Bronze-Tommy Brown (Navy), 1:50:20

2013 AFTC-Men’s Team
Gold-Navy, 65 points
Silver-Air Force, 66 points
Bronze-Army, 130 points
4th-USMC, 167 points

For the women’s race, similar to the men’s, it was filled with both veteran’s such as Colleen O’Connor (Navy, previously Air Force) and youngsters such as Sam Morrison (Air Force, 8 months removed from her Kona debut as an Air Force Academy Senior, and 3 days after graduating from the Air Force Academy). O’Connor led all women out of the water (24:06) followed by Morrison :37 back, Thuy Mi Dinh (USMC) :51 back, and Stephanie Hightower (Army) 1:55 back to have all four branches represented in the top four. The women’s race is slightly different than the men’s, especially on the bike course, as the field is almost half the size. This created many smaller groups of twos and threes and many more soloists.

O’Connor remained off the front into T2 with an :08 lead over Jolene Wilkinson (Air Force, top bike of 58:39, and defending World Military Master Woman) and Rachel Beckmann (Navy-USCG). Out onto the run course, Morrison started in 7th place, 2:14 down on O’Connor. However, her top run (37:59) trumped O’Connor at the finish to give her Gold 2:07:39 at the 2013 AFTC, O’Connor held on for Silver 2:58 back, and Beckmann holding on to Bronze 3:36 back. For the team title Navy women won Gold by the narrow margin of 2 points and completed a Military sweep by placing 2-3-9-10.


2013 AFTC-Women’s Individual
Gold-Sam Morrison (Air Force), 2:07:39
Silver-Colleen O’Connor (Navy), 2:10:37
Bronze-Rachel Beckmann (Navy), 2:11:15

2013 AFTC-Women’s Team
Gold-Navy, 24 points
Silver-Air Force, 26 points
Bronze-USMC, 41 points
4th-Army, 54 points

Apologies to any Canadians or anyone interested in their results. They were not included in the US Military scoring, their results are completely separate, and not enough information was given to formulate any in-race tactics or results. The Canadian contingent, however, had many competitive racers and outstanding finishes.

Full US Military results and Canadian Military results.

All competitors were particularly grateful to be able to participate in this unique competition, especially with sequestration. It was an opportunity for all service members to take pause for a moment from their Duty and Mission to Country and shake hands both before and after competing against fellow servicemembers in an exciting, fast, and fun competition.

______________________________________________________
Sub-9 IM. Navy SeaBee deep sea diver. Can Do!
Last edited by: irontri: Jun 2, 13 21:51
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Re: Armed Forces Triathlon Champs 2013 race write up [irontri] [ In reply to ]
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Thanks for the informative recap.

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Supported by Compressport Canada | F2C Nutrition | Element | Argon 18 | 4iiii Innovations | Read my Blog
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Re: Armed Forces Triathlon Champs 2013 race write up [irontri] [ In reply to ]
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Awesome event... Really fun format. Knowing how the packs sorted out on the bike makes it even more interesting.

I biked w/ Greg and Kidd... I wonder if there was any gamesmanship going on there!

Thanks for doing the write up.

Eric Reid
AeroFit | Instagram Portfolio Coaching and Bike Fitting
Chapel Hill, NC
Aerodynamic Optimized Bike Fitting, Retul Pre-Purchase Bike Fitting, USAT Level 1 Triathlon Coaching, Nutrition
Ask me: Scody Optimized Speed Suits | CeramicSpeed Oversized Pulley Systems | HUUB Skinsuits and Wetsuits |
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Re: Armed Forces Triathlon Champs 2013 race write up [irontri] [ In reply to ]
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Great race yesterday Cam, I personally had a blast, even though I apparently forgot how to properly site while swimming.

This was my first, and unfortunately, last AFTC. However, this was a race experience I won't soon forget.

--------------------------
The secret of a long life is you try not to shorten it.
-Nobody
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Re: Armed Forces Triathlon Champs 2013 race write up [irontri] [ In reply to ]
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Some fast runners. I was thinking the bike splits were crazy fast, but it was draft legal, so that accounts for the extra speed. Must be interesting dynamic on the bike compared to ITU where there is a huge swim pack. I am sure there was a lot more work with solo or with one other to bridge up in this race.
Nice job.
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Re: Armed Forces Triathlon Champs 2013 race write up [irontri] [ In reply to ]
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Nice write up Cam. I think you give me too much credit for being in that pack though...more that you guys were nice enough to let me stay :)
Excited for next year!

