Monday, May 23, 2011

Memphis In May Race Report

My first race of the year is complete! I can say that it was pretty good race in which I was able to learn some things that I need to work on. Well let's get to the report.

I arrived at the Veranda Hotel on Saturday. The hotel and the race start were right next to each other, so it would make for an easy race morning on Sunday. The room at the hotel was nice. No issues there. After checking in, I went to packet pick up which was pretty easy. This was located next to the hotel. Following packet pick up, I went for a swim. The swim was in a lake behind the hotel. The water was nice. I wouldn't say that it was cold or warm. I was able to swim in my tri top and shorts comfortably.

The dinner options in the Tunica area are confined to the casinos. With recent flooding in the area, two casinos were still closed, Harrah's and Bally's. This left the Horseshoe, Road House, and Gold Strike as options. Also, the Veranda Hotel was having a buffet for $20, but it was BBQ and turkey with sides. Not my idea, of a pre-race meal. I ended up at the Horseshoe with some people that I know from the local tri club All in Multisport. We ate at Benions. It was a fairly pricey dinner, but it was great. I had the seafood pasta and hit the spot. The hotels also had buffets that were around $25. You could also drive up to Memphis or Southaven for food options. This would have been a 30 minute drive.

Race Morning
Woke up around 4:30 ate a clif bar, banana, bagel, and drink some Gatorade. I walked my bike down to the transition area around 5:30 to get a decent spot. The area were my bike was a pretty good location. The rack was located along the main in/out for swim/bike/run. Easy to find no matter where you put it on the rack. The great thing about the hotel being close is that I went back up to the room to relax after setting up.

Swim - 36 minutes 23 seconds

The swim is a time trial start with a person going every 3 seconds. You lined up by race number and waited your turn. They started about 7:00 am and by 7:15 was off in the water. The swim is not my best event. I started out with a pretty good rhythm, but then fell off that rhythm. I then kinda of struggled to find a good rhythm, but never really got there. I was hoping to finish the swim in 30 minutes, but didn't even get close! I finished the swim in 36 minutes!

Just before the swim start, I noticed some rain clouds moving in overhead. Was it going to rain? It started to rain while we swimming. It changed even more once on the bike!

The takeaway here is I need to swim more in the open water.

Transition 1/Bike - 1:11 transition/1:11:05 24 mile bike

The transition went smoothly and I was off on the bike. The course was a triangled shaped bike course with the first part heading west, then south, and finally back north towards T2. The wind was out of the SW for the day, so the first part was going to be slow followed by a fast back in!

The bike started off smoothly, but then the sky decided to open up! It started to pour. The rain was stinging and it was lighting. I just put my head down and rode hard. I also noticed that my Garmin had locked up, so I had to restart it. It took about 4 miles to get warmed up but once I did I was really able to push the pace.

The course was flat and fast and I enjoyed it even with the driving rain. The course was marked and managed well in my opinion.

Transition 2/Run - 1:45 T2/ 52:14 10Kish run

By the time I arrived at T2, I knew my shoes and socks would be soaked, but I put them on and off I ran. Not like, they weren't going to get anyways since it was still raining off and on.

I started the run off pretty strong, but my pace started to decrease by mile 3. After passing mile 3, we headed to the turn around point and just after that my watch hit 4 miles, before the marker? By the time I hit the 4 mile marker, my watch was 4.5 miles. I started thinking that my watch was off. I didn't think I was running that slow? After passing, the 4 mile marker. I was to able to again reduce my pace through the next 2.7 miles. I felt that I had a good push until the end. It turned out that the course was longer than advertised, but you have to prepare for the unexpected. It was 6.7 miles instead of 6.2.

The run course was flat and fast. The aid stations were well stocked and placed in good locations. If it had been hot, they would have served themselves well. The rain and clouds keep things cooler.

Overall I was happy with my bike and my run. I still need to work on the swim. I have another race coming up on June 4th were I will do a 1.2 open mile swim. It will give me a good chance to practice once more before Buffalo Springs at the end of June!

I would do this race again next year assuming it's at the same location.

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