2016 Wyckoff Triathlon

lifeguards head out onto swim course

lifeguards head out onto swim course

This weekend I took part in the 2016 edition (34rd Annual)  Wyckoff/Franklin Lakes  triathlon.  This race is somewhere between a sprint and   Olympic distance race. Its a  800m swim, 17 mile bike and 5 mile run. Weather conditions were perfect , clear blue sky in the low to mid 70’s , virtually no humidity or wind. This years event seemed less crowded not the sellout that it was a few years back. Only around 500 individual participants and around 50 relay teams.

SWIM (800 meters)

my wave start, (second from right)

my wave start, (second from right)

The swim started at the lake shore , this year I was in the 4th wave. After a short countdown we were off. Wading in about 20 yards, and a few dolphin dives ater I was swimming. Minimal contact at the beginning, I took the inside line and just cranked away towards the first buoy, I mis-timed a sim stroke and swallowed a little water (something very uncharacteristic or me ), it unnerved me a bit, but I settled down and resumed towards the buoy.

line of triathletes arriving at swim exit

line of triathletes arriving at swim exit

Sighting was pretty good, and I swam more or less directly towards it. I took the inside line, and luckily minimal traffic at the turn buoy. Then it short 150yd swim to the 2nd second turn buoy, from where I turned back towards the shore and directly into the sun. But again I have to praise my polarized Speedo MDR 2.4 googles , they did a fantastic job of cutting the glare. I maintained a steady pace heading back , not really finding anyone good to draft off of. Soon enough the big inflatables (Aqua Slide) came into view, and I turned it up a bit and before I knew it I was dolphin diving my way back to shore.

BIKE (17 miles)

group of riders finishing up bike leg

group of riders finishing up bike leg

The run was ok into T1. I brought my Zoot sleeveless as its an easier wet-suit to transition out, but struggled a bit with my left leg. I then grabbed my bike , and ran out of T1.

I elected to have my shoes clipped in this year, hoping it would be better than last years +30s clipping in in fiasco, but it turned out to be worse. As I pushed off with the clipped in shoes, I slowly pedal and reached down to slip in my feet, but as luck would have it the Velcro strap came out of the strap holder, crap!!  i fiddled a bit but realized I had no choice , I dismounted, sat on the side of the rode in shame, and had to unclip both shoes and manually put them on. What a mess, and I practiced this for about 20min just a few days before… then I hopped back on and started up , only a few minutes later to find my shifter cable end was rubbing up against my wheel, another short stop bent it out of the way.

me and my trusty P3 heading turning to T2

me and my trusty P3 heading turning to T2

Finally free of shoe and cable problems, I settled int a rhythm. The P3 worked pretty well, I was able to comfortably get int the aero position, and felt ok climbing. About a mile in, I was joined by a group of 3-4 riders that were about my speed, including the eventual women’s winner, and we would go back and forth through most of the ride.

Through the middle miles I was making steady work of passing most of those in front of me, and at the park half way point, I felt pretty good ,my HR was in the 150’s with the occasional 160 on the climbs. The ride back was pretty uneventful, some of the coned areas were pretty tight and you had to slow a bit to navigate them. As we approached the 208 underpass, I took one last sip, and prepared for the climb.

I didn’t feel particularly strong on the climb, not many riders nearby , but managed to bring back a few riders up the rode. I picked up a little more speed on the flat, before resuming the second half of the climb. Once over the crest it was all downhill. I felt better this year on the descent and cranked hard the last mile and a half. Back into Indian Trails , I didn’t unstrap my shoes, wanted to get the most out of the last mile, but not worth it as it cost me time in T2.

I probably had a decent bike , but the two early stops  probably cost me over a minute, otherwise this could have been my first sub 50′ bike.

RUN (5 Miles)

womens winner and bike rival

womens winner and bike rival at finish

The run started ok , again a littel sloppy in T2, since I haddn’t unstrapped my shoes on the bike and had to sit down and do it in T2. Then right out of T2, I was passed by the women’s winner, whom I had gone back and forth on the bike with me. I felt ok but not particularly strong on the run, the run course is pretty well shaded, but definitely hilly. A slow stream of runners started going by, I just couldn’t hang with low 7′ pace guys.

runners finishing while others start their run

runners finishing while others start their run

So I tried to maintain an even tempo,at mile 1 one of the several turn around you get to see people who in my case were soon to pass me. I plodded on with my miserable 8’30” to 9′”30 pace through the middle miles, as the hills kept coming. Before mile 3 I managed to hang behind an RTA triathlete, and he had a nice steady pace just near my threshold, he pulled me a long for about 3/4 miles, catching a few runners that had just passed by, that lasted  up to about the crest of the course. At about mile 3.75 your at the highest poitn on the run course  then its one sharp drop before the last little rise and a a longer steadier drop towards the finish. I was never able to muster any kind of strong pace, and then just cruised into the finish. Not terribly exhausted , felt good.

RESULTS

Overall my 2nd best time at the race last few years , but definitely could have been the best had I not had my shoes transition fail, and a better run. Happy with swim, will improve my run if it kills me.

Year Swim  (800m) T1 Bike (17mi) T2 Run (5mi) Finish
2016 16:20  1:58   51:41  (19.7 mph) 1:48  43:51 (8:46/mi) 1:55:38
2015 17:13  2:14   54:06  (18.9 mph) 1:43  44:48 (8:58/mi) 2:00:04
2014 16:44   2:18   50:27  (20.2 mph) 2:46  43:34 (8:43/mi) 1:55:49
2013 17:21   2:04   50:46  (20.1 mph) 1:45  42:21 (8:28/mi) 1:54:17
2012   17:56 2:28  50:41  (20.1 mph) 2:01  44:21 (8:52/mi) 1:57:27

As you can see I don’t change much year to year, but every year I’ll try and do better, that’s whats its all about.

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