|21||332||Vic Brown III||4:41:33||2/55||M35-39||20||30:39||1:40||90||2:41:05||1:44||10||1:26:26|
June 9, 2012
Pantanella’s FLAT as a PANCAKE
By Nick Wendell
A few members of the team and I drove down to New Jersey the day before the race. We were graciously housed by the Timmes’ family where we had a great pasta dinner and were able to sleep on comfortable beds the night before our race.
The team woke up at 4:30am and had a quick breakfast of bagels eggs before driving out to Staten Island to make it in time for 6am packet pickup. Chris, Max and I set up transition right next to each other. We had plenty of time to check our bikes and get a nice run warm-up before the race.
The swim was a salt water ¼ mile point to point swim. You were allowed to go on either side of the buoys (they recommended weaker swimmers to stay to the left). I was the 2nd wave (M20-24) which allowed us some time to get in and acclimate to the water. I chose to swim just wide-left of the buoys which gave me clear water. I felt great and was actually swimming next to Max and Chris for the first 200m of the swim.
T1 went smooth. Max and Chris arrived shortly after. It was nice to see that we all had a strong swim.
The 12-mile bike course was on a closed highway consisting of 3 x 4-mile loops. My goal was to keep a high cadence and see where my legs took me on the first loop. I was averaging approximately 25MPH after loop one. I decided to attempt to keep that speed as long as I could. At the end of the first loop, a triathlete from Rutgers passed me. My main goal was to keep him within eyesight for the remaining laps and give myself a chance at catching him during the run. The bike course was nice because I was able to see the whole team at various points along the ride and we could all cheer each other on.
T2 went smooth. I congratulated the Rutgers athlete on his strong ride and got ready for a strong run putting my focus on catching him sooner rather than later.
During the early part of the 5K run, I was focused on catching and passing the Rutgers athlete. I was able to make my pass in first half mile of the course. The course was partly on a boardwalk near the swim and then transitioned to a paved path next to the beach for the second mile of the course. Mile markers were clearly marked. I tried to keep my pace under 6-minute miles for the first mile and then increase my pace with each of the remaining miles. Since I was in the second wave there were a few people ahead of me which helped motivate me to keep increasing my pace on the run. I was able to see the finish line from about 800 meters out and I was able to kick it in and pass one last athlete about 50 m before the finish line.
After my race, I cheered on my teammates as they all finished with strong times (every racer finished in the top five of their age group!!!). After everyone finished, we went down and the times were posted. I knew that I had a good race, but I was completely surprised when I looked up at the results and saw that I was the overall race winner! Since we were in the second wave, I was not the first to cross the line. But, it just so happened that my time was the fastest of the day.
The race was a fun event overall and well run. I would recommend it to others as a fun summer sprint triathlon. The flat course helped out and everyone on the team was able to put up some really fast times which can be helpful to motivate you in the middle of your summer training. I think next year I will try to do the race again and I would recommend others as well.Read More
|Name||Category||Cat||Ov||0.5 mi Swim||T1||Cat||Ov||15 mi Bike||T2||Cat||Ov||5 mi Run||Cat||Ov||FINAL|
|Vic Brown III||M35-39||2||10||8:37||1:15||1||6||38:56||0:36||1||3||30:56||1||3||1:20:22|
|Name||Category||Cat||Ov||0.5 mi Swim||T1||Cat||Ov||16 mi Bike||T2||Cat||Ov||3.5 mi Run||Cat||Ov||FINAL|
by Nick Smith
I headed up to New Hampshire the evening before the race to pick up my race packet and attend the athlete pasta dinner at a Camp Wicosuta. The race site was awesome – right in the woods, decked out with Ironman brand race gates and ads. This was my first Half Ironman (Swim 1.2 miles / Bike 56 miles / Run 13.1 miles). Seeing all of the logos and gating was the first time it occurred to me that this was more of a real-deal triathlon than any of the sprints I’d done before.
My pre-race accommodations didn’t work out quite as planned. I ended up staying the night 5 miles from the course in the trunk of my CR-V; spacious as a vehicle overall, but not comfortable to sleep in. I was asleep by 10PM, but woke up a few times during the night and just never slept all that soundly – partly because there was a street lamp outside. Next time, I’ll camp or make sure I’ve squared away a bed or couch.
RACE PREP/RACE MORNING
I awoke at 4:30AM, headed for coffee and a bagel, and made it to the race course by 6AM (traffic). By the time I was body marked and into the extremely muddy transition, I had only 25-min. before I had to make the hike down to the water for the swim start. I skipped warming up, set up transition, found the port-a-potties, fueled up on Gatorade, and set off.
