Sunday, August 5, 2012

EP 'Tom' Sawyer Tri -Race Report

After an email exchange with one of my TNT buds Treacy, I signed up for the EP 'Tom' Sawyer Triathlon in Louisville.  I first did this race in 2010.  It is an 800m swim, 14 mile bike, 3.1 mile run.

The wake up was early for this one.  They wanted all athletes to be at the race site by 6AM which meant a 4AM wake up.  Thanks to all the 6AM classes I have been taking getting up at 4AM is not nearly as harsh as it used to be.  Since I really didn't train for this race I was taking it as a fun training day with some of my TNT crew.  With that attitude I wasn't nervous at all so I was able to get a solid 5 hours of sleep.  I felt pretty darn good.

Another difference was my pre-race meal.  I saw this article on Thursday & decided to go to Bob Evans with the lunch crew on Friday.  We all got a big breakfast for lunch.  Steve & I went for pizza for dinner on Friday so I was sufficiently carbo loaded.  

On the way to Louisville we hit a rainy patch.  While driving through the rain, the car did a funny little jerk & then afterwards was having a really hard time maintaining the speed limit.  The RPMs were high & it wouldn't shift.  We limped to the race site & knew we would have to deal with it after the race.

 I racked my bike then went in for body marking.  Check in was uneventful.  If the transition is open to where you can rack your bike my strategy is always to rack it as close to the bike out/bike in.   I was surprised/happy that the rack next to bike out was pretty empty still.
Treacy, Deb & Me - Pre-race pool deck fun
Although it is a seeded swim you don't put down your precise 800m swim time.  Instead, you mark a box that says 12 minutes, 15 minutes, 18 minutes, 21 minutes, etc.  Since I did the Markey 400 meter swim in just under 10 minutes I figured I could swim 800 meters in ~22 minutes.  Considering my last name starts with a 'W' I knew I would be in the back of whatever time I picked.  So I picked 21 minutes.  My number was 521 which I thought was really high but later found out that the lowest number was in the mid - 400s.   Treacy was 520 & Deb was 516.  We all put 21 down for our time.

They started around 6:50am or so.  Every 20 seconds a swimmer started so it didn't take long before it was our turn in the pool.  I have done very few 50m swims this summer compared to last year.  I knew I could swim the distance I just wasn't sure how it would feel.  I did a practice swim at Shillito the Sunday before so I knew my time would be right around 22 minutes.   Overall the swim was pretty good.  I did get passed by what seemed to be a lot of people so I thought I was swimming a lot slower than I had estimated.

At one point I got extremely fresh with one lady & feel pretty bad about it.  I don't swim up on anyone fast so when I felt a foot on one stroke I thought no big deal.  That was until my next stroke found me grabbing her a$$.  We both popped up real quick like!  Apparently she was breast stroking pretty slow.   I quickly passed her & never saw her again so I couldn't apologize properly.  Sorry lady!

Anyhoo, my swim was pretty darn close to my estimate, 22m17s.  That included a short run to the timing mat.

After an uneventful T1, 2m15s, I was out on the bike.  My breathing was under control unlike, Markey.  So that tells me I took it much easier in the swim on this one.

The bike course is pretty easy out & back.  There are a few rolling hills but nothing too difficult.  I had some shifting issues.  I recently had my cables changed & they were now stretched & in need of an adjustment.  So that was annoying.  Most of the ride I rode with a Louisville Landshark lady.  We kept passing each other.  Neither of us was strong enough to pass & put some distance between us.  I really appreciated the fact that she warned me of some gravel on one of the turns on the way back so I wouldn't bite it.  That is an awesome competitor.  I wish we lived closer because she would be a great training partner.   Bike Time: 49m49s.

Thanks to an awesome bike rack position my T1 time was 0m57s.

The run is a mix of road & trail.  Until I hit the 1 mile mark the sun stayed behind the clouds.  Fortunately the second mile was shady so I really only had to run the last mile in the sun.   Run time: 32m32s

Total Time: 1h47m52s.  7 minute PR from 2010

Every segment was faster when compared to 2010

              2012   vs   2010
Swim  22m17s vs 25m28s
T1        2m15s  vs 2m43s
Bike    49m49s vs 52m28s
T2         0m57s vs 1m03s
Run     32m32s vs 34m04s

After changing I passed out Clif Bars to the finishers.  I even got one of the Louisville groups to pose for a publicity shot!

We hung out for the awards ceremony because we knew Susan & Phyllis always win.  To my surprise I actually scored 2nd place in my age group!  Not only that, Phyllis won overall female & Treacy won her age group too!  The Lexington Ladies rocked the Tom Sawyer this year!

Treacy, Susan, Me & Deb
Race Results HERE

Not a finishers medal  - That's a 2nd place AG medal!
Back to the car issue.  When we started back to Lexington both the Check Engine & the Oil Light light came on.  We stopped at a Valvoline & had the error code read.  It was a cam shaft sensor failure.  A quick search on Steve's iPhone found that dirty oil can cause this & is usually corrected with an oil change.  Sure enough it did.  We drove home with no problems.

So for all of you out there that is in need of an oil change....go spend the $50 & get it done.  Your car will thank you!!

Being silly while waiting in line at Valvoline
I think it's about time to invest in a medal hanger

Later that day we had a wedding to go to.  Another fellow TNT'er.  Here is proof that we don't always wear workout clothes.  I think we cleaned up pretty nicely!



  1. Congratulations on placing 2nd in your AG and improving your time since 2010!

  2. I loved this post. I'm doing my first tri in 2 weeks and am most nervous about the bike and transitions. Your post definitely helped me 'experience' triathlon.


  3. You're awesome! Your blog gives me inspiration to get going to try a tri. I've completed a couple of duathlons but the swim is hindering me, even though I'm better than last year!! Congrats on your place.

  4. Congrats on the 2nd place finish! I'm a little pissed I missed Bob Evans but I'm sure you'll make it up to me.



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