June Lake Triathlon - TriathlonOlympic

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June Lake, California
United States
High Sierra Tri Club
80F / 27C
Total Time = 3h 30m 41s
Overall Rank = 105/151
Age Group = F25-29
Age Group Rank = 4/9
Pre-race routine:

Headed up to June lake on Friday, we got into town around 1:00pm. We set up our camp site and headed to the lake. I checked in and checked out the swim course and we drove the bike course. Wow ... let me note that this has to be the most beautiful course I've ever raced on,. The race starts at 7500 ft and I was feeling it the night before but got a lot of hydration down and took it easy.

After driving the race course we headed to the pre race dinner and relaxed with a view of Mono Lake. We were back at camp by 7:30 and I called it a night around 8:30.

We were up at 5:00, I got changed and ate half a bagel, a banana and some gatorade. I was really nervous about this race. It was a tough course with lots of climbing and 1000 feet of gain on both the bike and run, starting at 7500 feet this was going to be hard.

We arrived at transition and I set up. Rumor had it that there wouldn't be cups on the run course and we were advised to carry our own water bottle. I asked the race director and she confirmed this so I set a water bottle out and grabbed my wetsuit and headed for the swim course
Event warmup:

Hopped in the very cold water and took a lap around one of the bouys. It was chilly and I was having a hard time catching my breath. I was freaking out a little because the race hadn't started and my HR and breathing were off. I had been sick all week and I was doubting myself already. I floated in the water and waited for the start.
  • 26m 43s
  • 1640 yards
  • 01m 38s / 100 yards

I had a really hard time catching my breath. I was breathing every 2 to 3 strokes and my HR was really high. Slowing down didn't bring the HR down and I couldn't see anyone from my wave so I was sure that I had been dropped by all of the locals and since I saw very few red caps I decided to take my time and make sure I could finish the race.

I rounded the final bouy and noticed that the sprint women hadn't taken off yet ... I started doing the math in my head then looked down at my watch, 26:43. I bested my Olympic swim by 5 minutes. I was really excited about this. My swimming has improved over the last year, I didn't expect by this much.
What would you do differently?:

Not be sick the week before, get up to altitude 2 weeks before the race to adjust more
Transition 1
  • 02m 20s

T1 went well, my HR was way up again so once I was on the bike I worked on getting it down so I didn't throw up.
What would you do differently?:

Nothing .. it was a great T1
  • 1h 29m 53s
  • 24.85 miles
  • 16.59 mile/hr

Headed out of transition to a gentle climb, headed out to the loop and an awesome downhill and roller ride for the first 18 miles. It was beautiful and fast, I held a 22 mph average. The turn onto 395 was painful. Wow last 5 or 6 miles were up hill with 1000 feet or so of climbing into a stiff head wind. I slowed to between 6 and 13 MPH depending on how steep things were and how strong the gusts were. It sucked big time. My HR went way up and I couldn't get it down. This course was seriously hard.
What would you do differently?:

Not be sick the week before
Transition 2
  • 00m 40s

I wasn't in transition very long, fastest transition ever. Don't remember much but grabbed the water bottle and headed out on the run course.
What would you do differently?:

  • 1h 31m 55s
  • 7.11 miles
  • 12m 56s  min/mile

Headed out of transition and my HR was at 180. Headed to the trail and when I hit the first steep uphill section it shot up to 210 and I had to slow down. I hiked the hill and was only able to get my HR down to 180. Once I reached the road above the trail I started to jog a little, but with every uphill my HR shot above 200 and I had to slow down, gotta love the altitude.

My race was reduced to a jog walk at best. My goal now was to finish ... period. We reached the longest advertised climb and it was a 19% grade up the side of a mountain, more of an organized hike with 160 some odd of my new closest friends. It was a never ending climb. I was passed by a couple women and 2nd and 3rd place in my age group. I was in some serious pain. I got to the top of the climb and really started to doubt myself. I could sit down here and someone could come get me. Then I realized that I was at the top of a mountain and there really wasn't a way down other than by my own two legs.

