White Star PT Triathlon Race Report

I entered the white star PT triathlon late after crashing in NY as the hopes of getting some points for my USAT ranking given I only have one other race so far this year that is giving me points. The White Star race is held in Gibsonburg Ohio, just 30mins drive from my house so I decided Id give it a go and give my legs a test out on the run leg. Race Morning

I drove from my home in Toledo down to Gibsonburg the morning of the race and entered a huge downpour of rain. I was almost certain that the race was going to be made into a duathlon if not cancelled all together. However, after a 45minute delay we were able to hit the beach and warmup for the race.

Results Swim: 9:46 T1: 0:40 Bike: 31:08 T2:0:35 Run:21:41 Overall: 1:03:51 1st Place Overall

Swim

The 750m swim in Gibsonburg was an interesting one, as I dove into the water my goggles filled up with water, this is the first time this has happened to me and I'm not quite sure why, but after fixing my goggles I noticed there was a group of us swimming rather fast at the front of the pack with one young kid looking to go ahead. Usually at smaller races like this, there will be some younger swimmers that blow everyone out of the water, this race was no different and although I tried to get onto the young guy's feet, he got a lead on me and I was left swimming on my own in second. That was pretty much how it finished and I exited the water with another guy who swam up on me in second.

I ended up having a good transition and was out on the 12.5 mile bike right behind the kid who led the swim.

Bike

As we got onto the bike, I was quickly able to pass the young guy and take the lead before settling in. The bike was nice and straight which was good for me after crashing in NY, particularly given the roads were again wet. I settled in nicely on the bike and was riding well especially given it was quite windy. I didn't see anyone else on the bike and was often shouting asking directions where to go. I think sometimes the volunteers and police marking the course aren't quite ready for the leader to come around and either aren't prepared or are expecting the racer to know exactly where to turn which sometimes leads to some confusion. I headed for T2 with a pretty big lead and came in at 31:08 with the fastest bike split by 1:49.

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Run

Despite studying the run course map with a volunteer strenuously before the start of the race, I still had big problems on the run course in Gibsonburg. Firstly, I began to exit T2 the wrong way given I had been told the run came out that end at the beginning of the day. This left me a little frustrated and was unfortunately a sign of things to come. I headed out of T2 the right way this time and ran the first few hundred meters on road until entering a trail through the park. The race soon became unstuck and there was so much standing water I was left considering whether to run or swim the rest of the race. I chose the former and continued splashing through the water. It was tough navigating the course as the majority of the marking was on the ground in paint that now sat ankle deep under water and I took a few educated guesses at where the course went. This proved to be tough given there were a lot of paths going in every direction and I thought I might have taken a wrong turn before thankfully finding another marker.

The trails were so slippery that I ended up falling face first into some mud and opened up the cut on my hand again from last weeks crash, but I bounced up and went on through the run course until I approached a divided trail that didn't appear to be marked. I ended up taking right instead of left and after a minute or so realized I was headed back to where some other runners were just coming out of T2. This wasn't a good sign and left me panicking with no clue of where to go. I tried asking some volunteers but no one was sure and some tried to point me back to run with the runners just coming out of transition. I was almost ready to give up on the day when a volunteer came out of the bathroom and instructed me to go back the way I came and turn left instead of right 3 or 4 minutes later.

After getting back on the trail I was able to ask some spectators if anyone had gone by yet and was pleased to learn I was still in the lead. I made my way through the rest of the course to the finish and came in at 1:03:51 almost 2 minutes ahead of the second place 1:05:46.

I was happy to get the win but a little disappointed as given the ranking points are calculated by time, I had missed a good opportunity to earn a good total of points. I was able to speak to the race director after the event and was able to see that the weather was the main culprit of making the course tough to navigate.

I am now back to training for 3 weeks before I head to Milwaukee for age group nationals on August 10 and 11. It will be the first time I have done 2 races in 2 days so I am excited and with the possibility of qualifying for world champs in all 4 triathlon distances in one year I have added motivation!