IG: idking90
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Re: Armed Forces Triathlon Champs 2013 race write up [irontri] [ In reply to ]
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Cam, I will read you full report later, but just scanning this are you saying that there is no 2015 World Military Games Triathlon event due to the Koreans not having triathlon in 2015 and no other country willing to host it?

As an FYI, I competed in the first World Military Games (1995 in Rome). Hellriegel won, Dmitri Gaag was second, Stadler was 4th, Olivier Marceau was 4th. It would be a pity if there is no World Military Games tri in 2015, this being the 20th anniversary of the first round! Can there be a CISM tri event outside of the actual games? What does it take for a country to host this. I love the motto "friendship through sport". Something I have lived the rest of my life by. I hope a solution is found and you guys get to compete in 2015 at CISM in triathlon. Not sure what we "Civillians" can do from the outside to make it happen.

Or did I read all this wrong...this being 2013, you're not competing for CISM spots as there is none in 2014?

Dev
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Re: Armed Forces Triathlon Champs 2013 race write up [irontri] [ In reply to ]
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Nice write-up…thanks, and congratulations to you on a good result!

I can personally attest (retired All-Navy triathlete and now volunteer/official at this race) to the quality and fierceness of the competition, and also the “Friendship through Sport” that the race engenders across services and with our brothers/sisters in Canada. There are plenty of backstories that can be told, but I think many of this forum’s readers would be interested in knowing how the team competition is organized and how that drives the tactics of the race.

I remember talking with iank at the post-race party who had raced the draft-legal sprint distance before and was comparing yesterday’s DL Oly (“Much tougher”) to the DL sprint experience. But the interesting dynamic that plays out every year is on the bike course where it’s like a bicycling stage race within a triathlon. You do get multiple chase groups and some teams/racers have less incentive to chase (e.g. teams with more faster swimmers in the lead) than other teams. Sometimes chase packs will merge, or stronger cyclists will break away from a chase pack to join the next pack ahead. Other times, and it appeared this way yesterday, the packs all worked equally enough to never merge.

I can’t speak to what team tactics were employed by the teams yesterday, but in my last race there (2009), my race strategy changed multiple times due to the dynamics. I came out of the water in the first large swim group but left T1 with Nicholas Sterghos (this year’s champion, though 2009 was his first AFTC). I knew Nicholas was a great duathlete (because I had read it on Slowtwitch [http://www.slowtwitch.com/...arian_champ_780.html]) so even though he was not my teammate, I (sub-par runner) had incentive to work with him to form an escape. Our escape soon picked up two of my Navy teammates, and was positioned behind three leaders (2 Navy + 1 Army working together) and a solo Air Force athlete who we wanted to be isolated and working alone. I later got a flat rear tire on the third lap, deadsticked my bike 3+ miles to the end of the lap to change wheels, and joined the second chase group that had been behind me. I now had no incentive to chase (my team still had strength in numbers at the front) and I did what I could to slow down the pace of this group but also domestique for another teammate who could outrun this chase group and possible catch up to the leaders if he could get to T2 with fresh legs.

This is definitely a race with tactics and competition like no other, and a “team sport” that I wouldn’t mind seeing more groups try.
Last edited by: ea6bnfo: Jun 2, 13 20:09
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Re: Armed Forces Triathlon Champs 2013 race write up [devashish_paul] [ In reply to ]
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devashish_paul wrote:
Cam, I will read you full report later, but just scanning this are you saying that there is no 2015 World Military Games Triathlon event due to the Koreans not having triathlon in 2015 and no other country willing to host it?

As an FYI, I competed in the first World Military Games (1995 in Rome). Hellriegel won, Dmitri Gaag was second, Stadler was 4th, Olivier Marceau was 4th. It would be a pity if there is no World Military Games tri in 2015, this being the 20th anniversary of the first round! Can there be a CISM tri event outside of the actual games? What does it take for a country to host this. I love the motto "friendship through sport". Something I have lived the rest of my life by. I hope a solution is found and you guys get to compete in 2015 at CISM in triathlon. Not sure what we "Civillians" can do from the outside to make it happen.

Or did I read all this wrong...this being 2013, you're not competing for CISM spots as there is none in 2014?

Dev
Dev, nothing this year only. CISM, AFAIK, is still on for 2015. Nothing known, yet, for next year's WMG.

A bunch of people here suggested the US just try to offer up hosting it even this year! I'm sure it would take some high ranking connections to make that happen, in this short a time period, and in our economic and political climate.

Those are some old school household tri names! IM extraordinaire vs the Flying Kazakh ITU specialist. Stadler in the mix and then an awesome du/triathlete (Olivier).

