Emerald Point Triathlon Race Recap
Let me start by saying the 2006 Emerald Point Triathlon was a great race with mostly great people. Here are the profiles for the swim, bike and run course. They capped the race at around 600 participants. It was very crowded out there.
There were only 2 real problems I saw, the first being the parking. I arrived a little before 7 and the lot they had intended to use was almost full. I took one of the last spots. As I was airing up my tires I heard one guy on a radio ask “So, what’s plan B for parking”. There was plenty of parking available on the island as not much else was going on, they just had not scouted it out in advance, I guess.
The second problem was that there was no P.A. system for the pre-race meeting. I doubt most of the 600+ participants heard the USAT guy talking about the bike course nuances and overall rules. I experienced some evidence of this on the bike course and you can read about it further below.
The water temperature was 75 degrees. The air temp was in the upper 50’s, so the water felt great. No need for a wetsuit, although many people (maybe 25%) opted for one. The course was originally to be an out and back swim. In the end, it was a 400 yard point to point. That’s about 50 yards short of a quarter of a mile. I didn’t have much practice siting in open water, so I think I probably covered the extra 50 to call it a quarter mile.
The transition from swim to bike involved an uphill trot (barefoot, mind you) from the lake to the lot where the bikes were. I do not know what my times were, but this transition ate a little more time than I would have liked. But all my crap was laid out in order and once I got to my bike it only took a minute to put on shoes and helmet and get to the mount point.
I love cycling. The course was a little over 13 miles of rolling terrain. A few good uphills but the grade wasn’t bad. I was able to average right around 20 mph according to my cyclometer. At the turn onto Shadburn Ferry (around mile 5) I was almost taken out by a guy. I heard him coming up behind me and knew he either did not see the turn or was grossly misjudiging it (there was a car in the left lane that was going to make it really tight). I burned a bunch of speed and got waaaaaay over to the right so he could get by. Like a true triathlete, he turned over his shoulder once we were through the hairy part and said “Sorry! I didn’t see that turn coming!”
About a mile down the road is the turn onto Peachtree Industrial Boulevard. I was about 5 bike lengths behind the next rider and was going to blow by him after the turn. Instead of him getting into the northbound flow of traffic, he turned early and ended up in oncoming traffic. He then came across the median and was hogging the left side (and going much slower). I had to pass him on the right. I felt bad about it, but dude left the course and there wasn’t much I could do about it.
Even with those incidents, it was a great ride. I was able to do a lot of passing and only got passed a few times.
Only 5K to go. I started out too fast and wasn’t able to get my legs under me. I had to walk a minute or two at the 1 mile point to reorganize my mind and body. It worked out well. My average pace was somewhere around 9:20/mile. Not setting any land speed records, but only 1:05 slower than my last 5k.
Takeaways for the Off Season
I have two takeaways from this race to focus on between now and April. The first is obviously swimming. I have to build my endurance up. Currently I am swimming 400 yard repeats at the pool. That got me into the water today, but is not good enough. Second is the bike to run transition. Your legs are like jello after getting off the bike and although I had experienced this in a couple of du’s and practiced it in bike/run bricks leading up to this event, it was still difficult for me.
I almost forgot to share. These are approximate, not official – the results should be posted in the next day or so. I heard a time shouted out for someone behind me in the swim, so it’s pretty accurate. The bike time came from the cyclometer and the run time from my GPS. They are still approximate because I didn’t start/stop my timers exactly at the timing mats.
Swim – 9:52
Bike – 44:40
Run – 29:30
I crossed the finish line at 1 hour, 38 minutes and 2 seconds according to the clock. Timing started when the first wave of athletes went out. My wave was supposed to go out 3 minutes after them, but for now I have no idea.
Last but not least, thanks to all the volunteers and spectators who made the event fun.
Well, perception isn’t always reality. I easily wasted 5 minutes in the swim + swim transition. That would’ve moved me up to 24th in my age group. Oh well. I’m still very happy with these numbers. My goal was 1 hour 30 minutes and this is just as good! Here are the rest of the results.
|44||335||120||Michael Schubert||33||Gainesville, GA|
[ Updated 10-08-2006 16:00 / Added links and my unofficial finishing time ]
[ Updated 10-09-2006 09:30 / Added official time ]