Monday, July 30, 2012

Delta Lake Observations

I completed my one and only Olympic-distance triathlon yesterday, July 29 (it's fast becoming my favorite distance). What a beautiful day: The lake was calm, the sky blue, the temperature moderate. I really enjoy this race, and was pleased to finish in just under 3 hours, 5 minutes, despite feeling nauseated for a good deal of the run. I'm thinking that's because the much-ballyhooed peanut butter GU I sucked down in the first mile of the run was not the best choice.

Anyway, here are my observations, positive and negative, about this race, put on by Mike Brych and his ATCEndurance company.

The good:

Excellent volunteer support, and excellently supportive volunteers. Hearing people you don't know telling you how strong and great you look (when you feel completely the opposite, and on the third and final loop of the run) is incredibly encouraging. I especially enjoyed the woman at the bike turnaround who ran with each of us to hand off water; that was quite skillful!

A lovely venue. I especially enjoy the swim here, as Delta Lake is clean and calm. Mike told us to look out for weeds at the far buoy, and was he ever right! Ah, the perils of open water swimming.

Incredibly quick results posting. Score-This knows what they're doing. By the time we got home from the venue, the results were already on line, complete and accurate. Wish I could say the same for some other timing companies in the area.

As a digression--there are many aspects of triathlon that keep me competing (I'm now in my fourth year), but this is the greatest of them: support from fellow athletes, especially woman-to-woman. Hearing "great job," "good work," "keep it up" from complete strangers is so empowering, and it encourages me to say the same in return. My favorite moment yesterday came from a woman younger than I, passing me with about 200 meters left on the run, who turned to say, "Looking strong, Mama." I loved it!

The not-so-good:

Follow those big green buoys out there in the water.
Post-race food organizers: Please don't let everyone take the yummy yogurt at the end of the sprint race. I was left with plain and mango--ewwww. Also, a banana would have been so nice to eat.

As for hydration, there was plenty of cold water along the run course, but I think some electrolyte solution should have been out there as well. I'm wondering if that would have helped the way I was feeling. Of course, I should learn to carry my own hydration on the run (like I do on the bike).

Transition needs to be tighter, by that I mean that people need to move their crap out of the way. Set up your area, and then move along. Nothing worse than coming back from cycling to have someone's running shoes or wetsuit in the way as you change shoes (and mental gears).

I was so very annoyed at two continuing situations on the bike course: people who didn't announce "on your left" (it got so ridiculous at one point that I nearly clipped a guy who was passing me, though I didn't know it, as I steered out to avoid a sewer grate; imagine the mess had we bumped), and those who passed on the right. Are you kidding me?! If you're not going to follow the rules, get the hell out of the sport. I know I tend to be militaristic about this, but rules are set up for the safety of all. Passing on the right is just plain stupid. Do it right, or don't bother doing it all. End of sermon.

Next race: Lyme Sprint Triathlon, Aug. 5, in Chaumont, a lovely bay off Lake Ontario.



  1. Molly, in the intermediate(olympic) distance tri, you really do not need to fuel on other than the bike leg. Your body has a difficult time taking in anything other than water and/or a sports drink when running especially as you run faster in sprint and intermedtiate triathlon races.

  2. And I did not make maybe a couple of "on Your left " callouts. They are not required by USAT rules. The CNY Tri Club requires them in the Wednesday night Triathlon Training Series as the riders are of widely varying speeds and spaced much closer together than in a race. I have a difficult enough time making the "on Your left" call outs on the training series. I am riding even harder in a race. My requirements are to pass on the left, not cross the yellow center line, and do so within 15 seconds. If cannot pass, I must stay back 7 meters until I can pass. The rider in front of me can be cited for blocking but I still must obey the rules for passing.

    1. I too only made a few "on your left" callouts. Glad to hear that it is not required by USAT! I agree with the riding hard in a race and finding it hard to call out when concentrating on all of the other aspects of a race!
      Candace Searing

  3. Love the pb Gus Molly. Tastes like pb mixed with honey. As with any Gus best when followed by water or drink. And I am with john on the pass on left call outs. If you are a strong cyclest, you pass hundreds of people on the 70.3 races. I would lse my voice, but on training rides it is a must do. I do call it out sometimes in races if it looks like I might scare a very slow, inexperienced rider, or if there is a chance I am getting passed by a third rider and I might not have a lot of clearance. Nice job on your race. And good luck with the half Ironman comimg up. Mike