Monday, June 2, 2008

Black Bear Race Report - Sprint Tri.

Black Bear Triathlon - 06-01-2008

Lehighton, Pennsylvania

Triathlon = Sprint (750 Meter swim, 17.7 mile bike, 3.5 mile run)

Total Time = 2h 25m 57s

Overall Rank = 361/440

Age Group = Clydesdale

Age Group Rank = 16/21

Pre-race routine:

There were a good number of us going to the race from Team Triumph. So one of the members took it upon himself to secure renting a house for who ever wanted to go in on it. Let me just say this was a great idea. We had a beautiful house about ¾ of a mile from race start. And not to mention what a GREAT group of people with a wealth of Tri knowledge in the house. I think there were at least 4 people who have done at least one Ironman, and a few had multiple under their belts. Great just being able to talk to them about training and fueling for the longer events. We had the house from Friday to Monday. It had a heated pool and a hot tube.

I elected to go up Friday, volunteer at the race all day Saturday and then race and then leave Sunday. Of course all the real fun would take place Sunday night with no race looming. But oh well I wanted to get back to see the family.

Event warm-up:

I am not a big warm-up guy. I just got the wet suit on and headed to the water after setting up transition. I did meet Ron, from Beginner Triathlete and talked with him for a few minutes before the race.


Lot of people saying how cold the water was, I thought the temperature was ideal. I was up 3 weeks prior previewing the course and the water was much colder then.

Sprint was going off first at 7:30 am and it was a wave start. I was in the 4th wave and they were starting every 4 minutes. After the third wave went we crossed the mat and got in. We swam out a little and just waited. There was so much room and I felt good not having anyone around. We went off I started with the head in the water and breathing properly (only on the right side). After a little while, and being in the middle of the pack of my wave I was not feeling comfortable with my breathing so I had to resort to my old ways of swimming with my head out of the water. Pretty much did this for the last 500 meters. Didn’t have any problems in the water with being hit or feeling like I wasn’t going to finish. Felt real good at one point when I actually caught some of the slower swimmers from the group in front of me. This feeling didn’t last too long as a few from the group behind me caught me seconds later. Took my time getting out of the water to clear my head and get my feet under me.

What would you do differently?:
I have a lot of work to do in all aspects of Tri's. So just working on everything at this point. Starting with breathing,

Swim plus T1 was 23:43. I really wish they would break out the swim and the T1 time for the following reason (keep going).


Transition was about 1/4 mile away and I walked most of it. Just wanted to get my HR down from the swim and knowing what was ahead of me with the hills on the bike course.

In transition I forgot, my cycling gloves, GU for the ride, and my Shot Blocks I wanted for the ride. Oh what else, how about to put on my HR monitor strap. That must be all I forgot right? No also forgot to turn my Garmin on for the first mile.

What would you do differently?:
Be in better shape so I could run to transition and to learn to be more efficient and to think in transition so I don’t forget everything.


What can I say I got my ass kicked on the hills. I even dropped my chain on the way up a hill after cruising down one so lost so much momentum there. I had to walk at 3 different parts of the course. Certainly not the only one doing so on this course. I hydrated very well on this ride. On the biggest down hill I checked and was going 42 mph. That was crazy but I knew “ANOTHER” big climb was coming and I needed all the help I could get. I have been reading a few reports on BT about people doing Lake Placid IM and using the ½ Iron Black Bear as a training session. So anyone thinking of LP in the future should consider making the trip to this race.

What would you do differently?:
Just like in the swim I have a lot of work to do in all aspects. But I was very unprepared for the hills. I rode 32 miles of the course a few weeks earlier before I dropped to the Sprint from the half so I knew what I was in for.

Bike Time 17.7 miles 1:23:22 whopping 12.7 mph.


Ate a Gu, changed shoes, grabbed shot blocks and went out.

What would you do differently?:
At this point for me a 2 minute T2 is not going to hurt my overall performance.

T2 time 2:09


Legs felt good and saw two girls from my tri team (they were in the relay) that cheered me on so I started the run strong. Then I came to a killer hill and had to walk ½ way up it, after that walk I only walked through the water stops. Thanked the volunteers for being there. I thought I was doing a little better on the run but I guess not. I did cross path’s with a few teammates (3 of them) heading back on the run (they were heading back I was heading out). I have never trail ran and I have to say I liked it a lot. Coming out of the covered bridge I was greeted by all my teammates (the ones not doing the 1/2) and they were there to cheer me in (that was very nice).

What would you do differently?:
Do I have to say it again? I have to work on all aspects of Tri's. I would say running is where I have the most base built up.

Run Time - 3.5 miles 36:44 for a 10:49 pace

Post race

Warm down:
Talked to my teammates, went to the food line with them. Mentioned that on the bike I felt like something bit me. Showed them where (back of my neck - I couldn't see it) and they told me I should have it looked at. I went to the medical tent and as a precaution they gave me a shot of Benadryl and told me not to drive for a few hours. No problem as I was going to be there to see my teammates finish the ½.

What limited your ability to perform faster:
I'm fat. Seriously I am just trying to balance work, family, and training. I am never going to be fast but I am enjoying myself and with additional weight loss and training I see no reason why I can't be a middle of the pack triathlete.

Event comments:
CGI does a great job with running Triathlons. There was plenty of support on the course and the volunteers were all great.

After I finished I walked my bike back to our rental house, showered, ate some more, and drove back (it was only 3/4 mile so Benydryl was not a issue) and parked myself under the covered bridge for a few hours cheering all the ½ Iron people as they came across. This was cool as it was a two loop course and they were all surprised to see me and my teammates there cheering both times.


Sarah said...

Awesome job! I loved reading your report, and I agree, sometimes ya just wanna be MOP!

bigmike600 said...

I was thinking about you racing yesterday on my ride. I was hoping to send some good jedi force your way but I guess it didn't work. Hill suck and they take a lot more out of clydes.
It sounds like you had fun and for most of us that is what it is all about.

bigmike600 said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Collin said...

Great race report, Dan. What I really like is how you asked and answered "What would you do differently?" I may have to incorporate that into some of my race reports.

WADDLER26.2 said...

Great job and report. Love the insight into how it went'

SUB6 said...

Great report. Lots of lessons learned. i think that's the buzz for me ... learning something new from a race that you can put into practice or improve in the next. I think that's an ongoing process (well I hope so anyway)

Congratulations again!


Marcy said...

Great race report Dan!! I also love who you put in the "What you would do different" parts. Awesome job ;D ;D

PS . .I checked out the NYC Marathon page. Lottery running is tomorrow (4th)! Sweet!

IronTriTim said...

You finished so it was a success. Great job, with experience and more training it will all get easier. As for warming up, isn't that what the first 15mins of the event is for? :-)

Jeff said...

Great report, Dan. I really like how you organized it with a look to the future.

Can I just say you are NOT fat. You used to be fat, but you also couldn't do what you just did.

Way to go and congrats!

Trishie said...

Great report Dan! And I agree with Jeff ^^ !

cindy said...

Very nice race report, Dan :)


TrainingtoTri said...

Awesome job Dan. Big congrats on getting through your first tri! Glad to hear the swim wasn't too scary, I am hoping I feel the same way on Sunday.

Tri-Bob said...


Just checked the NYC Marathon lottery...tough one for you. Keep trying...maybe run Philly?

PS...pray for me Sunday...predicted high = 95 degrees...not a good thing for a small boned guy like me!