Civilians could offer up[ a neutral venue, that would draw a ton of spectators, with affordable accommodations that showcases some great city/area. Somebody suggested piggybacking this sort of race within a big age group race...either the day before during the expo and after the race, so all the racers, friends, family could watch "us".

______________________________________________________
Sub-9 IM. Navy SeaBee deep sea diver. Can Do!
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Re: Armed Forces Triathlon Champs 2013 race write up [tri_yoda] [ In reply to ]
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First off, Cam great write up. Was hoping that ST would do coverage of the race, but no luck there. Maybe next year we can get some coverage..........hint hint............

tri_yoda and everyone else looking at the splits, I will own up and let you know the course is short. My Garmin has the bike at 22.3 miles and the run at 6.06 miles.

I had to do a lot of work on the bike to get to where I was, as Cam mentioned I was in the pack behind him that just got in contact with them as we pulled into T2. I put out 315W/avg and 332NP for the ride and had a 1min of 466 and a 5min of 384 when I made a final surge to catch the group that I ended up with. Here is a link to the power file for anyone interested: http://www.trainingpeaks.com/...3ICR4JPXPSQSFLEJYVWY . For reference, I have been riding between 56-58 at non draft races. Anyways, it is a tough race for the non-swimmers like myself and losing 3:32 to the leaders out of the water makes things rough.

I will post my race report up here once I get it done in the next couple of days.

Thanks again Cam for posting this up here and great racing, time for some revenge at Vineman ;)

-Brad Williams
Website | Twitter: @BW_Tri |Instagram: @BW_Tri | Strava | Co-Founder & Coach at: KIS Coaching
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Re: Armed Forces Triathlon Champs 2013 race write up [irontri] [ In reply to ]
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I know they were all racing as "Navy", but let's not forget that Beckmann, Pigage and King are all members of this Nation's PREMIERE maritime service, the US Coast Guard. Nice job Coasties!

Your speed matters a lot, sometimes you need to be very fast, where sometimes you need to breakdown your speed.
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Re: Armed Forces Triathlon Champs 2013 race write up [IKnowEverything] [ In reply to ]
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That's true. I will add it to the write up.

______________________________________________________
Sub-9 IM. Navy SeaBee deep sea diver. Can Do!
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Re: Armed Forces Triathlon Champs 2013 race write up [afbadbrad] [ In reply to ]
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Brad, we came into t1 exactly together and I guess I got out of there about 10-15seconds faster and tt'd up to mason and tonder and we ended up making it to and forming that 3rd chasepack you bridged to. I did very little biking this spring so it would have been nice for you to come out of t1 a bit quicker to help me bridge that gap haha. I was hurting after my effort bad and paid for it with a bad run. Next time lets go ahead and work together to make up for our swim deficiencies haha.

Good write up and great race everyone. See you all next year.
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Re: Armed Forces Triathlon Champs 2013 race write up [Karaya0321] [ In reply to ]
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ha, I came out between you and Brad and in hindsight wished I would have tried to bridge to you in order to prepare for the inevitable Brad Williams 500 watts bike onslaught. I saw you go up the road and was impressed.

I *may* have been able to hold two wheels, but definitely not one going at 330-400 watts ;)

Karaya0321 wrote:
Brad, we came into t1 exactly together and I guess I got out of there about 10-15seconds faster and tt'd up to mason and tonder and we ended up making it to and forming that 3rd chasepack you bridged to. I did very little biking this spring so it would have been nice for you to come out of t1 a bit quicker to help me bridge that gap haha. I was hurting after my effort bad and paid for it with a bad run. Next time lets go ahead and work together to make up for our swim deficiencies haha.

Good write up and great race everyone. See you all next year.

Eric Reid
AeroFit | Instagram Portfolio Coaching and Bike Fitting
Chapel Hill, NC
Aerodynamic Optimized Bike Fitting, Retul Pre-Purchase Bike Fitting, USAT Level 1 Triathlon Coaching, Nutrition
Ask me: Scody Optimized Speed Suits | CeramicSpeed Oversized Pulley Systems | HUUB Skinsuits and Wetsuits |
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Re: Armed Forces Triathlon Champs 2013 race write up [irontri] [ In reply to ]
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Thanks for the post Cam. Now I don't have to explain this race to my team back home ;)
Just to clarify, Pigage, Dougherty and I were in the third pack with 4 A/F, 1 Army, and a Canadian up to the crash on the 3rd lap.
And the GoPro worked, YouTube forthcoming...

https://www.facebook.com/wstriepeck?ref=tn_tnmn
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Re: Armed Forces Triathlon Champs 2013 race write up [wstriepeck] [ In reply to ]
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Yeah Pigage was in our group, and it was 5 AF and 3 Navy and then when the crash happened we lost the AF guy. I bridged to the group to make it 5 AF. If only we could have pulled Cam, Ian and the 2 Marines in a little sooner than pulling into T2.

