This was both the first mass start open water swim and Olympic distance race of the season. Greg and I both really enjoy the Olympic distance races. They are a nice mix between strategy, pacing, and throwing all caution to the wind. We have both been putting in big volume on the bike and are in prime running shape after the Spring running season. We both felt like the longer distance would play to our strengths.
Weather Conditions – The sprint distance race preceded our Olympic race. Our race did not start until 11:15am. The water temperature was 74 degrees (wetsuit legal) and the air temperature was in the 80’s. Combined with the sun, it was a very warm day.
Race Event – 1500 meter open water mass start swim in Taylorsville Lake. 25 mile out and back hilly bike course. And a rolling hills 10K out-and-back run course.
Field – 82 total finishers. 14 in Greg’s M35-39 AG. 8 in my M30-34 AG.
Race Objective – Our goal was to podium our respective Age Groups. Scanning the crowd before the race, it was clear to see a couple local elites showed up to race, which would make things tough. On the other hand, a couple of our closest regular competitors had raced the sprint race earlier that morning. And one showed up for the swim/bike only. We also had several close friends and training partners racing, so it was important to beat them for bragging rights!
Swim – Both us of started near the front of the pack and had relatively little contact during the start. Greg and I exited the water in 1st and 2nd position in our respective AG’s. Wetsuit strippers at the swim exit really helped get us out the suits fast!
Bike – Greg had a bit of trouble with the flying bike mount, but once clipped in he was locked and loaded mowing down competitors. On the bike return, he made a mistake that costs some time by stopping and turning around thinking he passed up a turn. Even so, he still managed a solid bike split moving into 8th overall.
Thanks to call outs from Brad, I knew I exited transition in 6 place overall. I paced off my power and passed two athletes on the bike and entered transition in 4th place overall.
Greg and I both had the fastest bike splits in our AG’s. 20.6mph avg @ 239W avg for Greg. 21.3mph avg @ 199W avg for me.
Run – By this time, temps were well into the upper 80’s. The sun and heat was starting to take its toll on everyone and turned the run into a real character builder. Greg exited transition with two friends directly in front of him. He used them as targets, eventually passing them. But in the process was passed by two other athletes.
My run on paper looked decent, but honestly it was a real struggle. My legs just never did have any fire. I exited transition two minutes behind the third place runner. I passed him and moved into 3rd place overall at the turnaround. I was able to comfortably hold off competitors for the remainder of the race.
8:16 avg pace, 2nd AG rank for Greg. 7:39 avg pace, 1st in AG for me.
Summary – Greg finished 1st of 14 in his AG. I finished 1st of 8 in my AG. Greg and I were 8th and 3rd place overall out of 82 finishers!
Thanks to all the CKW Sponsors for their support! It was especially nice to be representing our bike and shoe shops with such dominating performances (against competitor shop athletes). I met two athletes from E-Town that were inquiring about our team. Thanks for the awesome looking kits – It felt great to represent team CKW at the pointy end of the field!