Rev3: Cedar Point, iron distance triathlon
date: September 12th, 2010
location: Sandusky, OH
I wish I did not have to type iron distance instead of the basic IM, but when the event is not part to the WTC, I do not want to give them any credit. My fingers will just have to type a few more characters.
Revolution 3 and many other organizations but on top rated races that are now offering more than IM can offer. Family friendly locations and co-events, refund policies, lower entry fares, multiple race options at the same venue. The atmosphere is still just as competitive and you will not fee like a number (or should I say dollar). Cedar Point is my 2nd race of the season but on the Rev3 “family”. (Knoxville was my other event).
I cashed in another set of reward miles to get me to this race. Flight into CLE airport and a short drive west to Sandusly. With reward miles one is usually at the mercy of what is available. I was “forced” to arrive on Wednesday (8th) early evening. That allowed me time to assemble my bike and do some food shopping before arriving in Sandusky. I had scoped out the Library a local bike store and the YMCA before departing San Diego. First nights lodging, the parking lot of the Y so I’d be ready for an early pool swim.
Wednesday, before the wind came to town.
Thrusday: Wave up around 5:30 but decide to sleep in until 8. Gotta flush out the travel legs and get some blood blowing. Only spent about 40 minutes in the pool doing various drills and laps. No jacuzzi here so I took advantage of the sauna. Man that is good on the lungs the first few breaths. Before heading out for my pre race course ride I had to get some CO2 cartages. The shop I visited did not have any screw on in stock so it looks like i’ll have to get some at the race expo on the next day. A briek stop at the library to check email. Library’s are the best spot (and value) get internet access if one does not travel with a laptop or one of those fancy phones..that the way I roll.
So after mid day by the time I start my pre-ride. I planned on a 70 miler but missed a couple of important turns and ended the day a bit later than I wanted and a few more miles…85 or so. Fortunately the course was pretty flat and I did not expend a lot of effort….after all I had an iron distance in three days. The course preview allowed me to scope out the terrain, familiarize myself with the course and scope out the wind and road conditions. I was kind of surprised with the surface. A couple weeks ago the city/county decided to chip and seal the road…getting ready for winter. Race directors had no idea this was in the works and it surprised them also, but a local paving company stepped up and did a great job in preparing the roads for the event. Not the fastest surface, fortunately only 35% of the course was this chip and seal, the rest was pretty darn smooth.
Friday: Race venue for an am scheduled swim in Lake Erie. Not much action, a handful of people for the am swim. The night before the wind had really picked up and took some of the course buoys. Lake conditions were pretty interesting. Normally I would pre-swim the whole half of the course but it was impossible to do that with out the markers and the LIfe guards only allowed for a short mile or so swim. The chop heading out to the marker was pretty good and the return trip was dam quick with the current direction now in favor.
For this event I decided to volunteer. I was assigned to the 1st shift at the athlete check in tent. Being part of Team Trakkers, I wanted to give back and help out the supporters of the team. Besides, I had nothing else to day during the day. Meet several of the local people and other race participant volunteers. Working check in is also a good way to meet and see athletes that one will eventually be competing with/against or seeing on race day. After my duties here, I headed over to the Trakkers booth to lend a helping hand. A hundred or so Trakkers devices were planned to be distributed to various testers but complications arose and only a handful of units were available for testing. I was fortunate to receive one for use on race day. (Trakkers is a small/compact device that allows for on-line real time gps tracking device that allows friends/family to follow a person as they go on their adventure. It will track hr, speed, distance, location, elevation – It works on both cellular and satellite technology.) Lots of people asking what is Trakkers? They have seen the team uniforms all over the states and and have heard about the device. We were there to answer all their questions and support Revolution 3 events at the same time.
After the exp a bunch of Team Trakkers members headed to the reason why I cam to this event, to ride the coasters at Cedar Point. I have not ridden a coster in many years. I knew these were big and bad. I rode every ride like a fighter pilot. holding the core tight and forcibly blowing out the air. The g-forces are pretty incredible and a thrill. The park was not open to the general public, we had VIP treatment…no waiting in lines. I hear they can be brutal in the heat (up to 2 hours for a 1 minute ride). Not all rides were open since they park was technically closed. But soem of the big rides were all go.; Gemini, Mantis, Mavrick and top Thrill Dragster. Dragster was my favorite…Race 420 feet into the sky at speeds of 120 mph. Awesome! Well after about 8 to 10 rides one’s head start to hurt…oh ya I have an iron distance tri in 2 days.
I had not truly eaten all day and it was time to chow down. it was late and I was not sure what I was gong to find but behold the holy grail..Olive Garden, I feasted on a dinner of endless pasta and salad for less than 10 dollars. What a deal! And oh so much better than any IM pre-race meal I have ever eaten. So race IM and get not so great pre race meal or entrance into the best amusement park in the world…another reason to choose Rev 3 Cedar Point!
Saturday: Another pre-race swim in the Lake. This time I used a demo TYR Hurricane (cat one version) wetsuit. This is a very good wetsuit, suited more for really cold water since it is 5mm pretty much all over. Very flexible and buoyant. Arms/shoulders are super flexible. I did notice my legs hight in the water due to hte full 5mm to teh ankle. The sleeves were harder to get off compared to my current wetsuit, Synergy Endorpohin, which I really like. My Endorphin is one of the fastest suits to remove that I have ever owned, for that reasson it is the one I will continue to use. Lake conditions were pretty much the same as yesterday, strong chop so only a short swim as yesterday. A bigger crowd this day and Team Trakkers on the scene to help out with sampling of TriSlide and Foggle. Two great products that will enhance ones race. Then off to hand out at the expo and Trakkers both and then finally pout my bike into the transitions zone in to my own personal “parking spot”.
