Sunday, August 14, 2011

Rockett's Landing Race Report 7/24/2011

Pre-Race Saturday
Sharon and I departed very early on Saturday morning to skip all the beach and King's Dominion traffic on the way to Richmond.  This was solid and highly recommended for future travels to the Richmond area on summer weekends.  We attended a course briefing before picking up our packets.  The course briefing was ok - definitely not mandatory.  It gave first time triathletes a chance to ask logistical questions and such.  Packet pick-up was a little ways across town at a 3-Sports Endurance store.  Pretty cool store if I do say so myself, I picked up some Yankz for my running shoes while we were at the store.

We still had time to kill before we could check into our hotel so we headed down to the race site to check some stuff out.  We had read some previous race reports so we knew there would be some quirky things going on. When we were checking out the race site transition was not yet set up since it doubles as a parking lot for locals.  We were disappointed we weren't able to check out where our bikes would be racked and the correct entrances and exits for the transition area.

DC Tri at Rockett's Landing
After checking into our hotel and taking a cat nap we got up and got ready for a pasta dinner with the gang from DC Tri Club.  After all this was the Mid-Atlantic Club championships and we were in town to win - so why not have a team dinner?  The food was good and the company was awesome at a local pizza and pasta place in downtown Richmond.

After dinner we headed back to hotel and made our final preperations for race morning.  Organizing clothes, food, race gear, etc.  We got to bed early to prepare for our extremely early wake-up time to ensure we could get our car out of the hotel valet lot in a timely manner (unfortunately our hotel only offered valet parking).  We were in the host hotel for the race so of course many other people were getting their cars early in the AM as well.

Sunday AM Pre-Race
We arrived at the race site very early.  Ate breakfast in the car and got ourselves situated before transition had even opened.  Timing chip pickup and the pre-race organization were not as great as they could have been.  Signs were still not posted for run-in, bike-out, bike-in, and run out which was disappointing.  DC Tri club was out in full force with 2 tents and 100+ racers!

THE SWIM: 1500m - 27:22
The course may have been slightly short, hence the great swim time for me!  The water was 92 degrees and swim caps were optional.  I fought for position throughout the first 300-400m instead of hanging back.  This paid off and I got beat up a little less than I am used to.  I was very happy with this swim time. Swim exit was a small dock with one ladder, not ideal to say the least.

T1: 2:22
I was very surprised by this fast time for the length of transition. After exiting the water you had to run up some stairs down a rock pathways (which thankfully was covered with rugs) up more stairs and down the road a little ways into transition.  Quite the run just for transition.

THE BIKE:  - 1:18:56
Not my greatest performance on the bike.  Would have liked to do better here.  I had some hiccups on the bike.  I wanted to drink some heed and water bottle #2 about 5 miles in, but I knocked the bottle out of my hand because I was too stubborn to stop pedaling for a few seconds.  No Heed, not a huge deal.  About 6 more miles in I wanted to take a gel, which I had very securely taped to my bike frame with electrical tape.  Electrical tape is much harder to rip than masking tape.  I spent a good minute or 2 riding slowly fighting to get the gel.  It burst all over my hand and eventually came off.  It was a mess but I did get some.  Repeat gel performance with gel #2.

T2: 0:46
The Yankz paid off. Awesome time.

THE RUN: 10k - 52:29
It was pretty hot by run time.  The course was stocked with cold sponges/wascloths, or at least it was for the male racers before me.  Coming off a PR the previous weekend at Stumpy Creek in the 10k I did feel some pressure, but knew I had to take it a little bit easier with the heat.  I was passed during last mile by fellow age-grouper.  I did my best to keep up with her but she was keeping steady.  Turns our she runs track at Elon University.  Not a bad run performance for the conditions and the crazy run course - upstairs, downstairs, up a scenic overlook - somewhat adventurous.

FINISH TIME: 2:41:54
A PR in the Olympic Distance for me!  Good enough for 3rd place in the age group as well.  Only 24 seconds off of 2nd place.  I was very happy with this performance and helped bring the Mid-Atlantic Club  Championship back to the DC Tri Club.  It was awesome having a "team" of athletes around you to push you, to celebrate with you and to lift you up when you needed it.  Would love to make it to national club championships but I plan on attending a pretty important wedding that same day (BFF).

This post was delayed secondary to a very tragic event that happened just 3 days after this triathlon.  Please see A Ride of Silence for more details.  Advocate for cyclist safety and awareness, promote/inform 1st responders about Road ID.  Don't drive distracted.

It took a couple weeks but I have gotten back on the bike and I have raced again.  It's not easy, but dad would want me to.  More on the recent races coming soon.


  1. Dad's comment on my brief race report the day of the event.

    "Holli---That's amazing! And you are still relatively new at the game. And riding a not so aerodynamic entry level trek road bike--wow! A tri bike is said to be worth 2-3 kph or about 10% less time. The future is bright. I think you deserve to wear le maillot blanc---!

    Oh ---and a funny thing----a $150 aero helmet reduces your drag more than a set of $1000 aero wheels.............
    love ya--dad"

  2. Congrats on taking a poduim spot