Monday, August 23, 2010

Race Preview: Maple Grove Triathlon & Shout Outs!

Event: Maple Grove Triathlon (Oly and Sprint distances; I am doing the sprint)
USAT Sanctioned: Yes
Date: Saturday, August 28
Location: Maple Grove, MN
Previous Results: First time event

I have come to think of this triathlon as the event that thinks a little bit too much of itself. I say that tongue in cheek. Let me try and put it this to you this way: Football fans are all aware of the highly touted rookie that comes out of the draft then dares to stay out of training camp for a few days or even weeks because the "Do-Re-Mi" being offered isn't high enough. This draft pick has yet to play a single down in the NFL. He has yet to prove anything. Yet, he thinks highly of himself. Ultimately, a contract agreement is reached and the veterans on the team are all asking, "What the hell? This rookie has not proven a damn thing, yet he's getting paid more than 90% of the guys on the team." And these veterans cannot wait...I believe licking their chops is the term......for the rookie to show up for the first day of practice in pads. Here is a quote from the athletes guide for the event:

Affectionately addicted to producing opportunities for others through community events the same way many are addicted to triathlons and feeling healthy, we are beyond delighted to host the inaugural Maple Grove Triathlon with you on our official inaugural roster! Last fall, the idea for a triathlon in Maple Grove was born, pitched to the Maple Grove Parks and Recreation Board and through highly collaborative partnerships and detailed event planning, the Maple Grove Triathlon now stands as one of the most accessible and sought after triathlons in Minnesota!
See what I mean? The event hasn't even been run yet and already it is one of the most sought after? Please.

So, for now.....and I stress for now.....this triathlon is the rookie that has yet to prove a thing but is sort of acting like it is a big time player. I have received about 946 emails from the race organizers. The race day email just received has more details in it than do most tax returns. Heck, if I'm a newbie triathlete I'm sitting there wondering, "what the tarnation have I gotten myself into?"

They really are striving to make sure everyone finds their comfort zone, and I applaud them for that. It's just sort of 'enough already' lets do this thing. But sometimes too much can be, well, too much. For example, here is the 18-page event guide. And I'm super thrilled to be in Wave 15, almost 90-mins after transition has closed. And only three minutes behind the Women's 45+ wave. Yeah, no congestion there.

The two events will take place in Weaver Lake Park. Now, here is a plus: Relays will not be offered in 2010. I like to see more races go sans relay and be purely individual. That is not to say I am anti-relay (see Shout Outs! below for proof of that). I'm sure when the Boy® is a couple years older we'll be doing some relay events.

But sometimes relays can clog an event. So I'm glad this first time event is skipping relays, at least for this year. The two distances are (notice they had to have cool names for each....just Sprint and Oly were not good enough, ahem):

Dare to Sprint
Swim: .3 miles/.48 km
Cycle: 14 miles/22.5 km
Run: 3 miles/4.8 km

The Olympic Dare
Swim: .9 miles/1.5 km
Cycle: 26 miles/42 km
Run: 6.2 miles/10 km

This past weekend, I did head up so I could take a look at the swim area, transition area, and drive the sprint....sorry, DARE TO SPRINT bike course. Here are three videos I put together for those who might not be able to visit before race day. Hope these help to give you an idea of the course. And the sprint course is smooth road surface with nary a climb in sight. I am liking the bike course, that much I can tell you. Here are three videos to help you visualize.

Part One: Swim, Transition, and Bike

Part Two: Bike Continuation

Part Three: Bike Continuation and back into T2

Now, I do hope the race goes without a hitch. I'm pulling for it. I love to have events in my very own backyard. I just wish the lead up to it would have been slightly more low-key in terms of the the quotes, slogans, email....or maybe I'm just becoming a grumpy old man. Excuse me a sec..."Hey you punks! Get off my lawn!". Sorry 'bout that. But I will be the first to sing the praises of the event if they pull it off and it is a keeper. You can count on that. You know me, Mr. Honest to a fault.

The Maple Grove Triathlon will award the top three male and female triathletes in each age category for the Olympic and Sprint events. The top overall male and female finishers will each receive a $500 cash purse. That's a nice bonus. $500 is nothing to sneeze at and should bring some of the top dogs from around the area to compete. All finishers will receive their custom race hardware for daring to TRI.

So, to the prediction board please. First time event, no idea whatsoever about times so my goals on paper will be:

Swim: 08:48 (if wet suit legal, add a minute if not)
T1: 02:30 (looooong stretch from the beach to T1)
Bike: 37:10 (22.6 MPH)
T2: 01:20
Run: 20:06 (6:42/mile)
Total: 01:09:54

Shout Outs!

Huge Shout Out! to William (the Elder) and Christopher (the Younger) Jenks for placing second in the team relay at Pig Man Long Course. Team name of Photons Phorever...high creative. In looking at all the run times, it looks like the day's heat really took its toll out there. I would term it absolute carnage. So you two did very well to come through that. Very well, indeed.

Congrats to Greta Simpson for her 2nd overall finish at the YWCA Womens Triathlon which took place at Lake Nokomis on August 15, 2010.


Adam Beston said...

20:06? I am making that a 19:59 for petes sake.

Christopher Hawes said...

Thanks for taking the video. The course looks nice and flat. That is what I like to see. If I don't see you Sat morning, have a great race.