Great race!

Eric- Sorry I went a little hard there those first 20-30 minutes, was a lot easier to work a little harder and make it to that group rather than situp and wait for the other group. Hopefully next year we can both come out of the water together and do a little more damage on the bike ;)

-Brad Williams
Website | Twitter: @BW_Tri |Instagram: @BW_Tri | Strava | Co-Founder & Coach at: KIS Coaching
Team RWB Ambassador | Deals & Discounts from Sponsors
Supported by: Clever Training| Kiwami Tri | Precision Hydration | | blueseventy | ISM | Canyon| Ceramic Speed
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Re: Armed Forces Triathlon Champs 2013 race write up [irontri] [ In reply to ]
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Great to see James Bales back in the mix! I share a last name with him, but no discernible common speedy genes...

Aaron Bales
Lansing Triathlon Team
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Re: Armed Forces Triathlon Champs 2013 race write up [afbadbrad] [ In reply to ]
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In hindsight, I now wouldn't have been opposed to you catching me two laps earlier. Maybe then I wouldn't have gotten passed by half the women's field. I vote we turn this into an aquavelo next year...

IG: idking90
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Re: Armed Forces Triathlon Champs 2013 race write up [iank] [ In reply to ]
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iank wrote:
In hindsight, I now wouldn't have been opposed to you catching me two laps earlier. Maybe then I wouldn't have gotten passed by half the women's field. I vote we turn this into an aquavelo next year...

NO Aquavelo, we just need to learn how to swim ;)

Here is my race report for anyone interested (http://aftriathlonguy.blogspot.com/...tary-tri-champs.html)

1 June-

The one race that I have been looking forward to all the way since last year. I had the privilege of being selected last year to the Air Force Triathlon Team and had a pretty solid "debut" at the race. Once again this year I was selected to the team and was really looking forward to the event as a whole. This race is an amazing experience as the Air Force, Navy, Army and Marines all bring teams, consisting of 10 men and 6 women. Canada also makes the trip down as well. The days leading up the race are great as we get a fair amount of time to train and hang out with our fellow servicemembers. The whole experience is amazing and a great way to make new friends and spend time with old friends. My least favorite part about the whole trip is actually the race ;)

Cam Loos did a great job on writing up a report about the race in general, so if you want to read that it can be found here: http://forum.slowtwitch.com/...page%3Dunread#unread

The days leading up to the race I did some easy training. I can't resist the amazing climbs that are right off the PCH so on Thursday I put on my 11-28 and headed up Yarba Buena and back down Mulholland. Yarba Buena is a little under and hour climb when taking it nice and easy and if I ride up it at tempo it takes about 45mins. So Thursday it was easy and such an amazing view. Then came back to get our team gear issued with a quick team meeting. Thursday is by far the busiest day, after team gear I got a short swim in followed by bike check. After bike check was lunch and then the race briefing. After race brief we headed over for pictures and then came the social and dinner. Next thing I know Thursday is over, it just seems to be go, go, go. The good thing about that is that means Friday is a fairly easy day in terms of stuff going on.

Got up early Friday morning and got an easy ride and run in and then headed out to "enjoy" the cold pacific ocean water. It was in the high 50's, so not quite the normal temps that I am use to. The rest of the day was spent lounging around and getting the bike ready for race day. I also managed to get in a nice nap and then it was time to head out for our team dinner and annual James Bales tradition of Dairy Queen Blizzards.

Race morning is always nice because it is a later race start than the usual tri. This year they actually moved it up since they were not holding the Admirals Cup Sprint race due to sequestration, so we had to start at 0900, instead of the usual 1000. Had the usual breakfast of oatmeal and a banana. Got a nice little pre-race run in and then headed down to get a pre swim in with the water being so cold.

