Thursday, November 7, 2013

Augusta 70.3 2013 Race Report

It has been over a month now since the race and registration opens for 2014 in just a few it's about time I got this race report up!  I've said it before and I'll say it again...this is my favorite race.  It's an awesome race to close out the season with.  This year was just a quick trip down for the race but a great one at that.  Adam and I hit the road Friday around 11:00 am for the 8 hour drive to Augusta, GA.  The drive was smooth sailing and we arrived in Augusta early enough to enjoy a local dinner with our gracious hosts.  Huge thanks to Laura and Ryan for hosting Adam and I for the weekend.


One of the reasons Augusta if my favorite race is because of the downriver swim.  I was quite excited to share this wonderful swimming experience with Adam.  We headed to swim start, got into our wetsuits, and walked out onto the start dock.  There was a good number of fellow athletes getting a feel for the fast water.  I jumped in and was pleased with the refreshing water...perfect for my first race in my full sleeve wetsuit.  Adam and I set our sights just past the 2nd bridge for a meet up and exit point.  We made it there in 6 minutes and change...a 1:18/100yd pace.  Wow, I never even see that in the pool.   After bit of confusion and a local house boat owner unlocking the gate for us we were able to get back to the main river walk and
Mr had his dancing shoes on!
head to the starting point for round 2.  After round 2 I was feeling confident about the next day's swim and was ready to move on to packet pick pick-up.

We got to packet pick-up about 90 min after it had opened...perfect timing.  All the super type-A's had gotten in when it first opened and the people driving into town from the Atlanta area mostly weren't there yet.  We didn't have to wait in much of a line at all (a couple hours later the line was out the door of the convention center).  We got our packets and picked up some new 650 tires for a steal and a couple other things before listening to a race course talk for a few minutes.

Once all that business was taken care of we were able to enjoy a lunch with a couple other DC Tri Club members who made it down for the race.  The weather was perfect to enjoy our meal outdoors.  After lunch we headed back to the car to take our bikes over to transition for bike checkin.  Albeit a small mishap we got a short ride in before checking our bikes and heading back in for the evening.  The transition area gets bigger every year, they had more land flattened to increase the size this year.  Crazy huge race.


Adam and I woke early ate a good breakfast and packed a couple sandwiches.  We both had at least a 90min wait from the time the pros started to the time our waves started.  The drive over was short and easy
and parking was a since near the old train station.  Once parked we walked down to transition to set up and then caught the shuttle back to swim start/the car to put some last minute belongings away.

Before the race start paratroopers jumped in unison with the National Anthem and parachuted down with a big ol U.S. of A. flag.  It was pretty awesome.

Adam and I chilled on the sidewalk after watching the pro men and pro women zoom by on the swim.  Bathrooms were plentiful and the weather wasn't too chilly.  Before we knew it Adam was getting into his wetsuit and not long after I into mine.

THE SWIM: 1.2 miles - 28:21 - 41/102 AG

With a strong current and a pretty large wave of women starting with me I wanted to focus on technique and breathing for the first part of the swim.  I felt strong and I was swimming straight, unlike last year when I kept veering toward the shore.  At the half-way point of the swim the buoys changed color and I was feeling strong.  I was catching men from 1 and 2 waves before me!  Confidence boost, yes!  Though the water isn't very clear the straight swim and the current make this one of the most enjoyable open water swims I've ever done.  I was please to come out of the water and see a sub 28:30 on my watch!  Almost 90s improvement on last years swim time!  Good start to the day.

T1: 3:31

I felt good and the wetsuit strippers are just another added benefit in Augusta. Bike was easy to get to and the transition area was not crowded (2nd to last start wave).

THE BIKE: 56 miles - 2:37:04 - 5/102 AG

For some reason I always remember this bike course as being flattish-rollingish and fast!  Well apparently it was fast when all I was hoping for was a sub 3 hour bike in 2011 and I went sub 2:50.  Turns out when you're pushing it and trying to hit sub 2:35 it's a bit more difficult.  The course is great and I really enjoyed it
but I forgot about some of the hills...whoops!  Looking back I should have been smarter about where I spent my energy but I think that was a good lesson before hitting it for the 2014 season.  Nutrition and hydration when well.  Some water bottle handoffs were a bit crowded and dodgey, I saw some people dismount to be safe to get water.

T2: 2:51

Nothing special here.  Flying dismount, ran Mr. in and slipped on my run shoes and my grabbed my race belt and nutrition.

THE RUN: 13.1 miles - 1:55:06 - 8/102 AG

I was looking forward to this run leading up to this race.  Flat course, good temps, and some great training runs leading up to this I thought I was set for a PR run.  Not quite...remember that bike I went too hard came back to get me.  I felt great for the first 7-8 miles holding a 8:24ish pace, taking in my nutrition and hydration and enjoying the day.  And then the wheels slowly fell off.  Stomach was done with my antics, quads were shot and the sun was heating up the ashphalt.  I willed myself on knowing I was in podium contention coming off the bike but not sure where I stood 8 miles into the run.  I few girls passed me and I passed only a couple in my age group on the run.  Losing 3 positions on the run.  This run was difficult, more difficult then I'd remembered and more difficult the Eagleman this year.  I look forward to nailing this run at Augusta 2014!

OVERALL FINISH: 5:06:53 - 8/102 AG

Adam also had an awesome race with a 6th place AG finish!  We had some food and stuck around for awards and roll down.  Long story short we both ended up missing roll down by 2 slots.  We went into this thinking there was an outside chance and we might need a little luck.  Things didn't play out the way we wished but it was quite the exciting afternoon.  I'm already looking forward to 2014!