Race Report by Statesboro Pacer, Doug James


9/9/06, Go Tri Sports Fall Triathlon, Hilton Head Island, SCRACE WEBSITE

swim: 14:40 (500m)
T1: 2:09 (includes run from beach)
bike: 38:21 (12.5 miles)
T2: 0:59
run: 26:54 (5k)

Breakfast: one oatmeal packet 2 hrs before race, 1 gel 1/2 hr before race

This is the last tri for my season, and I am moderately pleased with the results. For triathlons, I am a certified Middle Of the Packer (MOP). I have come to accept this fact.

Wake-up at 3:30 am and left the house at 4:00 for the 1 1/2 hr drive to Hilton Head, SC. All the usual stuff: body marking, chip, and set-up. Took some time to walk around and look at some of the new rides hanging on the racks...enough carbon to sheath the space shuttle! Boy, I sure need a replacement for my 9 year old Cannondale.

Ate my gel, got changed into my tri outfit, listened to race instructions, and headed down to beach for start. Water temp was 84, so no wetsuit. This isn't a problem since it's only a 500m swim, but the water conditions look a little rough. There were 1-2 foot swells, which weren't a big concern for me, but the number of those that looked like newcomers was something to take notice of.

As I was standing on the beach, looking at how the waves were coming onto the shore, I decided to line up about mid pack (mass start) and at an angle to the first buoy. This turned out to be a costly mistake. Unfortunately, I spent the entire swim tangled in a mass of breast strokers, doggy paddlers, and those that couldn't hold a straight line to save their lives. Needless to say, I never found clean water and added over 2 minutes to my previous swim from the spring.

Out of the water and on to the bike. Thanks to some advice and practice, I made it a point to decrease my T times. I am now cycling sockless, and am able to shoe-up on the bike. So, squirt feet, helmet on, sunglasses on, and start towards the mat. I cross over the mat, and about 6 people decide to stop and mount right at the gate! Two crashes, one of which almost included me, almost happened. I round the mass and cyclocross mount my trusty steed. I have my shoes rubber-banded in perfect position, and I place my feet down perfectly upon my shoes. Then, to my horror, I realize that I have my left and right shoes clipped in opposite. After dismounting and fixing, I move on to have a 20 mph average for the 12.5 miles. Just imagine what I could have ridden on a new tri bike...hmmmmmmm!

Back in T2, I drop the bike, sock-up, shoes on, grab number and out the gate. Felt awfully tight as I get onto the course. Unfortunately, this tightness never leaves, and I manage an uneventful close to 9 minute mile shuffle. That sucks, but I did manage to pass a few people.

Overall, after a disappointing swim, speedy ride, and shuffle run, I feel pretty good about the race. The one thing that did and still irritates me is that I managed to be injury-free for the training and racing...but, I rubbed a raw place on my foot from my post-race flip flops! Now, I have a red, skinless spot on the upper portion of my right arch...and it hurts! Nothing but a flesh wound, though! I'll take a couple days rest, and start training for the Savannah bridge run 10K in a couple of months.