Race Report: Whaling City Tri & Du 2016

Whaling City Tri & Du – July 3, 2016

Sarah, Fran and Candice at Whaling City 2016

Candice’s Race Report:

I completed the Whaling City Triathlon in New Bedford on July 3rd. This was a sprint distance triathlon: .25 mile swim, 12 mile bike, and 3.1 mile run. It first started with me checking in and then getting marked. I then went over to the transition area, which was nicely organized by your race number with plenty of space for each person. I then went over to the bathrooms, which was probably the biggest downside to the race: about 6-7 portable bathrooms for the whole event.

The swim portion was done in Buzzards Bay and the water was beautiful for the race! I couldn’t ask for better water temperature. The swimming portion started where you entered two by two with a five second delay until the next pair came in. I felt strong at first with the swim, although did get a little tired at points with the waves and slight current of the water. The route was a triangle from one shore line to the other.

I then transitioned to the bike. The swim transition was a little bit of a jog to the transition area, but I managed to get my bike gear together and start riding. The bike course was a 6 mile loop that was done twice. The route itself was nice and flat, with beautiful views of the water and of New Bedford. I’m still having trouble with those turns on the bike though! Any advice from TE members would be awesome.

The bike mount and dismount were very close to the transition area, which made it easy for transition to the run portion. The running route itself was flat and probably my favorite part of the whole race. The route itself was right on the water with stunning views. If I was not completing a triathlon, I would have stopped and took some pictures! The down side to having stunning views right on the water is that there are little trees or opportunities for shade. When the temperature is already sunny and in the mid 80s and humid, I was dying for some relief when I finished the race. It was probably the most scenic triathlon I have done so far, although it was definitely the hottest as well.

The finish area was also nice, with kiosks to print out your personal times and they gave you a cool rag at the finish line. The best part when I finished was the kiddie pools filled with ice cold water to put your feet in! I’m so glad they had these as I was very hot and tired when I finished.

All in all, I thought this race was very scenic and flat. I would do this triathlon again. The only thing that I would recommend in the future is more bathrooms. Oh, and keep the kiddie pools with ice cold water.

Fran‘s Race Report:

After a 4 am wake up call, I piled my bike and gear in the car and headed to New Bedford for the Whaling City Triathlon.  It’s a sprint distance, with a 0.25 mile swim, 12 mile bike, and 3.1 mile run.  It was a great day for a race, with temperatures only getting up to around the mid 70’s by the end, and just enough breeze to cause some annoyance on the bike but cool things down for the run.  And I was pleasantly surprised to discover that the race organizers had given the three representatives from TE, Candice, Sarah, and I, consecutive race numbers, so we were next to each other in transition.

It was my first race with a wetsuit (and my second swim in one), and my first real swim in salt water.  I’m still getting used to all that extra buoyancy, sometimes it felt like my feet were barely even in the water.  Save ’em for the rest of the race, I guess.  I was pleased to look at the summary from my watch later and discover that I didn’t swim as far off course as I thought I had, but I still need to work on my sighting and bilateral breathing.

The bike portion was made up of two six mile loops, which initially caused me some consternation.  It took me a little while to figure out that I was getting passed so often during the first half because I was among the super speedy people who were on their second loop.  I managed to keep out of their way and eventually got around to passing some people of my own.  Not Sarah Poole, though.  Even with a cold Sarah is way faster than me on a bike.  Still, I managed an average 15.6 mph pace, which is a big improvement on where I was this time last year.

I managed to locate my running legs somewhere around half a mile into the 5K, only to lose track of them at about the three mile mark, but still finished fairly strong after a quick breather.  And I had my fastest average pace during a race, so call it a win.  The run course was nice.  It winds along the shore around Fort Taber Park with some great views of Buzzards Bay.

Overall, it was a good race.  It was well-organized with plenty of signs to tell everyone where to go.  There weren’t many hills, and the few that were there were pretty mild.  My only advice to anyone interested in doing this race in the future is to try and get there early if you want to get a close parking spot.  Apparently, there were fewer parking options available this year and I’m not sure if those filled up and where people had to go if they did.  I got there around 6:30 and got one of the last spots in the first of the two parking lots.

Sarah‘s Race Report:

I really enjoy the Whaling City Triathlon. Unfortunately, a nasty cold (sneezing, chest congestion, cough…all the fun stuff, really) almost sidelined me this year. Neck rule be damned, I decided to adjust my expectations and race anyway. I threw all time goals out the window and set out to race at a comfortable pace and to have fun.

The water was perfect for the swim – calm, a comfortable temperature, and not too crowded (thanks to the time trial start). This was my first race in my new sleeveless wetsuit, and I really liked having the extra range of motion in my shoulders. I stayed relaxed and steady in the swim without pushing my pace and exited the water ready to hit the bike – so far, so good!