SWIM 32:48 (1:41/100M)
I got a short swim in before I was taken out of the water. I took Vic’s advice and stayed as far right as possible for the start. I’m a decent swimmer, but I’m not going to win any open water swims, and for me staying clear of any commotion is a bigger deal than getting a great line. This was the single best piece of advice all race. Not only did it not affect my line, but I encountered almost no swimmers the entire time. I got out in front while others fought behind me and jockeyed for position and I swam the coolest, calmest, easiest swim of my life. It was a walk in the park. I never once felt out of breath. To compare how easy this was to something more tangible – the New England Season Opener had a 400 meter swim and my pace was nearly 20 sec. per 100 m slower.
I felt TERRIBLE coming out of the water. My arms and legs were rocks. I was a little concerned about the effects but they later wore off. I made a couple of mistakes in transition; not having help getting my wetsuit removed and putting booties on my bike shoes pre-race. The thought was that it would keep my shoes dry while I was swimming, but taking the booties off (because I decided to on the spot) required effort and time. As soon as I put my shoes on in transition, I stepped in a giant puddle and soaked my shoes immediately anyway. Not to mention my mount was weak and I almost ate it.
BIKE 2:57:38 (18.92MPH)
I refused to not to get bullied on the hills. The Mooseman course includes tough 1000 ft. climb completed twice. I stayed composed, within myself, and hoped to catch guys who had gone out too fast later in the ride. I maintained a 155 HR for the majority of the bike, dipping to 143 by the end and never above 165 on the hills. I had a lot of fun making a day of calmly riding up hills and catching anyone who passed me on the way down. I tried to keep athletes in my age-group in sight. I even spent the entire ride going back and forth with another rider. It was fun, but tough not to get overzealous. I wanted to focus on being aero at all times. I felt focused, comfortable and only experienced some difficulty staying tucked.
Additionally, I wanted to be smart about nutrition. My stomach gave me problems with my diluted Gatorade mix. I experienced digestion problems – stomach fluid “sloshing” and burping. Switching to the Ironman Perform offered on the course helped. I tried to get all of my calories from fluids. I only used one GU and thought it might give me digestive problems.
T2 did not go well. I was cramping up. I had to wash my feet off with Gatorade. I didn’t want rocks and mud to be a problem, so that took extra time. I also couldn’t feel my foot from the arch up – a combo probably of the wet, cold, and saddle pressure during the bike.
RUN 1:36:05 (7:20/mile)
I left some energy on the bike course to have gas left in the tank for the run. I was happy with how I felt on the run so it worked out, although I’m a little curious what the impact would have been if I had tried “beasting” a hill or two once in a while.
I’ve never run a half-marathon. I really had no idea what to expect. My 1:30 goal was a crazy idea I had as a way to break 5-hours, not any sort of actual calculated pace based on previous runs. Despite a slow start, and a mile 2 bathroom break, the run went very smoothly. I haven’t run in two weeks because I’ve been staying off my left foot. Though it didn’t affect my stride, it was uncomfortable starting at mile-6 on. I drank IM Perform at every mile, had 1 GU, and focused on catching a friend of mine who was a mile ahead. There are a mix of short challenging and rolling hills on the run. I tried to motor up them, but was careful not to cramp up (which was a big fear). I maybe ran more conservatively than I’d like, keeping my heart rate at 165. Seeing my parents, Max and Kara at the finish provided a huge uplift, and I was pretty much in tears as they blanketed me after the finish.
Today was amazing. It was by far the most exhilarating race of my life, and I was choked up the whole last mile. It might seem silly, but I had my parents cheering me on waiting at the finish, and it felt like I was making them proud. The way the run course was set up they were able to see me four times during the run and once on the bike, and knowing I would have to look put together as I ran by, lest my mother worry I was dying, helped me through some tough aspects.
This was my first half ironman and I did a lot of high volume work to train for it in the month and a half prior. If I come back next year, I want to prepare with more run/bike hill work (as both courses are brutally hilly), and more brick workouts as to get comfortable pushing through my cement legs after transitions. I have a lot of work to do on the bike portion to catch the top echelon of my age-group peers, but my swim and run are more or less competitive. I think with work I can come back in future years and put in a great effort!
I am so addicted to triathlon. I will definitely be back to Mooseman, and this definitely means I will do an Ironman when I feel ready. The physical aspect is awesome, but I think the mental aspect was most enjoyable. I don’t know what it is but there’s something about being able to be competitive for 5- hours that makes me happy. Having someone to race for every stretch of the course was phenomenal.Read More