Swim-

The swim course was a 2 loop course and was supposed to be in our favor. Well this year they got that part wrong and we had a current against us on part of the course. If you look at the strava file below, the portion that paralleled the shore is where the current was against us. I got a decent start and had some feet to stay on for a while but by the time I started to head back in from the first lap I was all on my own. I think I did a bad job of sighting and may have cost myself some time. The second lap the same thing, bad sighting on my part. I did come out of the water about 5 positions higher up this year than last year, so maybe my swim is improving ;)

Bike-

I had a bad T1 in my opinion and lost contact with a Marine who ended up in a small group just up the road. I did come out of the water with my Army buddy Eric and we started working together once I got my feet into my shoes. I really like my S-Works Road shoes, and they have worked great in the past couple of races. But for the draft legal fast paced stuff I didn't really care for them. Once I was in though it was just myself and Eric and I started taking some hard pulls and he came around a few times and helped out. I think just after a lap he wasn't able to help anymore and dropped back to the group behind us. I was in the middle of two groups but knew I could bridge if I continued to ride hard. There were 2 groups up the road that became one and that is when I was hoping things would become dis organized and I would make up the most ground. They started just floating out there and I was a little worried I wasn't going to make it. Finally I started making up some ground and I finally just put my head down for 2 minutes and made a hard effort to get there. When I got to the group we had 4 other AF guys, 3 Navy, an Army Guy, Marine, and a Canadian.

I made the bridge just at the start of the 3rd lap and sat in for a few rotations as I was pretty deep in the pain cave after making that bridge. Looking back on the race here is where I made a tactical error. I should have sat in a bit longer and recovered for 1/2 a lap or a full lap. Then I should have made an effort to get away. The reason I say this is because the Navy had 4 guys up the road to only our 2 guys up the road. I think tactically I should have kept attacking till I got away and tried to bridge the gap. This is the only place I am disappointed in my race. Instead I sat in just made my pulls with the group and tried twice to get away but was pulled back in once by my own team and once by the Navy guys. Half way through the third lap there was a nasty crash right in front of me involving one of my teammates, Brian, and a Canadian. Brian touched wheels with Scott and next thing I know bikes and people are flying around in front of me. I got really lucky and just missed Brians bike. Going into T2 we just caught the tail end of the group of 4 in front of us. and we were one big group coming into T2 of 13 guys from 8th to 20th.

Run-

Coming off the bike I was 2'40" off the two leaders and 1'10" off of the first chase pack which had 5 guys in it. When I got off the bike I ran a 5:50 first mile and most of the group I got off the bike with was running away from me like I was standing still. I couldn't figure out what was going on other than everyone else was just killing it on the run. It is a two lap bow tie run course. So you run out away from the transition area / finish line, through that area, then do another out and back section. It literally took me till the second lap to get the legs feeling good. I ran a pretty steady pace the whole time and came on strong during the last 2 miles. That is where I passed 5 guys and moved my way into 10th. Three of those guys were Navy guys so it felt good knowing that I made a contribution to the team.


Swim (1.5K) - 24:50 / 25th Male / (http://app.strava.com/activities/57698674)
T1-0:45
Bike (22.3mi) - 52:02 / 1st Male / (http://app.strava.com/activities/57595852)
T2-0:24
Run (6.06mi) - 35:54 / 10th Male / (http://app.strava.com/activities/57698676)

Total- 1:53:52 / 10th out of 47 Men
Results: http://raceresults.eternaltiming.com/...lon+Individual%7EAll

Overall I am really happy with how my race went, although I finished 10th compared to 8th last year. I was the 5th AF Male this year, which means our team is just getting stronger and stronger. We had James Bales back this year, which I knew would bump me at least one spot, but then Jon and Scott both had great races. Jon had an amazing race and really impressed me. Great job on executing an amazing race tactically and running for dough, when I was biking for show ;)

On the team side of things we lost to Navy by 1 point, that is really hard to take. We lost to them last year and we came back and fought this year to take the title back and we failed. This race is unique with the team scoring and it makes it something special. So for the next year I am sure we will all remember that one point and hopefully it can get us out of bed and out the door on those tough morning so that next year we can come back and take the title back.

A huge congrats though to Nicholas Sterghos on his first Armed Forces Win. I have had the pleasure of racing at a few of the same races as him this year (he races pro), and hanging out with him and his girlfriend Heather. Look forward to seeing him a future races and can see that all the hard work he is putting in is really paying off. James Bales came back this year after a year off from Armed Forces and took 2nd, our top AF male finisher and Sam Morrison our top female finisher fresh out of the AF Academy took the win on the female side of the house.

Thanks again to everyone for all of the support. Something big is happening in a few weeks, stay tuned. Excited, Nervous, Anxious, Blessed, Thankful, yeah I think that all sums up what is about to happen!

Here are a few pictures from the race and the trip.


Out of T1 with Eric and the chase pack behind.

Suffering on the run

Heading down to swim start with Kidd

All of the competitors including our friendly neighbors up North, the Canadians!

Our team with our silver medals


Thursday morning ride heading down the PCH, then up Yarba Buena and down Mulholland. We also did this ride post race on Saturday.

-Brad Williams
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