Whaling City’s bike course is flat, fast, and closed to traffic. Most of the route features a lovely view of the shoreline. I went out strong and felt much stronger (and faster) than I had anticipated. Tempting as it was to push the pace, I knew I still had the run ahead of me. I stuck to my revised plan and maintained a steady, comfortable pace, which turned out to be a little faster than expected. Sweet!

My chest congestion finally caught up with me on the run (I was SO close!). I started out slow, had to take several coughing breaks, and just never really found my pace or my breath. So, I took it easy, walked a bit, and enjoyed the scenery – the course offers beautiful views of Fort Taber Park and the waterfront.

It wasn’t the strongest finish, but I crossed the line and enjoyed a nice ice bath for my feet. I had a lot of fun racing with my Fran and Candice (I love that Sun racks teams together in transition), enjoyed a well-organized, scenic race, and surprised myself in two of the three events. Considering how close I came to not racing at all, I consider the day to be a success. I even managed to remove all traces of my body marking before attending a wedding reception that evening!

Next up – Sharon!

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Race Report: Mill City Triathlon 2016

Mill City Sprint Triathlon – June 26, 2016

Award from Mill City Sprint 2016

Cheers to two podium finishes at the Mill City Sprint Triathlon! Way to go, Candice and Sara!

Candice’s Race Report:

Candice on the Podium at Mill City Sprint 2016

This past Sunday, I completed my very first triathlon, the Mill City Triathlon in Lowell, Massachusetts. The race had both sprint and olympic distance options. I completed the sprint distance of .25 mile swim, 11 mile bike, and 3.1 mile run. The race started at 7 AM, with a 4:30 AM wake up for me (brutal). Everything was pretty well organized from registration, race time and awards ceremony. The only issue was the bars to hold the bikes in transition were too low which made for longer transition times in both T1 and T2.

The race started off with the swim in the Merrimack River. Given the minimal rain we’ve had and the hot temperatures the past few days, the water was beautiful and clear. The water was warm, making it an easy swim from the first marked buoy back to shore. I then had to jog across the street to the transition area. The transition areas were the same for both the bike and running, which made for easy transition out for running (after I struggled with placing my bike on the low bar). Everyone in the race was supportive and encouraging. The bike and running routes were different this year and all of the roads featured were freshly paved. This led to a smooth bike ride for the whole 11 miles for me. The bike course was relatively flat, with some small hills. All of the routes were clearly labeled with enough volunteers at each spot to show where you were going next. The olympic distance was simply another loop of the same route used for the sprint for both bike and run. The swimming for the olympic had buoys set off at a greater distance before swimming back to shore.

The weather was beautiful and I couldn’t have asked for a better day for my first triathlon. I came in at 1 hour 24 mins, which I was happy about for my first time. Then the awards: third in my age group, woot woot! Overall, I thought this was a good triathlon and I would definitely recommend it to anyone who is new to triathlons or wants to ease their way back in. I feel lucky that I picked this one as my first!

Candice at Mill City Sprint 2016

I’ll see you all in the Whaling City!

Sara‘s Race Report:

Sara D. on the Podium at Mill City Sprint 2016

I was originally slated to be sitting in a conference room all day learning more about cat diseases…but somebody had a better plan for me that day. As luck would have it, the conference was cancelled so I jumped in to register for Mill City Sprint. I couldn’t ask for better weather for a summer race. The water was warm (likely mid 70’s), the air was mid 60’s at 7 AM, and the sky was beautiful and clear.

I was pretty excited for this race as I have been working so hard on my swim technique and endurance since the last event. Master’s swim and Walden have been my hangouts lately… I couldn’t wait to see if I could redeem myself.

Arriving around 5:20 AM, it was early enough to go for a warm-up bike, run and swim…and stand in line for the bathrooms (TWO porta potties and two stalls in the building).  I’ve finally learned that I need longer warm-ups for shorter races, and an early arrival keeps my stress at bay.  The race was small and the transition area was located across the main road from the swim start.

The swim start was in waves to separate out sprint and Olympic racers. It was a quick out and back around the buoy. After some confusion from the director about which side to stay on, it was settled that we would go out on the right and back on the left. Phew…could have been a disaster. A friendly lady in my wave told me there is less current going out if you say nearer the shore, and then on the return stay towards the center to use the current’s help – I followed her advice and managed a 9 minute swim – 4 minutes faster than my last race, and not an ounce of panic occurred… just fast, relaxed swimming the entire way. Redemption!!!!

The bike was fast and flat for the first 5 miles, second 5 miles was moderately hilly but manageable. Averaged about 17 mph which was a record for me again! All that hill training is starting to pay off.