It was survival, I grabbed a cold sponge filled my water bottle and decided to finish, walk or run I was going to finish. It was at this point that the course was starting to look longer than 6.3 miles. It was hot and this was turning into a sufferfest.

We turned down hill and it was steep, really steep and I was worried that I was going to eat it and fall 1000 feet down a mountain. I finally landed on the road below, I was told that I had a little under 2 miles to go. I headed out, walk run, passing people and being passed. I walked with a few people and played the walk a cone run a cone game to get myself to the finish line.

The whole time I ran I was coughing and my HR went up. It's never been that high, not even close

I hit the final trail down to th beach and decided to run the rest of the way (it was downhill)

I hit the finish line on the faster end of my goal time and wanted to get in the lake, it was hot out.
What would you do differently?:

Train by running up the sides of mountains, be born part billy goat. Not be sick the week before.
Post race
Warm down:

I got a big cup of water, removed my shoes and jumped in the lake. The cool water felt great and I stayed in for quite a while with several other racers. After my dip and some water I grabbed some of the awesome post race grub and enjoyed the picnic.

What limited your ability to perform faster:

Being sick the week before this race, not training at altitude. Being crazy enough to do this race in the first place.

Event comments:

This race is seriously hard. No joke. The overall winners all had to walk at some point on the run course and several Ironman finishers and a Kona finisher said that this was one of the hardest races they had ever done.

This course is really cool. Best course ever, hardest course ever. California 70.3 was easier than this race. If you're looking for a serious challenge this race is for you. I am very pleased with my overall performance considering the course and my physical condition.

Depending on what I have going on next summer I may be in for this race again.

The run is billed as Wildflower at altitude, several people commented that it was harded than Wildflower at altitude

I've included some pics from the bike course

Profile Album

Last updated: 2009-06-30 12:00 AM
00:26:43 | 1640 yards | 01m 38s / 100yards
Age Group: 1/9
Overall: 49/151
Performance: Good
Suit: Full QR
Course: Parallel to shore , angle out to deep water and parallel to shore on the way back with a short jog back to shore
Start type: Wade Plus: Waves
Water temp: 60F / 16C Current: Medium
200M Perf. Good Remainder:
Breathing: Bad Drafting: Below average
Waves: Navigation: Good
Rounding: Good
Time: 02:20
Performance: Good
Cap removal: Good Helmet on/
Suit off:
Wetsuit stuck? No Run with bike: Yes
Jump on bike: Yes
Getting up to speed: Good
01:29:53 | 24.85 miles | 16.59 mile/hr
Age Group: 3/9
Overall: 105/151
Performance: Average
Wind: Headwind
Course: June lake loop out with views of 4 lakes, waterfalls and generally spectacular mountain views.
Road: Smooth Dry Cadence: 90
Turns: Good Cornering: Good
Gear changes: Good Hills: Below average
Race pace: Comfortable Drinks: Just right
Time: 00:40
Overall: Good
Riding w/ feet on shoes Good
Jumping off bike Good
Running with bike Good
Racking bike Good
Shoe and helmet removal Good
01:31:55 | 07.11 miles | 12m 56s  min/mile
Age Group: 7/9
Overall: 126/151
Performance: Bad
Course: The course was advertised as 6.3 miles but turned out to be over 7 miles (according to the RD). 1000 feet of climbing up to 8500 feet, 19% grades up the side of a mountain. A lot of trail running, steep uphill and downhill sections. Lots of up and down very little flat.
Keeping cool Below average Drinking Just right
Post race
Weight change: %
Overall: Average
Mental exertion [1-5] 3
Physical exertion [1-5] 5
Good race? Yes
Course challenge Too hard
Organized? Yes
Events on-time? Yes
Lots of volunteers? Yes
Plenty of drinks? Yes
Post race activities: Good
Race evaluation [1-5] 5