Monday, November 10, 2008

San Francisco

Here is a rather detailed report on Saturday's race.  I had plenty of time at the airport and on the airplane so you, the reader, get a nice verbose write-up.  I hope to right up a second post tonight that talks about the rest of the trip.


This past weekend I raced in the San Francisco Triathlon at Treasure Island, which is the final race in the Tri-California Series and also an ITU Pan American Cup.  I was third in the Tri-California Series heading into this race, behind Victor Plata and Brian Fleischmann and with Jeff Piland very close behind me and Ethan Brown within striking distance if he had a good race.

The swim course consisted of two triangular laps.  I thought that I got out to a pretty good start in the swim and hit the first turn buoy near the front of the race, ahead of a lot of the carnage.  But that backstretch brought a lot of "interaction" with my fellow racers.  I thought that I gave it as well as I took it but I must have moved back a bit b/c at the next turn buoy I could see a pack strung out ahead of us.  I surged and moved up when I could and felt like I stayed in the draft most of the time, but I exited the water in 23rd place -- in a pack with Reto Waeffler, Chris Stehula, Jason Wilson, Adam Truex and Brian Hague.

The "A" swim pack had put about 75 seconds into us but the trailing end of the "B" swim pack was only ten seconds up.  With a good transition and a quick start on the bike we could have caught them.  But that didn't transpire.  Our group didn't work all that well together, with Brian Hague doing the bulk of the work early on and me taking the lead for much of the last two laps.  Reto flatted at the beginning of the second lap and we caught Mark Fretta on the third. 

I could see Jeff Piland in the group ahead of us and knew that I needed to catch him in order to retain third place in the series.  I tried to organize the group a few times but the TI course has so many corners that it is hard to maintain a rotation.  I was happy with the speed that I carried through the corners, especially after getting used to things on the first lap.

I led most of the last lap as everybody wanted to have their running legs but I couldn't afford to lose any more time on Jeff.  I had a rocky bike dismount and my feet were totally numb as I ran into transition.

I grabbed me shoes and left transition just behind Brian Hague.  Jason Wilson and Chris Stehula must have been first out and Fretta really took off.  I stayed near Brian for awhile but then he started gapping me a bit.  I threw in a few surges to try and claw my way back and eventually caught him on the second lap.  I should note that the run course is three laps on an out-and-back course.

At the turnaround on the first lap I could see that Jeff was hurting and that I *should* be able to catch him if I ran strong the rest of the way.  I steadily closed the gap and passed him after the turnaround on the second lap.  On the third lap I started to see John Dahlz up the road and tried to count guys and see if I could snag some ITU points.  I needed to catch Dahlz & Jason Wilson and to beat Brian ... but then Ethan Brown caught us.  I tried to go with Ethan for a little while in order to get away from Brian but it didn't quite work.  So Ethan got away and Brian caught me again.  I tucked in behind Brian but lost him before the turnaround. 

On the way back, I saw Brian catch Dahlz and clawed my up to them. They slowed down in order to save up for the final sprint so I decided to try and get away right then -- similar to Lake Stevens where I really didn't want to have to sprint to the line.  But Dahlz worked to catch me again w Brian sitting on.  I made 3 more moves and Brian made one before the final 600, when I went for broke.  At about 300 or 400 to go the other guys came past me and I couldn't keep up.  Oh well.  It was a hard fought race and I definitely made some steps forward in my biking.  I need to figure out why I didn't swim a bit better.  I felt pretty good out there but just missed the move, I suppose.

So I took 23rd of maybe 33 guys who started.  No ITU points as they stop at 20th and I was 26 seconds away from the 5% time cutoff.  Close, again!

Swim: 20:02 (23rd, first was Fleischmann in 18:36)
Bike: 1:01:51 (21st, first was Matty Reed in 1:00:11)
Run: 37:15 (21st, first was Mark Fretta in 33:04)
Total: 2:00:32 (23rd, first was Victor Plata in 1:54:30)

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