The run was a fairly flat loop, but by this time the air had really started heating up. I huffed and puffed my way to a 9:35 min/mile pace, setting another PR for me!

The race started so early that I was able to get back home for a second breakfast….

My new goal is to work on my running pace over the next year and try to get it down to a consistent 8 minute mile.  In the mean time, I’m going to bask in my personal PR glow.

PR Cat

Season Opener Du/Tri

Well, the TE season officially started this past Sunday with the kickoff of our race series….Max Performance’s Season Opener Du/Tri.  We had 8 women racing…3 doing the duathlon, and 5 of us crazy enough to do the tri and get in the 58 degree water of Hopkinton.  It was a big day for Libby as she completed her first ever triathlon!  She did great and we can’t wait to see how the rest of her first season plays out.  And our relay team finished 2nd in the female division….go TE!!  Great job everyone!  Pictures are coming…

Race Reports: Title 9

By: Laurie Ellis

5am came a little too early Sunday morning.  After a restless night of not enough sleep, it was time to wake up, fuel up (coffee and oatmeal) and get out to Hopkinton.  I was shooting to get there by 6:45 for the 8am start.

It was a beautiful morning.  No rain, thankfully.  A bit chilly at 57 or so degrees, though.  I knew it would be little warmer by the start, but I wasn’t taking any chances.  I was so cold waiting around for the start of the Sharon tri that I wanted to be prepared this time.  I put on fleece sweatpants, a longsleeve t-shirt and a fleece sweatshirt.  Oh, and my winter hat!  Ready to go.

What a well-organized event.  Volunteers everywhere!  And familiar ones at that.  TE members Kelly, Jenn, Kristi, Becky, Rachel, and various parents and significant others were body marking, directing athletes, and getting ready to staff water stations.   Team EnVision was well represented.  Wow! – made it seem like a party. Well, almost like a party.  Amy, Ruth and I still had some work to do.

The race

The water was a refreshing 72 degrees.  Yikes!  Definitely wetsuit worthy. The start was an in-water, TREADING-water start.  No push off whatsoever.  I positioned myself at the front and waited for the horn.  Luckily we didn’t have to bob around kicking each other for too long before they sent us off.  Straight shot 1/4 mile parallel to the beach, left at the last buoy and out.  Quick and easy.

Then came the bike.  I was told it wasn’t too hilly.  That intel was faulty.  There weren’t any huge hills, but there were quite a few not-tiny ones.  I guess it was a rather pretty ride, and under other circumstances, maybe I would have noticed.  It was kind of painful!  I know what I’ll be working on for next season.  10 miles later…

On to the 3.1 mile run.  The run started out the same as the bike:  up a gradual (but very noticeable) incline and then down a hill to finally flatten out.  Briefly.  Back up a hill to a nice stretch along a levee kind of thing and across the beach to the finish arch where the crowd was going wild!  People were cheering up a storm.  For everyone.  I love that about these races.

And then there was food!   What better way to end a race than with a potluck BBQ?  Whether its swimming, biking, running or great food, TE knows how to BRING IT!!

By: Ruth Tannert

It was a beautiful day, full of sunshine and excitement alongside memorials and remembrances of those whose lives were changed forever ten years ago.  I was so grateful to be there as a member of this amazing group of athletes. It was an opportunity to share in the joy and the excitement of this event but to also pay tribute and mourn the tremendous loss we all suffered as a result of the 9/11 attacks.

This is my third Tri (no more Newbie waves for meJ ) and I was especially grateful for the TE woman who showed up in the pre-dawn darkness to cheer us on.  Big thanks to Kristi, Becky, Rachel, Jen & Kelly for volunteering and cheerleading!

It was really dark when I arrived and I whizzed by the entrance a few times, missed the turnoff for parking but got it together and schlepped all my gear to transition. Note: if you ever carpool with me be prepared to get up super early ‘cause I need a big margin for error!

Downed an enormous cup of coffee (vitamin C) and got a great spot by the port-o-san and the Run Out (OK, TMI but hey, it’s a report) It was cold – so I put on the wetsuit and went for a 15 minute warmup swim. It was amazing –steam rose off the calm and fairly warm water which was around  71 degrees. I felt pretty loose and psyched about the swim but worried about the hills on the bike route.

