Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Augusta 70.3 Race Report

This was my 2nd trip to down south for Augusta 70.3.  In 2011 it was my first 70.3 and by far the longest race I'd ever done a year ago.  I set my goals high for the 2012 race - I'm more fit, more experienced, have raced much longer, have ridden and run much farther, and this would be my 3rd 70.3 race.  The two races previous I've been happy with, improving with each one.  I was told by some people that I would struggle being only 1 month our from IM Louisville - not once during the race did I feel tired, fatigued, or sluggish and blame it on Louisville.  Sure maybe if I hadn't done Louisville I could have had a better run in Augusta or I wouldn't be as sore now, but Augusta 70.3 is one of my favorite races and when I knew some newbies from DC wanted to head down I jumped on board right without much hesitation.


I met up with a couple friends, rocked my Canadian Tri Kit and headed down to the Savannah River for a practice swim.  The river was moving pretty well and I knew a swim time better than last year's could be possible.  Out of all the river's I've swam in the past couple years (Potomac, James, Ohio, Black, etc) the Savannah River is one of the cleanest.  I could see my hands through the water, I could see the wonderful seaweeds, and I could see feet in front of me.  We swam about 500m of the swim course and I felt great.  The water was just cool enough to be wetsuit legal.  Post practice swim I headed up to the expo for a short massage since I hadn't had time to get one in DC.  The massage was awesome and my hamstring felt way better afterwards.  Post massage I racked my bike (in the wrong spot :O whoops! just one digit off).  The rest of the day was spent napping, meeting up with an old friend from Southern, and finally capping it off with a pre race dinner I'm all too familiar with at Olive Garden. strategies


PRE RACE - 4:45 Wake Up

I plan out my entire race weekend prior to getting to the race site.  I leave plenty of time and space in the day or 2 before the race to make adjustments based on where and who I am with.  On race day, it's pretty by the book.  Wake up, change, eat breakfast.  Same breakfast as last year - Special K Red Berries, Almond Milk, banana, and peanut butter.  Yum. Loaded up all the car and hit the road by 5:15 AM.   Parked at the Inn on the run course that some DC Tri-ers were staying at and soon after headed to transition.  I was in transition by 6am inflating tires, reviewing in my head what nutrition I'd be taking and when, and if I had all the gear I needed.  I made my way out of transition and literally ran into one of my favorite patients that I treated at PTS in Acworth!  How amazing to see him and catch up, only if it was for a few minutes.  I decided to save my legs and take the bus the 1.2 miles up the road to the swim start.


Well the male pro's started at 7:30 and a lot of other people started after them.  My wave wasn't off until 9:04.  I had plenty of time to sit on the curb, chat with my friends, relax and eat half of an energy bar.  This is my least favorite thing about this race.  It is the largest 70.3 in the world and it takes forever to get all 25 waves into the water.  The time went by fast, before I knew it I was in my wetsuit standing under the arch, with only a couple more waves to start before me.

THE SWIM - 29:57

9:04 - we were finally off! I've busted my butt in the pool this year and as such expected that my swim time might be a minute or two faster than last years.  No such luck.  Good enough to still have a PR race result but not too happy as I saw the clock coming out of the water.  This year has not been a great swimming year.   I've spent 3 nights a week swimming was a Master's Program since May - I'm starting to believe I may be better off sticking to my own swim training.  The swim was a bit physical at the onset.  All women 18-29 started in the same wave.  Grabbing, kicking, punching, it all happened.  It was oddly enjoyable.

T1 - 3:38

The run into the transition area is a little long but at least there is wetsuit strippers.  My wetsuit was off with ease and I was on to get mister and take him for an awesome ride.

THE BIKE  - 2:38:56 (21.14 mph)

I love this bike course.  It's pretty much flat, rolling hills, flat.  My kind of course.  The southerners think the course is hilly.  I'm not sure where they got the idea that a total elevation of 476 ft  = hilly.  I was passing people the entire ride.   I started the ride with an aerobottle 3/4 full of water and a plastic sport top gatorade bottle full of Gu Brew in the back.  Once through the water I dumped the Gu Brew into the aerobottle and discarded the Gatorade bottle.   This made for simple bottle handoffs - or what should have been simple bottle handoffs.  The first two handoffs went great, the third handoff was a disaster waiting to happen.  As I snagged the water and got settled in to speed back up another chick cut in front of me to get something for herself, she also slowed way down and accidently unclipped her left foot.  There were people passing to our left and volunteers to our right.  I wasn't about to unclip or stop myself so I yelled, "pedal, pedal, pedal, please!"  In which she said something along the lines of "ahhh I don't know what to do!".  She gave me just enough room to skirt around her, crisis averted.  The course is great and takes you through some nice shady forest areas and over a couple bridges.  The course doesn't feel all that crowded until the last 10 miles or so.  This is where avoiding drafting and blocking became difficult.  I had passed 2 women (Penelope and ???) around the 45 mile marker and they weren't going to let me go.  They leap frogged me a couple times but it was obvious they could't keep up the pace. Every time they would pass me I'd pass them back within a minute.  As we crossed the bridge back into GA the course was so crowded the 3 of us were riding on the left the entire time passing others, passing each other, etc.  Soon we were making the final turn back into transition and before I knew it the dismount line was in front of us.  I had my feet atop my shoes ready for a moving dismount but the line was so congested I ended up having to pretty much stop before dismounting.

T2 - 1:36

I had a simple transition.  As I was bent over slipping into my running shoes I had the sudden urge to vomit...so I did.  I turned my head to the side and let go some Ironman Perform right as #3179 (Penelope) was racking her bike.  Luckily for her it was under where her back tire was hanging so it didn't get up in her TA.  I was much more comfortable after letting go of the Perform and grabbed my nutrition and hat and headed out for the run.

THE RUN - 2:00:46

I tried to start the run pretty conservatively, knowing that I went out way to hard on the same course the year before.  I was actually most disappointed with this part of the race.  I ran better than this at the Kinetic 1/2 earlier this year, I've let myself get away with running slow all year long.   The Kinetic 1/2 course is a much more difficult run course.  My goal for the run was 1:50.  Ten minutes off.  On a good note I felt great during the run and kept on top of my nutrition. I carried a small container with salt/electrolyte pills in it during the run and popped a pill a few times throughout the course.

OVERALL - 5:14:50

A PR.  A great time with friends.  I was initially disappointed with this result.  I know what two sports I'll be reuniting with this winter.  I spent a lot of time on the bike this summer.  I enjoyed every second of it and my bike splits have shown improvement, but I love running and I definitely did not spend enough time working on my running this year. I  may end my "tri" season on this note and let the body recover for a little bit - but there is a race on Saturday that is in my head...


  1. Giant acorn international? Is that the one in your head?

  2. No do the sprint with me On sunday. Or wait, do both :)

    PS. Awesome job at Augusta. I might like to do this race next year :) seems like a fast course.