Race Reports


and this just in from Joe G Re Steelhead…hot of the presses…unnamed

Pre-race – So the morning of the event we woke up around 4:30 – 4:45 and were on the road by 5:20. Our hotel was roughly 20 minutes away from the venue. We lucked out and bought a parking pass from the local Boy Scouts and got a “relatively” close spot to transition. It was still a long walk to transition. This was actually one of the least involved transition setups I’ve had at a WTC event given that our bikes were all racked the day before in transition. So I did my setup, pumped the tires and spun the tires to make sure nothing was rubbing then left transition to do my “business.” I’m waiting in line to use the John and my parents come out of nowhere. They surprised me and drove to Benton Harbor to watch me race.

 Swim – I felt fantastic warming up and thought I’d have a PR swim with all the meters I’ve been putting in at the pool. I stood and waited for my wave then ran over and got in line. I started on the right center of the beach with one foot in the sand and one in the water. Gun went off and I probably did about 4 dolphin dives then looked left on my last one and noticed I was pretty close to the front at the start. This was by far the smoothest swim I’ve had at a WTC event. I felt like I was in clean water the whole time without many bodies coming at me from previous waves. I paced with a guy with a “AWA” swim cap and we worked together well for not being able to talk to one another.  I exited the water not knowing my swim time (I never wear a watch for the swim). Ran up the beach past large groups of people, transition was a extremely crowded. I flew through transition and onto the bike.

Bike – The bike is fast in that it has no sustained climbs but I wouldn’t call it completely flat. I knew we would have a slight breeze in our face coming home on 63 for the last 20 miles. I wanted to go out slow and really feel like I had a lot of energy getting off the bike. Ed and I have really been pushing the bike in training and I was not afraid to go 2:20 or faster to be honest. The first section of the bike is slightly uphill so I just settled in and tried to lower the HR. The whole goal of the day was execution so I wanted no sharp spikes in effort, HR, wattage, pace, etc. We got around to the half hour mark and the road turned to shit, I mean they were terrible. Couple that with the overwhelming number of participants you had to pass if you were riding over 20mph and it made for a Slalom Skiing event. Honestly, I would say I spent roughly 20% of my race passing in the oncoming traffic lane left of center. Around the 20 mile mark I noticed a buzzing noise. I looked down and my front brake pad was rubbing on my wheel. No big deal I’ll just reach down and adjust it and open it up like you do when you take the wheel off, neither remedy helped and it continued to rub on my wheel for the next 40 miles (I have a video I can attach to show how bad it was). But I didn’t let it bother me, I mean at all. In the past I may have even shut down mentally and let it ruin my race. I still rode as hard as I could and pushed a relatively fast pace going 2:26 (23 mph). Do I think I could have gone 2:20 without the brake pad rubbing? Perhaps, but I really didn’t let it get to me in the race and thought 2:26 put me right in the thick of things. The bike went by so fast mentally otherwise. I got off the bike and felt like a million bucks. Sprinted through transition and onto the run course.

Run – The run is by no means flat.  I don’t know the exact elevation gain but it might be more than the bike so you have to stay within yourself.  All day long I had been telling myself I was going to have a good run.  I wasn’t thinking, hoping, or wishing I was going to have a good run… I knew I was going to have a good run.  Started the run and pushed start on my Garmin, nothing.  My Garmin must have been on in my bag the night before or something because it was completely dead!  I had charged it before I left for Benton Harbor.  I didn’t let it bother me at all.  I told myself to run tough and pick off as many people as possible.  It worked because I started running to compete and not just stay within a certain pace range or HR range.  I believe I started out with a 6:35 avg for the first couple miles then settled into a 6:50 avg.  I really had no idea if I was running 6:30’s or 7:30’s at this time so I just pushed as hard as I could and kept looking for guys with numbers between 30 – 34 on their calves.  I felt as though the miles ticked off really fast.  They felt like they were 3 minutes apart.  I blasted through water stops only grabbing water and Gatorade every so often so they didn’t slow me down.  Every time I wanted to slow down I would lengthen or shorten my stride.  I didn’t fight the course trying to power through up hills, rather I would steadily ascend the hill and then lengthen the stride on the following downhill.  I felt like my nutrition was good but probably could have used another GU around mile 10 or 11.  I came down the finishing straight with a fist pump right before the line. 

 Post-race – Now I still have no idea what my swim time was or my run time.  All I knew was that I went around 23 mph on the bike.  I saw Brian Stern in the finishing corral and he gave me my splits.  4:38, 55th OA, 13th AG, around 2,500 total participants and around 230 in my AG.  This was a 6 minute PR over a VERY fast Clearwater course I raced all the way back in 2010!  I was shocked by the 13th in my AG placing with a 55th OA.  Ed told me later, “Ha, yep, welcome to my world.  My last four years have been just like that.  So freaking tough the older you get.”  All in all I’m very happy with my race and the weekend as a whole. 

 I know its cliché but I couldn’t have done it without GoFastEndurance coaching, Bike Authority or Fleet Feet.  Not to mention all the support I get from my beautiful wife Erika and my parents, I’m one lucky guy!

 download (1)


Round up Lake tri – this lil update from Nate L. –  great venue – and fun race – a nice little evening gem, put it on your calendar for next year…Champ racing put together another quality event – nice calm swim – fast bike course, and what turned out to be a challenging run – what I thought would be flat had a nice long gradual uphill on the opposite side of the lake…



here are a few short and sweet reports from Bob…

Twinsburg Duathlon was a great local race as always.  Unfortunately the rain made the course pretty slippery.  There were a few BAFF members competing.  I took 3rd overall.

Great Western Reserve Oly had great weather this year.  I saw a bunch of BAFF kits on the course between the sprint, Oly and Half.  Same course as last year, but the swim seemed a little short.  Sean P and I traded back and forth for the lead.  I finished first overall, but I’m pretty sure Sean P let me win.download (1)

Lorain Summer Tri was a small but fun race.  Great weather.  Overcast and 75.  Roads were really chopped up.  Swim was perfect water.  I was first overall and feeling great for nationals in 4 weeks after flatting last year.




a few mates went down to race the Mohican Endurance Festival the weekend of June 27/28…Nate L did the 1/2 IM his race report follows…

logo_mefAnother 1/2 IM in the books – this was #…well, too many to count, sort of wish i had kept track all these years – but suffice to say I have been doing the 1/2 distance for about 16 years, at least one a year, and sometimes up to 3 in a season – so you can to the math. the 1/2 is prolly my favorite distance, long enough that many factors come into play – like weather, fueling, etc – but at this distance, in most cases, if I have managed the other variables i can still feel like i am racing and not just surviving like a full. this year was a venue change for MEF, which i found disappointing, just because i really liked the course last year. still a great part of the state to race as long as you realize you will probably not be setting a PR of any kind ;-) – swim was typical, the bike however, all i can say is ompfff! prolly toughest bike i have done, course was killer, the entire time it was either 7-10 MPH up a climb or 25-30 down the other side and then repeat for 55 miles; and all without really carrying much momentum into the next hill – this, along with cold, rain, wind, made for my slowest bike split to date.  but hey, the scenery was great, not many cars and only about 2 intersections the entire race !! then the 1/2 mara, 3 loops of 4.something long – ran pretty well considering – as near as i can tell (b/c i entered the elite field) i finished 9th overall.  now it is time for some RnR as i have done 2 5ok trail events, a gravel RR, a 20k trail, 2 circuit RR, a 30 mile RAGNAR relay, and now this 1/2 since about April…time to chill. see you soon

Leave a Reply