Sunday, September 24, 2006

Tri Update #2 (Sept 24, day of)

Things that were incredibly stupid about this course:
  1. Info on the course described the run as "more or less flat" presumably this was an average, the run was uphill until the turn around point (soooooo painful after riding) and then was downhill... Also some of the run (1st 2 miles and last 2 miles) were on the softest slippiest sediment interspersed with sharp jagged stones waiting to be stepped on.
  2. Info on the course gave a BAR GRAPH showing elevation of the bike course - SOOOOO NOT HELPFUL! Anyone with half a brain knows that showing elevation over a distance is best represented with a LINE GRAPH. We joked that a scatter plot or a pie chart would have been just as useless. The course was an endless barrage of hills. Constant hills. Loooong hills. Steep hills. Sure, all of them came down - but it was an "out and back" course, so for all the downs was a hideous, horrible, no-good, very-bad, and sometimes even soul-crushing up. There were NO flats. I am not kidding! The transition zone had you cross the timer pad and go immediately into lowest gear up a rough uphill.
  3. The Olympic distance ride had the dumbest route ever. They included a dog leg. A dog leg that had you brake from a downhill, make two sharp rights, head immediately uphill for 1km, then go down for 1km, then make a hairpin turn, return, make a sharp left and then a sharp right and continue on your way. I clocked the distance of the course with my cyclocomputer so as to have an idea of how many hills were remaining. Total length of course: 44km. Necessity of dogleg? Zero. Conditions of dogleg road? Rough, potholey, full of cracks, bumpy, and plants filling each of the previously mentioned danger zones. The hills and the dogleg are the main reasons why goal #4 was not achieved. The wind on the course, requiring that I pedal on the downhills also didn't help a huge amount. Bike speed average? About 25.5 km/hr (according to my computer, but the chip time I imagine is different - especially since they think the course is only 40km).
  4. The transition zone. Well, it was probably 1/2 km from the water's edge. Which of course meant that coming out of the water you had to jog up a 1/2 km gravel road to get to your change area before continuing on your way. Swim to bike transition? About 4.5 min. Turns out the run entrance was about halfway between transition zone and water's edge. I taped my knee in the bike to run transition, but that really didn't take too long - transition time? About 3.5 min. Subtract that 8 min from my finish time of 3:13, that brings me very close to the original goal of around 3hrs.
  5. The guy running the info session was clueless. He gave his volunteer helpers wrong info. With this brilliant combination we had athletes with no idea what was going on asking volunteers who didn't know anything that was going on (but thought they did) questions about what was going on. This actually resulted in the volunteers giving MISinformation to poor suffering athletes trying to get through the last stage of the half iron. Not a good thing.
  6. There were NO portapotties anywhere near any parts of the race except the swim!!! Not a single portapotty anywhere along the bike courses, which, for the half iron 56 mile course is a loooooong way without facilities! No portapotty at the transition zone. No aid station at the transition zone. No portapotty along the run courses - and the half iron run is 13 miles!
  7. The aid stations, supposedly equipped with water and gatorade, were supposed to be stationed every mile to 1.5 miles along the run. They weren't! They were placed at random, and sometimes more than 4 miles apart! In the hot sun, after already racing for several hours, it's hazardous to not have water supplied more frequently. And on that note, they often didn't HAVE water!!! I like to pour water on my head when I'm hot and running, because it's tricky to drink it on the go, and it's not overly refreshing that way - but on my head it's insta-cool. I'm NOT pouring gatorade on my face, that is NOT refreshing.

1 comment:

jakesdad said...

Hmmm. Sounds like someone doesn't want to be a Mountain Man afterall.

Perhaps next time sign up for the Pampered Princess Triatholon?

All kidding aside, the whole event sounds like something a Marine, a bitter old Marine, would have organized.