After the expo and transition are shut down I headed, I needed to catch up on emails. I did not want to head back into town so found an internet cafe near by. Actually it was more of a online/computer gambling house. Any ways I managed to use their internet facilities and mess around on the interned. The place even had some catered food brought in. My luck it was pasta. I may not have supposed to eat any, but there was a shift at the desk watch and I jumped on those carbs. Ya have to take advantage of opportunities when thing turn your way! Head back to the park parking lot so I can get some shut eye and open the car door and be right there race morning.
Sunday: Yep, up early…to early. Swim start was at the other end of the park. Fortunately shuttle busses took athleets to the other end – Hotel Breakers. Think I had a couple of hours to kill. Just hung out in the hotel since air temperature was a little chilly. Race start was a little delayed due to still being a bit dark. I decided to use my clear goggles and that turned out to be the correct choice, The sun never fully come out fro the clouds as in the previous days. Wave starts were are a little easier on athletes. the Rev 3 here also had a half iron distance race, so there were actually 2 events going on. I managed to pass 2 pro women who started in the 2nd wave. The swim was M shaped with a short land jog half way thru. I never go all out on the swim, It is just not worth it, but I do put hard efforts in hear and there to keep pace with other competitors.
A quick transition. Transition area was pretty close to the water exit, just a short sand run, grab you bike gear, helmet/shoes on and go! Oh ya, activate the Trakkers device so others can follow me and track my progress online (the device is not quite certified waterproof, so not able to wear for the swim). In my hast I may not have activated it properly. I thought I did it right but did not want to wast time and truly verify. Slipped it into my bike pocket and off we go. I had but in my dues in preparation. 100 milers every week end for about 5 or 6 weeks with quite a bit of climbing. Terrain here was easy rollers thru the historic farm and wood lands of upper Ohio. Not much traffic made this an ideal choice for a long bike course location. The 112 mile bike course has a 2 looper, wind aided in areas and set back in others. I held my ground on the course, mainly watching my Polar CS600X WIND device to verify my pedaling efficiency, mph, hr and cadence. Racing with power does not really do much, one needs to needs to make sure they are going as fast as possible in the most efficient way. My body and legs felt pretty good, those Saucony Amp Pro Compression calf sleeves really do work! Garmin data, bike.
Now for the real test of the day, running a marathon. I knew i could easily bang out 13 miles so I prepared myself in advance for the mental challenge to keep me on track and going strong. My orhotics do not work with my selected shoe for this race. I needed soem support to protect my under control plantar fasciitis during T2 I put on a Pro Tec Arch Support under my sock ro added support and protection. Well run started out very good. faster than I wanted and by mile six was running with some of the top pros where were on lap 2. I past a couple of them and stay foot steps ahead of another for several miles. My body and legs said keep it going but I knew I could not hold the pace. So my mile 12 or sot (the beginning of lap 2) it was time to shut it down. I backed off a couple of miles an hour on my pace. The quads were not hurting just energy was gone. I did not fuel myself properly the 1st lap. I sipped on my Fist Endurance Liquid Shot instead of taking full strength. By mile 14 or so I was pretty slow, and others starting to pass me. Yah, some were on lap one but others were on their last lap as me and reducing my overall standing potential. I’ve been in this place before and experience had gotten me thru every time. So I struggles for an additional 4 or so miles, taking in needed nutrition and hydration while following my pace on my Garmin 310xt. I “felt” I was still in contention for a great finish but not 100% who was in front of me and with my falling off the wagon could really have set me back. Well as usual mental toughness and the added nutrition and hydration my 2nd and 3rd wind kept my feet moving. The last 4 or 5 miles I was back on track and working hard. With slightly more than a mile to go, I re-passed a guy who I thought I would not see again when I began to falter (along with a lot of other guys). I blew past him, just as one of the pros did to his competition on lap earlier. They never saw it coming!
The finish line was in the amusement park. The last 1/4 mile of the course was lined with cheering people which alway encourages me to put on a hard sprint to the finish. I was stoked with my comeback! Garmin data, run.
The last 2 miles took its tole on my, I was completely winded as I crossed the finished. I just wanted to drop right there and rest. Instead the volunteers got me in a wheel chair and rolled me to the medical tent so I could take advantage of the cots. I was plenty hydrated, just winded. About 10 minutes later I was ready for some post race food and hang around the finish line and cheer others as they achieved their goals.
I had planed to take advantage of the other amusement park pass that was included with the race entry, but I just could not muster up having my brain knocked around for an hour and a half so I passed and just hung out at the finish.
Results: swim 1:07, bike 5:36, run 3:45, total 10:34:43 – my 4th fastest ever out of 23 iron distance races. Guess I have to do two more, I can’t end my iron distance career here.
Rev3: Cedar Point – Sundusky, OH was a great race, great community, well organized. I hope to come back next year. Registration is open already and if one sign up early there is an early-bird discount
check out some of the event videos