Jun 14, 2010

Motor City: An Adventure in Aquatic Duathlons

I love the Motor City Triathlon in theory. I did not like how on this, the 5th installment of the race, it turned into an aquatic duathlon. This had nothing to do with weather or poor course planning. 3D actually got this one right for the most part.

What makes the Motor City Triathlon different (at least for these parts) is that it has two transition areas. T1 is the swim to bike and is right off of the beach. T2 is the bike to run and is back up at the casino.

You drop off the running gear and then ride your bike/swimming gear down the 1 mile to the beach. You then set up your bike transition and get ready to swim.

After the swim (or aqua jog ha!) you run up a long path to the bike racks, pack all of your swim stuff into a bag and then hand it off to a volunteer, put on all o fyour bike stuff then head out for the ride.

After the ride you then rack your bike in the 2nd transition area and then switch to the running gear and head out to the run.

This is unique but after completing the race I found it quite enjoyable. It makes you think more in the preperation, but the transitions are less cluttered.

In an aid to help the swimmers not have to battle water currents in the Detroit River, 3D moved the course closer to land which meant that the swim course was pretty much 90% walkable.

At some bouys the water (if I had stood up) would have been between my waist and chest.

Being a person with some water phobias, I get the need to be able to stand up in the water in case things get to be too much. It happens. I get the freak out and the fear of the deep, dark unknown.

What I do not get is why you would just walk an entire swim.


The Olympic distanced triathletes went out first leaving those of us in the Sprint to watch and cheer while we wait the 30 or so minutes before our race would start.

In that time I saw many people walking the swim course. I would have expected to see maybe 1 person who was having a rough day, but not as many as I saw Saturday.

I figured that since Kenny the RD had repeatedly yelled over the loudspeaker and PA system that swimming was in fact much quicker (since this was the swim course) than walking that those of us in the sprint would heed his advice and make like fish.


I had my first ever water freak out at Motor City triathlon yesterday, mainly due to the people walking. I kept gasping for air and could not swim due to the rush of people walking over me!

I ended up finding some free space after the 2nd of 3 bouys and was able to find my groove. Better late than never even if I was halfway done with the swim. I ended up with my fastest 500 yard swim ever even with the freak out.

I had a slow transition time, mainly due to trying to find the charms off of the necklace I had broke during my freak out, and due to just taking my time putting everything into my swim transition bag.

I headed out for the ride and was pleasently surprised that my HR was pretty low. I got into a groove and saw that I was cruising along at 20+ MPH. I decided to just hold this as I hear this course while flat is very windy and you may have a tail wind and then get hit with a strong headwind on the back side of the island.

On the backside I noticed that my speed dropped to 19.5-20 MPH. That made me happy because apparently there was no wind out there. Sweet!

I dropped into my bars and just rode.

12.4 miles later, I averaged 20.5 MPH which was good enough for a HUGE bike PR for, the 5th fasted bike split in my AG, and the 30th fastest bike split out of all sprint females (161 total).

I was wondering what the run would hold being that I pushed more on the bike than I normally do, and I was pleasantly surprised. I started off slow and kept speeding u until the end at 3.4 miles. I averaged 11:18/mile which while slow was my 2nd or 3rd fastest pace in a triathlon, and was the 2nd longest run in a triathlon I have done.

1:32:32 total time, Sprint triathlon PR, swim and bike pace PRs.

Hmmm.. apparently my training for Welland is paying off. I missed podium in the Athena group by seconds and 1st place by 4 minutes. It was my run that did me in!

On the back side of the race, I feel strong and happy and now fully excited for Welland. The question of if I can do it is gone, and now I am in a place of getting really excited and enjoying this whole process.

You only have one first. I want this one to be the most positive as well. =)

With that being said - I am now in TAPER!!!!

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