Man, I will not miss being in the last wave to go off – I burn up so much energy just hopping around and ‘waiting’ – not something I do terribly well. Finally got in the water and felt pretty good but didn’t really bring it to the ¼ mile swim which cost me.  Swam strong but not aggressive enough. In some ways it’s easier for me to pace the longer distances – with a quarter mile there really isn’t a lot of time to get it going.  Almost swam up on the beach, then bolted out of the water with my heart pounding – it’s a good thing! I heard someone yell my name and saw Megan our illustrious max performance Tri goddess cheering me on. T1 was OK – still mastering the art of the wetsuit ‘yank and pull’

The first hill was the hardest, not terribly steep but long.  It was fine after that – I really focused on maintaining a steady cadence and blew down the hills, how much fun is that! Not much traffic and road conditions were just fine. Had a bit of a scare when coming down a hill at around mile 3 – a woman in front of me swerved and lost her water bottle which I missed by inches. Adrenalin is amazing stuff – felt like I was shot out of a cannon.

Finished strong on the bike and then ran the first half mile with lead legs. It seems that if you are not somewhat self preserving in the bike that you pay for this in the run. I also did not take any nutrition in T2 so energy was lowish. Ya know, people tell you this stuff and it just doesn’t compute until you are out there feeing the pain. I got smoother and just when I was really flagging, I passed Kristy and Becky at the water station and it was amazing! They worked their cheering magic  and I just lengthened my stride and got my second wind! I saw the familiar red and yellow TE jersey up ahead and caught up with Amy at mile 2.5. Love those tri tops – you can spot them for miles! Crossed the finish line with a stitch in my side and a smile on my face (made a conscious effort not to shoot anyone the death glare during run)  I didn’t place in my age group(was 5th) but I had a blast!

Congrats to Laurie Ellis who rocked her race and was the top swim split with a time of 7:50! She really is part fish!

The best part – the post-race BBQ and berry cobbler! Amazing food and friends made this the best race of the season and  I look forward to training with team TE this fall and winter!

Photo credit:  Jeff Mather

 

 

 

Title 9 closes out the season…

Last weekend the women of TE represented at Title 9 at Hopkinton State Park, another great race put on by Max Performance.  We had three women racing…Amy Wong, Ruth Tannert and Laurie Ellis…and a whopping 12 people volunteering!!  Many thanks to all the family members, spouses and significant others that helped out as well…we couldn’t have done it without you.  We finished off the day with a wonderful BBQ party, enjoying great food and having some laughs.  We were all so busy that there were only a few precious photos taken, but be assured a good time was had by all.

Highlights:
Laurie Ellis – 1st place in the swim finishing the 1/4 mile in 7:50…way to go!!  Also, finished 4th in her AG45-49…awesome!

Ruth Tannert – Finished 5th in her AG50-54.  Awesome job…really finishing her newbie season strong!

Amy Wong – Had a great race…looked awesome on the run!

Race Report: Sharon Tri

By: Rachel Vaughan

Sunday morning brought rain (earlier than forecasted), but we all drove down to Sharon for another great Max Performance event.  There were 7 of us racing and we all did our best to keep some of our gear dry, keep ourselves warm, and keep our energy levels up!  Kristi and Becky came to cheer and my husband, Scott, was armed with the camera.  It was a choppy 1/2 mile swim on the lake due to the storm, but everyone kept their cool…especially Ruth when someone kicked her in the face!!  I was fighting with my wetsuit in transition when I heard, “Way to go Rachel!”  I looked up to see Laurie flying through from the swim to bike.  Boy is that woman a fish!  🙂  She started a good 2 waves behind me!

Off on the bike for a flat, fast course.  Had to be careful in the corners because of the rain and it was bumpy in places, but otherwise it was beautiful.  And the wildlife just seems to keep finding Jenn….while she was riding a huge buck came out of the woods and went right across the road in front of her!!  Yep, a buck!  With antlers!  I know!  Crazy!  We were back into T2 before we knew it.  The run was long (for me at least) at 4.4 miles, but all flat, very scenic and boy were we thankful for the cloud cover now.

Coming back in towards the finish with only .2 miles to go my legs were like bricks and I look up to see Kristi standing in the middle of the road hollering my name and shaking pom-poms!!  What a sight!!  She ran the last of the way in with me…what a savior!  This was my first full triathlon since having foot surgery, and my longest run to date, so having her smiling, cheering and running with me was very uplifting at that moment.  I didn’t place at this race, nor do I think I ever will, but that’s not why I love this sport or this team.  I love it for the comraderie, the friendships, and the tests of endurance we all put ourselves through.  To finish the race smiling and under my own will is always a “win” in my book.

TE gets ready for another weekend of racing!

It’s Friday and we’re all getting pumped up and ready for another weekend of racing!!

Sunday brings a double header….

Amy Wong will be racing at the Westborough Triathlon.

PLUS, we have 8 amazing women racing at the Max Performance Sharon Triathlon.
Christine de Chaves
Allison Cramp
Laurie Ellis
Jenn Hughes
Nisha Sardella
Ruth Tannert
Rachel Vaughan
Anka Wilk

It’s going to be another amazing day of racing…so if you see our tent, come on by and say hello!