Monday, July 9, 2012


With temps over 100 degrees for almost 2 weeks before this race, it was looking like a scorcher...
But then it rained Saturday night for about 15 minutes and that all changed.

The high for the day was 90 and it was mid 70's at the gun.  The water was at 88 degrees, no wetsuits, but I'd rather have that and not die on the rest of the course from over heating.

Pre-race was pretty standard...
I added this race "last minute" due to all the hype from friends and online buzz.  I raced it in 2010, but it was cancelled for severe weather right as I hit T2.

I've also been on this course for Kansas City corporate challenge with my old company, so I've raced the duathlon and triathlon in one form or another for the past 5 years I think.  Lets just say I'm familiar with the course.

The packet picket was pretty standard, but Friday it was at a location sort of out of the way.  It took more time to get there and get back to work than I wanted, and they didn't have timing chips for those that went Friday which caused a mild panic for me.  Did I get the chip and lose it?  Will they give me a new chip?  After some online checking, I found found out I could get it the morning of the race.  Whew.  Crisis averted.

Oh, and they provided tri tats for the race and it was looking pretty professional out there.  They've picked up their game.

The other issue with pre-race is the rather long walk from parking to transition.  It's probably comparable to IM KS or other races, but I don't ride my bike pre-race to avoid flats the morning of a race and it was a long walk.  Minor details...

Other than some minor items of note, arrival was pretty standard and it was time to prep and make a port-a-potty plan of action.

Is it just me or does the guy on the right look like his pre-race jitters are getting the best of him?  Yak....

This Triathlon comes with standard equipment... 
I went with my new FLUID tri kit that I got a week ago for being a sponsored athlete (don't worry, I still had to pay for it - but I get a discount).  It's made by Pactimo and so far it's stood up pretty well.  The one unique thing is that it is full zippered.

I wore my Orca once piece tri suit to minimize drag since I wore my full kit in the water as to avoid jacking with being wet and trying to get a tri top on.  It also provides a wee bit more buoyancy out there with no wetsuit.  But, as you'll see, my swim time may not show it...

KU visor, of course.

Puma Bolt Faas 400's for the run.  Still digging the lightweight shoes.

Skin Strong sunscreen and Slather for the personal bits.  Review coming soon about the sunscreen!

On the the race part....
I still can't get over how perfectly the weather cooperated.  You could not have asked for a better setup at the beginning of July in Kansas City.  Well, maybe for a wetsuit legal swim.  But hey, I'm not saying, just saying.

The swim... oh the swim.  It's my albatross.  My achilles heal.  I've been killing it in the pool, and by all rights, my times are better than ever in events, but they are mediocre at best compared to the rest of the field.  I ranked 84 of 260 overall, so I shouldn't complain, but I always want better, right?  The only real swim issue was rounding the buoys.  Instead of what I thought was a straight line, it was some odd arch curve into the lake and you turn around and swim it back.  I kept running into the buoy line that they tied them together with.  In 2010 I swam it in 21:16 and this year was 20:40.  So less than a minute improvement in 2 years.  Hmmmm...

The bike treated me well.  All except my front 808 that was slowly leaking air.  What gives with the flat front tires?  It was aired up before I left home and by lap two, I thought I was going to have to pit for a quick refill.  As I got out of my seat for a few climbs at the end of lap 2 of 4 around the park, I noticed some extra bounce that shouldn't be there on the front and I knew I was riding a fine line, pun intended.  I crossed my fingers that it would hold into T2, and it did.  Somehow I got lucky and escaped with a 20.1 mph average and bettered 2010 by a minute.

The run wasn't half bad.  I had some patella tendon issues for a week or so and forgot my BRD knee brace to wear for the run, but interestingly enough I didn't need it.  No real knee issues, but my legs did feel a little dead.  I plodded as best I could trying to max out on downhills and in the shade and "recover" on the uphills and in the sun.  The majority of the run is on a paved trail system, so it's at least some nice scenery as you run through the park, suffering.  I rounded out the day in 35:45, good for 7:54 minute miles.

I was impressed at the leaders you see at some out and backs.  They are giving it everything and they have the horsepower to make it happen.  The overall winner finished in 1:31ish and the average was 2:04ish.  Sick.

Since this was the first official finish for the SM Tri race, it was a new PR...
It's an odd "long course" as it's only 1000 meter swim, 18 mile bike and 4.5 mile run.  Not a true Olympic distance and kind of short for typical long courses.  I guess they figure the hills in the park made up for it.

Overall it was a great experience to finally finish the tri event at Shawnee Mission Park.  I'm there so often for riding, running and mountain biking that it's a home away from home.

I might just have to add this to the permanent rotation.

And with that, here's a screen shot of my official results.

69 of 260 overall for the long course.  Not a bad days work.  Still some room for improvement!

Digging the MTEC timing results page.  Nice format.

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