Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Race Result: 2011 Maple Grove Sprint Triathlon

Event: 2011 Maple Grove Triathlon (USAT)
Date: Saturday, August 27, 2011
Location: Maple Grove, MN
Hotel: Home, sweet home
Weather: 64F, sunny, light winds from NNE at 6-7 MPH
Official Results: Sprint Overall results; Olympic Overall results, TriStar 111 Overall Results

Personal Results (sprint event)

Goal: 01:08:08
Actual: 01:08:32
Overall: 2nd overall (416 total); 1st in AG Males - Non Elite (210 total); 1st in 50-54 AG (14 total)

This is going to be a short, but sweet, report. The Boy® and I headed out immediately after this event to do some lakeside relaxation and fishing with Grandpa and Grandma Maas for a few days, then when we returned we are now on vacation. State Fair and enjoying the last remnants of summer before someone starts middle school! So, gotta rush through this and kick back into vacation mode.

First, many thanks to Mario Minelli for choosing us as his race hotel. It was great to have you stay with us Mario. Great job in the 111 event as well! Best of luck at IM Wisconsin a couple of weeks. I know you will do very well.

Also, hearty congrats to Garrick Campbell for his first Oly finish! He has the bug now. That's for sure.

To the personal report!

Swim - 0.3 miles

Goal - 07:49
Official Time - 9:20; 1st in AG (14 total); 15th overall fastest

The announced water temp was 77 F. That extra $20 I slipped to race official Bill Nevala did the trick....just kidding! The water temperature the night before had been announced at 81 F but that reading had been taken off the dock. A cool night prevailed. And the water responded by allowing itself to be wet suit legal.

Transition closed at 7:00 AM. My wave (#22!!) was not to launch until 8:51 AM. So I watched the TriStar 111 series and got to see Chris McCormack get his bike ready and then begin the swim. I have been doing tri's for a long time. I've never seen talent like this up close and personal. When Macca left the water it was as if he was sprinting the opening of a 5K. Words will do no justice. Too bad for him that he had mechanical issues on the bike and could not complete the 111 course. I hear he wants to come back next year.

About thirty minutes after the big boys and girls started, I put on the wet suit and began my warm-ups. The weather was fantastic. Probably the best race weather I have raced in this year. A little over 10-minutes to my wave kick-off, I sauntered over to line up in the Mens 45 and Over wave.

The gun finally went off for me and I quickly found myself near the front of the pack. About 100-yards in I could spy one person to the left of me and one to the right of me. By the time we hit the first buoy (200-yds?), I was all alone and then having to navigate with the two novice waves that had been launched in front of us.

This brings me to grip #1 for the event. Like last year, the race organizers chose to insert multiple novice waves in the middle. Why they do this, I cannot say. I have nothing against novice waves. The more the merrier in a triathlon. But pack them at the end for safety sake. I hope this is changed for next year.

I left the water in the lead on the wave. I had recalled how Macca had left the water and I was about to let some second rate Aussie show me up on my home course!

For those who don't follow me, I wear a two piece wet suit. So as I was leaving the water I was trying to slip the top over my head. This usually means I am blinded for a few seconds. I'm running hard, and I hear a spectator yell, "Look out!", and BOOM! I run smack into a spectator barrier. I have a dandy black-and-blue mark on my left upper thigh to prove it. I just chuckled and continued up into T1.

Note - The Well Kept Wife© was able to come and take photos. I usually don't display this many race photos but she was able to get some very good shots so why waste 'em?


Goal - 2:00
Official Time - 1:33
A very nice result as I had been over two minutes at this same course last year.
Bike - 14.3 miles

Goal - 37:57 (22.6 MPH)
Official Time: 38:09 (22.5 MPH); 1st in AG (14 total); 3rd fastest overall

Like last year, I think 14-miles is not accurate reflection of the sprint bike course. If anyone used a Garmin, please let me know. Call it 14.3, I suppose. So, the official results show 22 MPH average but that is not even close. At 14.3 miles my average matches my bike computer readout at 22.5 MPH.

Geez, for whatever reason I recalled the course as being flat. It ain't. Roller after roller. But I felt very good and just kept hammering. Near the ten mile mark, my right calf locked up for about 30-seconds and I had to slow to work it out. But it responded quickly and gave me no further issues.

I was passed by a few of the TriStar 111 big boys heading out on their second lap. I heard that some people on that course as well as the Oly course missed turns, etc. Not a good situation for a race like this. That leads me to grip #2. Last year there was the same complaint. Not enough directional signage. I totally understand that it is the responsibility of the athlete to know the course.

In this case, there were directional signage at the turns only. I do not recall markers well in advance. If you race bikes, you know that when you are zooming at speeds akin to a car all it takes is the bat of an eye, a glance at the bike computer, the simple adjustment of the helmet....and WHOOSH....the sign can be missed. More signage is required, especially leading up to the turns.


Goal - 1:00
Official Time - 0:43
As I have the past several races, I paused to put on socks. This was a quick and smooth transition into the run. And since I have been logging big miles running in August, I was super confident I could open 'er up and blow doors off people.

Run - 3 miles

Goal: 19:21 (6:27 pace)
Official Time: 18:21 (6:07 pace); 1st in AG (14 total); 3rd fastest overall

I surpassed even my wildest expectations by running where I should have been running all year long had it not been for the pelvic stress fracture. I felt great.

As I did this event in 2010, I knew to expect hills on the course. There is the small incline right out of the chute and then the two, "Hi, I will kill you now," hills right at the end. All short, but all ill-timed making the run course a little more challenging.

Near the end I heard footsteps which ended up being the eventual female overall Olympic champion Claire Bootsma. I went with her to the finish line but backed off so she could cross the finish line by herself.


Earlier in the week, I had asked if I could switch to the Elite wave so that I could avoid the novice swim wave congestion. But I also made sure I could still be eligible for the AG awards if I did that. Per USAT, if I started Elite, I would not be eligible for the AG awards. And these awards are pretty cool. I got one last year and because of that, chose not to start Elite....and I was able to pick up another dandy ceramic bowl.

On podium for the 50-54 AG win

One more picture, and this is of the Boy® hanging with his old man after the event. Note his T-shirt, what a kid!

Yes, 'Protect Your Nuts' indeed!
Next Event:

Sep 11 - CyMan Triathlon, Polk City, IA - 500yd swim, 14.3mi bike, 5K run
I have yet to officially sign up yet. I'm going to mull it over for a few days. Registration will be open until September 9. If not, then my next event will be.....

Sep 17 (signed up) - Bismarck Half-Marathon


Mario said...

Great race and thanks for the 5 star accommodations!

Adam Beston said...

Nice race, one more mile run and you would have had it. You know what happened to mccormack? Can't find it on the tubes.

Christopher Hawes said...

Excellent job!

Brian said...

Adam, we heard one of two things on Macca. He either missed a turn and went off course or he had a mechanical issue on the bike. In any event, he then did the sprint run course and cheered on age groupers.

Mario said...

I forgot to say "Thanks for the pictures and video too!" I took the liberty of using them on my blog, but I credited the photographer. BTW, your bike photo's above... I see a drafting penalty or a illegal pass on the right about to happen :)

Garrick said...

Thanks for the mention Brian--you are a great inspiration & I am hooked. Best wishes for your son this weekend.. soon you be on the podium together I am sure.